In a room full of hot air and plastic, what’s one to do but jump, bounce and try not to fall off – and it’s all in the name of family fun.
BY ANNA MEROLA
I’ve been to the Wipeout zone and I took my family with me! We jumped, bounced, climbed, slid, got airborne, fell down, got back up and did it over and over again.
Well, when I say Wipeout, it’s not quite like the one you see on TV. Take away the water and the TV cameras and the fact where we went is called Inflatable World and not Wipeout, it's almost the same.
So my Wipeout moment came when I entered the converted indoor cricket stadium – known as Inflatable World during the school holidays and on weekends – and feasted my eyes on four oversized, inflated balls that were just waiting to be jumped on.
As I looked around, there were inflatables of different shapes and sizes for as far as the eye could see – 13 in total including an inflated elephant and maze surrounding it, a gigantic bouncy pillow, a gladiator arena, a velcro wall, an inflated runway/horizontal bungee and plenty more. No wonder Inflatable World describes itself as one of the biggest indoor inflatable playgrounds in Australia.
Back to big balls (these were green, not red like those on Wipeout but equally impressive). Climbing up the inflated steps to the starting platform, and with a couple of kids cheering me on, I pounced onto the first ball and landed safely, preserving my dignity for a moment at least…only to fall off on my second jump into the makeshift water below (or blue-coloured inflated plastic, so at least the landing was nice and comfy).
Second attempt, I made it to the third ball and again fell off in spectacular fashion! WIPEOUT! My five year old did better and made it across all four balls without incident, but that’s the benefit of being whippet thin and weighing 20kg.
Next challenge – horizontal baton bungee is the best description I can come up with! Basic rules – attach bungee cord to waist, run as fast as you can and grab a velcro baton attached to the side of the runway, before being pulled back by the bungee cord – or flung back in my case – to the start. With my legs in the air and baton in hand, it was not the most graceful display of my athletic abilities, but I gave it a go – and had fun doing it, which is what Inflatable World is all about.
Horizontal baton bungee looks easier than it is - and even more fun.
Bypassing Daredevil’s Island and the gladiator zone for the time being, I decided to give my wiped-out body a short reprieve – or so I thought.
It’s sweaty work crawling through a maze of tunnels, dodging other kids who were sprinting in the opposite direction, climbing up inflatable ladders, hurtling your body down the slides, playing bouncy basketball and getting airborne on the giant inflated pillow!
If you’re not big, there’s a special under 5's area so they can join in the fun away from the more adventurous kids. With different themed inflatables, including Thomas the Tank Engine and a pretty Princess bouncy castle, it’s the place to be if you’re little and parents are encouraged to have a play as well. It’s a nice break from the Wipeout zone, which is hot and thirsty work.
Make sure you bring some drinks and snacks – and socks to wear on the inflatables. Or buy some refreshments on site and sit upstairs and watch the inflation action from above.
Check the website for pricing, opening times (it’s open during the school holidays and on weekends during the school term). To get your inflatable fun on, it’s bit of a trek from the city centre – 40 minutes south of Adelaide at Morphett Vale, with another Inflatable World north of the city at Salisbury.
Here's a few other places around Adelaide to try your “Wipeout” skills at:
: About 30 minutes south of the city at O’Halloran Hill, Inflatable Zone is another indoor inflatable playground, catering for three-year-olds and over.
: Just 10 minutes from the city centre at Marleston, Bounce is home to a 100 trampolines and where getting airborne is what it’s all about.
: A new arrival to Adelaide, you’ll find Latitude at Greenacres, about 20 minutes north-east of the city. Similar to Bounce, it has trampolines, climbing walls, a mini-bungee tower and more.
MegaAdventure Aerial Park
: An above-ground obstacle course at West Beach, 20 minutes from Adelaide, is a challenge like no other that is sure to get the heart-pumping.
Vertical Reality Climbing
: Climb to new heights at this indoor rock climbing gym located about 25 minutes north-east of the city at Holden Hill.