Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC)
When: Indoor pool 8am – 11pm daily, click here for more details for different facilities.
Where: 200 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East
What: 25m indoor pool, 50m outdoor pool, indoor water playground, two indoor water slides (which extend outside the building) one is a body slide and the other is for a two person raft, wellness pool, spa, sauna, steam rooms, gym, stadium facility and childcare… and more.
Cost: Adult swim $8.50, child $6.40 – memberships and concessions available, click here for more information.
Only an insane person would head off to an indoor water playground on a weekend, a week after opening!! But a very last minute plan/invitation from a friend came about and we had no idea what we were walking into.
But wow – GESAC is impressive. A completely new facility which, evident by the crowd in there today, I am sure every local has been watching being constructed and hanging out for it to hurry up and open already.
We arrived to a full car park – I should have read that as a cue to turn back for home… but we lucked a car spot and having seen those amazing water slides coming out the side of the building it would have taken more than not getting a rock-star parking spot to deter us.
I suspect we fluked it as when we walked in there was no queue at the front desk, we asked lots of questions.. and only had one bum steer – info about the lockers (see at end).
The water playground was heaps of fun… but I must admit with it being so crowded I was having a mild anxiety attack every 30 seconds as it seemed I would blink and one or both my kids had disappeared.. and the insane noise level (water fountains, 1000 kids screaming, 300 parents yelling, water slide etc) meant that even at the top of my lungs from about 3m distance it was impossible to be heard.. so I did a kind of lunge/water jog work-out racing about in knee deep water in a zig zag fashion.. and just when I’d spotted them some (insert expletive) child would squirt me in the eye with a water cannon. So even though I didn’t actually fully immerse myself, my eyes were burning for the rest of the day.
Anyway – when the hype calms down this place will be AMAZING. And while I might not have had the best time ever personally on this occasion, the kids had a ball and loved pulling ropes, turning wheels, setting off fountains and all the other amazing interactive water play activities…
And it was warm – I am a cold fish and so being wet but only knee deep in warm water would have been torture for me.. but the air temp was really warm, warm enough that I lasted the whole visit (1.5hrs in the pool) without feeling cold or chilly. And once I was dressed again I was boiling!
Much to my disappointment we didn’t have a go on the water slides.. Charlie was 2cm too short (minimum is 115cm) and, well Immi was just a bit too chicken to go without me, which I guess is fair enough as you did have to climb three flights of stairs to get to the top… I figure this is a perfect excuse for us to get out of any theme-park holidays for the moment.
So just so you are in the know – currently (May 2012) only half the lockers are working.. hopefully in the near future there will be double the amount of lockers. Turns out we were super lucky as we actually got a locker, despite some confusion over how much it costs. FYI it’s $3 and the machine takes gold coins. You can also re-enter the machine without having to pay again, but it is not a free service (so no return coins when you check out). The lockers are located near the change rooms down at the end of the 25m pool.. and on a busy day it is slightly awkward as not only do you have to queue to get in and out of your locker, the lockers are located in the entrance to the change rooms – so major thoroughfare. Anyway we survived.. and I imagine our circumstances were worst case scenario.