Fairy Park is Australia’s oldest theme park, located in Anakie about an hour west of Melbourne (and 30 minutes from Geelong).
Since 1959, Fairy Park has brought fairy tales and mythical creatures to life for children. The theme park features hand-crafted moving displays set over 22 acres of landscaped gardens. It’s a unique half day trip with under 5s as 2-3 hours is sufficient time to see everything, including a visit to the adventure playground and lunch.
Set your expectations appropriately because Disneyland it is not. But it’s also about the 10th of the price of Disneyland!
Adults will probably think Fairy Park is daggy and dated. However, 4 year old Lady AB is the perfect age for it. She is able to walk independently up the very steep paths and is excited to recognise the fairy tale characters such as Cinderella and Goldilocks – but still young enough not to be cynical about the unsophisticated animatronics.
She is quite enthralled by the hand-crafted displays and wants to hear the end of every story, not just content to push the button once to watch the moving parts.
At 2 years old Baby 2.0 is too young for it. We have to keep him strapped to the pram because of the steep paths (he’s a fearless bolter) which means he doesn’t have much patience for looking at the dioramas. He is really frightened of the giant dragon too whereas Lady AB relishes the opportunity to dress up!
There are some really lovely landscaped gardens and the view from the summit is spectacular (though cold!).
Train enthusiasts will enjoy the large model train set and the tiny model train museum.
Both kids enjoy climbing around the Castle Kids room (mostly to shelter from the icy winds I suspect) and the Camelot Adventure Playground, a unique medieval themed playground with structures featuring castles and creatures.
We finish off our visit with a packed lunch under Ye Olde Shelter by the carpark. In terms of catering BYO it’s the best bet as there’s not many food options and not of very good quality. The toilets are nearby and clean, with a change table for babies. There are other picnic areas and barbecues available throughout the park.
Fairy Park is a throwback from the past, before CGI, 3D and touch screens. It’s old-fashioned entertainment that will particularly enchant preschoolers and is a memorable half-day adventure for all of us.
- Go up the hill to Fairytale Land to see the animatronic displays first, then finish off with the Camelot adventure playground and lunch at a picnic table/BBQ shelter.
- If you’re visiting in winter then rug up extra layers and wear a beanie. The hilltop is very windy and whistling wind in your ears does not make a pleasant experience.
- If you’re visiting in summer bring a hat with a strap (so it doesn’t blow away in the wind) and sunscreen as the park has no real shelter.
- Paths are pram accessible throughout but can be very steep in parts.
- The Castle Kids area contains $2 coin operated rides.
- BYO picnic or BBQ lunch. The food van, kiosk and shop are generally only open weekends and sells your usual assortment of junky food and so-so coffee. There are 10 coin operated BBQs on site.
- Expect to spend about 2-3 hours there, including the playground and lunch.
- Keep an eye out for coupon deals. We visit Fairy Park for $25 for 2 adults and 2 children and would not be willing to pay much more.