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Moomba Waterfest

22 Mar 2007

Moomba, now known as Moomba Waterfest, is one of the largest and longest running festivals in Australia. Over the years, it has involved tens of thousands of performers and holds a special place in the hearts of the city’s citizens.

Since its inception in 1955, the festival has given generations of Melbourne families many special childhood memories.

At this year’s Moomba Festival there was an impressive line-up of equipment from various travelling showmen from around the country. A new area was added to the Moomba Carnival, aside from the usual Children’s area, featuring the giant Euro Slide, Ferris Wheel, and 12 children’s rides, one of which was Doyle Gill’s impressive brand new Samba Balloon Ride.

At numerous stages throughout the four-day carnival, the line up for the balloon ride stretched through the park, across the road and down to the river, necessitating a change in strategy for the queue lines.

Side Show Alley, stretching along the southern bank of the Yarra, consisted of 29 concession games all doing a bumper trade.

The main ride area in Birrarung Marr featured the Crazy Coaster, Space Roller, Break-dance, Wave swinger, Ranger, Chaos and Claw, with most rides riding at capacity for much of the event.

Brand new to Moomba this year was the Extreme Lawn in Star Garden, claimed to be the most extreme 50 square metres on earth!

With Phil Durkin’s ‘Sling Shot’ and ‘Insanity’ rolling across the face of each other, Broderick Pavier’s ‘Speed’ directly opposite, and Lew Osborne’s ‘Mega Drop’ finishing off the square. When all four rides were working simultaneously it was quite an extreme sight to see.

Overall attendances were up and it was good to see a successful Moomba after a year off for the Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, just arrived in Sydney is the new attraction for Coleman & Sons Pty Ltd of Helensburg NSW.

The Mine Train Coaster from SBF-Visa International and organised through Australian Amusement Brokers is the first one of these units heading into the Southern Hemisphere.

This unit is currently number 10 of the units produced at the Northern Italy factory.

The ride is due for its maiden operation at this years Royal Easter Show.

Greg O'Neill
Director, Amusement Rides Australia

Elsewhere, Interpark has reported that Italian manufacturer Bertazzon has completed development of a small size swing carousel which will make its debut in the US market this spring. The ride, 9m high and with a capacity of 48 passengers, is made for travelling but a park model is available.

Interpark also reports that a new launch coaster has been introduced by Italian ride manufacturer Fabbri. The 22m high coaster is an economical ride using a magnetic launching system. It is 40m long by 23m wide and reaches a speed of 70 kph.

Also new from the company is Hydromania, an interactive family water ride which comes in two versions, with three seats and two water cannons and another for four passengers with four cannons.

The raft-type ride was also different in that it was powered by pumping stations firing the water along the length of the ride, rather than traditional track means. The water cannon can also be installed around the edges of the waterway so that non-riding visitors may use them at passing boats. The first installation of Hydromania is now being negotiated.

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