SUMMER just got a whole lot better.
Many of us may have beat the heat last summer at Blast Aqua Park Coolum and had plenty of fun in the process and for those who conquered the inflatable obstacle course, heads up, there's a fresh challenge awaiting.
New gear has been brought in recently from Germany (Wibit) and the US (Aquaglide) to create a 75m x 100m water-sports wonderland.
Co-owner Bruce Neville said there was also fresh equipment still being shipped from China in the form of a large slide and a "huge cliff jump" which he hoped to have installed and ready for action by next week.
There's over 300 pieces of equipment - more than $500,000 worth of gear - floating at the Junction Dr, Coolum site which can take up to 250 people at a time on the obstacle course.
"It doesn't come cheap," Mr Neville said, hopeful of a bumper summer if sweltering temperatures continued.
Mr Neville, who also runs the Bli Bli Aqua Park, said there was plenty of work that went into setting up and maintaining the inflatables.
He said there was also a bit of travel involved as they scouted the best new equipment in the world but it was paying off with plenty enjoying the challenge.
"With this weather at the moment everyone seems to be enjoying it," Mr Neville said.
Christmas parties, end-of-year break-ups and even schoolies had been enjoying the park recently.
With Bli Bli open year-round and Coolum closing for three months over winter each year, Mr Neville said he liked to keep some fresh equipment rolling in each summer.
"It just keeps growing the park, it's getting bigger and bigger," he said.
He said the Coolum course this year had a lot more obstacles and less flat running spaces compared to last summer's course.
He reckons if you can get through all obstacles in a 50-minute session you're doing very well.
"You have to be really quick to get over every piece on the park," he said, laying down the challenge to any willing to take it on.
Up to 50 staff are on the books with 15 at a time on-shift, many are local lifesavers experienced on the water looking to earn a few dollars.
Mr Neville said while it looked like a dream job, shifts had to be kept to four-or-five hours to keep staff fresh as it could become pretty tiring out there on the obstacle course plucking punters from the water who'd been unable to tame the inflatable beast.
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