Warner Village Theme Parks' $23 million Australian Outback Spectacular has cemented the Gold Coast's place as the country's theme park capital.
Between Wet 'n' Wild and Movie World, the new attraction is presented by RM Williams, for more than 70 years Australia's leading bush outfitter, and is just 20 minutes north of Surfers Paradise.
More than thirty species of native trees and plants are growing there and there is a billabong under the entry bridge.
To set the mood, the Aussie Pub opens at 6:15pm. You can enjoy a drink in the pub and be entertained by a bush band before heading for the main arena.
From the moment you enter, be ready to be part of the fun. Audience participation is encouraged. The audience is split into two opposing teams of barrackers and are given identifying stockmen's hats to wear. Headbands depict your station either Wondoola Station or Austral Downs Station and you cheer and urge your stockmen and women to bring home the ultimate prize.
The arena has a 1000 seat capacity, and thunders with the hooves of Australian stock horses. The atmosphere is steeped in the spirit and courage of the Outback. The station muster is breathtaking and highlights the talents, skills and compatibility of horse and rider.
You are entertained by a cast of larger-than-life characters, bush vehicles and a display of memorable horsemanship. A mustering helicopter dives into the arena to round up a mob of stampeding cattle.
Forty-two stock horses were sourced from all over Australia, and chosen for their adaptability and willingness to be part of the show. Each has its own personality and are trained perform various styles of riding. They are trained and cared for by two highly experienced horse masters Tony Jablonski and Donna Morton.
The horses work alongside longhorn and Santa Gertrudis cattle, camels, fleecy merinos, border collies, emus, kangaroos and chickens. They all have names and are much loved and beautifully cared for.
The Beer Can Regatta has two teams of four from opposing stations in boats made from beer cans. They run as fast as they can while steering the boat and are encouraged by much clapping and laughter from their supporters.
The Australian Outback Spectacular's magnificent fifty-two piece orchestra consisting of strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion has captured the true Australian outback sounds and performs film-score orchestral style music, contemporary country, bluegrass and rock.
The lighting system is made up of more than 300 fixtures, 240 colour change scrollers and 60 moving lights. Projectors throw stunning outback images while rain and fog is produced to bring it all to life. Surround sound and specially designed speakers top it all off.
A delicious and mouth-watering dinner, prepared in four kitchens, is served during the Spectacular. Imagine Queensland salad with mango dressing, barbecued beef with Kakadu plum sauce, damper and Pavlova with Queensland berries and country cream! Of course, bush billy tea is served, as well as beer, wine and soft drink. People with special dietary requirements are well taken care of.