Australia’s Wonderland (1985-2004) may only live on in our collective memories, but thanks to the advent of the Internet, footage which previously only sat on rotting VHS tapes in shoe boxes and entertainment cabinets country-wide is now available for you to watch from the comfort of your own ergonomically-dubious desk chair.

VR might be all the rage these days, but these grainy POV videos are the only authentic way to relive all the giddy thrills of Wonderland.

First, here’s an ad from the early ’90s to get you in the mood. Then we’ll fill up on hot chips and fairy floss, wait at least three minutes for the food to settle, then hit the rides.


The least-scary, still-scary rollercoaster at Australia’s Wonderland, the Bush Beast was legitimately frightening, not the least because it felt so rickety in places it could realistically fall apart as you went over it, kinda like the reverse of the scene where Gromit is placing down the toy train track seconds before the train reaches it. Safety seemed to be less of a concern during the ’80s.


The line for this thing was miles long, a winding, underground snake of a tunnel designed to kill any sense of time, desire, or of just how long this line actually is. The ride itself is a space-aged countdown and a drop at an unspecified time, despite said countdown. Usually came with a free migraine.


This thing completely stops and hangs upside-down at one point, thousands of tonnes of metal, and you – strapped in helplessly, although ‘strapped’ suggests some form of security superior to this metal bar pressing into your gut. You just hang: limp and scared, the blood rushing to your face as seconds seem like minutes, and you begin to plan where and how you will fall when this bar inevitably snaps and you plummet – oh, we’ve started again, and I wasn’t scared you were scared you should have seen your face…


I still maintain I almost fell out the side of one of these sports-bar bench-like seats when I was young enough to not have an adult-sized lap and the bar didn’t come down far enough. Lawsuit still almost pending.


Not at all scary, but still mildly dangerous due to how it flung you about so.


There’s no earthly way of knowing,
Which direction we are going,
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing,
Or which way the river’s flowing,
Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing?

For more video, photos, and fun, visit Wonderland History – who have over 8,000 images from the parks construction through operation to its demolition. Check out their Facebook page, too.

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