Ringwood Regional Aquatic & Leisure Centre (Aquanation)
The centre features a range of opportunities for people of all ages and abilities including lap swimming, children’s splash play, two thrilling waterslides, learn to swim pool, warm water pool, cardio, weights and circuit areas and group fitness classes.
Aquanation features a 66.5 metre 10 lane pool and diving facilities, a warm water pool, a dedicated learn to swim pool, large toddler and children’s leisure play pool, a large gym with three separate group fitness rooms, child care facilities and a café.
A highlight of the facility are the two large waterslides. Users can access the slides via stairs inside the facility and exit into a splash deck near the water play area.
All the facilities are indoors and include two water slides, water play area surrounded by shallow water, a main pool, warm water pool, spa and sauna (need to be 16 or over) and a diving pool. There is an outdoor grassy area with three shade sails.
The slides are open from 10am on weekends and the diving pool is open to the general public from 2pm. It can be fun to watch the training sessions for the divers from the elevated grandstand which runs all the way along the main pool and diving pool.
There are two great water slides; Skybox which is an adrenaline inducing drop slide and Twister which is a fast and loopy tunnel slide. Skybox takes a bit of courage to do the first time because you stand inside a perspex cylinder, cross your feet, fold your arms to your chest, wait for a countdown to zero and after a momentary pause the support for your feet drops away and whoosh, you go plummeting downwards. This is the same type of vertical slide which you see at water theme parks but it is not quite as long and you quickly get spat out into the water flume at the bottom. There is a height limit of 122cm to use the Skybox slide.
Twister is not as steep but is deliciously fast and twisty. There is a special area at the back for the slides and you queue at the bottom for the slide of your choice. Generally the queues were not too long on a weekend. You climb five levels of stairs to reach the top of the slides but the big advantage is that you don't need to carry up a heavy raft which makes it more accessible for kids. There is also some seating for parents in this area.
Twister does not have a height limit but there is a minimum age limit of five years for both slides.
The warm water pool, spa and sauna is separated off with glass walls at one end of the building. Pesky kids are not allowed in here unless they are 16 years old.
The water play area for younger kids is good but not as extensive as at some other Aquatic Centres. The main structure has two water slides, tipping bucket and a variety of sprays and tumbling water. There is an area of water which has a depth of 0.5 -0.9m (a lot of this area was roped off for swim programs) and another segregated area with a depth of 0.1 -0.4m. There is a beach entrance here.
The main pool has multiple lanes but was used primarily for lap swimmers (with the fast lane being sponsored by Eastlink of course) and swim programs. One widish lane on the side was allocated for public use but the deep end was blocked off for use by swimming program. The main pool has a sloping access ramp and varies in depth from 1.0 to 2.0m. There are some seats along the side of the pool.
At the far end is a 5.0m deep diving pool with seven springboards and five fixed platforms. This is an adventure playground for anyone skilled and brave enough. The diving area is not open to the public during the morning.
There is a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating. You can even use the Plunge Cafe app to pre-order food with an app on your Smart phone.
Overall an Aquatic Centre with a full range of activities including some great slides. The main irritation for the general public is that so much of the area is used for swim programs.