Community / 2nd November 2023
What Miniland means to me
Ever wondered what it’s like to call Miniland your home? Well, that’s exactly what Miniland has been for me for the last 16 years – home.
This year marks 51 years since Miniland was officially opened to the public by Peter Zorgdrager and 21 years since my parents purchased Miniland to raise their children and to be closer to family.
Miniland is my childhood home, one tied with an extensive history that will live on through the memories of those who used to visit it when it was open.
After the Wambelong bushfire in 2013, almost everything at Miniland was destroyed. Our family then decided to get rid of, or rebuild what remained.
The memorable ‘Bronte the brontosaurus’ was given to McEvoys Earthmoving after they helped my family clean up after the fire.
Thankfully, the museum was salvaged, giving us the opportunity to build our home.
We live in a museum that thousands of people have walked through – a little confronting when you think about it.
I remember when I was around seven, my parents asked me where I wanted my bedroom to be, so I ran around the museum assuming they wanted me to pick one of the old exhibits which they’d reinvent as a bedroom.
I chose an exhibit with a gorgeous background, not understanding that the background was going to be taken away and not be a part of my bedroom.
Very little of the theme park was salvaged, but the things that were still remain at Miniland today.
The electric cars rally track is where we now tie our dogs up, and the giant bird cages have been used for various animals including chickens and pigeons. However, one is extremely overgrown with bamboo and is probably filled with snakes!
The waterslide and pool are what most people see when they drive by our property. We still use our waterslide every summer. When my brother and I were younger, we were so excited that we had our very own waterslide! Now it has become a normal part of our lives. Many fond memories have been created due to our waterslide, some good and some not-so-good ones.
While the addition of a waterslide to birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and Australia Day parties was incredible, it has also been the cause of various injuries – bruises, fibreglass burns and even a concussion.
With its famous history, our home still attracts people who like to drive by and stop at our front gates to take photos of what Miniland now looks like. Thankfully, my dad decided to put up a massive fence, otherwise we would have too many unwanted visitors!
I wasn’t yet born when Miniland was a theme park, but my parents were and they have fond memories of it, much like many of my friends’ parents as I’ve been told countless times.
Miniland is a private property and my childhood home. It’s the place my brother and I grew up in, and the place where I took my first steps.
It’s the place where I stayed up all night to catch Santa Claus, the place where I was forced to have my picture taken on my first day of high school, and the place where my first relationship ended.
It’s our home – where we’ve had massive bonfires, where we stayed up all night playing murder in the dark with friends, and where my brother discovered his passion for motorbikes.
It will be the place where I will say goodbye to my parents when I move away from home.
Miniland has been my home throughout my childhood and for that, I am extremely grateful.