Is this Australia’s best backyard?
While many others were glued to their screens during social isolation, Brent Stevenson's five children were having the time of their lives in their own theme park.
Off home from school for them is a property located 20 minutes from Townsville City centre, with a massive 10.44 hectares called Townsville's Barra Fun Park.
There are not many homes that can claim to have the best backyard in Australia, but this one with its own theme park gives everyone else a run for their money - and it even helps pay for itself.
Speaking to The Townsville Bulletin just minutes after oiling up his two younger boys' bicycle chains so they could go off on afternoon adventures, Mr Stevenson said his brood - aged between 19 and 7 - had loved being at home.
"We've been locked down in here," he said. "They've had a ball being home from school, they've loved it."
"Here" is just about the best dream backyard a fun-lover could want. There's barramundi fishing, with family fishing dams and big fish dams, approval to grow and sell red claw, as well as barramundi of all sizes. The fun park kitted out with a cable ski. There's an inflatable water park with giant slides, tunnels, trampolines, catapults, and more. There are zorb rollers and paddle boats, a 50m Slip N Slide, a giant jumping pillow, approval to set up aqua golf, and it even has its own cafe, fully licensed bar plus group barbecue facilities.
The property, which has seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, and parking for 15 vehicles, has been listed for sale for $2.5m on realestate.com.au.
"The park was started as a Redclaw and Barramundi Farm over 20 years ago and has evolved over the years to include additional activities," according to Mr Stevenson's listing of the property on realestate.com.au.
It can literally pay its own way, with the family having operated it part-time on weekends from 10am to 4pm pre lockdown while living on-site in the main residence. "It has now grown to the stage where it should be open on a full-time basis for the entire year.
"All approvals were in place to operate seven days a week from 7am to 9pm or anytime in between, according to Mr Stevenson. "We got closed down two weeks before Easter school holidays so we won't be reopening until the first week in September all things going to plan."
There are two large bores with unlimited water supply, a 15kva solar system, and over 100 car parks for patrons in the mix too.
Mr Stevenson said he put the property up for sale so that the new owner could take it to the next level.
"If I don't sell it's not the end of the world, I'll keep going," he said. "I just thought it was time for a change for the park itself. Someone else would offer fresh energy and ideas."
He said a large 500sq m house was on the property "which I needed to fit all my children in".
"We've been open to the public for 20 years. We have a good reputation around town. Whoever buys it, I want them to succeed. I am quite happy to help them out for a bit."
"It needs someone new with fresh ideas to make it that little step better than what it is now. Someone with some energy and enthusiasm will make it unbelievable."
The sale includes all machinery on a walk-in, walk-out basis, with the Townsville Barra Fun Park at 505 Allambie Lane, Gumlow, on the market for $2.5m.
Originally published as Is this Australia's best backyard?