At Wobbie’s World there’s heaps to do
Bring your friends, and Mum too
Visit the castle or fly in the sky
Wobbie’s World has lots of rides
Helicopters, fire engines, trams and slides
Springvale Road, Nunawading
It’s great at Wobbie’s World*
an entire generation of Melbourne children Wobbies World has become the term to
describe an especially pissy theme park. Despite having been closed in what we
estimate to be the very early 1990’s it still enjoys a cult following to this
day. Sadly, though, information about this landmark of Melbourne’s Eastern
suburbs on the internet is very, very thin. In fact it doesn’t exist. We might
not be able to provide any real historical information but we thought we’d do
the next best thing and pay the former site a visit and check out the vibe.
What does Wobbies World look like now? Do the people of Nunawading still sing
that half-remembered jingle with all the shonky 80’s whistles under their
breath? There was only one way to find out.
by our special roadtrip guest, Jellyfish,
myself and Adam 2.0 set
out to unlock the secret of the land that inspired the Late Show’s “Pissweak
World”. Throughout the post there’ll be pictures, and there will be links to
pictures to keep the page size down and stop those of you on a 56k modem from
slashing your wrists.
listed address of the World was 469 Springvale Road, Nunawading but we
decided to attack it from a different angle and instead pulled into the back
streets of what was once Wob but is now second-rate cheap and affordable
took one final group
picture - lest we never return from what we were about to throw ourselves
into and attacked the parkland on the spot where the now defunct world used to
be. Things looked grim at first, it appeared that there was absolutely no sign
of what had once been there.
saw some random
shack, found some bog
water and posed for zany pictures outside ye olde chicken
coops but there was no signs of life. There were, however, some serious
signs of dubious
behaviour having taken place within. But no tram, no helicopter ride, no
fireman with a hose and no old plane. At all. I was starting to become very
depressed and wondered if the mission was going to be the biggest failure ever.
Even a random old man in the park was asked whether he knew that he was sitting
right in the middle of a piece of unknown Melbourne history - he had no idea.
It was almost time to declare the mission off and escape the suburbs - and then
I looked over to my left and saw a barbed wire fence. This was it.
through said fence this is a live action shot of the moment we discovered the
mother-lode of Wobbie mania. We’d found the start of the pissy ride featured in
the famous advertisement - and a quick look through the fence showed that
hidden away in this corner of Nunawading was a big chunk of what once was
Wobbie’s World itself. The only problem was getting in. Once we eventually
located a portion of fencing where the barbed wire had been cut off I leapt
onto it but due to bendy fencing issues and general physical ineptitude I
couldn’t manage to get over without snapping myself in two - and try explaining
that to an ambulance driver. Had the dream been ripped away from us
after we’d come so close? I thought so. We walked around the fence looking for
a way in, and found nothing better than a clear gimmick
photo opportunity created inside.
I had one of those bright ideas. The sort that, in crappy cartoons,
leads to a light bulb coming up above your head. The concept was, in fact, to
go around to the side with all the housing and jump over somebody’s fence
instead. Now that’s what I call dubious. Of course I didn’t actually tell
Jellyfish or AFE this as they would probably have called the cops on me before
any of the locals had the opportunity. I just demanded they follow me around to
that side where I would explain my controversial plan. Then, in a Magistrates
Court saving moment, we walked straight past a tiny little fence that was
surely constructed just to help people get in. I hope one of the other two took
a picture because I forgot, I was too busy going up and over. This time we were
in for sure. Confirmed.
what a place. It certainly looked as if it had been abandoned for 15 years but
there was parts of it still intact like the day it closed,
the office next door to the snackbar there was a fridge and a bottle of Ocean
Spray Cranberry Juice - which leads me to believe that there are people who use
Castle Wobbie for
something or other more often than you’d expect. Kinky urban swingers parties?
Crack lab? Something dubious. Given that you could still see the price list in
the snack bar, and a can of Fanta was listed as $1.20 I’m not sure exactly what
was going on. Either people were being ripped off blind in 1990 or there’s been
some dodgy catered event there in recent years. I loved it. I think the other
two noticed my childlike glee in being there. This was an unprecedented
excursion into the history of Melbourne’s childrens entertainment. The only way
you could get further into the heartland of the industry would be to get
touched up by a Moomba Clown. Try finding a picture of Wobbies World on the
internet. You’ve got no chance. These might not be ideal but they’re the best
you’ll find anywhere online. Here the Agent poses in the old start of the
located a pair of ticket
booths and the very spot where the boundary
between old Wob and new housing project met and the former Helicopter ride
track ran straight into a brick wall - thus destroying my idea of a “return to
old favourite, the mini-golf course, was pretty much intact. I can’t believe
there was actually a hole where you had to play
around the supports of the castle and snackbar. That’s shambolic. Sadly the
giant rock face that marked the 18th hole where you could score a free game by
sinking a hole in one is gone - presumably it’s been auctioned to the highest
bidder and is now sitting in regional Queensland or something.
discovered the old “birthday hut”, with some motivational
slogans and pissy boats
within. Painted on the outside of the hut was the actual Wobbies World mascot
itself but sadly due to shade issues, and the fact that getting close enough to
take an unshaded picture would have risked falling in the swamp, we got a poor
quality picture of it. Missing out on a real shot of the Wob Elephant may
live to be one of my great regrets in life.
final memory of the place will always be the moment I almost spewed when I
looked deep and hard into the crusty swamp water that had overtaken the former
helicopter track. I defy you not to puke your own guts out when you view it.
There was actually a crusty film of evil stuff on top of it. The photo doesn’t
do it justice - but it does frame that very spot where the helicopter came up
the hill in the ad so it’s historic nonetheless.
that was it. We’d seen it all. There was a giant sign face down in the grass at
the back that was, I think, the main Wobbies World sign. One day I’m going back
with a giant lever and turning that over. It’s probably got several bodies
underneath it but I must see it. Just as we headed back to jump the fence and
debrief on what we had seen a head poked over the fence and we had the
following scintillating conversation,
Neighbour: “Are you guys alive?”
A: “Yeah. We’re just checking out Wobbie’s World!”
A: (fishing for anecdotes) “Did you ever go there?”
WN: “No, it’s just that we don’t allow trespassers. So if you’re trespassing…”
A: “Yeah, doesn’t matter we’re going anyway”
more silence. I was wondering who exactly “we” was. Had we just spoken to Roy
Wobbie Jr, the heir to the throne? Or just a smartarse local who didn’t know
the history and significance of what he lives next door to but wanted to make
sure we weren’t going to bring thousands of screaming children onto his
doorstep. One of the two. Either way he was a knob.
was it. We’d seen the very spot where you used to be able to sit in the
derelict aeroplane and watch video of “flight”, we’d seen where the helicopter
bounced around on second rate springs purchased from Pick-a-Part, we’d seen the
castle, the snackbar and the golf course. My life is complete.. Well, almost
On that note,
association with Hecho En Mexico and Jellyfish Online; TSP is launching it’s
We want your memories of this iconic venue, we want pictures of you pissfarting
about there as a kid and we especially want to talk to anyone who used to work
there. Please discuss this campaign widely. Ask your family and friends for
their memories and get back to us - we MUST unlock the secret of Wobbie. Who
was he? When did it open? What was the exact layout? What exact date did it
close? I have to know before I die.
World - Rest in Peace. We will never forget you.