History

Sugarworld Water Park: Much-Loved Attraction for Cairns Locals and Tourists

This iconic local landmark is owned by Cairns Regional Council and has attracted locals and tourists for more than 22 years. Sugarworld Waterpark was redeveloped with a $5.5 million upgrade in 2011 with three waterslides. KIPS was opened to the public a year later and is one of the largest interactive waterpark systems in Australia.

Where’s Cyclone, Sugar Glider, Flying Fox and Banana Bender? These slides were saved thanks to the efforts of a local history teacher-turned-demolition contractor. The slides are now at Mr Anton’s depot in Machans Beach, Cairns.

Sugarworld Waterpark’s Early Beginnings

Sugarworld Waterpark, set on 17 acres of land amongst century-old trees, has enjoyed a few custodians over its life. Colonial Sugar Refineries (CSR) originally constructed Sugarworld Waterpark at Hambledon Estate and officially opened it to the public on 9 September 1989. Then, in 1995, the Cairns City Council purchased the pool and waterslide complex.

Today, Sugarworld Waterpark is proudly managed by Belgravia Leisure, Australia’s largest commercial leisure management provider.

Sugarworld’s Swallow Park: Historical Site in Cairns’ Early Growth

Today, the Sugarworld Waterpark is a fun pool and waterslide facility. Yesteryear, the Sugarworld site was the backdrop for historical Cairns figures and events. Swallow Park, which is located within the Sugarworld complex, is named in memory of Thomas Swallow. In October 1881, Thomas Swallow selected the first blocks of sugar land under the terms of the Land Act of 1868. In 1888, at its height, the plantation comprised of 6,000 acres. Thomas Swallow died on 25 January 1890 and his estate was sold to R. A. Kingsford (the first Mayor of Cairns). Thomas Swallow became known as the ‘Father of the Cairns District’ because of his important pioneering work.