29th May 2018
I grew up in Melbourne, in Kew, and my family was always quite entrepreneurial. My grandfather started a business in 1945 which was a manufacturing company and it was operational until just a few years ago. My grandmother, on my mother’s side, had a farm on the Great Ocean Road at Cape Patton so we spent a lot of time there growing up and it was like a second home to us. My dad’s aunty lives in Lorne as well, so we spent a lot of time there with our family connections. There are so many reasons for the close affinity we have with the Great Ocean Road.
It’s interesting when you look back and see how ventures get started. For Live Wire Park, it all started with a relaxed conversation with my father. We are both good friends with the owners of the Enchanted Maze on the Mornington Peninsula so we know the business quite well, and one day my father and I were having a beer and I said something like ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was something like the Enchanted Maze in Lorne because there’s nothing like it on the Great Ocean Road.’ It’s as simple as that. That’s how the idea for Live Wire Park started. From there it was a long five-and-a-half-year journey until we opened the gates of Live Wire Park in March of this year.
The whole process was an absolute marathon of town planning. We had to search for, and research, the ideal piece of land. We spoke to our local agent about what we were looking for and he who showed us a few different spots. Then I remembered reading about a piece of land that had been on the market a few years back, so after some enquiries we discovered it hadn’t sold, and it turned out to be the perfect location for us. It was such a smooth and reasonably effortless process, which showed us it was meant to be. We’re only 200m away from nearby homes in Lorne, and 900m away from the sand on the beach, so the location is incredible.
We were lucky enough to be introduced to some amazing contacts by our friends at the Enchanted Maze. We worked with a French company who engineered and designed the rope courses, who developed the highest possible benchmark in terms of design, safety and execution. We went from having an idea, to finding the right piece of land to a journey into town planning. We engaged a town planner who we had we worked with in Melbourne on several developments and they were fantastic, and we had to hire 12 sub-consultants to give us reports on how we could change the use of the land to what we needed to use it for. The land was zoned as ‘rural conservation’ so we had to get a section added specific to the site so that we could run an adventure park. The local community was extremely supportive, in particular, The Committee for Lorne. And we also worked the Surf Coast Shire who were incredibly helpful. We then had to get Ministerial sign off from the Minister for Town Planning, The Honourable Mr Richard Wynne. That process took close to 18 months to be reviewed and signed off. Even when we did get the green light there were so many conditions we had to action before we could be shovel ready, it really was an emotional rollercoaster and a lesson in patience.
Our opening day, of the first of March 2018, was one incredible day. It was surreal. After years and years of really hard yakka, of outlaying a fortune, of facing adversity and of overcoming tremendous issues, and or working with such amazing people locally and state-wide, to finally open our gates was one of the most rewarding and significant moments of my life.
My dad is semi-retired so I run the day to day operations. We currently have six full time staff and around 12 part time staff, so it provides quite strong employment for Lorne which is traditionally a very seasonal township. We’re open all year round so we can provide stable employment for locals. We hired our initial crew in October & November last year and in the months until we opened they were trained by the French company who built the activities, and they were also thoroughly trained in first aid, rescues and how the course works. We do daily, weekly and monthly functional checks on all the equipment, and stringently follow all the governing parameters and practices. Our training is intensive in terms of safety standards, and our crew are also part of the Live Wire Park brand, so they are trained in how they need to behave and interact with customers.
We have invested so much of our energy, time and money in Live Wire Park, but at the end of the day this vision is all about bringing something very special to the town of Lorne, an area that we are so passionate about. I was always an outdoor lover and adrenalin seeker and I’ve done all sorts of crazy things. I love to surf and hike and go on adventures, but the heart behind Live Wire Park really is about the location and creating something very special for the area. We have had so much support getting this project over the line. Everyone has believed in us and that the idea would be a great addition to the area without taking away from anything else.
The local accommodation venues have all been so supportive too, asking for flyers and letting their guests know about what we offer. We’re not competing with food or accommodation or any of the other amazing facilities in Lorne as we don’t serve food other than light refreshments, and that was a very conscious decision, so we wouldn’t be competing with any establishment in the area. We’re also working closely with the local school in Lorne. In fact, the Year 10 students are doing a project on Live Wire Park and how it all came to be.
We ultimately want to give everyone a wonderful experience at Live Wire Park. When I see the faces of the children who arrive at the park, the size of their smiles is incredible. They are breathing in fresh air in the beautiful environment of Lorne, and there are no phones or tablets in sight. People are making their own genuine memories and that really drives what I do. When I see children and their parents so enthusiastic about the Park I get so much from it.
It’s not just about visitors getting an adrenalin rush, it’s about fun and laughter and families and friends being together in the beautiful outdoors. It’s so great to hear people talking animatedly as they leave Live Wire Park, chatting about what they’ve done and sharing their experiences and laughing about when they landed hard or when they nailed a challenge, it’s fantastic. We witness people making memories, and it’s incredible to be a part of that. To give them a place where they can form these memories really is an honour.
Live Wire Park is one of the largest adventure parks in the world built on privately owned land, and our zip coaster is one of only four in the world. The scope of what we are offering really is extraordinary and provides the most amazing adventure for people of all ages. We’re offering a world class facility in a beautiful little beachside town.
16th May 2018
Wow, school holidays was certainly busy! Thanks to everyone who came out to experience and support our newly opened adventure park. It was a thrill to see so many smiling faces as kids and adults zipped around the courses.
If you haven’t visited yet, now’s the time. Please tag us on Instagram and Facebook @livewirepark and #livewirepark. We look forward to seeing you and your pics soon.
16th May 2018
We have been loving reading all of your great reviews for the park across newspapers, websites and social media – the response has been positively overwhelming.
We’re currently averaging 5.0 stars on Trip Advisor, 4.9 on Facebook and 4.6 on Google. Book your visit today and if you have fun please leave us a review.
16th May 2018
Live Wire Park is now searching for more members to join our electric team. Do you love the outdoors, adventures and being active? Are you energetic, loyal, enthusiastic and helpful? Are you a people person, wanting to work in a vibrant new workplace, and have a positive attitude? This is a great opportunity to solidify a position, working at a vibrant and fun workplace.
We are on the search for energetic go getters who are willing to spend time in the treetops and making sure our customers are having a good time. All training will be provided. We are located in Lorne so if you know anyone down this way tag someone whom you think may fulfill the above credentials.