THE Bathurst Aqua Park will finish up its 2021-22 season this weekend.
(min cost $8)
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After an extended absence due the low water level at Chifley Dam and then COVID-19, the inflatable park returned in November.
Since then, it has been somewhat of a challenging season, with less than ideal weather and an unfortunate drowning incident at the dam.
A man was out on a boat with friends on Christmas Day when he told them he was going to swim back to the shore, but disappeared below the surface after bad weather hit.
It took about two weeks for his body to be located and, although the dam was open for much of that time, people were reluctant to enter the water until he had been found.
Owner of Bathurst Aqua Park, Mick Hickey, said the season could have been better, but they were still glad to be back.
"With COVID and that, it's been an okay year, but not great. We're looking forward to next year," he said.
There were some promising aspects to the season, though, including great support from visitors from outside of Bathurst, school excursion bookings, and a very stable dam level.
Mr Hickey hopes to end the season on a high note this weekend.
The aqua park will be open from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, with the last session at 3pm each day.
Mr Hickey said there is no need to book in advance.
"They can just come on out, that's not a drama there," he said.
The park will be dismantled after this weekend and, all going well, will return later this year for a new season.
November 5 is the anticipated opening date.
Mr Hickey said Bathurst has been a great destination for the aqua park and has helped him with his goal of giving back to regional communities.
"I'm a country boy. I grew up in Lithgow, and then I went into professional water skiing and have been up on the Gold Coast since 1995 or something like that," he said.
"All my family is still around the country and I always wanted to bring something back to the country. That was my main thing. Bathurst, it's still quite central I think and it's just a good place."
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