Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not-So-Shiny Crystal Mountain


Ahhh boo. I thought I would be writing a post today about another great place to take your family. My neighbour raved about this place called Crystal Mountain in West Auckland. have you heard of it? I hadn't but it turns out that it's in the Entertainment Book (the mecca of all Discount coupon books).

Today the weather looked fine, if a little windy, maybe a day for a visit to Crystal Mountain??
I looked up the website and it looked like FUN. They call it a Theme Park. It has a roller coaster, train rides, bungy trampoline, a farmyard, panning-for-crystals and a cafe with playground. What parent doesn't love those?

(from the website)

As we set off it started to cloud over and spit rain. I said to hubby, "Erm, maybe we should go to Crystal Mountain another day? It looks like a sunny day kind of place...?"
Nah. He thought we should press on and have a look. OK, you're the driver, I said.

I think I was right. I'm going to be a bit kind to Crystal Mountain here and say that on a warm sunny day, when the whole thing is not crusted in mildew, wind-whipped and looking tatty and uncared-for with half the attractions not operating it might be a whole different story. Maybe.

As it turned out, the roller coaster looked abandoned. There were no ponies or animals to be seen, apart from a harrassed peacock and some chooks. And it all had an air of neglect.

The cafe itself was nice enough, clean and attractive-looking; so we thought, oh well, we'll just grab and bite and the kids can play, no harm done.

Think again. They offered nothing that was gluten free. Apart from a salad, the lady said, as she looked at me kind of funny for asking about gluten free options. Never mind. I guess we'll be skipping lunch here then.

Meanwhile Scrag was looking longingly at the "train" and we thought, maybe a little train ride and then go?

I asked the teenager manning the ticket booth how much for a train ride (the whole place seemed to be run by very young bored-looking individuals).

$15 per person. Oh but you get unlimited rides and you can visit the animals too. $15!!! EACH.

No thanks. I don't want to stick around long enough to get my money's worth and I don't hold out much hope for the farm. Plus pony rides are extra on top. It would be $60 for our family (2yrs and under are free, thankfully) without the promised pony rides. Think of all the places we could go for that?? A whole year's Motat Mates Family Pass  is only $65 and they have a double decker tram!!
Sorry Scrag. It just aint gonna happen.

With a just a little regret we walked away from Crystal Mountain, having only sampled the muddy slide (which we had to clean ourselves with tissues but not before Scrag got a filthy wet bum) and the toilet facilities.

I don't think we'll be going back in summer to see if it's any better in peak season. We'll probably go to Butterfly Creek instead. Their train rides are only $3 and their playground isn't mouldy.

{PS Feel free to disagree with me. Maybe we caught them on a bad day after a hard winter? If you have been to Crystal Mountain in happier times, why not share your story with us?}

Crystal Mountain (if you dare)
Candia Rd, Swanson, West Auckland
{$35 pp for the "Ultimate Experience" with Rollercoaster included, when operating}


  1. I'm glad you wrote about this - I had been wondering but had mixed reviews from people who had been. I'd much rather take Mr3 to the zoo or Motat

  2. what a shame
    we went once years ago - only viewed the crystals etc
    shocked at the price of that train ride!!!


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