Hillarys Great Escape
The coolest attraction at Hillarys Boat Harbour, the Hillarys Great Escape, closed for good in September 2016. Comprising of three water slides, Whacky Golf, trampolines, an adventure course and jumping castle, the impression left behind in the way of online comments and media articles, is a plethora of surprised reactions, as if no one saw it coming. This was hardly surprising when it unexpectedly never reopened again, the phones were switched off and no emails were replied to by the past operators.
The closure was said to have an immediate impact on the surrounding businesses within the harbour’s precinct.
Property management company Wylie Group holds a long-term lease for parts of the commercial, retail and recreation portions of Hillarys Boat Harbour through the Department of Transport, although some reports state that they purchased Sorrento Quay in 1999 for $16 million. Either way, Wylie Group cited the closure was due to a tenancy issue and were desperate to fill the vacancy as quickly as possible.
Despite claiming a sense of desperateness to find a lessee as quickly as possible, Hillarys restaurant owner of 3Sheets and Portside Grill, Toby Evans, attempted to contact Wylie Group in a bid to save the amusement park but it was reported that he wasn’t even considered.
Following this, Wylie Group publicly stated that they’d independently leased the non-water slide attractions and the kiosk to two parties, who were in talks to reopen the water park slide until an expert operator could be located by Wylie, despite both parties have an ‘understanding of water parks’. Whilst there’s little mention of the kiosk being reopened, the dry attractions, trampolines and Whacky Putt reopened in time for summer 2016 but it wasn’t enough to save it from being demolished in November 2017.
In 2018, WA investment company Wylie Group released plans for two pirate-themed mini golf courses, which would be constructed with an adventure park and a double Flowrider wave pool. It was a deal struck with locally run family-owned company Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, with construction expected to be completed by March 2019. The plans were short lived when three weeks later, a shareholder of Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf and his previous business relationship with notorious child rapist William Goad came to light. Somehow, that was enough to quickly pull the plug.