Monday, 30 July 2007

Dreamworld’s Bilbies Dig Their Brand New Enclosure

The Honourable Rod Welford, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts joined dignitaries and VIPs at Dreamworld today for the official opening of the park’s new Bilby Display Area.

The opening marks the very first time that guests can actually get up close and personal to these critically endangered Aussie icons previously housed off exhibit, behind Dreamworld’s Australian Wildlife Experience.

The specially designed, semi-nocturnal exhibit aims to increase awareness of the grim plight faced by bilbies in the wild and aims to educate guests about how they can contribute to their conservation.

Simulating their natural environment, the enclosure sports ready-made burrows, plant life and lots of red dirt for digging, all offset by a magnificent mural of the Australian outback at dusk.

Dreamworld is home to nine bilbies, which it displays on behalf of the Save the Bilby Fund. The park is a Gold Sponsor of the Fund, which works tirelessly to bring the bilby back from the brink of extinction.

Dreamworld is currently working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service with hopes of becoming a bilby breeding centre as part of a cooperative captive population of Queensland Bilbies.

Dreamworld contributes through direct donations, the sale of ‘Save the Bilby’ merchandise and donation boxes set up in-park for guests to pledge their support for the fund.

Last year alone, Dreamworld donated considerable cash and in-kind support to the Save the Bilby Fund and its co-founder, Frank Manthey, who has been based at Dreamworld since March 2003.

“The new Dreamworld Bilby Display is like a dream come true for me. Through this display, people will appreciate how special the bilby is and how we will lose this species unless we all help,” Mr Manthey said.

Dreamworld donations assist important conservation initiatives of the Save the Bilby Fund including the construction of a feral-proof, bilby fence in Currawinya National Park in South- West Queensland, the area used to release bilbies back into the wild as part of the Recovery Plan for the species.

Dreamworld also takes the bilby conservation message on the road through a mobile education unit, Wildlife for Kids, reaching over 10,000 students every year.

Dreamworld General Manager of Life Sciences, Al Mucci, said the new Bilby Exhibit would be an entertaining and educational experience for both parents and children.

“Because bilbies are nocturnal, it is a rare thing to be able to catch a glimpse of them in an environment that resembles their natural habitat,” Mr Mucci said.

“The new Bilby Exhibit encourages guests to develop an empathy and understanding of this threatened species and their struggle to survive in the wild,” he said.

Bilby numbers are rapidly declining as they compete with rabbits and livestock for food and contend with predators like feral cats, foxes and dingoes.

There are an estimated 600 bilbies left in the whole of Queensland.

Dreamworld’s Australian Wildlife Experience home to more than 800 native animals and birds, and is one of the largest native wildlife parks in South East Queensland.

Dreamworld is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day and ANZAC day morning (25/4). Australian Wildlife Experience is included in Dreamworld’s general admission price. For more information or to buy tickets online visit

  • Of the six bandicoot species that once lived in the arid/semi-arid areas of Australia, bilbies are the only species remaining.
  • Bilbies do not need to drink water, they get all of the moisture they need from their food.
  • The bilby’s pouch faces backwards to prevent it from filling up with dirt when they burrow.
  • Bilbies shelter during the day in burrows underground that may extend to 2m in depth.
  • Bilbies have a strong sense of smell and excellent hearing which is no surprise due to their long muzzle-like nose and big ears.
  • The Greater Bilby is endangered but the Lesser Bilby has been extinct for more than 50 years.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster Revealed

Dreamworld is “Doohan” it like it’s never been done before and is getting set to take motobike racing to the skies.

In September 2007, Dreamworld will launch the hottest thrill ride to hit the coast this decade pushing adrenaline junkies to a brand new level.

The park has teamed up with one of the greatest names in motorbike racing history to bring the thrill and exhilaration of moto racing magic to the masses.

Five time, 500cc World Champion and World Record Holder, Mick Doohan will launch his very own thrill ride at Dreamworld this year allowing guests to get behind the handlebars on a circuit that has to be seen to be believed.

“I’m extremely proud to be associated with a great Australian icon working on a venture that celebrates and pays respect to a great Australian sport and its achievements,” Mick Doohan said.

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster features a fast, fluid track with breath taking changes in elevation, high speed corners and plenty of quick left handers.

It’s a motorbike rollercoaster, the first of its kind in Australia and the only motocoaster in the world featuring life-size replicas of 500cc racing bikes.

The news has created a real buzz in the motoracing industry with Honda already signing up as the first official sponsor.

The bikes launch from the starting line and will reach speeds of just over 72 km per hour.

The tight, 605 metre track is made up of 18 banks, bends and turns placing emphasis on last- gasp braking and plenty of open throttle.

The track is built low to the ground to provide a great sensation of speed and movement and riders are held in by a unique restraint system that creates an incredible feeling of freedom and exhilaration.

Each train is made up of 14 custom-made motorbikes and 2 aero-dynamically profiled, purpose built sidecars designed specifically for the pint-sized, thrill ride enthusiast or those looking for a more relaxed ride.

Dreamworld and WhiteWater World Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Gregg said the new ride was designed to be a shared experience the whole family could enjoy.

“We want to showcase Australian motorbike racing history and celebrate its victories, milestones and most importantly, its legends through theming, memorabilia and our Hall of Fame.”

“This new attraction shows Dreamworld’s commitment to introducing cutting-edge ride technology and new experiences to the Australian market and will complement the park’s existing suite of scream machines including the Giant Drop, Tower of Terror, Cyclone Rollercoaster, Wipeout and The Claw,” he said.

“Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster will be a great escape to adrenaline, fun, excitement and anticipation and will give riders a sense of accomplishment and freedom like never before.”

“It underpins Dreamworld’s positioning as the ‘Australian theme park’ celebrating our unique Australian culture and its heroes,” Mr Gregg said.

Mick Doohan’s Motocoaster will be located in River Town on the old Vintage Cars site, the Dreamworld classic relocated to make way for Dreamworld’s new multi million dollar, moto-monster.

Get ready for hard acceleration as Dreamworld blasts further up the thrill ride ladder with Mick Doohan’s massive Motocoaster this September.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Macquarie Leisure announces $51 million uplift in Dreamworld valuation

Macquarie Leisure Trust Group (ASX:MLE) today announced an independent revaluation of the Dreamworld theme park had delivered a $51 million uplift to $226 million as at 30 June 2006 compared to $175 million as at 31 December 2005.

The Group’s chief executive officer, Greg Shaw, advised the 29 per cent gain primarily reflected a material change in valuation assumptions. The discounted cash flow has incorporated a lower discount rate of 14 per cent, which is in line with recent market sales activity for major Australian tourism and leisure assets. Mr Shaw said the uplift also reflected the Group’s ability to improve operational performance of the asset.

“The valuation reflects the consistent revenue and profit growth of Dreamworld to date, the park’s prominent location and the favourable zoning that underwrites future prospects for ongoing development and profit growth,” he said.

Mr Shaw highlighted the favourable market environment for the Dreamworld business was also taken into account in assessing the asset’s value. “Dreamworld derives approximately 80 per cent of its customers from the domestic market, which has been supported by steady population growth in South East Queensland, major tourism accommodation developments on the Gold Coast and the ongoing availability of discounted airfares to the region,” he said.

Moreover, Dreamworld’s ability to capture this demand by establishing affiliations with other leading brands has created a range of unique attractions that appeal to all ages Macquarie Leisure Trust Group 2 and demographic markets. Standout attractions such as Wiggles World and Nick Central combined with Australia’s largest collection of major thrill rides helped to secure the impressive increase.

The valuation was completed by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and will be incorporated into the 30 June 2006 accounts. The valuation excludes the excess development land to the north of the Dreamworld site that forms part of the future Coomera Town Centre and excludes any construction costs associated with the recently approved water park that is being developed adjacent to Dreamworld.

Mr Shaw also advised construction of the water park was progressing well with major ride structures being erected over the coming month. “The water park will provide a new level of customer experience with an inventory of new rides and attractions never before seen in the Australian market,” he said.

The water park will be operated as a separately gated attraction, allowing the Group to promote both parks through two and three day passes designed to suit local, interstate and international markets. The water park is on track to open for business before Christmas 2006 and in time for the peak January trading period.