Donnybrook Balingup Shire hosts grand opening of new Apple Fun Park

FAMILIES from all over the South West headed out between rain showers to enjoy Donnybrook's newly refurbished Apple Fun Park.

Having officially opened on Friday, October 8, children enjoyed over 120 activities at the new park as well as a free sausage sizzle, face painting and activities.

The new features of the park include an eight metre high apple crate tower, 26 new shade sales, a giant, spinning apple orb, a sensory and nature play zone and a dedicated zone for children under five years old.

Shire of Donnybrook Balingup president Brian Piesse officially opened the park with Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino.

Cr Piesse said it was fantastic to hold the opening with the sound of children's laughter in the background.

"It's also great to see that the Shire has a wonderful facility like this," Cr Piesse said.

Shire of Donnybrook Balingup president Brian Piesse and Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino. Photo by David Bailey.

Shire of Donnybrook Balingup president Brian Piesse and Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino. Photo by David Bailey.

"In the 13 years it has been operational, the Donnybrook Apple Fun Park has seen over 65,000 visitors and has injected over $6.2 million into the local economy.

"That's not bad for a population of 6000 people."

Donnybrook's Apple Fun Park first opened over ten years ago thanks to a generous donation from Donnybrook resident Mick Fryar and his family.

As the original equipment neared the end of it's life, the park was closed towards the end of April this year to make way for refurbishment.

Today, the park is known as an icon in the Shire of Donnybrook, attracting visitors from all over Western Australia.

Collie-resident Shane Maltman was at the park opening with his partner and two children and said although the old apple park was 'awesome', the new park was even better.

"The kids are just loving it," Mr Maltman said.

"We found the last park wasn't that 'little kid' friendly but the new park caters to all different ages from toddlers to early teens."

Toby Maltman, Karen Rumpf, Alexis Sadlier and Shane Maltman.

Toby Maltman, Karen Rumpf, Alexis Sadlier and Shane Maltman.

The Shire of Donnybrook Balingup received $1.5 million under the Federal Building Better Regions Fund to renew the park.

Ms Marino said the new park was beneficial in that it had 'amazing opportunities' and experiences for children.

"I hope Donnybrook residents are really proud of their whole community for this park," Ms Marino said.

"This is the one place where you can see the true nature of the allocation of funds."

Donnybrook's Apple Fun Park is located on Collins Street in Donnybrook and is open to the public for free all year round.

It can be recognised at night by colourful feature lighting as part of the new refurbishment.