If bruises are an indicator of how adventurous and fun your vacation was, then I tell you I had an immensely great time in Tirol, Austria.
I don’t say this to alarm you. It’s a very similar experience to when you wake up after playing your favourite sport for the first time in a year and you can barely walk. The body aches and pains, although sore, give you a thrill because you know that you’ve used your body well and have been engaged in life.
That’s how I feel when I look at the bruises on my legs from the waterslide I did at Area 47.
Each bruise my children point to I tell them of the adventure that goes with it, amongst fits of giggles.
I don’t even know how to describe Area 47 in Otztal, Tirol. It’s the Disneyland for adult thrill seekers and water adventurers with climbing walls, slacklines, catapults, jumps and crazy waterslides.
It’s an extreme water park popular for bachelor parties and boys day outs, but on the day we arrived, us ladies ruled the park. Well maybe we tried to. Except Peter and Guilherme, our male crew members, ruled the park in testosterone form!
Here are the adventurous activities to do in Area 47:
White water rafting
We started our morning adventures white water rafting through the Imster Gorge with our guide, Alex, whose stern and direct nature grabbed our attention (and caused many giggles). I’m pretty sure he made some comment as to never experiencing a group like us before!
Often time we were too distracted by conversations and GoPro adjustments to paddle forward on his command. Our hesitation was only a stroke long and we quickly jumped back into rhythm to safely guide us through the rapids.
The rapids were no larger than a class three so enough to give you a few little thrills but not massive enough to toss you over or freak you out.
Although Guilherme and Peter made a grand entrance overboard after Alex thought it would be fun for us to try paddling standing up. It was hard enough paddling sitting down. I missed out on going overboard due to the fact I couldn’t stand up and fell into the middle of the boat.
Alex did make it fun along the river with activities like this. We had opportunities to jump out of the boat and swim in the ten degree waters. Surprisingly, it was refreshing, the thick wetsuit keeping us warm. I didn’t stay in too long, although trying to get back into the boat brought another round of giggles and story retelling from us.
All this fun was complemented nicely with the jagged snow covered peaks of the Austrian alps.
Water area and extreme water slides
After the fun of white water rafting, a infra red sauna warm up and a delicious curry lunch, we convinced each other to wetsuit up again and hit the fun of the waterslides. It was not appealing due to the cold, but they looked awesome fun and we knew we would not possibly ever be back here. Although I am pretty sure Kalyra will be dragging me here one day.
Area 47 Water Area has a variety of crazy waterslides, blobbing, wake boarding and even the ability to get shot out of a canon into the water. After watching lots of me yahooing down the slides as we ate lunch we decided to join them.
We decided to try the tame one first – lying down on a orange board, zipping down the slide and then skimming over the water coming to a stop with the help of our feet as brakes. It was great fun although the initial tip bought a gasp as you felt how steep the steel tube is – I’m talking almost vertical.
Feeling brave, we lined up for the fast speed slide, which I’ve only just discovered while writing this post that it’s 80km/h fast. I’m not sure why I never questioned whether this was a good idea or not.
I mean we had just seen all these men go hurtling off the side, flying high in the air, arms and legs waving before landing with a giant splash in the water.
Looking at the bruise now that runs the entire length of my back and side of my right path, I really should have questioned it. You go hurtling down that slide, water spraying in your face so you become a little disorientated and kinda forget what to do, you hit the air trying to follow the instructions of
“cross your arms and legs, but when you hit the air, bring them out like a star fish and then bring them back in again before you hit the water.”
I would have like to see my octopus attempt at this hurtling through the air. I got it all wrong as I landed exactly as he said we should avoid – a great old belly flop, except mine was leaning more to the slide. It hurt. The lifeguard threw me a line to pull me back into shore once he saw me winded and gasping for breath.
But boy it was fun. I loved seeing my friends make just as spectacular landings and trading bruising stories after. If I had more time, I would have (stupidly) done it again!
You can see more in the video of Kitzbuehel and Otztal, Austria
Flying Fox / Zip line
Ever since I stumbled upon the adventure playground of @area47 in #Ötztal, Tirol during my Austria travel planning, I wanted to go. It’s taken over six months to finally visit but… what an action-packed day! Think of it as a theme park for water based and climbing focused ADRENALIN. First we went water rafting (see that turquoise blue water down there?), then flew off some slides, before climbing under a giant bridge to begin this huge zip line that slices through the park. An elevated view of ALL the fun to be had in this huge mountainous valley space. #FeelAustria #LoveTirol
A post shared by Becki Enright (@bordersofadventure) on
We finished our adventures at Area 47 on the flying fox. The Flying Fox is a 400 metre zip line, which runs across the 20,000 square metre length of the Area 47 park giving you a birds eye view of the madness and the stunning mountains behind it.
The zip line starts under a bridge on a ledge built into the pylon. We walked up the hill, until we could get to a ladder going up to a shaky wooden bridge. We were clipped on with just one weird carabiner – there was no lock on it, just a small gap that slid over the steel cable. I didn’t feel safe at all.
One one side of the bridge was a railing and the other a piece of rope hanging down ever few steps to grab onto. The bridge was very wobbly and the stomach squeasy due to the height and looking straight down onto the road. Then we had to walk around the pylon on one tiny plank holding onto the wall – like true spider man style. If you slipped the carabiner would have helped you (I hope) I but I have no idea how you would have gotten back onto the pylon. The Zip Line was fun but this part was truly scary.
I had massive GoPro fail on this Austrian adventure, as you can see in my videos. (We’ve since bought a new one.) So here’s a video from Area 47, showing you what the flying fox experience is like. Check out how scary it is getting to the zip line.
If you want more thrills, I recommend doing the high ropes obstacle course that continues on under the bridge – not of the feint-hearted, or the bridge swing which Guilherme did and said was awesome.
You can find out more about Area 47 in Otztal in the Tirol region of Austria here.
I visited Austria for the Social Travel Summit held in Kitzbuhel. I spoke on a panel called Standing out in a Digital Landscape. After it, I had the pleasure of joining a hosted tour to the Otztal Valley region for three nights with a group of seven other travel bloggers. We had a blast together and I’m so glad our group dynamic was positive and fun.
- Do not even think about enjoying this extreme water park at Area 47 without travel insurance.
- Travel with a good GoPro so you don’t miss capturing your amazing memories
- We stayed in nearby Oetz at the Nature Resort. Check other places to stay in the Otztal Valley here.
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Area 47, Otztal, Austria – is this the world’s most extreme water park?
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