Ever since I first played mini golf at Playland as a child I’ve been a fan of astroturf greens and rotating windmills. I’m a golfer as well however I’ve probably played more mini golf courses across North America than actual courses. From West Edmonton Mall down to
Wonderland Castle Fun Park in the Fraser Valley it’s always a good time with friends.
When you’re in the Parksville area on Vancouver Island the one staple of every trip is a cruise around the 18 holes at Paradise Fun Park. It’s been a personal favourite over the last decade and I think my first car still has score cards from Paradise sitting in the glove box (wherever it may be resting now). As it turns out my partner in crime on the Girls Getaway, the lovely Ms Keira-Anne, also grew up with fond memories of Paradise and even knows the family that runs it all. With all of this in mind when we had some free time, it was a no-brainer to get into the car and head over for a round of putt-putt.
Right on the main highway, adjacent to a campground resort, you’ll see its towering castle and giant shoe — you know, where the old woman lives with all her kids (although they actually host birthday parties in there). Paradise offers two separate courses, the Turf n’ Surf and Treasure Island as well as bumper boats and a full amusement centre arcade (featuring kid-favourite, Whack-a-Mole).
The place was buzzing even at 8:00pm on a Thursday night so be prepared to wait a bit after each hole. We decided to do the Treasure Island course, which turned out to be lucky since Keira scored a hole-in-one right on top of the pirate ship. It’s also located further away from the main door so it seems to be less crowded then the Turf n Surf course.
Mini golf can’t really be compared to a world-class spa resort, nor acres of old growth forest, however it is a timeless classic when it comes to good ol’ fun times.
Side note: There is a new mini golf course in Parksville near Tigh-Na-Mara called Riptide Lagoon. If you’ve played the course at Cultus Lake it looks like a similar design style.
This week will feature a series of posts about our Girls Island Getaway adventures. My photos will be available on Flickr and you can also read Keira’s posts over on her site.