Waterloo Adventures offers Austin a new type of water park experience

Helen C Galli

For those who hang around Austin in the summer, the melting hot afternoons can leave you in a puddle. Even in the middle of the dog days, Austin is bursting with attractions to help you beat the heat in exciting ways. 

Last Friday, Lake Travis’ newest water park, Waterloo Adventures, opened to the public. The park features multiple areas of entertainment, from its main attraction, a floating obstacle course with football fields worth of challenges, to a floating trampoline, an iceberg climbing tower and a water slide. For a $50 one-day pass, customers get 45 minutes on the course, with the rest of the park being available for all-day use. Patrons can lounge in the shade while enjoying food, beer and wine, playing cornhole with friends or swinging in hammocks.

The park is only accessible via a boat ride from the registration area to what the company calls Adventure Island. This is a feature that Brian George, co-owner of Waterloo Adventures, is excited for patrons to enjoy. George says the park offers a unique Austin summer outing, giving tourists and locals alike something different than the classic summer excursion. 

“You can go downtown to see what Austin is known for,” George said. “But then you can come out here and see what else Austin has to offer with the lake and the boat rides and the views.” 

It is this principle and more than seven years of business development that has led George and his partner John Shipley to create what they call an oasis for kids and adults just outside the city. 

“We had all this beautiful lakefront, and we considered a lot of ideas, but over the years, this seemed to be the best option,” George said. “It can utilize a majority of the land (and) hold a lot of people. It’s interesting, it’s challenging and it fits right into who we are.” 

The new water park focuses on giving its patrons a challenge. Amy Layton, promotional manager for Waterloo Adventures, said she thinks this new type of water park encourages customers to exercise their creative side. 

“There’s no specific instructions on how to use this. You use your imagination,” Amy said.

Once out on the island and after their allotted time, $10 can buy a customer another 45 minutes on the obstacle course. But even if they decide to stick to their scheduled time, guests can spend all day at the park. Twenty-four-year-old Carthal Anderson, an opening day customer, said he feels like he got to experience the whole package with just one trip on the course. 

“I enjoyed the boat ride out to the island because it got me excited for what was to come,” Anderson said. 

With opening day behind them, George is looking forward to what comes next. 

“We are keeping it simple for now, but we will evolve over time,” George said. “Maybe some days for adults, some days for kids. Even some obstacle competitions — who knows.” It’s a work in progress. But for now, Have a thrill. Have an adventure.”