Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ye Olde Crappe Castleeeee

Seeing Mr Stu's post on his family trip to a castle somewhere, got me thinking of Victoria's very own medieval (1970's fashion was evil anyway) castle, Kryal Castle.

Kryal Castle is situated on the highway into Ballarat, or as I prefer to think about it, the highway OUT of Ballarat.

Ballarat is a large country North West of Melbourne and is famous as a Gold Rush town and the site of the Eureka Stockade. My grandparents used to live in a place called Bunninyong which is just outside Ballarat, although with today's urban sprawl is practically a suburb of Ballarat. Having been dragged up there thousands of weekends and seen it snow more times than be over 30 degrees, I can confidently suggest that the name Ballarat is Aboriginal for Cold as f$%k!

Ballarat is somewhat of a tourist town with, aside from Kryal Castle, a mock up of the Eureka Stockade (apparently a new Eureka Centre as well, but that wasn't there in my day), a replica gold rush town called Sovereign Hill and a dinosaur park called Dinosaur World.

As we were there so often, I have been to every tourist attraction in the area about a half a dozen times and there is a common theme to them all, they are kind of second rate. Actually that is not quite fair, Sovereign Hill used to be second rate but over the years it has evolved to be pretty good by Australian standards.

Getting back to Kryal Castle, it was built in 1972 by Keith Ryal, is the third largest castle in the Southern Hemisphere and is based on a 14th century castle. The quality of it's website gives a fair indication of the standard of the attraction. Interestingly I found the following in small print in the "Night Life" section of their website:

"Kryal Castle is the ultimate destination for any sized function or event. There are many internal events such as Cocktails in the Graveyard theatre restaurant, Medieval Murder Mysterys, And many more.. Bookings are however essential. Kryal Castle, is also a great destination for any large scale event, with patron capacity of 5000 and fully licensed / catering areas available until as early as 4am for any type of large scale event. "

Hmmm, you are in trouble when your website contradicts itself. Is it the ultimate or just great? If it is the ultimate for any sized function or event then why is there a 5000 patron capacity? What if I want 50,000 patrons?

Strangely enough it is best known in recent times as a rave venue. Let's face it, in 1356 the raves were epic, so recreating them at Kryal Castle just makes sense!

I actually have fond memories of my visits there, but I think it was one of those places that work until you are about 11 years old and the "magic" starts to fade.

Interestingly, during my research for this I found out that Kryal Castle is up for sale! I was going to suggest everyone pitching it, but seeing as we can't sail Saddam's boat there, I don't see the point.

So for your next work team building exercise, I strongly recommend Kryal Castle!


  1. Should this prove to be a true and noble venture, good sir, contents of the family fortune, (the five cent tin) will be mailed to your good self ASAP.

  2. M'lord, methinks wee neede a Castle!

  3. Jesus! Whatever next - I reckon they'll be waiting a while for a buyer - unless we all pitch in of course

  4. 'Why not take the kids to Piss Weak World?'

    Man there were some dodgy 'tourist attractions' when I was a kid. Magic Mountain on the Goldie. Straya's Wonderland with the big roller coaster made of balsa wood and sticky tape (felt about as safe as flying Garuda). Endless oversized fibreglass and papier mache Things - bananas, prawns, pineapples, even merino sheep for Christ's sake. Thankfully most of them have gone deservedly tits-up but this sounds like an equivalent echelon of complete spank to the others.

  5. My pictures pale into comparison when I see the type of castles you guys have down there!

  6. Up for sale? A possible temple to Warne, maybe?

  7. DD, YD and Lerm - I reckon we put our money towards Saddam's first rate boat rather than a second rate castle.

    Dr Yobbo - Dodgy tourist attractions, that's what seem to do best.

    Mr Stu - Built in 1972, imagine the history!

    Doanli - There is already a temple to Warne, it's in Melbourne and it's called the MCG. http://www.mcg.org.au/

  8. I remember Leyland Brothers' World on the Central Coast of NSW. Should be listed with Dr Yobbo's faves.
    The big fucking Ayers Rock is still there. Think its a souvenir or fast food joint or something.

  9. Leyland Brothers World! Man that place was dicey. That was the Late Show's 'Piss Weak World' incarnate. After it went arse-up the papier mache Ayers Rock was still open as a 24 hour servo/roadhouse - they used to do meal breaks on overnight coaches there - imagine ending up there at 3am on a mind-bendingly ordinary overnight coach trip from northern NSW to Sydney, it was like stepping out into someone's LSD trip. Someone said it'd reopened - not just the roadhouse but the whole deal. Terrifying.

  10. Therbs - Never went but have seen it on TV a couple of times and it is suitably crap.

    Dr Yobbo - It sounds about as amatuer as their TV show was.