Adrenaline and Adventure
Area47 in Tyrol
Area47, at the beginning of the Ötztal in Austria, is about a ten-hour drive from the Dutch border and a massive recommendation for anyone looking for a sporty adventure, and a good dose of adrenaline.
With my legs straight in front of me, I jump off the building; my arms crossed over my chest. Three meters lower I fall into a half-inflated inflatable, called the Blob. I almost roll off the soft pillowy air cushion. I bearly manage to save myself and move to the beginning of the air pocket. I sit down between the set lines on the plastic. “Are you ready,” it sounds in an Austrian accent. I glance over my shoulder and see two guys ready to jump. They have put their arms together and hold each other’s hands in front of their chest. This way they form a block of 150 kilos when they jump. I give the sign that I am ready, look ahead and wait for what is to come. Less than a second and a half later, which seemed to last much longer, I am vigorously launched about four or five meters into the air. Somewhere halfway I make a head-roll and then I splash, helmet first, into the crystal clear water. Rad!
More than 20,000 square meters full of adventure sports. Think wakeboarding, climbing walls, rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, motocross, the cannonball, the highest via ferrata of Europe, a diving board of 27 meters high (where the Red Bull Cliff Diving team trains), canyoning, extreme slides, blobbing and so on. Welcome to Area47, the largest outdoor park in Europe.
Welcome to Area47, the largest outdoor park in Europe
“It took years to accomplish this dream,” Chris Schnöller, geschäftsführer from Area47 laughs. “But in the end, we did pull it off thanks to perseverance and great patience. And so it came to light; a huge playground for sporty adults who love a bit of adrenaline. And do you see that runway under that bridge?” I look up and see trees dangling from chains under the bridge. Some people are jumping from tree trunk to tree trunk. “That is the highest high ropes course in Europe. 37 meters high. The authorities would allow it under the condition that we would not drill into the bridge. So we came up with a creative solution. There are no screws involved.”
Chris enjoys his work in this park. And that is not strange. Area47 is wonderfully well put together. All sports for people who love adventure in one. And, also, two restaurants where people who love great meat can eat until they blow up. You do not find that anywhere. Well, you do here.
Area47 is located at the beginning of the Ötztal in Tyrol, about 50 kilometers from Innsbruck. A ten-hour drive from the Netherlands. The weekend we were there it was the opening weekend, at the end of May. Which at the same time coincides with the closing weekend of the nearby ski-paradise Sölden. Have you ever went skiing in the morning and then wakeboarding in the afternoon? Well, that’s possible here. Be careful, because the result could very well be gruesome muscle pain and a new addiction.
I take a seat in the cannonball, a water catapult for the brave. It is a kind of tube you sit in. There are two big red buttons on both sides of you. You have to press them simultaneously to activate the cannonball. When you push those two buttons, thanks to the force of tens of thousands of litres of water under high pressure, you get launched.
This is probably how a goldfish feels
My heart rate is already quite high when I, boom, give the buttons a tap. This is probably how a goldfish feels when you flush it down the toilet. I see nothing but water and fly about five meters through the air and end up in the cooling water. Awesome!
Looking for a good dose of adrenaline?
When you’re in the area, take a sniff of adrenaline in Area47. A ticket for the waterpark costs € 22,- for adults and € 13,- for children aged 6-16 years. You can book all other activities on site. Area47 is less suitable for tiny children. You can also stay fine for several days. There are different types of accommodation on the property. Check in advance for availability because Area47 is very popular.