An Alpine playground for adults

Have you ever watched kids at play and thought how wonderful it would be if playgrounds were made for adults, too? In Austria’s Tyrolian Alps, they’ve come up with something very close to that. Area 47 is a slice of semi-harnessed wilderness where adventure-lovers can take part in an almost unlimited number of adrenalin-charged activities, from a high ropes course to white-water rafting to caving. The park is just now entering its third season.

Area 47 is divided into four major zones: outdoor, water, climbing and events.  In the outdoor zone, in addition to the high ropes course, you’ll find a high swing dangling from a bridge and a nearly quarter-mile long zip line. You can also enjoy rafting and canyoning through the Ötztal Mountains. The water zone offers a lake for swimming, five water slides, a diving platform, and a water ramp that you can ride down on an inner tube, skis or a snowboard. The climbing zone offers a massive climbing wall with 28 routes and a boulder cave. In the events zone, come Saturday evening, you’ll find a DJ or perhaps a team of adrenalin junkies demonstrating whatever hair-raising sport they master.  

Since there’s more than enough to do in one day, Area 47 offers a range of sleeping accommodations, from tepees to cabins to double rooms. The nearby villages offer yet more lodging possibilities.

How much does this cost? It depends on what you’re after. An adult day pass for the water area is 18 euros. A rafting and canyoning combination package, including two nights in a tepee, will run you 154 euros, breakfast included. The high ropes course, zip line and swing are sold as a package including an all-you-can-eat buffet; that’s 88 euros per person.

With smaller children in tow, this might not make for the ideal vacation hot-spot. Sporty teens would probably have a blast here. There are age and height restrictions on several of the activities. If you’re just a big old kid stuck in an adult’s body, could this be the very place you were looking for?


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