I left Innsbruck main train station at 7:45 towards Zurich. This was the fast train that goes direct to Ötztal main station in just 22 minutes, easy. Form there, Area 47 is a 15 minute walk or there is a bus that takes you to the drop off point, where the Area 47 shuttle takes you directly into the park. The shuttle is a tractor with a trailer and welcomes you to hop on and off at any part of the outdoor playground.
Not only is it easy and quick to get to from Innsbruck, there is a 15% discount with the Innsbruck Card on entrance to the Water Area, Wake Area and Outdoor activities. I go into more detail about the areas and activities in a moment.
What is Area 47?
To elaborate on this article’s title, Area 47 is a unique adventure paradise for thrill seekers in search of a challenge, families looking for a fun break, athletes to train in weird and wonderful ways, couples wanting a retreat in the wilderness and all with extras that you never knew existed.
Rated by CNN as one of the top five water parks in the world, you can expect to be literally blown out of the water with close to 40 types of sports on offer. Because of the huge array of options available, let me break it down for you…
The Water Area is a place to either relax and hang out or go crazy and use the mental facilities: Blobbing, Deep Water Soloning, Little Bro Wakeboarding, Slacklines, Cliff Diving, Water Ramp and Waterslide Park. There is also a restaurant that looks out across this whole area, there is no entrance fee for this and it’s a favourite spot for grandma and grandad (unless they prefer Blobbing).
Here is where I joined the wakeboard school. I had never wakeboarded before, but being a keen snowboarder and having surfed before, I thought it would be easy.
There is a unique technique to it, so I wasn’t like a duck to water. With the help from Andreas, the trainer, I nailed it within a couple of rounds and I loved it.
There were other complete beginners in the school, some with no experience on any type of board and all of them managed to ride the water by the end of their session, lovely stuff!
This Water Area is included when booking an overnight stay or one or more of the below Activities (except the Flying Fox and Mega Swing as individual activities).
The Wake Area is for wake boarders of all levels (it’s wise for complete beginners to attend the Wake School first to make it easier when in the Wake Area).
It is a five minute scenic walk from the Water Area and has five masts in a circular setup for endless rounds on the kickers and boxes – until your 5 rounds are over (when busy) or you’re knackered!
The lake has amazingly clean water (drinkable to abide by nature laws – Area 47 is right next to a nature reserve) and fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.
There is a cafe with roof decking providing panoramic views.
Outdoor activities include Rafting, Canyoning and Caving. There is a big selection of sub-activities to choose with different age and ability restrictions. It’s best to check the website to find the options suited for you/your group.
Climbing activities consist of High Rope Course, Flying Fox, Mega Swing, Climbing Tower and Boulder Cave.
This amazed me when I first saw it, you cannot miss it as it’s directly below the road bridge at 27 metres high. If you’re afraid of heights, this will make your legs a bit wobbly!
Offroad activities are based at the Offroad Hall. Here you can experience KTM E Motocross (yes that stands for electric) or take a mountain bike on a guided tour.
Thinking there’s too much for one day? Me too! There are 400 beds available in the form of double and triple rooms, lodges or what takes my fancy; tipis.
On-site are two restaurants; the Lakeside Restaurant mentioned above and the Argentinian BBQ, which is in the River Haus (where the party’s at after sun set). Breakfast is included in all over night stays.
To finish up
I wish I could have stayed longer, there is too much fun to be had! I recommend planning ahead and booking what is best suited for you/your group. There are also better deals when booking a package.
There are age, height and ability restrictions for each of the activities, so check the activity details on their website. Their YouTube channel shows the areas and activities in more detail.
Most of the activities are for 12 years upwards, but younger children are welcome, for example Kiddy Rafting is for 6-13 year olds. There is no specific children’s swimming area, but that doesn’t mean the adults can’t go and have fun! Kids under 6 are free to enter the Water Area.
If you’re looking for unlimited adventure fun in the wilderness, this is the place to be. For the activities there are experts there to guide you along the way, no matter what level you are, but for most, you will need to have some form of fitness.
For train times from Innsbruck to Ötztal, visit the ÖBB website.
All photos © Ashley Wiggins, unless otherwise stated. Banner photo © Area 47.