Wild Buggy offers self-drive offroad fun, and for kids too!
Now you can drive a Tomcar buggy offroad!
I can’t think of a better intro than the title picture, so just look at it. If you’re not thinking you’d like to have a go yourself, then stop reading now and go surf for knitting forums.
This is Wild Buggy, the brainchild of action man and entrepreneur Nir Davidson, previously a commercial skydiver. It’s pretty simple – roll up, sign the usual forms, watch the intro video, hand over $69 and you’re away for 15 minutes worth of offroad fun in an Aussie-made offroad buggy, Tomcar. The course is tight and twisty, with quite a few jumps that you’ll barely feel thanks to the Tomcar’s supple, long-travel suspension and light weight. Nor do the ruts bother the car, and then there’s the watersplash…fast as you like, but the warning is you might get wet!
Anyone can drive the Tomcars, and anyone does. The vehicles use automatic CVTs, so no gears, just accelerator, brake and steer.
The Wild Buggy concept is an experience, not a race or a time trial. So if wheel-to-wheel action is what you want, gokarting is what you do. The buggy drive is just about doing something unusual, and certainly the softly-sprung, nimble, rear-engined Tomcar is a vehicle unlike anything else you’re likely to steer.
We spent an hour at Wild Buggy with a variety of kids and adults, and everybody loved the experience…even someone who said “I’m not doing this” when we first rolled in through the gates!
Nir is a big believer in kids learning the basics of driving before they take to the public roads, and that’s a view we entirely agree with, which is why we wrote this. He says that he had a dream one night of a disabled kid being able to drive a car for the first time, and that’s inspired the dual-steering Tomcars on fleet. These have two sets of steering wheels, linked, and are for anyone without a car license, irrespective of age. The instructor sits in the right hand seat, and controls the steering wheel only as much as the left-seat passenger needs.
Right now, a 15-minute dual control session is $24. Is it worth it? We sought the views of a 16 year old who said: “not independently driving was good. Was good to have the instructor control speed so I could focus on steering and not crash. Good to ease into it.” There’s also a four-seater Tomcar for those that would rather ride in a group.
Adults loved it too. “Jumps were fun. Fast enough for adults to have fun, but not so fast it scares the kids. A solid 8.5/10”. And the litmus test is always to ask: “Would I recommend this to friends? Definitely!” And finally: what could be better? “Well, a bigger track…”
So definite vote of confidence from our group, and we’re planning a return visit already. By that time the planned artificial rock climbing wall might be in place, and the more difficult technical track, and the tractor trailer rides. Right now there’s already the facility for kids parties, which Nir says are extremely popular. Oh, and the coffee passed the snob test too!
If Wild Buggy looks dangerous, then looks are deceiving. You’re not going as fast as it feels, every occupant is strapped in with a secure four-point harness, and in the very unlikely event you get into trouble, then each Tomcar has as standard a full rollcage. It’s probably safer than karting as there’s less chance of contact.
Wild Buggy are looking to expand to Sydney and the Gold Coast, as well as opening a venue in the western suburbs of Melbourne. They are also looking for franchisees…
Check out our full review of the Tomcar offroad!
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