Ambition is a noble thing, but in regional tourism it is definitely possible to be too ambitious. Super Bee Honey World on the Sunshine Coast is a case in point.
When it came to honey tastings and beekeeping demonstrations, Super Bee really held its own. But it really lost focus when setting up the mini golf and the fairytale dioramas for example.
Which is not to say that they weren’t all entertaining. It was just that they were entertaining for a different reason than the owners probably intended. We’ll come to that.
By the time we visited, it was clear that Super Bee Sunshine Coast was heading towards that great tourist attraction in the sky. The large bee out the front was chipped and faded [the pic above was off the web – no relation to me] and the car park was practically deserted. The deserted car park is often a sign that you might be heading for one of your more surreal touristical experiences. We weren’t disappointed.
We had the shop and honey tasting area to ourselves when we walked in. Two 16 year-old girls staffed the area, alternately giggling and looking bored. When we asked for a recommendation on what to do at Super Bee, they looked around, one of them rolled her eyes gently and said: “Well, you could do a private beekeeping show. Or, you could do a private round of mini golf. Or a private…” You get the idea.
Super Bee really came into its own with the dioramas. As my partner was posing for the picture with Snow White to the left, a young Japanese tourist came up next to us and starting pointing and laughing. “She looks so angry!” she exclaimed. Snow White does look like she’s been working on those guns, and would just love a dwarf to say something derogatory about women’s rights. I don’t think Bashful will be weighing in with his views on abortion a second time.
Now check out those pics to the right. What do you think that’s all about? I can sense your confusion. It’s supposed to be the three little pigs, but it was also rolled into Little Red Riding Hood. They’ve used the same Big Bad Wolf to tie them together – that’s him propped up against the pot plant with the bow tie. And that’s grandma in the middle. As Jill said when we entered the House That Jack Built and saw these babies: “That is what I’m talking about!”
Less would have almost certainly been more at Super Bee. Hey, it made really, really nice honey. But by spreading itself too thin, the park actually devalued the things it did really well. Super Bee Sunshine Coast was the Roman empire of crap tourist attractions – fighting battles on too many fronts and eventually losing them all. May it rest in peace.
*I visited Super Bee Honeyworld several years ago. To my great disappointment, it has since closed.