Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

...In a Berlin Rainforest

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

...In a Berlin Rainforest

Article excerpt

WEaVE never really considered Berlin the place to go for a tropical holiday.

So when a British-based colleague told us in January he was ducking over there to swap the Pomsa winter snow and zero temperatures for a week of tropical 26C temperatures, maybe camp in a rainforest, play golf in shorts and T-shirts, and get a suntan on a sandy beach, we considered head gone, well, maybe a little bit troppo.

After all, if it was winter in Britain, it was winter in Germany. And that meant anything but the balmy climes of the tropics.

That is until he sent us photos of all the things he told us head do a and done. Plus others be-sporting himself amongst longhouses, temples, a falA[c] and grass huts straight out of Borneo, Thailand, Samoa, Bali and South America, and amid the rainforest head boasted had waterfalls, palms, macaws, strutting pheasants and even flamingos.

And he said head done it all 35km south of Berlin a with thanks, partly, to an Australian who now lives in Bali. Now it was us wondering which of us may have gone a little bit troppo.

But it turns out weare both quite normal: our colleague had taken his holiday at Tropical Islands, an extraordinary 66,000sqm human-made bolt-hole that has been created within a gigantic dome built, originally, to house massive freight-carrying German airships. But the company that built the dome went belly-up in 2002 without a single airship being completed.

At 360m long, 210m wide and 107m high, their hanger was a and still is a the worldas biggest free-standing, pillar-less hall a high enough for the Statue of Liberty to stand in its centre, long enough to house five football fields side-by-side, and big enough for the Eiffel Tower to be laid lengthways inside it.

And its 70,000sqm roof is strong enough to carry consistently falling snow throughout winter, and any amount of rain year-round. And with UV-transparent film panels on the southern (equator) side, warming sunshine washes over those on the inside and gives a natural tan.

After the failure of the airship venture, the group that came up with the idea of an indoor tropically themed waterpark recruited Bali-based architect Made Wijaya a who was born Michael White in Australia a to design the core Bali Lagoon for them. …

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