Welcome to Ballyhass Lakes. We are a small family owned and fully Irish operated outdoor adventure company that have been in the tourism business for over 20 years.
We have come along way since the early days of Ballyhass. We took over the site in 1999 after running a successful 150 berth marina, angling charter business, dive centre, restaurant and hostel in Kinsale Co.Cork for over 15 years. We purchased Ballyhass with a view to create an all weather diving centre when we saw how much our Irish weather effected the outdoor industries on the coast.
Ballyhass Lakes History
The lakes themselves are an old disused limestone quarry that were abandoned by John A Woods over 30 years ago. After quarrying for several years the firm hit the water table and the lakes began to flood. To prevent the water rising they installed two giant pumps that were running for 24 hours a day for years pumping fresh water into our local river. Eventually they reached the current lake depth, however at that point the cost of running the pumps outweighed the value of the limestone being quarried so the site was abandoned to flood and it rose to the levels you see today. The deepest part of the lake is still where they removed the pumps directly opposite the reception area. The lake waters are our biggest asset. The waters are crystal clear all year round and vary in depth depending on season you can find depths between between 8 and 14 meters.
We had a lot of work to do before we could establish the business. With a largely overgrown site and only a small access point to the water we spent the next couple of years creating access, car parks, facilities, clubhouse and landscaping the site. After deciding to concentrate on a fishing centre, Ballyhass went from strength to strength regularly attracting over 100 anglers each weekend.
We wanted to increase our offerings to our dedicated angling community and embarked on a project to build 11 holiday homes on the edge of the lake so we could provide fishing holidays to clientele from all over Europe. We finished that project in 2006. At this point we felt that the site had more to offer with only a fraction of it being used. We started investigating what it would be best suited for and outdoor adventure activities were the perfect fit.
We began by purchasing a fleet of kayaks and installing our low ropes course. We received an amazing response to the activities and continued to push forward and expand. By the 2013 season we had became Munster's premier outdoor experience provider. We offer over 15 different activities including abseiling and rock climbing on the natural cliff faces, a custom built high ropes course with three different elements, an all weather archery range, indoor bouldering wall, 4 acres of sports pitches and Munsters longest and most extreme zipline coming in at 160m over the lake. We now have over 15000 day visits per year to the site specializing in large groups like schools, sport teams, youth groups and corporate team building events.
Ballyhass Wake Park
That brings us kicking and screaming into 2014 and our newest venture, Ireland's largest cable wakeboarding facility. We are really excited to help develop this incredible lifestyle sport in Ireland. In all our years in the industry we have never come across a sport that captures the imagination of the participants so completely whether it be their first time on the water or an experienced rider learning a new trick. Along with the sheer fun of it all, the fitness benefits are amazing. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise in providing a top class outdoor experience to the sport. We setup the park with Industry wakeparks who are the industry leaders for installing the sesitec systems and will be on hand throughout the season offering pro coaching and demonstrations.
We are now the third cable park in Ireland after the great success of Wakedock in Dublin and Cable and Wake in Belfast. The sport is about to explode and has been shortlisted for inclusion in the 2020 Olympics. In only 12 months you now have three options for cable wakeboarding in Ireland. Dont miss out on the revolution get involved and book online now.
Wakeboarding is the worlds fastest growing watersport and we have no doubt that it is going to take Ireland by storm. Perfect for all ages and abilities, if you are looking for a new sport or hobby in 2014 you have found it!
Thanks a million for reading our story, we hope to see you down at the lakes soon,
Eddie, Eoghan, Tom, Alex, Elaine & all the Ballyhass crew.