AN online campaign petitioning for the return of Fantasy Glades has gained momentum over the holiday break.
Since launching on December 22, the petition titled "Purchase and re-open Fantasy Glades as a public park" at www.change.org has attracted more than 1000 supporters.
Nostalgic supporters have recalled fond memories of the former tourist attraction, which sits on a prime parcel of real estate that has been on the market since late 2013.
The driving force behind the online campaign, Luke Marshall, described Fantasy Glades in its glory days as a "world of wonder and mystery for children".
Mr Marshall said that while Port Macquarie grows in popularity as a tourist destination, children's entertainment has steadily decreased with the closure of Peppermint Park and Fantasy Glades.
"The four-acre site is listed for $560,000, which is an absolute steal," Mr Marshall said.
"Fantasy Glades is an incredible site that is conveniently zoned and holds unique natural and cultural value.
"Developers are well aware of the value of the site, but while there are many exciting opportunities for medium-density tourist or residential accommodation in the Shelly Beach precinct, there will only ever be one Fantasy Glades."
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has not been formally approached by the community on the matter, nor is the Fantasy Glades site included in council's current operational plan.
Spokesperson Liz Brennan said the operational plan, which guides all activities and is used to allocate resources and funding, is adopted each year following an extensive community consultation process.
In February, the current owners told the News that the regrettable decision to sell was necessary to care for their elderly parents.
The story of the former Fantasy Glades site dates back more than four decades to the 1960s when George and Rosemary Whitaker, their two children James and Lynette and Rosemary's parents, Aub and Lin Gribble, moved to Port Macquarie from Sydney with a vision to create a theme park based on the world's most popular Brothers Grimm fairy tales.
The park opened to the public in August 1968.
In 1987, it was sold to the Spry family and Brian Hutchinson, who operated the park until its closure in 2002.
Unfortunately, the site today remains a shell of its former glory, with dilapidated, vandalised cottages and overgrown parkland surrounds. It remains fenced off to the public.