|We have reviewed every playground in Melbourne and Geelong and these are the pick of the crop. Click on the link to each playground for more information such as facilities list, full review and location map. Each playground also has a link to a slideshow of photos of the playground.
Skinners Park, Dorcas Street, South Melbourne
Skinners Park is open in the late afternoons weekdays and on weekends and is staffed. It is recommended for children aged 6-12 but our four year old loved it.
The playground has a eclectic mix of things to do including basketball/soccer court (under shade cloth), chicken house, cubby house in a tree with large curved slide, very long chain traverse, pond, trampoline, various cubby houses, structure from shipping containers, old fashioned slide, artwork, swings, see-saw, climbing net and many other things to explore.
Set amongst trees so there is quite a lot of shade. There is so much colour splashed about that you feel assaulted by it and I was very happy to enjoy a white wall afterwards.
Debneys Park, Mount Alexander Road, Flemington
All roads lead to Debneys Park - well at least Citylink, Mt Alexander Road and Racecourse Road. The main part of the playground is set in a series of soft hills and bowls and crossed by concrete paths. The equipment is focussed on climbing and includes a huge rope pyramid climbing frame, five huge blocks connected together and covered in climbing holds, a hillock with ropes and climbing holds to scramble up and a huge semi-sphere rope climbing frame which connects to a slide via vertical and slanting rope climbing frames. This area also has two stand-on spinners and a curved slide.
Next to this is a very long flying fox with disk seat. Further along is a huge concrete court with soft walls around the outside which have climbing holds on the exterior wall. The whole area is criss-crossed with wide bike paths.
There is a shelter with seats near the main playground area and another area next to the Community Centre which has a BBQ and tables under shade sails, unshaded seats, table tennis tables and an oval.
Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast
Geelong Play Space, Eastern Park Cct, Geelong
Beautifully crafted play space which has a variety of different areas and is fully fenced. The fencing is hardly necessary since no-one is going to want to leave this fun and interesting play space. There is a Pirate ship with rope ladder on the side, tyre steering wheel with paddles to make music, wave slide and device which makes noise as you go past it. This area has a wide, sloped climbing wall, stand-on spinners and two springers.
Across a musical bridge is an area with three sheep springers, a bamboo tunnel, cottage ruin, sun dial, stepping stones of various shapes through the trees, sound machines scattered about, sandpits, hand pump, big maze made from different coloured pavers, creek spring, dragon fly and swings.
There are shaded and unshaded seats scattered about and quite a lot of shaded areas, a water tap which makes interesting sounds when it is used and toilets. Outside the fenced area is a large shelter with tables and BBQs.
Malahang Reserve, Oriel Road, Heidelberg West
Practice your verbs before visiting Malahang Reserve because kids can play, jump, swing, slide, climb, run, skate and execute a multitude of other verbs at the playground which has a great range of playground equipment spread across a large area, a Skate Park and a BMX dirt-track.
The playground includes multiple flying foxes including one with a seat with harness, huge double pyramid rope climbing frame, huge swinging basket, family size see-saw, fantastic huge structure with a paddle steamer theme, spinning cups with hand wheel and a variety of swings including a "comfy chair" and tyre swings.
There is a separate boat shaped structure for toddlers with ramp, block steps, coloured balls and a number of educational boards.
There are plenty of seats (without shade), big shelter with BBQs and tables, toilets and basketball court.
Harmony Park, Gaffney Street, Coburg
This is Harmony Park except when Mum and Dad tell the kids that it is time to go home, then it's anything but harmony. This large, beautifully created play space has lots of interesting play elements and is not a place which the kids will be keen to leave .
The main wooden structure has a huge tunnel, big wave slide, rope ladder and climbing wall. This leads to an area with a series of different bridges, area with car tyres which make sounds when you jump on them, large hammock and another area with large pyramid rope climbing frame, hanging disks, traverses and swings without safety chain.
There is a large sandpit under shade sails with digger and conveyor belt, car shaped structure with tunnel, music making equipment and steering wheels, little hillock with slide, speed-boat on a rocker, see-saw, swings with safety chains and a huge plastic seat swing.
The playground area has two shelters with table and seats. There is also a huge shelter with tables and BBQs plus unshaded tables and seats. Large rocky landscaped area, tactile impressions sculpture created by local schools and artists, toilets and water tap. There is a basketball and Skate Park nearby plus large grassy area.
There is good All Abilities accessibility. Even when wood chips are used, there are paths leading to the equipment.
Coburg Lake Reserve, Murray Road, Coburg
What goes up must come down. Get ready to plummet to earth. After climbing up multiple levels of ladders you reach two great metal slides. The "smaller" one is fairly straight and opens up into a flat area at the bottom and the higher, faster slide has a big twist before opening up at the bottom. This slide can be frightening for little kids. The slide tower also has two panels to play Four in a Row or Reversi, balls on a vertical pole, plastic covered climbing wall and fireman's pole.
There is a also a structure with dual wave slides, nice cubby house which is raised and accessible by a climbing wall with fruit holds, metal slide, shop fronts and a pulley system for hauling wood chips, a birds nest swing, largish disk carousel with hand-holds which spins around and standard.
The playground is right next to lake with obligatory ducks (and geese) and so you need to be vigilant, although the chances of the kids moving away from the huge slide tower are about as high as snowflakes in Death Valley during summer.
There are plenty of unshaded tables, shaded and unshaded seats, toilets, BBQs, water tap and some lovely curved wooden seats for parents which overlook the lake.
Victory Park, Langs Road, Ascot Vale
Huge wooden adventure playground with an enormous array of slides (tunnel, wave and spiral), walkways (tyres, chain, wooden, rubber), multiple towers with lots of levels, sandpit, bronco tyre and suspended platform rides, monkey bars, monkey rungs, flying foxes and swings (standard and unusual styles).
Most of the area is fenced except for the section furthest from the road. There are undercover tables and BBQs, toilets and water tap. There is a kiosk available at the Ascot Vale Sports & Fitness venue next door.
Casey Fields, Berwick-Cranbourne Rd, Cranbourne East
This playground has as much sand as the Gobi Desert - actually more sand than the Gobi Desert. An excellent playground with All Abilities access to all the play structures. The main area of the playground has a large sandpit with two play structures with lots of sand play opportunities.
Further across is a large boat and see-saw in a sandpit. Across from this is a twisted pipe climbing frame and multiple swings.
At the top of the hill is a birds nest swing, a steep curving slide (too slow to generate real excitement according to the kids - and Dad) and big soft mounds with ledges to assist climbing which are connected together with rope bridges. There is a separate long rope bridge which leads to a large pyramid rope climbing frame.
There are shelters with table and BBQs, unshaded seats and tables, limited shaded seats, water tap and toilets. A path leads to a lake and there is plenty of grassy areas and ovals nearby.
Ballam Park Reserve, Cranbourne Road (East), Frankston and Ballam Park Reserve, Cranbourne Road (West), Frankston
Have you read "A Tale of Two Playgrounds" by Charles Dickens, set in Frankston during the See-saw Revolution? If not, rush down to Ballam Reserve in Frankston. It will be a revolutionary experience.
The park has two big playground areas. The big brother (for older kids) on the west side has lots of ramps and elevated walkways, spiral, long wave and curved tunnel slides, many wooden and chain climbing walls, ladders, huge chain climbing frame, real flying fox, monkey bars, stand-on spinning disks, curved ladders, see-saw and horizontal bars. Four swings and one has extra handle and harness. There is a separate playground area enclosed with a fence without a gate with unusual swing, large tractor tyres embedded in the ground, multi-tier structure for hauling up sand from a large sandpit, boat structure and three springers.
The playground situated on the east side of the Park (best suited for younger kids) has a very extensive wooden structure with lots of tunnels, ramps and walkways at different levels. It includes large front of wooden truck, four way springer, spiral slide, four swings, spiral ladder, flying fox, large cubby house, monkey bars, maze, couple of medium sized slides including a tunnel slide, climbing frame in the shape of a house, little curved climbing walls, horizontal bars and fireman's pole. Lots of areas for exploration.
Ballam Park is home to a huge area of open space featuring a basketball half-court, tennis wall, walking trails, ovals and an athletics track. There is plenty to do for people of all ages, with shade and barbecues provided in the large picnic area.
Rye's Up! Community Playground, Point Nepean Rd, Rye
Located east of the Rye Pier, a fantastic playground was built by the community in the space of five days in October 2012. The wooden structure is in the shape of a huge ship. The towering bow has levels leading up to a deck and a wave slide and the stern area has a tunnel and spiral slide while the mid-section has a range of equipment such as monkey bars, balance beam, monkey rungs and balance beam. The playground is fenced with an entrance area with a sea-horse motif. The whole playground has a nautical theme befitting the area and there are crabs, dolphins, fish, seaweed, starfish, divers and other sea creatures adorning the walls. An area has a range of swings including a birds nest swing.
Apart from the main ship structure there is a smaller structure with a lighthouse which has a wide slide, walkway and tunnel.
The area has a shelter with BBQs, shelter with seats, unshaded tables, grassy area, water tap, toilets and the perils of paid parking.
North East Melbourne
Wombat Bend Playspace, Duncan Street, Templestowe Lower
A real firecracker of a play space and we're not talking about a little sparkler here! There isn't a huge amount of play equipment but it is beautifully crafted together amidst a nicely landscaped area and is fully fenced. There is a variety of innovative play equipment for different sizes and abilities.
There is a wooden maze with mirrors and buttons to press. Our kids had a ball pressing the buttons and listening to the funny voices. Also musical bridge, sandpit, family sized see-saw, cube with rope climbing frame on side and top, two real flying foxes, double slides down a small embankment, hidden cubby and a fantastic bat wing carousel with hanging seats which parents push around. The thrill of the ride depends on how energetic the parents are! Did I mention the fantastic bat wing carousel? Yes, I think I did.
The playground has a native garden with paths galore. There is a BBQ, water tap and a few sheltered tables inside but lots of picnicking opportunities along the river outside including toilets.
The playground is in Finns Reserve which connects to the Main Yarra Trail via a swing bridge and is also the start of the Ruffey Creek Linear Trail.
Bayswater Park, Mountain Highway, Bayswater
This playground has more punch than a Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier bout and more bite that a Mike Tyson fight. This is a playground with lots of unique features. If you have become a bit jaded with playgrounds then this is like throwing a bucket of cold water over your face.
Under a shelter is a full size red steam engine (James from Sodor), railway platform with benches under cover complete with wooden fat controller (that is what he is made out of and not a reflection of his acting ability in the TV series), ticket window and a smaller wooden train with two carriages. This is all sheltered under trees.
This is next to a large high wooden structure based on curved ramps which includes wave slide, rigid balance beam, fireman's pole, musical pipes, high rope bridge, musical bridge, rope and wooden climbing walls, ladders, twin large metal slides, shop window, cubby houses, monkey bars, flying foxes, horizontal bars, roman rings, two swings without safety chain which can be swung around in a circle by a muscular member of the family, large climbing frame in an elephant shape with a slide as a trunk, two hippos lolling about in a rubber lake (Henrietta and Horatio), tiles and artwork on a brick wall and decorated with animals and either gremlins or lemurs gone ferrel.
There is another area with large sandpit and mechanical scoop. Huge climbing frame with a large slide to get down (requires good climbing skill), hopscotch area, large goanna on a stump and five swings without safety chain arranged in a pentagon shape and everyone swings towards the centre.
The playground is fenced but it is spread out and it can be difficult to keep track of the kids. Plenty of picnic tables in the area.
Hays Paddock, Longstaff Street, Kew East
This is the original all-abilities playground in Melbourne. Great for young, old, disabled and able-bodied kids. A large enclosed area full of discovery. This has been feted as one of the best playgrounds in Melbourne for a number of years. It is a beautifully crafted Play Space rather than an Adventure Playground. It is adventure with a little a - certainly if you equate Adventure with adrenaline. Nevertheless it packs a lot of punch - many slides and swings, large butterflies flying above, large see-saw, ring of toadstools to jump across, springers, large rope climbing frame, large hammocks to swing back and forth, big sandpit and other additions.
One good aspect is that most landing zones have a soft springy base - landing on this was like being Neil Armstrong bouncing on the moon in zero gravity. The playground area is fenced with safety gates. Outside is a wetlands area with a bird hide overlooking this area inside the playground. There is a also a learner's bike circuit. There are toilets outside the playground area.
Lilydale Lake Playground, Swansea Rd, Lilydale
There's no reason to gild the lily when describing this super Lilydale Lake playground. A great play area with all the nature attractions of Lilydale Lake on the doorstep.
There is an extensive array of colourful ramps, walkways and structures, music making equipment, interesting stand-alone structures, huge climbing wall, three flying foxes, family sized see-saw, train with carriages and a trail of turtles.
There is also an extensive toddler area with a boat structure and pier with slide.
Huge rope climbing frame composed of two pyramids joined together and an array of swings including one with a harness and another with handles. Most of the playground has a soft spongy base which is ideal for impersonating Neil Armstrong on the moon.
There are cute round tables with toadstool seats and extensive picnic areas around the playground with shaded tables and seats, BBQs and toilets.
There is plenty here to keep any family entertained for hours.
Bundoora Park Play Space, River Red Gum Avenue, Bundoora
A great fun Play Space which is fully fenced and linked to a café. There are lots of fun elements including a wooden wall maze with things to find such as a horse, big sandpit with digger, huge scale bull-ants, large carousel where you stand and get pushed around (hopefully by an accommodating parent), big red tractor with trailer, water tank with a ladder and slide, hammock, swings including one with a harness, lots of cute springers, mound with two sets of dual slides and three stand-on spinners, standalone spiral slide with steps, large flat rope climbing frame and water course area with bridges and a water pump.
There are shelters with tables and seats, shaded and unshaded seats and water taps. Plenty of access for all with concrete paths and soft spongy areas around most of the equipment.
Montrose Community Playground, Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd, Montrose
Fantastic community playground which was built in 2008 and has good All Abilities access. This is the type of playground where it is easy for parents and kids to play together although Mum and Dad might have trouble fitting into all the buildings in the miniature town.
The central area has two large pyramid rope climbing frames and there is a long ramp on one side which leads via a high rope bridge to a beautifully painted wall with an Australian bush setting and an area with some climbing walls. To the side is a huge lady-bug springer, four swings without safety chains and a birds nest swing.
Elsewhere there are two swings with safety chains, swing with harness and another birds nest swing. Plenty of other equipment and a circular path leads past a series of shop fronts including the fire station.
An area with four BBQs and tables (some shaded), water tap, toilet and some limited shade for the playground from the trees.
McKenzie Reserve, Bell Street, Yarra Glen
It's no bull that this is a fantastic playground even though you may be confronted with humongous dung beetles rolling their balls of dung. The playground is centred around a huge wooden structure and is surrounded by concrete paths with soft surface paths providing access to the equipment.
The main structure has spiral and curved slides, scrambling wall, lots of ramps and tunnels, balance beams and rope climbing frame. Some of the decking of the structure is under a shady tree which is centrally positioned.
There is also a huge pyramid rope climbing frame with a rope bridge for entry, big sandpit with a shaded area, row of balance beams made from metal and barrels, big carousel which you can spin around, huge birds nest swing (which is quite high off the ground), five swings (including one with a harness), family sized see-saw, soft mounds on a sea of wood chips, huge spinning disk, those humongous dung beetles and other sculptures.
There is a shelter inside the play area plus shaded and unshaded tables and seats scattered about. Outside the play area is a shelter with tables, BBQ, water tap, toilets, grassy area and more tables.
Ruffey Lake Park, Victoria Street, Doncaster East
A super adventure playground which includes a super slick curved tunnel slide which our kids absolutely loved and Dad generated enough static electricity going down it to power Melbourne for the next week. There are also steps and ladders up a look out tower, very long aluminium slide down a hill from a hut (similar to that which winter downhill skiers shoot out of), various swings, huge sandpit, musical bridge and smaller slides. Most of the equipment is under cover.
At the top of the hill is a very interesting climbing frame, huge gecko (big enough for the fly population of Melbourne to be in a state of fear)and two flying foxes.
There are plenty of BBQs and tables scattered about. Some BBQs are so close that the smell of cooking food drives you crazy with hunger - so don't come on an empty stomach. Toilets, water tap and some space for ball games although it is hilly. The playground can get very busy on weekends and parking can be a pain.
Bollygum Adventure Playground, Whittlesea-Kinglake Rd, Kinglake
A magical playground with a theme based around the book 'Bollygum' by Garry Fleming. Both parents and children can enjoy this wonderfully crafted Play Space.
Wander along the shady paths and dry watercourse and explore each enchanting element. Start at the Bower Bird's nest with its shiny blue trinkets, then past a large shady sandpit and cross one of the bridges to Platypus's House and make a pretend fire in the huge hearth. Be careful not to scare platypus with the screeching from the music cylinder next to his house. Wander down the shady path, past the log bridges and massive log seat to Wombat's House which has beautiful carved murals on the walls, tunnel slide, spiral slide, distorting mirrors, speak and listen system and lots of unusual equipment to make sounds (not too loud though because Wombat might be snuggled up and sleeping).
Stop for a while at the dry creek for a spot of fishing with rods and reels provided. Have a play with the mechanical digger in the big sandpit and then head to an area with lots of traversing elements such as a chain traverse, flying fox, bridge, monkey bars and hanging disks.
Head back up the hill to the main structure with Frogmouth's House and a climbing wall, ladders, walkways, wave slide, abacus, rope ladders, thin balance walkway, long high rope bridge for the daring kids, fireman's pole, dual metal slides (with shade sails above) and various fun musical instruments.
There are five swings including two birds nest swings and a swing with a seat.
Plenty of shady seats including many shaped from logs, unshaded tables, water tap, toilets and BBQ. Limited grassy area which is not suitable for ball games. Next to an excellent Skate Park. A visit to this playground is something to be treasured.
Tim Neville Arboretum, Dorset Road, Ferntree Gully
A fully fenced adventure playground which is well worth visiting Knight or day since it includes a castle themed area with stocks (especially for bad parents who won't take their kids to great playgrounds) and a rock where you try and extract Excalibur's sword. There are lots of other interesting elements and the area is interspersed with concrete paths and the play areas have a soft base.
On one side are two long zip lines with ski lift type disk seats, Loch Ness monster writhing in and out of the ground for climbing, three small metal slides on the side of a small hill, four swings (one with a big plastic seat), interesting carousel with seating and standing room, birds nest swing, hammock, large rope pyramid climbing frame, distorting mirror, lots of stepping stones, square area of suspended disks which you can step across, big sandpit area and two stand on spinners. There is a trail of alphabet signs with sign language weaving through the playground.
There are various shaded and unshaded seats. Outside the fenced area are toilets, BBQs, unshaded tables, grassy areas and a pond with elevated walkway and ducks not far away.
Halliday Park, Mitcham Road, Mitcham
The playground received a super upgrade in 2014 but still retains its signature of great flying foxes.
The playground is based around some spreading oak trees which provides some shade around the colourful play equipment for younger kids. This structure is low to the ground and has a slide, ladders, climbing tunnel, little archway, steering wheel, clanger to hit against pipes, shop front, abacus and clock. Beside this structure is a red koala (looks like its afflicted with a touch of sunburn), stepping stones, see-saw, four swings (including one with a harness), a wooden hut frame with musical buttons on the floor and some logs with creatures encased in the surface (look around the playground closely because there are quite a few of these).
A path leads past a sit-on carousel which is very easy to spin (ideal for idle parents who want to minimise their exertions), a lazy hammock (ideal for those idle parents), in-ground trampoline (which made sounds when I jumped - either because it is designed to emit sounds or was creaking under Dad's weight), a big curved half-circle frame where you stand on a little platform and try and move your legs to the left or right while holding onto a hanging chain - an accident waiting to happen), a huge birds nest swing (although a bigger sized basket would enable more kids to enjoy the ride), two flying foxes (one with a harness and one with a disk seat), big atom shaped rope climbing frame, hillock with climbing bumps on one side to help little kids reach the top and a small slide on the other side to get down plus a water feature with pump, water channel and two sluice gates.
The playground is well landscaped with natural features and caters for All Abilities with paths to all play equipment. There are plenty of shaded and unshaded seats scattered about the playground area, lots of shaded and unshaded tables and BBQs, water tap, toilets, huge shelter with seats and big grassy areas. Access to the playground is via the lane next to the Bowling Club.
Isabella Williams Memorial Reserve, Opie Road, Deer Park
Good news. You don't need to pay for an expensive trip to Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius to experience the history of volcanic eruptions. This playground design references Melbourne's western plains past volcanic activities. Tall climbing walls, nets and three long slides, including a yellow-covered twisted slide, emerge out of the volcano. Colourful play surfaces ‘ooze’ like lava down the sides of the volcano and around the sand pit. Other children’s play equipment includes a large red ride-on tractor, a bird’s nest swing and a bright-blue spinning ‘super nova’. There is also a fitness circuit with outdoor gym equipment.
The playground has shade shelters, barbeques and display gardens featuring indigenous flora.
Tenterfield Park, Tenterfield Drive, Burnside Heights
Forget shopping at Chadstone, Highpoint or Southland. Take the kids to Tenterfield Park and the visit the lovely little shops including a florist, bakery, hair-dresser, green grocer and service station.
A super playground with a "town" theme stacked full of interesting, colourful elements. The main structure is a big ramp with different fun panels on the sides, tunnel slide, curved slide, tunnel, cubby area, spiral ladder, climbing wall, musical instruments, steep wide wave slide, escape chute down to the ground and shop fronts.
There are also bird houses on top of poles, see-saw, swings, wooden carvings of cars and trucks with steering wheels, cups to sit in and spin around, two bike springers and a wooden structure with walkway.
A shelter with table, unshaded seats, BBQs and water tap. The playground has lovely murals. Located next to a long lake with plenty of water birds.
Galaxy Land, Belleview Drive, Sunbury
Huge playground which stretches almost as far as you can see with colourful play equipment everywhere. There are three main areas: a toddler's area, medium height ramp structure and a higher structure. Heaps of ramps, slides, tunnels, panels, climbing mats, fireman's poles and walkways.
There are plenty of unshaded tables and seats, BBQs, toilets and water tap. Grassy areas for play and there is a big pond at the bottom of the hill with a viewing area.
Cliff Harvey Lagoon Reserve, Flora Street, Keilor
The playground is centred around a hill and some lovely big spreading trees. A series of ramps and steps lead up to the top of the hill where there are three blackboards (without a teacher to correct your grammar) and a curved slide. The ramps have fireman's poles, climbing mat, tunnel, disks on a vertical pole and "tree" ladder. In the middle is a see-saw, stand-on spinners, supernova (circle which spins around and is set at an angle), little climbing structure with slide, sandpit (edged by rocks) and fruit sculptures/seats.
There are separate monkey bars, large rope climbing frame, stepping stones, hill with artificial grass for rolling down (don't roll off the edge onto the rocks though) and swings including a birds nest swing.
Shaded seats under the trees, a shelter with tables, BBQ, water tap and some other shaded tables.
Navan Park, Centenary Avenue, Melton
The playground was upgraded to include a spectacular high tower with two massive tunnel slides and a high fireman's pole. Other additions included a huge hammock and funky carousel where kids can sit down and let the parents or older kids swing it around.
The best and most original part is a large sandpit with a castle and lots of equipment for handling the sand such as scoops and conveyors. The remainder of the large playground includes a very good range of equipment. In one corner of the playground is a "Sky Surfer" for teenagers (stand up and surf on the suspended surfboard and with practice a circular loop can be achieved), circular bar which twists and turns around, "Mountain Trek" (sit on or climb across hanging disks - it is harder than it looks), sit on spinner and "Trick Skate" (revolving skate board rockers).
There is an extensive structure which has the bow of a ship with panels and a ramp leading to the structure from a bank. It has a tunnel slide, scrambling wall, high balance beam, chain bridge, flexible fireman's pole, monkey rungs, hanging disks, flying fox, climbing wall, alphabet panel, steps, fireman's pole, steering wheel and shop front.
Another structure has a tunnel and wave slide, steps, walkway, tunnel, chain bridges, chain traverse, spiral ladder, inclined climbing mat and fireman's pole. There is a little toddler area with a shop front complete with calculator, tunnel, abacus and tic-tac-toe and another hut with panels and drive through counter.
The playground area has toilets, a shelter with BBQ and table plus another shelter with tables. Plenty of grassy areas for ball games. 100m away is a big lake with more shelters, water tap and BBQ.
Brimbank Park Play Space, Brimbank Road, Keilor East
A beautifully crafted Play Space with natural elements most suited for younger kids with a few exciting elements for the older kids. At the top of the hill overlooking the playground area is a huge artificial hollow tree stump which you can climb up inside and emerge out via a broken egg shell to survey the playground below. Keep your eyes open and spot all the abundant mini-beasts on the stump (conveniently high enough to stop little kids grabbing them off the stump and taking them home for their bug collection).
The main part of the Play Space is a maze of pebbled paths which lead to round areas with interesting mosaics - the most interesting being one with a bird theme and a sculpture of three cawing crows. This area has boards showing sign language for each letter of the alphabet. In the middle of the maze area is a shady tree with rock seats underneath and a fun black and white cow (it seems like a Friesian to me but cow fanciers may be able to correct me if I am wrong). Look out for the giant cheese, pea and tomatoes - kids could easily re-enact a scene from the classic film "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".
Across the path is a HUGE birds nest swing (if you can convince Andre the Giant to push the kids, it will be a ride to remember. Although, I'm sure, in a pinch, Uncle Bob could do an adequate job of pushing). There is a vertical circle which kids can lay inside and be spun around. Forward and back flips are the order of the day here (as well as dizzy kids staggering around). There is also a stand-on spinner, hammock (surely Mum and Dad deserve a rest after finding this Play Space for the kids), huge bee springer for two people, smallish rope cone which spins around and four swings including one with a harness. There are soft paths leading to all the play areas.
Across a road is a giant platypus (so big that it could easily eat all the worms in the nearby Maribyrnong River in one breakfast sitting), a V-shaped play hut with branches for walls, a beautifully crafted frog, a musical instrument which makes various sounds when you turn a handle and a big elevated sandpit reached by steps.
There are various unshaded seats scattered about the Play Space area and a water tap. The landscaping has been done beautifully with many natural features. Located next to the Leaping Lizard café which has toilets. Plenty of shelters, BBQs, tables and water taps nearby plus a big grassy area.
Gisborne Adventure Playground, Brantome Street, Gisborne
A big adventure playground with a number of different areas. The main structure has a series of ramps leading to flat sections with dual wave slides, tunnel slide, small curved slide, variety of panels, various ladders, scrambling wall and climbing wall.
There is a shaded fenced area with safety gate which has a CFA structure with a Fire Brigade theme - complete with puzzle panels, inclined walkways, small slide, disks on a vertical pole, fireman's pole and fire truck. Also round tables and seats with nature carvings on the surface, tea-cup with hand wheel, stepping stones, various panels, see-saw, two springers and long soft crocodile and platypus lying on the ground.
There is also a see-saw, birds nest swing, springer and stand-on spinners. An area with three flying foxes set at different heights (great idea), five swings, rope pyramid climbing frame and another climbing frame with hanging plastic circles, monkey rungs and horizontal bars.
Unshaded and shaded tables and seats, unusual fun water tap nearby and a big grassy area with shelter and BBQ.
Ray Bastin Reserve, Norfolk Drive, Narre Warren
Fly me to the moon - well as least to the Ray Bastin Reserve in Narre Warren. A great playground with a rocket theme and you don't need to be a budding rocket scientist to enjoy it.
The central area includes a large rocket on a launching pad with very twisty tunnel slide as an emergency escape route. On the side is a rocket launching site with huge control panel - Why go to Kazakhstan when you can launch rockets from the Ray Bastin Reserve? There is a large moon buggy, extra-terrestrial creature writhing in and out of the ground, colourful stepping stones sprouting like (space) mushrooms and large sandpit.
The playground is next to a Skate Park and BMX track. There is also a sensory trail which highlights different eco-systems, BBQs, plenty of shaded tables and seats under trees, shelters, shade sails and toilets.
Golden Sun Moth Park, Grand Boulevard, Craigieburn
A brilliant playground which is a little out of the way for some people but well worth the trip. It has the theme of a Golden Sun Moth and there isn't a light big enough in the world to attract a moth this humungous in size.
The playground is divided into an area for 1-4 year olds and another adjacent more challenging area for 5 years and older.
The main area for older kids has a huge structure in the shape of a moth with moth leg steps, some great moth leg slides including a huge tunnel slide and open tunnel legs made from circles to climb up. There are two huge pyramid rope climbing frames, huge birds nest swing, long flying fox with disk seat, dizzy spinner cup, spinning cocoon, standard swings, stand-on spinner and whizzy spinner.
The area for younger kids has a wooden structure with slides, walkway and ladder plus lovely features like a cocoon to climb on and ladybug springer.
The playground has excellent All Abilities access since there are soft surfaces around all the equipment.
Facilities include unshaded seats scattered about the playground area, toilets and water tap. Next to the playground in a grassy area is a big shelter with four tables and BBQs and there are unshaded tables scattered about the surrounding grassy area. Next to a bike path.
The playground is in a newly developed area and may not be on some maps. It is located in the Malcolm Creek Park area. Follow Grand Boulevard westwards and cross Aitken Boulevard. Go past the shops and the playground is immediately on the left.
South East Melbourne
Bicentennial Park, Scotch Parade, Chelsea
An absolutely delightful play space with lots of whimsical and fun elements for all ages. There are two big mound slides which are the centre piece of the playground - pick your slide depending on how much excitement you want.
Next to the slides is a Smurf village with a music hut, story hut and play hut complete with a mooing cow in the middle of the village.
Other elements include sculptural gardens, a shaded sand pit, Tinkerbelle sand pit, a giant basket swing, hammock, Mount Chelsea Express train, huge green grasshopper and bee springers,revolving lotus leaf with hand wheel and lots of other play equipment.
There are shelters with BBQs and tables, toilets, seats (including some wonderful curved seats) and water taps are spread around.
The area is surrounded by fences with child proof gates but it is so large that you may need a shepherd (and a few sheep dogs) to find your flock.
Markham Reserve, Markham Avenue, Ashburton
The giant kookaburra sculptures which site beside the sandpit won't be laughing at your decision to come here. A super playground which is fully fenced and surrounded by a huge grassy area with a bike trail running past.
The playground area has a long ramp running along the length of the playground with various routes up and down including disks on vertical poles, rope ladders, dual slides, climbing wall, fireman's pole, set of horizontal circles to climb up, curved ladder and block steps.
Other play areas include an area with nine horizontal and vertical climbing nets, plastic basketball nets, family sized see-saw, forest of tree branches, flying fox, hanging disks, monkey bars, monkey rungs, lotus leaf with hand wheel to rotate it, birds nest swing, path of orange pipes, wooden carved seats, covered sandpit with mechanical digger, large carved wooden kookaburras, little rocker and see-saw, chalkboard, springer and hillock with various holds to get up and small slides to get down plus stand-on spinners. There are five swings including one with harness.
Shelters with tables, unshaded seats, lots of water taps, BBQs and toilets. The playground has good access to equipment via paths. A basketball court and a small skate park is next to the playground.
Bald Hill Park, Inverness St, Clarinda
This maybe called Bald Hill Park but there are more fun and interesting elements here than number of hairs on a follically challenged head. The playground has three open sided huts joined by ramps, bridges and walkways and the bridge crosses a rocky dry river bed with a sandpit area. The main structure has a rope traverse, rope ladders, curved ladder, tunnel, slide, "rope forest" and maze panel.
In a shady area is a hillock with a slide and kangaroo and wombat wooden sculptures. There is also a tea-cup with hand-wheel, hammock and four swings including one with a harness.
Next to the playground is a shelter with table and BBQ and water tap plus extra tables and seats (including two curved seats) which are mainly unshaded. There is another area with a large shelter which has BBQs and tables. This area also has shaded tables, toilets and a water tap. Next to a huge grassy park.
Burden Park, Cnr Heatherton Rd and Springvale Rd, Springvale South
Sometimes the oldies are the goodies and that is certainly the case this time. This adventure playground was built by the community around 1994 and given a spruce up with a new lick of paint in 2013.
There is a huge fort like wooden structure with lots of swings, sand pit, traverses, wooden maze and scrambling/climbing opportunities. Plenty of shelters, tables and BBQs in a big grassy area.
Carrum Foreshore, Old Post Office Lane, Carrum
A beautifully crafted beachside playground located next to the Carrum Surf Life Saving Club. The play area, which is a huge sandpit, has a seaside theme with a wharf protruding out from the decking. There is a lighthouse with a rigid frame ladder and rope ladder providing access to the top of the lighthouse where you can use the telescope to look across the bay. The Wave Rider speedboat on rockers has seats for two drivers and two potentially sea-sick passengers (depending on how heavy the sea is) as it speeds across the sandy expanse.
A smallish structure has a curved slide and plenty of scope to have fun scooping up sand with the buckets on a rope and then depositing them in a variety of sand dispensing machines. Two diggers also offer opportunities for future construction workers to practice (let's hope the minerals boom is still continuing when they grow up so they can move to WA and earn a fortune). There is also a big horizontal arrangement of disks connected by ropes (begging for a game of "Who is King of the Castle"), a birds nest swing, spinning cup with hand wheel, standard swing without safety chain, swing with harness and a beautiful simple labyrinth decorated with sea creatures where you can seek out the treasure trove.
The sandy playground area is surrounded by paths and decking, relaxing blue and white high backed deck chairs, bench seating, water taps, toilets and two open sided shelters with a BBQ and table each.
The playground has a lovely white picket fence along the street but there is open access to the beach via the Surf Life Saving Club area. I could imagine that parking would be difficult when it is busy.
St Kilda Adventure Playground, Neptune Street, St Kilda
This is a real old fashioned playground which will set imaginations racing. Chock full of play areas including a big aeroplane, big wooden horse with saddle, trampolines, tree for climbing, go-kart path, big metal slide, chook house, ride on dinosaur, various swings and slides, flying fox (six years and older), cubby house, elephant, climbing frames, pirate ship, metal half-pipe, little basketball court, big tepee, big wooden castle with lots of nooks and crannies (like the House of Horrors at Luna Park without the horror) and great tunnel slide. Things come and go from the playground and so it will probably be different when you visit.
There are toilets and even tea and coffee is provided. One negative is the difficulty finding a parking place. The playground is staffed and has opening hours which can change without notice (you've been warned).
Murrumbeena Park, Kangaroo Road, Murrumbeena
Huge playground which was upgraded in 2013 with a range of interesting play and visual elements. Even though I was on Kangaroo Road, I couldn't find a kangaroo but that only caused a smidgen of disappointment considering that there are many other animals represented in the playground. The main wooden structure has a spiral slide, dual wave slides, scrambling wall, high rope bridge, hooped ladder, rope traverse, hanging disks, maze panel, clanger to hit against bars (capable of making a fearful din) and shop front. Another smaller, lower structure for younger kids has a curved walkway, steps, spiral ladder and small wave slide.
Other elements are a flying fox with disk seat, mound slide, birds nest swing, huge atom shaped rope climbing frame, labyrinth of poles with winding path which leads to a giant snail (the size that requires a truckload of Defender to keep away from the vegetable garden) and a musical instrument, bridge with lovely wooden carvings, see-saw, large springers, log stumps to jump across, seven swings of different types including some with a harness, huge pear swing (hang onto the enormous yellow fruit with your hands with as much tenacity as you can muster), small stand-on carousel, wooden cubby and wooden V shaped tent.
There are two shelters with tables, unshaded BBQs, water tap and toilets. There are ovals next to the playground.
Thomas Street South Reserve, Thomas Street, Hampton
I would say "this is the mother of all wooden adventure playgrounds in Melbourne" because it's huge and possibly the original adventure playground in Melbourne. Time has not diminished its ability to provide a great play area.
Includes a huge array of levels, cubby holes, nooks, crannies, walkways (many of which unexpectedly move), slides, fireman's poles and monkey bars. There are four swings under shade cloth.
Facilities include BBQs, shaded tables and seats, toilets and water tap. Set amongst lovely native trees and there is a large area to play ball games in. Almost entirely fenced in with the main gate being child proof.
Tatterson Park, Cheltenham Rd, Keysborough
Walk through the huge magnifying glass entrance to the world of giant insects - ants, spiders, lady bugs, bees, grasshoppers and caterpillars. The playground is beautifully themed around the natural world with touches like leaf shaped seats. There are also two decent play structures. The larger one has dual wave slides, chain sloping ladder, climbing wall, flying foxes, hanging disks, balance beam, walkway, stepping stones and monkey bars. The smaller structure has a twisted climbing sheet, curved slide, fireman's pole, tic-tac-toe and steering wheel.
There is also a medium pyramid rope climbing frame, see-saw, horizontal rope climbing frame, circle to spin around on with your arms, horizontal bars, two stand-on spinners and large sandpit with digger.
Three shelters with a table, BBQs and water tap, toilets and located next to an oval.
Rowville Adventure Playground, Fulham Rd, Rowville
An adventure playground with a lots of fun and interesting elements. There are a number of structures with ramps and stairs. One structure has a vertical climbing net, very high fireman's pole, cubby, wave slide and speak and listen system. The other main structure has high climbing net, high climbing wall, fireman's pole, speak and listen, various music making equipment, monkey rungs underneath and bridges with walkways. There is also a sandpit under shade sails, two birds nest swings, swing with safety chain, swing with large plastic seat. Two springers, little slide, large see-saw, twisted sheet climbing frame, small flying fox, monkey bars, hanging disks, two nice metal slides, balance beam and two stand on spinners.
At a higher level with partial shade is a real flying fox/ zip line, three normal swings (one with safety chain), swing with big plastic seat, wooden platform on a rocker and a log with a frilled neck lizard carved into it. At this level are toilets and two shaded tables.
Around the lower part of the playground are BBQs, shaded tables, water tap and unshaded seats. There are plenty of nice touches scattered about such as wooden mushrooms and a lovely fish shaped water tap.
The playground is not fenced and very spread-out, including equipment on two levels. Therefore it can be difficult to keep track of the kids.
Alma Park East Adventure Playground, Alma Road, St Kilda East
Wow. Wow ... and a couple more wows. A real adventure playground with a long flying fox, "tree-house", frame for five kids to swings at once and other unusual structures to explore. Lots of fun for the kids. Let the good times start...
There are picnic tables, BBQs, water tap and toilets.
Heatherton Park, Ireland Road, Clayton South
If you cross into Heatherton Park beware of the trolls. They are huge and ugly. One is hunched and green, another has one huge eye in his forehead and a third has little red horns protruding from its head. Scary. Maybe you can hide in the house nearby but please beware of the Trolls.
This playground has a troll theme and has a very extensive range of play structures. An elevated wooden structure in one corner has three wave slides beside a suspended thick rope seat Viking swing, huge troll foot springers, spinning cup with hand wheel and huge bouncy rubber drum (don't let the trolls hear you bouncing though).
The middle area has a standalone flying fox with monkey bars and the other end has two big wooden play structures. One has a spiral slide, climbing walls, ladder, rope walkway, fireman's pole, distorting mirror, spiral ladder and wave slide. The other which is not quite as high has two wave slides, shop front, walkway, tunnel, distorting mirror, binoculars, fireman's pole, rigid horizontal balance beam, ladder with curved rungs and steps.
There are also springers, stand-on spinner, four swings and wonderful huge hulking metal gates which lead down to the playground area from the huge grassy expanses of Heatherton Park.
There is a large shelter with two tables and BBQ, basketball court, water tap, unshaded table and seats.
Packer Park, Leila Road, Carnegie
The playground has been designed around the lifecycle of a frog theme. There is a vast expanse of colourful ramps joined by walkways, chain bridges and various ladders. Scattered amongst the structure are climbing mats, fireman's pole, cubbies, tunnels, mirrors, variety of games, tunnel slide, steps, scrambling walls, disks on vertical poles and curved slides. There are also colourful tables and mushroom seats, huge gecko to scramble over, family size see-saw (unless you happen to have quintuplets), swings and a huge rope structure which supports three large metals disks and large wooden snake which makes sounds as you wall along it.
Next to the playground is a wetland areas with ponds to explore. Some shade is afforded by a large gum tree in the middle of the playground. BBQs, tables under shelter, water tap, rubbish bins and toilets are provided. Also basketball ring, tennis practice wall, synthetic surfaced velodrome and golf practice net (birdie cages) in the general area.
South West Melbourne
Mandrel Drive, Williams Landing
A great playground with an airfield theme. The control tower stands tall above the playground with a fantastic very high curved tunnel slide. Slide down faster than Qantas profits! The control tower has steps leading up to the slide and dual wave slides, rope ladder and inclined climbing wall.
There is also a large pyramid rope climbing frame, long line of stepping stones interspersed with log balance beams and a very large sandpit with a ramp across the sand leading to a wooden play structure with a slide. The sand pit also has mechanical diggers, series of log balance beams and two springers.
There is a large shelter with three tables and seats, a row of exercise equipment, huge basketball court, BBQs, water tap, unshaded seats, some grassy area and some beautifully crafted concrete seats in the form of suitcases.
Crocodile Park Playground, Saltwater Promenade, Point Cook
A a beautifully crafted Play Space decked out in the nautical themed colours of blue and white. The design of the playground drew on the Roald Dahl children’s story “The Enormous Crocodile” where a crocodile lives in a playground pretending to be a friendly see-saw before quickly gobbling children for dinner. It is worth being cautious just in case the ‘Saltwater Crocodile’ has read this story.
There is a wide soft blue path crossing through large areas of sand throughout the playground. Lying in the centre is a large metal crocodile obligingly spouting out a stream of water into an elevated shallow trough which overflows into a wide channel with large stepping stones to jump across (assuming you want to stay dry). The 50m long channel meanders down a slight slope to a circular pad with water spouts of varying heights which presents another enticement to get wet.
Overlooking all the water mayhem are two large embankments with slithery tunnel slides - one a straight tunnel slide for the speed demons and the other a curved tunnel slide for those wanting a (slightly) more sedate ride down. Set amongst the sand are Chomp Towers which are elevated platforms reached by either a steep rope ladder, sloping monkey bars or ladders. Once up, you can move between the towers via a rope net bridge or balance beam bridge. A fireman's pole is a fun way to get down. Underneath is a shady hammock and 16 bells with a rope attached to each bell. You can make more music than the Point Cook Symphonic Orchestra.
At one end of the playground is another long sandy section with two birds nest swings and a sea-themed see-saw (or is that a sea-saw?). For the adventurous (or fool hardy) there is another elevated platform reached by a ladder but exited by a single rope using a reverse scrambling wall technique. If the exit goes wrong take solace in the fact that the sand is nice and soft.
The whole area is very nicely landscaped with areas of grass and set along the wetlands with multiple bridges crossing the water. Set at one end is a shelter with two tables and a BBQ. About 100m along the water is a shelter with a shaded table and BBQ with an unshaded table and three person springer in a sandpit. There is a toilet about 100m away.
Buckingham Reserve, Buckingham Crescent, Sunshine West
Bravo to Brimbank! A super playground with some great elements. The highlight is a huge tower with high twisting tunnel slide and a long chain bridge on the side which leads to a steep metal slide. There is a huge horizontal rope climbing frame, stand-on carousel, huge grasshopper springer, two person bee springer, birds nest swing, two long flying foxes with disk seats, large sandpit with some shade and a lovely water play area with pumps, water channels, reservoirs and an augur.
Big shelter with huge communal table and BBQs plus unshaded tables and seats. Water taps, toilets and big grassy area.
Yarraville Gardens, Somerville Rd, Yarraville
A highlight is a rope "cage" which revolves around and generates lots of excitement (in direct proportion to how fast it is spun around).
There is a large structure with all-abilities access paths which has a high, tightly winding tunnel slide, various metal ladders, high rope ladder, dual wave slides, curved slide, tunnel and climbing walls. At one end is a toddler area with a shop front, panels, abacus, music making instruments, two giant soft lizards and a crocodile lolling around on the ground. There are also various other panels scattered about, four swings, stand-on spinner and springer as well as a large sandpit.
The area has tables and seats, toilets and water tap plus a huge grassy area with gardens. The playground is very well protected from the road by a fence and gardens.
Maddingley Park, Taverner Street, Maddingley (Bacchus Marsh)
This super adventure playground which is surrounded by a fence with a couple of places for entry/exit is far from the madding Melbourne crowd. You can enter via the "Avenue of Honour" and immerse yourself in a tangled mix of towers, nine swings, see-saw, wooden train and carriage, tunnels, lots of levels, nooks and crannies, huts, rubber walkways, monkey rungs, chain traverses, three tunnel slides, hidden cubbies, balance beam, chain ladders, scrambling wall and bow of a boat.
There are unshaded bench seats inside the playground area. Outside the fenced area is a big sandpit and a modern structure with slide. Also a shelter with seats, unshaded tables, water tap and toilets.
The area has tables and seats, toilets and water tap plus a huge grassy area with gardens. The playground is very well protected from the road by a fence and gardens.
Presidents Park, McGrath Rd, Wyndham Vale
Fantastic adventure playground with a huge amount of play equipment including three wave slides, tunnel slide, straight slide, lots of climbing walls, chain bridges and traverses, stepping stones, tunnels, ladders, crocodile, large Bertie the Beatle springer, music making activities, balance beams, walkways, steps, fireman's pole, monkey bars, twelve swings of different varieties, ride on bull made from suspended tyres, wooden train, large cubby house and disks on a vertical pole.
There are toilets, water tap plus BBQs and sheltered tables scattered about. It is next to a very good Skate Park and in an area with ten softball and hockey fields, three baseball diamonds, a large lake and plenty of open space. There is even a dog obedience area next door which you could potentially send your kids to if they misbehave.
Note: If you want to find more playgrounds in a particular area or with certain facilities such as secure fencing, BBQs, picnic tables or a shelter then you can use the Enhanced Search