|Ahoy there, me hearties, you don't need to wait for "Talk Like a Pirate Day" which is held on the 19th of September each year to plunder Melbourne. Aarrr! Shiver me timbers! Me wooden leg has termites. No such calamities need to befall Melbourne kids since there is a treasure chest full of pirate booty throughout the city.
Take a compass setting and sail out to some pirate playgrounds such as Riverside Park in Aberfeldie and board the "Black Sapphire". The ship is moored to a jetty in a sea of sand with access via a wooden bridge or thick rope bridge.
Sail the rough seas across to the mighty pirate ship at the Roy Dore Reserve playground in Carrum. This huge ship with mermaid figurehead atop its bow is headed for the Caribbean with sails billowing (shade sails that is since the ship and its pirates are well protected from the burning sun by huge shade sails).
Poking through the sides of the ship are three powerful cannons (well powerful enough to deposit a few cannon balls in the shaded sandpit at least). Either cross a long net walkway, scale a rope ladder or squeeze up an enclosed ladder to access the steering wheel and a chance to zoom down the two big wave slides. Is some-one disobeying the Captain? Then hang 'em from the yardarm or walk the plank on the ship.
The "Rotary Endeavour" at North Road Reserve playground in Brighton might need a name change such as "Grrr, Rotary Endeavour" but it does have rope scrambling walls for would be pirates to board and ransack.
Down the coast is the "Jolly Black Rock" ship at the Black Rock Playground in Black Rock. It will be a black rock day when us pirates force the ship onto rocks and swarm aboard. We may even take a moment to play on the various educational panels - who said the only school pirates know is a school of fish!
Hoist the Jolly Roger over the Pirate Playground at Somerfield Drive North in Keysborough. The ship's bow has some musical instruments to play some sea shanties such as the Pirate Death Plank Walk.
Walk the plank at the pirate ship in Bayview Park at Point Cook and descend down a frightening slide. The ride down will generate enough static electricity to power the Captain's cabin during the long winter nights.
The fully fenced Geelong Play Space in Geelong has a big pirate ship with the Jolly Roger flying proudly. There are a lot of other fun areas here including a musical bridge, sheep springers, bamboo tunnel, cottage ruin, sun dial, stepping stones of various shapes through the trees, sound machines scattered about, sandpits and big maze made from different coloured pavers.
Other playgrounds with ships which pirates could commandeer are:
- Peter Scullin Reserve in Mordialloc which has a shaded play structure in the shape of a ship.
- Mornington Park on Schnapper Point Drive in Mornington has a large pirate ship in a big park.
- Fergusons Paddock in Hurstbridge has a pirate shaped structure within a massive playground area.
- Coogoorah Park in Anglesea has buried treasure beside the shipwreck Inverlochy.
Board the Tall Ship Polly Woodside in central Melbourne on the first Sunday of each month for a Pirate Day. Bring along your scallywags and buccaneers for a day of adventures including a treasure hunt (every pirate enjoys a treasure hunt), scrubbing the decks (maybe practice on the kitchen floor at home beforehand), ringing the bell, having your face painted (with a skull and cross-bones of course) and participating in pirate games and arts and crafts.
Want to add a pirate eye-patch on top of a pirate themed birthday party? Invite Pirate McGee from Tony Bones Entertainment. He's searching for Pirate McQuinlan's buried treasure. He has the treasure map, but now he needs a trusty crew of young pirates to help him find it in an old fashioned pirate treasure hunt.
There are plenty of other opportunities for pirate action including:
Harbour Town Docklands Summer Pirate Playground
During January 2017, Harbour Town Melbourne invites you to climb aboard a replica of John Pascoe Fawkner’s Schooner Enterprize, a 1830’s sailing ship, to celebrate the opening of the much-anticipated Summer Pirate Playground at the Docklands Shopping Centre.
The launch of the playground will mark the first time Victorian’s will have the opportunity to experience the exclusive Neverland Adventure family activity, previously seen only in Queensland. To celebrate, Harbour Town Melbourne has partnered with not-for-profit organisation The Enterprize Tall Ship, to take a group of lucky voyagers sailing on the harbour.
Throughout summer, while you enjoy the Neverland Adventure Shows visitors to the Shopping Centre will also have the opportunity to meet the characters from Peter Pan, take a walk through Treasure Island and explore the giant tall-ship. Plus, with workshops in the Pirate Craft Village and an Australia Day treasure hunt, Harbour Town has no shortage of exciting activities on offer for all members of the family.
Neverland Adventure Shows
Meet the characters from Peter Pan in this once in a lifetime Pirate Adventure Show, take a walk through the Treasure Island and explore the giant tall-ship. Located in the events Plaza near Degani Café.
- Monday 16 to Sunday 29 January, 11am - 2pm
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February, 11am - 2pm
- Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February, 11am - 2pm
- Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February, 11am - 2pm
- Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February, 11am - 2pm
Pirate Craft Village
Work like a captain and play like a pirate in a village where creativity has no limit. Located in the Kids Play Area near Le Cirque Café.
- Monday 16 to Sunday 22 January, 11am – 2pm (Pirate Hat or Tinker Bell Wings Decorating)
- Monday 23 to Sunday 29 January, 11am – 2pm (Treasure Chest Money Box Decorating)
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 February, 11am – 2pm (Make your own Pirate Hook)
- Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 February, 11am – 2pm (Make your own Pirate Telescope)
- Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February, 11am – 2pm (Make your own Parrot)
- Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February, 11am – 2pm (Design your own Nautical Picture Frame)
Australia Day Treasure Hunt
Not all treasure is silver and gold. Dress up as a pirate search for your sweet treasure at Harbour town Melbourne this Australia Day. Collect your pirate bag and treasure map at the pirate booth next to KFC.
Australia Day – Thursday 26 January - from 11am to 6pm
The Enterprize Tall Ship
Harbour Town Melbourne will be running a Facebook competition for customers to join the exclusive opportunity to sail on The Enterprize Tall Ship to celebrate the launch of the Summer Pirate Playground.
Horrible Histories - Pirates: The exhibition
This exhibition is held at the National Wool Museum in Geelong from 19th November 2016 to 17th April 2017
This blockbuster family exhibition which is interactive and hands on, it is based on the bestselling Horrible Histories series. The exhibition comprises a harbour brought to life, with quayside piratey shops and a tavern, plus four vessels in the bay, with a distant desert island.
Learn about the ships they sailed on, the punishments they suffered and the rules they lived by. Full of lively illustrations, foul facts and gruesome games, the exhibition is a rollicking ride back in time to the days when putrid pirates ruled the water and gave merchant sailors jelly-legs!
Exhibition details are here:
Go out and plunder, ye scurvy dogs.