We have reviewed many playgrounds and things to do in Melbourne and Geelong and these are the pick of the crop. Read above to get more informations about each of the locations we would like you to know about. Each one of this places has its own charm and should be visited and enjoyed at least once.
Burden Park, Cnr Heatherton Rd and Springvale Rd
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, sandpit, traverses, wooden maze and scrambling/climbing opportunities. Plenty of shelters, tables and BBQs in a big grassy area.
Old Treasury Building (Melbourne)
The Old Treasury Building is widely regarded as one of the finest 19th-century buildings in Australia. It was designed by nineteen-year-old architect JJ Clark and built between 1858 and 1862.
The Old Treasury Building hosts the original gold vaults where gold bullion was stored during the gold rush era, as well as rare and historic documents from Public Record Office Victoria highlighting key moments from Victoria’s history. Step back in time by visiting the exhibition ‘Growing Up in Old Treasury’, where the Maynard family lived as caretaker of the building during the 1920s.
The Fun Trail is offered as part of the Old Treasury Building experience. Children are encouraged to interact with the history of Melbourne by answering a questionnaire, and earning a Gold Licence!
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
The highlight for our kids was seeing all the gold bars – it’s a pity there are no free samples! There is a fun trail that has 18 questions to fill out which requires you to examine the exhibits closely. At the end, the kids hand in their answers and receive a Gold Certificate. This helps to keep their interest going. A personable guide was also available to help explain things.
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 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.
Melbourne Urban Graffiti Art
Melbourne City Council has earmarked specific city laneways with street art permits. Have a stroll down these lanes to experience Urban Graffiti Art.
Lanes that provide a canvas for urban art include:
- Hosier Lane (opposite Federation Square)
- Rutledge Lane (opposite Federation Square)
- Caledonian Lane (off Little Bourke Street)
- Union Lane (off Bourke Street Mall)
- Centre Place (off Flinders Lane)
- Duckboard Place (off Flinders Lane)
- ACDC Lane (off Flinders Lane
An interesting and fun way of exploring the city on foot. The artwork changes regularly. The usual disclaimer – don’t try this at home.
St Kilda Adventure Playground
This is a real old-fashioned playground which will set imaginations racing.
Chock full of play areas including a big airplane, a big wooden horse with saddle, trampolines, tree for climbing, go-kart path, big metal slide, chook house, ride on a 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, a 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).
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
Healesville Bike Circuit (Healesville)
A lovely concrete bike circuit for younger kids which is in the shape of a circle with a roundabout and several branches. The highlight is a series of bumps (rock wallaby mounds) and there are echidna logs for a stop and rest, a pedestrian crossing, road markings, animal prints on the path and brolga poles.
There are four unshaded tables, BBQ and a water tap. Next to an oval, basketball court and tennis courts, Located on the huge Healesville Common which has a skatepark, BMX track, playground and netball courts.
Murrumbeena Park, Kangaroo Road, Murrumbeena
Huge playground 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 a 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, a labyrinth of poles with a 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, a water taps and toilets. There are ovals next to the playground.
Geelong Bollard Trail Walk (Geelong)
Following the Bollard Trail, you will meet some of the unique characters who played a part in Geelong’s history, from the original Indigenous inhabitants to more contemporary characters.
Bollard Trail Walk features 48 sites with an estimated walking time of 2 hours one way. The trail continues north as far as Rippleside Park.
Over 100 bollards are installed right around the Waterfront from Limeburner’s Point to Rippleside Park. Artist Jan Mitchell was commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong in 1995 to transform reclaimed timber pier pylons into these remarkable works of art.
Thomas Street South Reserve
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 childproof.
City Circle Tram (Melbourne)
The Melbourne City Circle Tram is an ideal way to see Melbourne, and best of all it’s free. You can ride the distinctive burgundy colored City Circle tram every day, and hop on and off as you wish. To catch the City Circle tram just wait at any of the specially marked tram stops.
The City Circle tram service operates within Melbourne’s central business district. The service operates in a circular route passing major tourist attractions, as well as linking with another tram, train and bus routes in and around Melbourne.
You can ride the City Circle tram between 10 am and 6 pm every day.
Trams run in both directions approximately every twelve minutes between 10 am and 6 pm Sunday to Wednesday and extended hours, 10 am – 9 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Clockwise service: Flinders Street > Harbour Esplanade > Docklands Drive > La Trobe Street > Victoria Street > Nicholson Street > Spring Street > Flinders Street
Rowville Adventure Playground
An adventure playground with lots of fun and interesting elements. There are several structures with ramps and stairs. One structure has a vertical climbing net, a very high fireman’s pole, cubby, wave slide and speak and listen to system.
The other main structure has a high climbing net, a high climbing wall, a 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 bird nest swings, a swing with a safety chain, swing with a 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 stands on spinners.
At a higher level with partial shade is a real flying fox/ zip line, three normal swings (one with a safety chain), a swing with a big plastic seat, a 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 taps 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.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
Knoxfield Radio Controlled Car Track
Knox focuses on 1/10-scale electric RC cars.
The track is for 1/10th scale electric buggies/trucks only. Nitro cars are not allowed due to the proximity of housing and 1/8th due to the weight and power that the track cannot cope with.
We race twice a month (1st and 3rd Sunday) and have an electronic timing system (AMBrc4) so you can see your lap times throughout the day, compare to your mates or chart your progress over the year. We are family orientated with all walks of life and age seen on our drivers stand battling for their place on the track.
A very good track for remote-controlled cars. There is a large area with plenty of turns and jumps and a wooden platform on the side from which to control the cars. There was a scarcity of kids but a lot of kids at heart (adults).
Booran Reservoir Playspace, Booran Road
The transformation from an urban reservoir to a beautifully crafted play space for the children of Melbourne to enjoy is now complete. After a long wait which resembled the gestation period of an elephant rather than that of a tadpole which frequented the reservoir in its past life, the play space is now open.
A huge 10m high double dome rope climbing net is the only way to reach the top of the slide (unless you are skilled in levitation) which towers above the playground. If you want to experience the thrill of the ride down then you’ll have to experience a bit of terror to get up to the entrance of the slide.
Firstly you need to get across and up the rope net which hangs high above the ground and then squeezes your way up a vertical enclosure which has protruding sections to make you crawl and twist up like a caterpillar.
You then escape up into the enclosed dome where you can take in the expansive views around the playground or head straight for the slide. The slide is straight and fast and then makes an abrupt turn near the ground where you come to a screeching halt. Be prepared for a few scraped elbows.
I think the council should be providing a box of tissues for this area because there was a lot of crying happening.
Once you cross the first tricky section of the net and fear suddenly strikes, then you have a difficult decision to make – come back to terra firma (where there is less terror and more firmer via the net section or continue to the top and come down the slide.
Access to the net for the slide is via an oversized concrete water pipe tunnel and large climbing mounds. Water blue colored soft base material flows around the huge water pipe. There are various routes to the top of the pipe including a path of soft dots, a series of ledges, an area of rock climbing holds, rocks to clamber up and a scrambling rope.
To get down there is a choice of a curved metal slide or for adventurous, there is a set of curvy parallel bars.
There is a large semi-circular elevated sandpit with a sand digger.
On one side of the sandpit is a play area with a small wide metal slide descending from the sandpit, an oversized mouse wheel (why should mice have all the fun), a pentagonal frame with five swings of various types including one with a harness, a ball on springs, a cup to sit in and spin around until you are a dizzy mess, a Dutch Disc spinner to sit on (let Dad spend all his energy spinning it around) and stepping stones for balance feats. A long concrete pipe is crossed by a wobbly bridge.
Rock steps lead to a little private clump of pine trees with some more stepping stones and a pipe crown or cage (depending on what Fairy Story you are currently reading).
On one side of the sandpit there an integrated water course featuring water pumps, channels, and Archimedes screw, weirs and water gates flowing into a rock-lined trickle stream with a giant frog sculpture. Next to here is a water ripple pole maze. Look out for the sculptures highlighting the lifecycle of that huge frog. How could a tadpole grow to that size?
This area also has a giant bird’s nest swing and some on-ground trampolines.
On the east side of the playground along the wall are two flying foxes (one with a harness and the other with a disk seat) and the active sports area. Besides the colorful wall with sporting, motifs is a good-sized basketball court in a semi-circular shape and another area which has some opportunities for cricket, tennis, netball, futsal (5 a side football) and four square. These sports are facilitated by some cricket stumps, soccer net and tennis net painted on the wall.
The water splash area is at the other end of the playground and is composed of areas of water sprays from the ground. There is a round area laid with rocks that has a large circle of sprays and three smaller circles of sprays beside it.
There is also a line of sprays around the edge. The water splash area slopes away and passes through a series of concrete lily pads before reaching the drain. The water play area is quite simple and there are no added elements such as pipe sprays or tipping water buckets. There is a lot of seating around the spray area and five of the seating areas have shade from an umbrella (if the sun is in the right position).
This area is going to be fun on a warm day but lacks the excitement factor of some other water play parks. We couldn’t work out how to activate the water but we’ll leave the answer to that question for someone smarter than myself.
The water play feature operates the following times: October to March – 9 am to 7.30 pm, April to September – 9 am to 5 pm
There are plenty of grassy areas (not big enough to kick a football) but nice to lay down a picnic blanket. There are two boat-shaped shelters in different areas of the playground which have two rectangular tables, two BBQs, three round tables and some extra seating along the side. There is a water tap and two toilets next to each of the shelters.
Some parts of the original reservoir have been retained which is a nice aspect. The imposing main entrance gates were constructed from a sluice gate and there are old pumps prominently displayed. Along two walls there are boards with photos and information about the history of the site plus displays on flora and fauna.
Rain gardens which take the form of rocky watercourses line the side of the playground area along Booran Road. At the corner of Booran Road and Glen Huntly Road, there is an Audio-Visual display that highlights events happening in the space.
Just went you think you’ve seen everything, you’ll spot a new engaging element such as quizzes and fun games like tic-tac-toe embedded into the seats. The play space is truly immersive.
The whole playground is already nicely landscaped and visually stunning.
The play space caters to a broad range of ages and abilities and everyone should be able to find something of interest here.
A car park for about 35 cars has been built in Alamar Avenue at the north end of the reserve which is accessible off Booran Road.
There is also all-day car parking available at nearby Glen Huntly Reserve (about 250 meters away to the north along Booran Road). Parking restrictions apply in local streets and so you need to be careful to observe the signs. It is also in good proximity to public transport.
Even if you have spent $10.8 million on the playground there are going to be some issues. The playground is not fenced, there isn’t a lot of parking available in the area and the amount of play equipment is a little limited considering the huge number of visitors this playground is likely to attract. However, this place will be a destination playground for people all across Melbourne for years to come.