Melbourne City

Places To See And Things To Do In Melbourne

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.

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Eliston District Park Playground

Calling all adventure seekers – there is plenty on offer here at this incredible playground. Let’s start with a huge three-story tower with two massive slides which spit kids out into a depression in front of the tower. A seat is conveniently provided for parents to watch the mayhem.

The slides can be reached by spiral stairs and a big sloping rope net provides an alternative way of getting to the first level. One slide launches off level 2 while the faster, straighter slide launches off level 3 – pick your adrenaline poison.

Apart from the huge slides we also love soft, colorful surfaces and there are plenty of these which form hills with climbing holds and slides and gullies with rope climbing nets perched above them or balance beams over them.

This area is the ‘Big Kids Playground’ and also has a nice climbing wall, flying fox with disk seat, standard swings, basket swing and a circle which you spin around on your arms.

On the other side of the picnic area is the ‘Little Kids Playground’ with a nice sandpit under shade sails with lots of sand play equipment, a mound with dual wave slides, swings, an in-ground trampoline and an area of ramps with tunnels, bridges, ladders and balance beams.

The picnic area in the center of the play areas has a shelter with two tables, an unshaded table, BBQs and a water tap. There are also additional two unshaded tables on the side of the playground area.

The park has lots of other facilities including a skate park, three fitness stations, half basketball court, community garden, orchard and a big grassy lawn area.

Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/

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The Nobbies (Phillip Island)

The high prices of the official Penguin Parade stink or maybe that is just the smell of fishy penguin poop. Anyway, take a free walk along the boardwalk at The Nobbies on Phillip Island where you stand a good chance to see a penguin close-up.

The Nobbies, at the eastern tip of Phillip Island, offers spectacular views along Phillip Island’s southern coast. Wander along the boardwalks to the amazing blowhole. The boardwalks take you through the breeding colonies of seabirds including Little Penguins and Silver Gulls. Just 1.5km offshore is one of Australia’s largest Fur Seal colonies at Seal Rocks.

You can view the seals via unique cameras and learn about this amazing coastal environment inside the Nobbies Centre.

Antarctic Journey – Take a virtual journey into the world of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica and engage with the many interactive and immersive experiences in this exhibition.

‘The Lab’ is jam-packed with fun-filled hands-on activities designed to entertain and educate. ‘Feel the freeze’ as you enter the Antarctic Chill Zone before checking out your thermal image and comparing it to an Emperor penguin. Check out the Virtual Cafe or try and sink a bowling ball!

The Sound Lab and Research Station offer an insight into the sights and sounds of Antarctic wildlife with animal calls, microscopes and fascinating specimens.

The final level is one of complete immersion using a state-of-the-art multimedia experience.

Find yourself enthralled by the audiovisual spectacle which puts you right in the heart of the action. All thanks to the cutting-edge ‘augmented reality technology, you will be able to stand on an ice floe and feel like you can reach out to pat a penguin, stroke a seal or marvel at a whale which all appear on the screen with you.

There are daily 20-minute Guided Tours (about three times per day) included in the ticket price.

Free entrance and so it provides very good value for money! During the breeding season, the walk along the boardwalk is exciting because there are lots of sea birds and a good chance of seeing penguins. I would actually consider giving the expensive Penguin Parade a miss and coming here to get a close-up look at the penguins.

In bad weather the boardwalk can be a VERY cold and windy place, so make sure you bring some warm clothing. The views of the rocky coastline are very spectacular.

The Visitor Centre displays are quite informative but most kids preferred the Indoor Games area. The Cafe has a lot of seating available but the food is priced quite high – obviously, the transport costs from Cowes along Ventnor Road to The Nobbies must be horrendous!

It is possible to get a photo of the Australian fur seals using a remote camera. For $5 you get four minutes viewing the seals and get the opportunity to take three photos which can be purchased from the Gift Shop.

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North East Melbourne

Wombat Bend Playspace, Duncan Street, Templestowe Lower

A real firecracker of 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, a 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.

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Coolart Wetlands and Homestead (Somers)

What are the chances of seeing a koala without paying admission to a zoo? Pretty low along Flinders Street but there is a reasonable chance of seeing a koala high in the trees at Coolart Wetlands & Homestead in Somers. You might get a sore neck looking up into the tree-tops but I’m sure it will be worth it. There is also an old homestead to explore and some wetlands with bird hides.

Coolart is a magnificent late Victorian mansion situated on the shores of Westernport. In the superb grounds are ever-changing wetlands that you can view from the observatory, and a lagoon where thousands of Australian white ibis nest every year.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/

 

Things to Do:

  • Take a woodland walk and look for koalas.
  • Go birdwatching. Birds can be seen everywhere at Coolart with different species found in each of the distinct habitats. Winter and spring are the most spectacular seasons when over 1000 Australian white ibis and other water birds congregate on the lagoon to breed.
  • Picnic on the lawns or use the wood or electric barbeques. If the weather is cold or wet please enquire about the Stables picnic area.
  • Explore the old outbuildings and imagine what life was like when you had to make your own butter.
  • Stroll through the beautiful gardens and discover unusual exotic plants or to the beach for views of Phillip Island and Westernport.
  • Junior Ranger Certificate activities are available – these are parent-guided activities for children – just ask at the Visitor Centre for ‘Let’s Go Around The Farm’ and ‘Let’s Go Beachcombing’.

Facilities

  • There is a visitor center where you may hire binoculars or borrow a wheelchair.
  • A slide show, ‘Introducing Coolart’, is shown each day in the Wetlands Observatory (1:30 PM weekdays and 2:00 PM weekends)
  • Wood and electric barbeques, picnic tables and hot water are provided for your convenience.
  • Baby changing facilities.

Heritage

The original inhabitants of Coolart were the Bunurong tribe of Aborigines and it is from the word “Colourt” or “Callert” – their name for nearby Sandy Point – that the present name of Coolart is derived.

In 1895, Frederick Sheppard Grimwade bought the estate and built the imposing homestead as the family’s country retreat. Between 1907 and 1937 Coolart was held at different times by Thomas Armstrong, James Balmain and John Sylvester Feehan.

The late Tom Luxton purchased the property in 1937 and immediately had the property declared a sanctuary for native wildlife and embarked upon a program of habitat development. The 87-hectare nucleus of the Coolart area was purchased by the Victorian State Government in 1977 and it was proclaimed as a reserve for “Conservation and Education Purposes”.

Fauna

Coolart has a large diversity of wildlife despite its relatively small size. It has nine species of frogs, including the increasingly rare Growling Grass Frog. Thirteen species of mammals ranging in size from the tiny, mouse-sized Agile Antechinus to the large Swamp Wallaby.

There are eleven species of reptile including the Common Long-necked Tortoise, Blue-tongue Lizard, Copperhead, White-lipped Snake and several species of skinks. Birds are the most numerous of the larger wildlife and 177 species have been recorded. Eight species of fish and four crustaceans have been found in the waterways.

Vegetation

The varied vegetation is the key to the wildlife diversity at Coolart. The property consists of different plant communities including manna gum/banksia woodland, grassland, paperbark swamps and wetlands of sedges, reeds and rushes.

Opening Hours:

The park gate opens daily at 8 am and closes at 5 pm. Access is via Lord Somers Road, Somers.

Review:

The lower level of the homestead has olden day furniture and decoration and the upper level has some nice views.

Around the main part of the wetlands area are a number of hides of different sizes. The main one (Wetlands Observatory) near the homestead has large windows and information panels while the others are a little more cozier.

If you follow all the tracks, especially the outer loop, through the areas of gum trees there is some chance of seeing a wild koala (we managed to see one high up in a tree). There are tracks cut through the grass but the long grass at the side of many tracks could easily hide snakes in summer. The area is quite extensive and has plenty of seats scattered about for rests.

Near the homestead and entrance is an area with lots of shaded tables and BBQ with water taps and toilets. The Information Centre has a number of displays which are quite interesting.

Melbourne Park

Bayswater Park, Mountain Highway, Bayswater

This playground has more punch than a Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier bout and more bite than 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), a railway platform with benches under cover complete with a 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 include 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 went Ferrel.

There is another area with a 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 center.

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.

Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/

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