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.
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 an 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, a 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 also a learner’s bike circuit. There are toilets outside the playground area.
Brimbank Park in Keilor East has a large expanse to explore besides the Maribyrnong River and has a beautifully crafted playground.
Brimbank Park was opened in 1976 as part of the Maribyrnong Valley Park. Fifty-five meters below the western plains, the Maribyrnong River flows at the base of a high bank. This turns the park into a big amphitheater, ideal for scenic walks, fishing, canoeing, bird watching, kite flying, picnicking and ponding.
Things to Do:
- Watch for the many water birds and enjoy the scenic walking tracks or stop in at the cafe.
- Enjoy meeting the animals at Horseshoe Bend Farm.
- Walk along the Australian Plant Trail and experience the colour and beauty of plants suitable for growing in the Keilor area.
- Cycle along the wide paths. The main trail follows the river and forms a circuit of 4.3 km. It links to the Maribyrnong River Trail, making it possible to walk or cycle from Keilor along the river as far as Footscray.
- Try canoeing on the Maribyrnong River.
- School groups – take your rubber boots and net and see what’s lurking in the shallows or wetland areas.
- The Cafe, situated at the Brimbank Visitors Centre, is open during park hours.
Parking, toilets, picnic tables, shelters, gas barbecues, walking paths, self-guided walks, cycle paths, playgrounds, information centre and cafe are available.
Baby change facilities.
Brimbank Park was first settled by Europeans in the 1830s, soon after Melbourne was founded. It derived its name from the practice of the locals driving their stock ‘around the brim of the bank’ of the Maribyrnong River. The rich river flats on the east bank were used for market gardening until 1983. Terraces formed by the eroding river were modified for cultivation.
The Maribyrnong terraces have been closely studied for evidence of Aboriginal occupation. Keilor is one of the oldest sites of human habitation found in Australia. The Keilor cranium, dated to about 15,000 years before the present, was found in 1940 and the Green Gully skeleton in 1965.
The excavations came to an end in 1982, but the site uncovered one of the most complete records of Aboriginal occupation over a period of 30,000 years.
Montrose Community Playground
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 that 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 bird’s nest swing.
Elsewhere there are two swings with safety chains, a swing with a harness and another bird’s nest swing. Plenty of other equipment and a circular path leads past a series of shopfronts 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.
Silvan Reservoir Park (Silvan)
The beautifully landscaped picnic areas and open lawns of Silvan Reservoir Park help to make it an ideal location for a day away from it all.
Things to Do
- Try one of the forest walking tracks that commence from the Overflow Carpark.
- Visit the lookout for views of the reservoir and outlet tower.
- Enjoy a family picnic or barbecue.
- Follow the Stonyford Creek self-guided nature trail, a 30-minute walk that passes through moist eucalypt forest and gullies of tall tree ferns.
- Hot water, wood and electric barbecues, toilets, picnic tables and shelters are provided.
- There is an adventure playground at Cypress Picnic Area. Most paths have ramps and toilets are available for people in wheelchairs.
- Be self-sufficient with drinking water. Carry it in and/or know how to make untreated water safe for drinking.
In 1914 a severe drought prompted the search for extra water supplies for Melbourne. By 1917 a suitable site for a storage reservoir was located near the township of Silvan which lay across Stonyford Creek. Water for Silvan Reservoir would come almost entirely from other reservoirs (mainly the O’Shannassy) as Silvan Reservoir’s water catchment was quite small.
Construction commenced on the outlet channel and stilling basins in 1926. In 1927 the main construction began. All good timber was cleared from the catchment. This consisted mainly of messmate and grey gum which was used for the construction of camps and offices. All other vegetation was then cleared to approximately 10 meters above the high water level to ensure maximum water quality.
By 1928 building of the dam wall had commenced. Once complete it would measure 644 meters long at its crest, 219 meters wide at its base and 43 meters high.
Silvan Reservoir commenced water storage in June 1931. By December of that year, Silvan was holding three-quarters of its maximum capacity. The dam was officially opened on 7 July 1931.
Silvan began to receive water from the Upper Yarra Dam in 1953. In 1983 work began on stabilizing the existing dam wall which had begun to show signs of age. During this period the existing picnic ground was also upgraded with new barbecue areas, gardens, rotundas and the Stonyford Creek Walking Track.
Today Silvan Reservoir receives its water supply from the Thomson, Upper Yarra and O’Shannassy Reservoirs. In turn, Silvan Reservoir supplies domestic water to many of Melbourne’s suburbs and other large off-stream storage reservoirs such as Cardinia and Greenvale.
The formal landscape qualities of the park have gained recognition by the National Trust of Australia. The Torulosa Stairway and formal arrangement of exotic trees and stonework are an essential part of the cultural and heritage values of the park.
Looking After the Park
- Take your rubbish with you.
- Camping is not permitted within the park.
- Light fires only in fireplaces provided. No open fires, including barbecues, maybe lit on days of Total Fire Ban.
- Silvan Reservoir is now closed on days of Total Fire Ban.
- Dogs are not permitted along forested walking tracks but are allowed on a leash in the main picnic areas.
Check out more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
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 centered 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, a scrambling wall, lots of ramps and tunnels, balance beams and a rope climbing frame. Some of the deckings 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, a big sandpit with a shaded area, a row of balance beams made from metal and barrels, a 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.
Wattle Park (Burwood)
Wattle Park’s singular appeal comes from a delicate balance between historic buildings, man-made landscape and natural bush. Opened in 1917, the park was modeled on the American trolley parks, designed to draw customers to the end of new tram lines.
Wattle Park is a very popular metropolitan park that has a blend of historic buildings, picnic grounds, recreational facilities and natural bush spread over 55 hectares. Huge gum trees, wattles, seasonal wildflowers and ponds are all significant features. The beautiful historic Chalet, available for function bookings, is set among exotic trees and sweeping lawns.
Things to Do
- Relax under a tree and enjoy the birdlife.
- Invite friends and family to meet you for a picnic or a barbecue.
- Listen to the Melbourne Tramways Band play once a month during spring and autumn (weather permitting).
- Play tennis or golf. Golf clubs and buggies are available for hire.
- Fly a kite, jog, walk or play cricket on the sporting oval.
- Visit the ponds along the eastern creek and look for the ducks and frogs amongst the native rushes.
- Follow the Wattle Park Self Guided Nature and History Trail
- Car parks, toilets, picnic tables, gas barbecues, water, Playground, paths, kiosk at
- Golf Pro Shop and an oval.
- Lawn and asphalt tennis courts.
- Nine-hole public golf course.
- Baby changing facilities.
In 1915, the Hawthorn Tramways Trust purchased the then-rural land from Mrs. Eliza Welch for 9,000 pounds on the condition that it was to be used as a public park. It was not until the late 1920s and early 1930s that extensive planning and development commenced with the construction of the Chalet in 1928, the curator’s cottage in 1932 and most of the sporting facilities over the next few years.
The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Wattle League were influential in the planting of 12,000 wattles, natives and ornamental trees between 1926 and 1928.
Ruffey Lake Park, Victoria Street, Doncaster East
A super adventure playground that 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, a very long aluminum slide down a hill from a hut (similar to that which winter downhill skiers shoot out of), various swings, a huge sandpit, a musical bridge and smaller slides. Most of the equipment is undercover.
At the top of the hill is a very interesting climbing frame, a 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.
Woodlands Historic Park (Greenvale)
Woodlands Historic Park gives visitors a fascinating glimpse of the landscape seen by settlers in the 1840s. Many physical links remain, including the history-packed Woodlands Homestead. First established as a public park in 1980, it now totals over 700 ha.
It contains significant cultural and natural values which have endured many of the changes resulting from Melbourne’s urban spread.
Things to Do
- Visit Woodlands Homestead, an 1840s ‘kit home. Hosts will provide interesting accounts of its many owners over the years.
- Enjoy a picnic among the magnificent River Red Gum trees at the Somerton Road picnic area.
- Explore the 1.5 km Moonee Ponds Creek Nature Walk.
- Wander through the fenced ‘Back Paddock’ and see kangaroos, birds and other wildlife.
- Walk up Gellibrand Hill (204 m). Explore the granite boulders and enjoy panoramic views.
- Find out more about guided walks, spotlight strolls and more.
- Sign up with the Friends of Woodlands Historic Park Inc. and assist our rangers on a variety of projects.
- Jog or ride a bike or horse along the tracks.
- View kangaroos in their natural surroundings.
- Woodlands Homestead is open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays.
- Picnic tables, water, toilets and electric barbeques are available at Somerton Road picnic grounds.
- Walking, horse and bicycle riding tracks.
- Baby changing facilities.
Looking After the Park
- Dogs must be on leads at all times and are not permitted in the nature reserve.
- Open fires are not permitted. You may bring your own gas barbecue.
- All native plants and animals are protected.
- Firewood collection is not permitted.
How to Get There
The park is a 20 km drive from the center of Melbourne and is immediately north of Melbourne Airport. Park entrances are off Somerton Road and Oaklands Road for Woodlands Homestead and Providence Road.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/