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.
Gisborne Adventure Playground
A big adventure playground with several different areas. The main structure has a series of ramps leading to flat sections with dual wave slides, tunnel slides, small curved slides, a variety of panels, various ladders, scrambling walls and climbing walls.
There is a shaded fenced area with a 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 handwheel, stepping stones, various panels, see-saw, two springers and long soft crocodile and platypus lying on the ground.
There is also a see-saw, bird’s nest swing, springer and stand-on spinners. An area with three flying foxes set at different heights (great idea), five swings, a 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.
Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary (Beaumaris)
With its rockpools close to shore, Ricketts Point is the perfect place to introduce kids to the wonder of Victoria's underwater marine life. Sandstone platforms are home to an array of marine creatures and are excellent for rockpool exploration. During summer the beach is patrolled by the life-saving club, making it a great option for a summer family outing.
Located just near Beaumaris in Melbourne's southeast, this sanctuary is 115ha. Bordered by jutting cliffs of sandstone which have been worn down into a series of platforms, sea caves and offshore reefs, this site is easily accessible for all. There are a range of habitats to explore including rocky sandstone intertidal and subtidal habitats, sandy beaches and subtidal soft substrates.
Within the diverse range of habitats at this site, there are many plants and animals which can be found. Nearshore, the rocks are covered with green and red algae which shelters a range of invertebrates including brittle stars, bristle worms and crustaceans.
The surrounding sandy bottoms are covered by patches of seagrass which attract a range of fish species. In deeper waters, rock bommies are carpeted in either green Caulerpa or brown Sargassum, which hides many small animals. These rocks also attract fish species including Southern Hulafish, scalyfin and morwong.
If you look carefully, you may be able to uncover one of the masters of disguise, a cuttlefish. These animals are experts at changing their color and skin texture to conceal themselves.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
Frontier Park Playground, Frontier Avenue, Rockbank
Rockbank has become the playground capital of Melbourne and the playground is a fantastic centerpiece with huge slides, a range of fun and engaging areas, a water play area, a basketball court and a small skate park.
Some big towers set in a landscape of soft colorful mounds provide the launch place for three huge tunnel slides. For dare-devils there is also a rope tunnel stretching between the towers high above the ground. There are several ways of reaching the slides depending on how daring you are - either an easy set of twisting stairs, a vertical rope tunnel or a traverse across some scary bridges.
For those who prefer their slides closer to the ground, there is a smaller wave slide on the side of a mound.
Another area that is fun but quite close to the ground is a long balance traverse with a variety of logs and bridges. There is a nice-sized sandpit with a water pump and beside this is a big carousel where kids can stand and spin around until they reach their desired level of dizziness. A huge bird’s nest swings towers above this.
A water play area comprising a shallow concrete channel lined by water sprays and passing through rock barriers and chutes which kids can raise or lower and eventually ends in a drain. The water play operating hours are October to March from 8 am to 8 pm. The water features can activate without notice at any time.
There is a pentagonal frame with five swings (only one has a safety chain and is suitable for younger kids). Next to the playground is a basketball court with baskets at both ends and a small skate park with ramps, quarter, rail and a fun box in the middle.
On the side is a shelter with three tables and BBQ, toilets and some unshaded tables and seats are scattered about.
Redwood Forest (Warburton)
A forest of Californian Redwoods, Sequoia Sempervirens, located a few kilometers outside Warburton is one of the region’s best-kept secrets.
The Californian Redwood trees were planted by the Board of Works about 1930 following the clearing of the original eucalypt forest. Trees planted were Bishop Pine, Douglas Fir and Californian Redwood. Further plantings of Radiata Pine, Western Red Cedar and Redwood took place in 1960-63. The plantations were selected for experimental purposes as part of the Board's hydrology research program.
Over 1476 trees are ranging from 20 meters to the tallest being 55 meters. They have been planted in a grid and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
There are hiking trails, which were originally the access tracks, which pass through and around the Plantation.
Directions - Drive through Warburton, following the Warburton Highway until it becomes Woods Point Road. After about 7 km, turn left on Cement Creek Road. This is unsealed and a bit rough in places. After 0.7 km you will find a small parking area on the right along a fence line and small gate barrier. Walkthrough the barrier.
A real gem. This place has an awesome atmosphere with tall straight trees rising above you in regular patterns. There are a lot of branches moulded into nests scattered about the forest. At the bottom of the hill, a track winds through a series of tree ferns down to the river.
Just follow the sound of the rushing water to reach the river. There are walking tracks each way in this area. Note that the tracks around the river can be very boggy.
There is a clear grassy area next to the plantation which has a nest. There are no picnic tables or toilets (the closest public toilets are located at the East Warburton Public Hall) and the parking area filled up on a nice Sunday afternoon.
Read more about this topic at https://www.melbourneplaygrounds.com.au/
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 a very twisty tunnel slide as an emergency escape route. On the side is a rocket launching site with a 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 a large sandpit.
The playground is next to a Skate Park and BMX track. There is also a sensory trail that highlights different eco-systems, BBQs, plenty of shaded tables and seats under trees, shelters, shade sails and toilets.
Little Peninsula and Big Peninsula Tunnels (McMahons Creek)
The Little Peninsula and Big Peninsula tunnels are located on the Yarra River, about 14 km east of Warburton. Directions - Travel east along Warburton-Woods Point Road to McMahons Creek (past Starvation Creek Road) and you get to a signposted turnoff to the Little Peninsula Tunnel Picnic Ground.
There are barbecue facilities and a short walk (about 150m) to the Little Peninsula Tunnel. The tunnels were created during the Gold Rush when the Yarra River was diverted to make it easier for gold miners to search for gold in the river bed.
The search for gold played an important part in the history of the Upper Yarra Valley. Rich discoveries were made at many sites in the Warburton and Hoddles Creek area and throughout the many tributaries of the upper reaches of the Yarra River.
At this site in the late 1860s miners seized upon the idea of diverting the natural course of the Yarra River. The Little Peninsula tunnel is 30m long and was most likely blasted through the rock using dynamite and the rubble removed by horse and cart.
This lowered the water level of the old streambed and made it easier for the miners to sluice the exposed gold-bearing sediments. The value of the gold recovered from the Little Peninsula is unknown.
The Tunnel can also be reached from the upper car park, which is connected by a short track to the picnic ground.
Another tunnel is at the Big Peninsula. This tunnel is about 1 km further along Warburton-Woods Point Road towards McMahons Creek. Tracks lead down from the small car park to either side of the Tunnel. A small picnic area is at the bottom of the stairway.
Little Peninsula Tunnel - From the car park next to the highway is a downhill gravel path which is a three-minute walk to the tunnel. The path splits into two tracks with the signs "Tunnel Viewing" and "Tunnel Entrance Picnic Area".
A bridge leads to an open grassy picnic ground with two tables. The bridge was closed when we visited but there is also accessible with a car to this picnic area from the main road. The bridge should be open again after maintenance work has been completed. Before crossing the bridge you can use some rocks to step across the water and get to an open grassy area on the opposite side of the river to the picnic ground.
Big Peninsula Tunnel - Drive down the gravel road and park about 100m before the swing gates. A few hundred meters from the highway is a set of stairs (47 steps) with wooden handrails which wind down the hill face. At the bottom, the water flows from the tunnel into an open area and then flows over some rocks.
You can see the quiet path that the river used to take. This area is lined with tree ferns and has a picnic table.
On the other side of the road, steps lead down to thirteen large round steps which cross the river. This would be super fun to cross if the river level is low enough. Unfortunately for us, it had been raining recently and the water was flowing too strongly over the steps to attempt a crossing.
Cardinia Community Adventure Playground
The playground has had a great upgrade but still retains the original wooden adventure structure which has plenty of bridges, ladders, pathways and nooks and crannies to explore.
A huge tower has been added which has three slides - a massive, twisting orange and yellow monster tunnel slide, a steep tunnel slide and a smaller tunnel slide. There is also a climbing wall on the side of the structure. For younger kids, there is a boat-shaped structure with a wave slides, steps, wavy bridge, tic-tac-toe, abacus, tunnel and steering wheel.
In addition, there is an area with four standard swings and two in-ground trampolines plus another area with a bird's nest swing, seat swing and standard swing.
There is a great bike track for younger kids on trikes or bikes on the side of the playground with road signs and buildings such as a bank, supermarket and ice-cream van.
There is a shelter with BBQs, unshaded tables and a water taps. Nearby is a skate park and outdoor gym.
State Library of Victoria (Central Melbourne)
There are lots of things to do. Here are ten things you can do with the family.
- Get your family along to a free one-hour Library Heritage Tour! Run from Monday to Friday at 2 pm. Bookings required for groups only.
- See the armour of one of Australia's most infamous outlaws. You can see Ned Kelly's armour, his rifle and even one of his boots in The changing face of Victoria exhibition in our Dome Gallery.
- Find and photocopy the front page of the newspaper published on the day you were born, in the Newspaper Reading Room!
- Spin the latest grooves in our Arts Reading Room. Listen to the latest CDs and DVDs in our sound-proofed booths!
- Drop by Experimedia to use the latest free AFL X-Box computer games and other exciting PC and X-Box games. Read ebooks with your kids!
- Scroll through microfiche and find out more about your family tree in our Genealogy Centre.
- Take a look at the paintings and portrait sculptures of famous and infamous Victorians in the Cowen Gallery exhibition.
- Fight it out in a battle of wills in a game of chess! The Chess Room is located on the mezzanine level above the Arts Reading Room.
- Spend half an hour surfing the internet for free in the Information Centre.
- Read books on any subject from aircraft to zebras in the Library!
You don't need to be a bookworm to enjoy the State Library of Victoria with activities ranging from computer games, chess, listening to music, tracing your family history in the Genealogy Centre or finding Ned Kelly's armour. There is also a range of interesting outdoor art and statues at the front of the library.
On the ground floor, there is the Cowen Gallery which is a large room with a permanent collection of oil paintings. This joins to the south Rotunda which has temporary exhibits. There is also artwork on floors 4 and 5.
There is also a north Rotunda which provides access to the Victoria Gallery. There are great views of the dome and reading room below plus the Shakespeare Window on level 5. To get to level 5, take the lift next to the Redmond Barry Reading Room (West) up to level 4 and then take a further lift or stairs to level 5. Level 6 has a Dome Viewing Balcony.