Belair Adventure Playground | Belair National Park, Belair
by Catherine Leo
Surrounded by more than 800 hectares of bushland, the Belair National Park Adventure Playground is an active wonderland for kids of all ages.
The playground has an old-school feel, in a brilliant way. The colours blend in with the native vegetation surrounds and there’s some good old fashioned pieces such as the tunnels and the fort that kids just LOVE! They’ll invent their own games for rich, active and long-lasting play.
Much of the playground is accessible to toddlers and they’ll enjoy sliding through the tunnels (or being chased), heading upstairs to the top of the fort for some pretty safe exploration, walking over the chain bridge, or having a swing. Be aware that there are a few pieces of equipment with drops, so you’ll need to stay close to them.
Bigger kids can swing and climb, balance and RUN! There’s some wonderful spaces for kicking a ball, or wandering over to the tennis courts if they aren’t booked, for some scootering or throwing a basketball (some courts have rings). Speaking of tennis, Belair has 50 tennis courts so if it’s your game you could consider hiring a net and having a hit while you’re there.
My kids love venturing out from the playground and building ‘hideouts’ with fallen branches, or spotting emus and kangaroos nearby. On the topic of wildlife though, you need to play security guard with your picnic as the birds are opportunistic and will swoop down for some crackers or even a drink! I’ve seen a kookaburra steal a sausage from a child’s bread! Please don’t intentionally feed the birds as it encourages this sort of behaviour and makes them dependent on human food, rather than their own natural food sources.
The playground has a beautiful ‘set in nature’ feel which I love but as such, there are no official fences besides the wider border of the national park. Children could access the car park or indeed go wandering far from the park, so keep watch but I love the feeling of freedom that exists here too so allow plenty of exploration.
There are several barbecues nearby and with the park open until sunset, it’s a brilliant place for some after-school play and easy dinner, when the playground is often very quiet. It can get very busy on a weekend but with the sprawling lawn you can still find a spot for a blanket to base yourself.
The privately owned kiosk caravan sells ice-creams, coffees and other snacks and is generally open on weekends and public holidays, however if the weather is unfavourable, or there are few people around, they may choose to not open, or to close early.
Entry fees apply for vehicles into the park ($12 per car, or $9.50 concession as of April 2014) but you can park at the main car park and walk in to save the money (approx 1km walk) or you could consider buying a single park pass for $66 per year (or $53 concession) if you plan on being a regular visitor. Once in, it’s worth spending lots of hours exploring the trails or visiting the lake.
If you arrive early in the day before the office opens, please return to pay your fee and display your ticket on your dashboard. If you visit late in the day and the park office is closed, just proceed on and enjoy a free visit.
Check out our list of other Top Parks & Playgrounds here.
What: Belair Adventure Playground
When: 8am to sunset all year round, except Christmas Day where the park is closed.
Where: Belair National Park | Upper Sturt Road, Belair | map
Who: Nature Park Fans
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