Bowman Park Nature Playspace, Crystal Brook
Enjoy a picnic and a play at this beautiful new playspace on your next road trip to the Flinders Ranges.
by Sharon Harrington
Picture perfect setting
On our recent road trip to the Southern Flinders Ranges, we visited the magical Bowman Park Nature Playspace. The space is set amongst centuries old red gum eucalypts and is nestled on the edge of a creek.
This is a picture perfect spot that you could easily spend a couple of hours exploring.
Small detour from main road
Although only located a 5 minute drive from the main road, this play space is easy to drive straight past. However, it is well worth the small detour.
Designed by Climbing Tree
Nature Play specialists, Climbing Tree, designed this playspace with the key themes of imagination and exploration in mind. It has a similar vibe to their other wonderful playground at Morialta, though it is not as sprawling and it is much easier to monitor little ones.
First port of call was the wooden fort and slide. Smaller children can access the fort via a wooden ramp. Larger children can climb up the legs of the enormous wooden ant to balance their way to the fort. Sitting on the ant’s head appeared to be ultimate goal for any child skillful enough to do so!
My 6 year old’s favourite section was the log scramble. This is a balancing challenge comprised of a series of tree stumps, rocks and long logs that serve as gymnastic beams. She initiated a number of races with her sister, myself and any other person or child who was up for the challenge!
My 4 year old’s favourite part was the Queen B chair, a large tree stump shaped into a throne fit for a bushland queen with the letter B carved out as decoration.
Thoughtful design elements
The design of this play space is lovely. Stone edged pathways wind their way through a native garden and thoughtful wooden design elements. There are fairy huts, bee hotels, a two headed snake and build your own cubby houses.
Mud Play sections
For kids who enjoy a bit of mud play, there are two mud play sections. One with a wooden kitchen to inspire imaginative little chefs, and the other containing shovels and decorative rustic farm wheels.
Old Homestead Ruins
Also on site is the ruin of the Crystal Brook Run Homestead, which was originally built in the 1850’s from locally quarried stone. Children had a blast exploring these old ruins.
Large Grassy Oval
At the entrance of the play space is a large oval. This would be a great spot for a kick of the footy, throw of the frisbee or for a general run around.
Picnic area and BBQ
The picnic area includes an undercover barbeque and wooden tables to spread out on and enjoy a picnic.
New clean toilets, including a nappy change table are located next to the picnic area.
Parking is easy and the site is listed as an RV friendly destination, with potable water available.
A sign posted onsite lists four short walking trails ranging between 10 minutes and 45 minutes each. The difficulty levels vary from ‘very easy’ to ‘steep’ and also include a ‘pusher friendly’ walk. We would have loved to try some of these trails but ran out of time. Below is a picture of the sign detailing the walks.
What we like about it
- It is a perfect rest stop on a long drive
- The gorgeous location
- Thoughtfully designed nature play space
- Close by barbeque, toilets, nappy change table, oval and picnic tables
- RV friendly with potable water
Things to consider
- The picnic ground is separate to the play space.
- There are a couple of dilapidated old stone buildings outside the playground walls, which are unsuitable for exploration.
Coffee and food options nearby
- Kupsch Bakery on Bowman Street is a favourite for locals and visitors.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Bowman Park Facebook Page and Port Pirie Regional Council Facebook Page here
What: Bowman Park Nature Playspace and picnic ground
When: Anytime (park closed on severe, extreme and catastrophic fire hazard days)
Where: Bowman Park Road, Crystal Brook, South Australia
All photos by Sharon Harrington for Play & Go Adelaide
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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