Bonython Park Playground Review
Bonython Park has had an ‘extreme makeover’ with a fantastic new all accessible playground, new SAPOL Road Safety School ‘Learn to Ride’ cycling track, rejuvenated pond and establishment of the Park Lands Trail.
Bonython Park was officially opened on 16 December 2012 and is a hugely popular destination for families.
Highlights of Bonython Park
Here are some of the highlights we love:
A huge sand pit with bones to discover; slides; swings and some unique things to spot, like the timber carvings of Kupe (wood grubs that lived in Redgum).
A big double flying fox. My kids have already been on this about a hundred times and think it is pretty neat. It is similar to the one at Hazelwood Park Playground. In fact, if you love Hazelwood Park, you will love this play space as there are similar elements.
Spider web climbing net
The huge spider web climbing net has all sorts of additional things attached to add to the climbing experience.
Swings and water play
There are all kinds of swings as well, including basket and hammock swings as well as traditional ones.
One of the favourite things (there are many!) would have to be this water apparatus. Push the button and water pumps out of the spout into the water trough and runs down into the water wheel, along the stone path, winding its way to the huge sandpit.
Along the way there are gates to open and close to let the water pass. All the young ‘Water Engineers’ love it! It is great to watch the interaction and cooperation amongst them and you can see the huge potential for imaginative play. This water contraption could entertain my four year old son for hours!
Tip: perhaps bring a towel and change of clothes as they are likely to get a bit wet…and sandy, if they are keen on getting into the sandpit as well.
Hamster Wheel/Mouse Trap
The hamster wheel/mouse trap provides plenty of active fun as the kids run to keep it moving round and round.
Merry Go Round
This roundabout whizzing thing (or merry go round) is fantastic. Sunken into the ground, with seats to sit on and rails that lift up – so clever and fun! And probably a little safer than the ones that are raised up from the ground.
It is made so that children in wheelchairs can also join in, which is the fantastic thing about this play space – it has been designed for all abilities.
Bonython Park Kiosk
The adjacent Kiosk overlooks the Torrens River and Linear Park. During the School Holidays it will be open every day between 8am to 4pm serving coffee, drinks, ice creams and snacks, with some hot food like pies and sausage rolls.
The playground is bordered on this side by a hill drop down to the Linear Park bike track and the Torrens River. Just a note that if you have little ones, especially ones who are ‘wanderers’ or ‘runners’, careful supervision will be required as the bike track is popular with cyclists and the Torrens is just on the other side. It is not a fenced play area.
There is a timber platform for watching the ducks on the River. A sign asks that you do not feed the birds here.
Facilities at Bonython Park
Between the playground and the car park there is a great expanse of grassy area, perfect for large gatherings. There are many picnic spots with tables and benches under shady trees, and there are bbq and toilet facilities.
Our tips, and our verdict on Bonython Park
As you can expect the playground gets pretty busy during the day. We found that visiting late in the afternoon and having dinner there meant there were less people. You could have a bbq, or like us, grab some take-away from Port Road. At this time of the day there were tables and benches free and it’s a lovely option on a beautiful summer’s evening.
My kids have rated this playground 5/5 and we have already visited three times since it opened less than two weeks ago, and each time we’ve stayed for hours. It’s free. It’s fun. The kids get plenty of exercise. What’s not to love?
The Police Barracks neighbour the Park so you can see the Police horses nearby. There are hills to run up and down, and plenty of ducks around the rejuvenated pond.
The duck pond is a great spot to walk around, watch the ducks and also try out your remote controlled boats (preferably not near the ducks). Watch out for a lot of duck poo in some areas though!
The old playground is still there, near the pond, with equipment more suited to younger children.
In the next stage of development over the next year or so, there are apparently plans to build an adventure play space near the duck pond as well.
This is a great initiative by the Adelaide City Council and the State and Australian Government. Interesting and fun play spaces which make kids want to re-visit over and over again is great for encouraging kids and families to be active. And to get out and enjoy the great outdoors together.
For more information check out the Adelaide City Council website here and read the Design Statement for the play space here.
What: Bonython Park Activity Hub
Where: Bonython Park, Port Road, Adelaide | entrance to car park via traffic lights at cnr of Port Road & Phillips Street See map here