Hart’s Mill Playground
The recent $2 million refurbishment of the Hart’s Mill precinct at Port Adelaide includes this brand new play space, opened in May 2014.
You can’t miss this brightly coloured modern play equipment in yellow, which is juxtaposed aside the historic Hart’s Mill buildings.
You’ll find reminders of the longest continuously serving flour mill in South Australia (which operated from 1855 to 1980), cleverly scattered throughout the playground. Children who can read may like to make a game of finding and deciphering the words, as well as enjoy climbing and balancing on them.
When you arrive, you can’t help but notice the 7.5 metre tall ‘Dalben Tower’ which houses a slippery dip. Notice how the slippery dip extends for quite a distance at the end of the ride? That’s because you shoot down the slide pretty fast and get propelled a long way. How do I know this? Well, I can tell you from personal experience! It’s a fast ride – and that’s why you’ll see the kids climb up the tower and slide down again and again…and again!
The Mouse/Hamster wheel is not as big as the one at Bonython Park but is just as fun for those liking a bit of a workout.
The Flying Fox is great zipping fun. The platform for embarking is set quite high which prevents little ones from climbing on by themselves. Our 5 year old needed help from friends or an adult to pull him up.
Even a much older Play & Go ‘kid’ (aka one of the Dads) couldn’t resist trying it out (for research purposes of course). And with helpful pushes from the Dads the kids certainly enjoyed flying high on this flying fox.
Climbing frame and spinners
There is a climbing frame and spinners (pics below) for more active fun.
The large spinning wheel below is a familiar one that the kids never tire of. I love seeing the cooperation and negotiation this elicits from kids. Slowing down when someone wants to get on or off, or if a little one gets scared; working out who is going to ride on the wheel and who is going to spin it. These are great social skills learnt at a playground.
The long length of the swings means with a bit of pushing you can fly high through the air. “Higher” you’ll hear them call.
Interactive sand station
For the little ones there is a great interactive sand station in a sand pit. It’s not too high for young ones to climb and there is a sand pulley system; sand to scoop and pour down different chutes and tubes, plus the opportunity for creative and co-operative play.
The play space is surrounded by the Port River and the 2.2km Inner Harbour Loop Path runs past here, around the playground too. You can do some dolphin spotting while you are here. We were lucky enough to spot a few of the approximately 30 dolphins who call the Port River home. There are many volunteers who support the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and if you are lucky like us you may get to have a chat with one of them and be able to ask questions to learn more about the dolphins.
There are tables and seats as well as BBQ facilities beside the playground, with some shelter. The toilet is situated near Mundy Street.
Safety Note: The playground had a fence installed in November 2014 as it is positioned right beside the Port River.
Apart from the two images above, our photos for this review were taken before fencing was installed. There is a bit of grass and the Loop Path which separates the play equipment from the water. As you can see from the photo below there is a very low ledge before a drop of a few metres straight into water. If you have little ones you need to be vigilant in supervising them when not in the fenced area. When doing some dolphin spotting, be careful to keep the kids away from the edge. We felt the need to talk to our 5 year old and explain that he must never go anywhere near the edge while there.
The grassy area around the side is great for running around. I’m not sure it is good for ball playing for children as again, the water is nearby, and I would be worried that someone might run into the water chasing a ball. There is plenty of bench seating along here for watching dolphins or just having a rest.
Hart’s Mill Playground Summary
- Is fenced but located adjacent water (please read our Safety Note above). Some photos above were taken before fencing was installed.
- Equipment for all ages – tower with slide, flying fox, climbing frames, mouse wheel, swings, spinning wheel, sand play station in sandpit
- Soft fall flooring (and sand in sandpit)
- Table & benches with some shelter
- Dolphins to spot
- Beside the Inner Harbour Loop Path for walking or bikes
On Sundays the Wild at Hart Market is on right beside the playground and is a great family friendly outing.
We spent many hours happily here with children aged 5, 6, 9 and 11 years old on a Sunday while the Market was on. Look out for special events and other things to do at The Port here.
For updates on what is happening at Port Adelaide check out the Our Port Facebook page here.
What: Hart’s Mill Playground
Where: Mundy Street, Port Adelaide (or go to the end of Nile Street where there is parking)
Who: Playground Lovers
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.
Image Source: All photos by Play & Go
Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?
Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out all the best events & activities for Adelaide families. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may sometimes get a special offer exclusively for our subscribers only!