Rymill Park Quentin Kenihan Inclusive Playground
The Rymill Park playspace has had a complete upgrade and aims to be a fun space for children of all abilities to enjoy together. It has officially been opened on 18 December 2020.
Quentin Kenihan was a South Australian disability advocate, actor and filmmaker who had a life-long battle with brittle bone disease, and passed away at the age of 43 in October 2018. Among his many visions, was one for an inclusive playground to be built in the City of Adelaide.
The design for the new Quentin Kenihan inclusive playspace came about after an extensive community engagement process, including an inclusive play day to collect the community’s thoughts on what they thought would create a great play experience for people of all ages and abilities.
Update 25 November 2021:
- Painting the waterplay area to make it nice and bright
- Rebuilding Quentin’s challenge track so it’s longer and more exciting
- Relocating the rope play to allow for a new wheelchair accessible swing (coming in early 2022)
- Installing more rubber softfall to improve access
- Installing 4x accessible car parks on Rundle Road
- Installing a new path and bus drop off zone on Dequetteville Terrace
- New shade sails will be installed in early December and more improvements are planned for early 2022.
The accessible play equipment includes:
- mini in-ground trampolines which are also suitable for a wheelchair
- a sound and sensory garden including musical instruments and equipment at the height a wheelchair user can access
- a sway swing that rocks
- a water pump, and a button presser for fountains, that are at the height a wheelchair user can use
- and a carousel which wheelchairs can access.
Other play equipment includes:
- the climbing frame which was at the original playground before the upgrade
- mini track for little bikes or scooters
Other features include:
- accessible toilets (including an accredited changing facility) – these are still being constructed.
- accessible paths
- barbeques, shelter and seats
The water play area involves a hand pump to release water as well as a red button presser to operate the water fountains. Take a change of clothes and/or towel if your kids like to get wet.
The visual boards like the one below help to encourage communication when there are language or speech difficulties.
There is plenty of grassy space and trees around the playspace giving shade for picnics, but there are no shade coverings above any of the equipment.
The original climbing frame from the previous playground is back below (but without the slide).
Below is a clever machine which you press a button (there are 4) and turn the handle around to operate the sound. Button 1 has a voice saying Hello in different languages. Button 2 makes the sounds of musical instruments from around the world and Indigenous pieces. Button 3 and Button 4 have a variety of sounds of nature, sports and various things.
The ring of musical instruments has several pieces so you can have a little percussion orchestra, with cylinders, xylophone, and drums. Warning – it can get loud when there are enthusiastic musicians at play.
There are a couple of BBQs situated around the park, one with a shaded picnic table as shown below.
This colourful plaque commemorates Quentin Kenihan’s dream of a playspace ‘where everyone can have fun’.
Talk to your friends through the green sound pipes around the park.
The mini track with a few little gentle bumps is perfect for little ones on bikes or scooters.
Things to Consider:
Fencing – while it is fully fenced around the playground, the two gates at opposite ends of the playspace, don’t have child proof locks on them. They have a soft magnet holding the gates closed but can be easily opened. Play Australia points out that child proof locks on gates make it virtually impossible for a person in a wheelchair to reach the locks and therefor would make it inaccessible for some.
Please be aware that the lake is just near the playground. If you have a ‘runner’ the gates will not keep them in.
Toilets – the new toilets suitable for wheelchairs is currently being constructed. Until then, the toilets are a little walk away – there is signage to direct visitors to them.
Water Play – whenever there is a water play area at any playground, we always recommend a spare change of clothes if your kids are bound to get wet.
Bark Chips – while much of the playground is soft fall surface, paving or concrete, there are areas with bark chips and nature beds scattered around. The bark chips often move across paths and some areas may be difficult for a wheelchair to manoeuvre.
The Rymill Park Cafe closed a while ago sadly but a new cafe has opened (hours vary – usually open weekends). A coffee van is occasionally there on weekends and sometimes food stalls pop up at the cafe – when we visited on the weekend Low & Slow American BBQ were there. Wine Country are also currently doing events on the island across the little footbridge with wine tastings and music.
The State Government provided $1 million to the City of Adelaide to allow the inclusive play space to become a reality at Rymill Park/ Murlawirrapurka (Park 14).
The new Rymill Park playground offers several inclusive features to allow children of different abilities and wheelchairs to join in the fun. We’d love to hear from families with either children or parents with disabilities to let us know what they think of this playspace. We think it seems to offer more options than any other playspace in Adelaide. To be honest, we’ve been a bit disappointed with the other ‘inclusive’ playgrounds around Adelaide, which offered limited equipment for children in wheelchairs, and excluded them from much of the play area with bark chips and elevated levels. We hope that this playground offers a fun space to play for children of different abilities, but would love to hear what you think.
Rymill Park /Murlawirrapurka
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.
As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently. All photos are 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 what’s on, where to go and what to do with the kids in and around Adelaide. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may even get the odd ‘special offer’ exclusively sent to our newsletter subscribers only!