Thorndon Park Playground & Reserve | Paradise

Thorndon Park – Hamilton Terrace, Paradise (City of Campbelltown)

This is one of the best playgrounds in Adelaide! The bird-themed designed play space of Thorndon Park is huge, has something for everyone, and is surrounded by facilities.

Reviw by Claire Davill

This playground has it all – swings, flying fox, trampolines, climbing, cubby tower lookout, water play, sand pit, giant slide, parkour, court for basketball, netball and futsal, Liberty Swing, percussion, table tennis, all with an amazing bird theme to complement the natural environment by the lake. There’s shade, toilets, car parking, bbq facilities, the large undercover pavilion is still there, which makes it perfect for parties.

Much of the playground is fully accessible, with winding paths connecting several different zones. The most prominent feature is the stunning (and huge) Heron sculpture climbing cage with mega twisty slide.



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The Heron marks the Slide Zone – with a gentle wide slide into a large sandpit, perfect for digging.

The sandpit flows into the water play area. Here you will find hand pumps, buttons, fountains and troughs, gates and channels. This is one of the most extensive water play areas we have seen.

Here you’ll also find the Water Hen. Press the button on her foot to activate the misters – wonderful for hot days.

The Sky Bridge is another big drawcard here. Two climbing towers joined by a large bridge that requires net climbing and platform climbing. The platforms have extra steps so even small kids can make it up to take in the views. The bridge is completely enclosed so it’s safe for all ages.

Across one of the paths from the Skybridge is the Percussion Music Zone and Climbing Wren. A vertical xylophone, hand drum and xylophone poles are here for creating music.

The Climbing Wren is fully accessible from the path to head into or under, and the wings form climbing nets to climb up, over or through the body. The wings start low to the ground creating another option for small children.

The big flying fox is also suitable for little and bigger kids. In addition to the usual rope seat, there is a fully supported seat with handles and an adjustable harness making it accessible for many kids. The flying fox doesn’t move too fast or recoil too much at the end.

Bordering the flying fox are some lovely nature play themed climbing logs, stepping stones and balancing beams.

The best basket swing we’ve seen is here too – it’s held up by a Crane (of the bird variety) and swings wide and spins as well.

A three person rotating swing that you might have seen at the old playground here is also a big drawcard. There are regular swings and a basket swing as well.

Nearby are two accessible trampolines and an accessible merry go round carousel.

Further down the hill, you’ll find an impressive Ninja Warrior course and Parkour Zone. These are impressive pieces of play equipment, but suited to older kids – the warped wall in particular will be a challenge for everyone!

This area is also closer to the water than other parts of the playground and will require close supervision of smaller kids. There is a nice rope hammock to rest on here.

There’s a partially fenced basketball/netball/futsal court as well as a table tennis table and “air” hockey table (you will need to bring your own bats, balls and pucks). The table tennis is designed for the visually impaired, so another great inclusive feature. 

There are low, round tables to sit on dotted around the playground as well as plenty of benches. There is even a Smart Bench which includes a charging pod, perfect to relax in, with two wireless charging pads and four USB ports! 

The playground celebrates the diverse bird life which thrives at Thorndon Park.

The design features 8 themes:

  1. Bird Song – percussion play and wren climbing sculpture
  2. Bird Watching – Sky bridge and towers
  3. Eating – digging, junior slides, Heron slide sculpture
  4. Flying – Swings & Liberty Swing
  5. Gathering – Youth spaces, multi-purpose courts (basketball, netball, futsal), hammock, parkour & ninja warrior course, table tennis tables and smart bench
  6. Gliding/Treetops – Flying fox & timber stilts/steppers
  7. Nesting/Plains – Nest cubby, trampolines, carousel, crane (swing) sculpture
  8. Wading /Waterways – Water Play & Hen (misting water) sculpture

Accessible Features for Inclusive Play

This is a magnificent playspace which has incorporated thoughtful all-inclusive features and has something for all ages and abilities to play together. The committee worked really hard on getting the accessible features right and it really shows. There is a Liberty Swing for wheelchairs, wheelchair accessible trampolines and carousel, raised water play and sand play areas, accessible seat on the dual flying fox, musical percussion instruments, vision impaired table tennis, Auslan signage, communication boards, Braille boards are coming, and wide accessible pathways. There is an adult size change table and hoist too.
Thornton park vision impaired table tennis
This is an inclusive playground which has been well thought out to allow kids of different abilities to play together. How nice is it for a child to ride in the safety seat on one of the flying fox lines alongside the kids using the standard seat, for example. 

Things to Consider:

  • There is plenty of parking off Hamilton Terrace, and it’s a short walk from the car park to the playground.
  • Not all of the playground is shaded, bring hats and sunscreen.
  • There is water play and a sand pit – be warned and bring spare clothes, bathers and towel 
  • Check the temperature of the steel slides and climbing frames before playing on hot days. We’ve been told that the Heron Giant Slide being an enclosed slide will be less likely to burn than a traditional slide with the surface to the sun. 
  • The playground is not fenced, but is a long way from any roads. Note the reservoir and creek are nearby. The play area is close to the lake so please keep an eye on little ones.
  • There are toilets, picnic tables, barbeques, shelters and the large Pungangga Pavilion nearby.



Hamilton Terrace, Paradise (off Stradbroke Road)


things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Campbelltown City Council webpage

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 Adelaide 2022


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