Explore the largest nature-based playspace in Adelaide’s south, at Wilfred Taylor Reserve.
By Brooke Hendry
Parents – load up that picnic basket and get ready for a treat! Wilfred Taylor Reserve, in Morphett Vale, is now open. Families, go in and roam, explore and play at what is now the largest nature-based playspace in the south of Adelaide.
This new $2.2 million playspace has been designed for people of all ages to enjoy the Reserve’s stunning natural environment and you’re going to LOVE IT!
This Reserve has so much to offer. You’ll find a fully fenced junior playground next to an older kids play area. Both are situated between gorgeous hills and greenery on one side, which includes walking and bike tracks. On the opposite side, a large grassed oval – perfect to sit down and eat that picnic while the kids run around and kick a footy or have a play. It’s the best of both worlds, for children and adults.
The Junior Playground
The fully-fenced junior nature play space includes a Hills to Beach Creative Sand and Water Play area, a “Farm Village” with farm-themed play equipment including a large wooden tractor, sheep rockers, slides, and a cute farm shop with a wooden bridge and climbing nets.
There’s also a large seesaw, basket swing, baby swing, child swing, raised sand play table, xylophone, raised sensory garden beds, a grassed area and seating for the parents.
It’s sure to keep your little ones occupied, having fun and working their imagination.
Then we move on to the older kids section…
The older kids play area is pretty great! There are not many parks that we’ve been to recently that we’ve felt have truly suited the ‘older’ kids but this one certainly has it all! Bigger kids won’t be complaining that they’re too cool to go to a park anymore.
This area is not fully fenced but with the equipment on offer, the kids won’t be wandering off (the playground is also not near a road, which is another piece of good news). The double flying fox will stop them in their tracks anyway!
The double flying fox includes one ‘jump and sit’ and one basket seat. Remember when we said that this play space is for all ages – we tested out that theory with mum having a go on the basket seat flying fox (sorry kids!). We can confirm that mum was squealing and much fun was had being able to relive childhood memories in that moment!
Also in this area you’ll find Possum Hangout Rope Challenge – a large structure featuring multiple climbing nets and rope challenge sections, an enclosed Slide Tower, sensory discovery garden, swings, basket swing, BBQs and sheltered seating areas.
Inclusive Play Opportunities
It’s great to see a wheelchair accessible carousel thanks to the generous contribution from the Rotary Club of Morphett Vale. Other inclusive play opportunities include the basket swings, the bucket seat on the flying fox, raised sensory garden beds, a raised sand play table and the vertical xylophone.
A tribute to the Kaurna people
Scattered throughout the nature play space you’ll notice beautiful artwork by local Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Yankunytjatjara artist Allan Sumner (who also produced pieces at Morialta Nature Playspace). The farm and nature themes are featured as a tribute to the site’s importance for Kaurna people, and its history as a working dairy farm (known as Thrush Grove Farm) from the 1840s to 1960s.
There’s everything you need to make a day of it
It would be easy to spend a day here with family and friends with so much to do. Play on the playground, use the wide-open spaces and BBQ facilities for a birthday party, have a picnic, play ball games, bring the bikes or scooters and make use of the pathways. There’s also drinking fountains, seating, lighting, shelters, car parks and toilets – us parents do love a playground that has a toilet!
You NEED to put Wilfred Taylor Reserve on your list for your next family adventure. You won’t regret it!
Clever musical instruments, including this vertical xylophone below, were created by local company The Cheese Factory Studio Gallery.
Look out for the unique sensory pieces, including testing out your sense of smell. See if you can guess what the smell is from.
The City of Onkaparinga first envisioned a new playspace at the site in 2017, with the State Government later contributing $1.3 million towards its construction, and council committing $900,000 for supporting infrastructure such as car parking, access roads and lighting. The nature-based play space is just one part of the council’s wider Master Plan for the Reserve. We can’t wait to see what else is to come.
The playspace has been touted as the ‘Morialta of the South’ as it is a similar scale as the Morialta Nature Playspace which opened in 2017 in Adelaide’s East. Both playgrounds are unique in their creative design and play equipment, and worth a drive no matter where you live in Adelaide. Wilfred Taylor Reserve is certainly one that will go straight to our Top Parks & Playgrounds list.
Don’t get complacent
Visitors to the Reserve are encouraged to observe current social distancing restrictions and good hygiene practises.
Located on the corner of Wheatsheaf and States Roads, Morphett Vale.
Summary of Playspace Features:
- BBQ facilities
- Bike paths
- Car park
- Picnic tables
- Sports area – grassed
- Walking trails – unpaved
This is a wonderful effort by the City of Onkaparinga, the State Government, Peter Semple Landscape Architect, Greenhill Engineers, construction by LCS Landscapes with community feedback and input from Kaurna Elders.
More to see and do in Morphett Vale
Morphett Vale Railway – Miniature train rides
Wilfred Taylor Reserve is also where the Morphett Vale Railway is located. They provide miniature train rides to the public on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, from 1pm to 4.30pm.
You can grab a daily ticket for $7 per person, which gives you unlimited rides. Children under 2, accompanied by an adult, are free.
Unfortunately, due to Corona restrictions, the MV Rail is currently not in operation, but when they’re able to re-open this Reserve is going to be a hard one to top!
More information on the Morphett Vale Miniature Train Rides can be found in our review here.
For more information and all enquiries please about Wilfred Taylor Reserve visit the Onkaparinga City Council website.
What: Wilfred Taylor Reserve – Nature-based play space
When: Opened Thursday 25th June 2020
Where: Located on the corner of Wheatsheaf and States Roads, Morphett Vale.
Who: All Ages
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
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