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Best playgrounds in South East Queensland

We think South East Queensland has really stepped up its game when it comes to offering some great play spaces for the young, and the young at heart. We like these playgrounds because of their nature themes, as well as adventurous-play-designed spaces. Adventure play, also known as ‘risky’ play, is an important part of childhood, it develops physical skills, problem-solving, self-assessment, and risk detection skills, and something we encourage in our centres and in our curriculum! So we thought we’d share our favourite playgrounds on both the southern and northern ends of the Gold Coast, as well as Brisbane!

Southern Gold Coast

Schuster Park, Tallebudgera

The recently renovated Schuster Park adventure playground in Tallebudgera is not to be missed! We suggest it’s best for children ages 4+ as it’s a climber’s dream with two giant slides off the main tower, with a series of nature paths, with balance beams, jumping posts, sand paths with drums, and musical flowers, and stepping stones for your little adventurers.  Plus there’s a small beach if you need to cool off, and two BBQs and a toilet block right next to the playground!

Tugan Park, Tugan

This castle-themed playground at Tugun Park is great for imaginative play, including a Double Medieval Tower, a Drawbridge, a Knight and a Horse! There are arches, shields and bridges and more, all sure to inspire fun and games. Plus, there are two large tunnel slides and one open slides, all sure to delight. A swing set also entertains, with a parent and child swing alongside the traditional swings.

It’s important to note there are no shade sails over this playground, but the location is very cool and shady, with large trees and covered picnic tables. It is not fully fenced, but a fence does run along the carpark side of the playground, while the open side opens to large grassy spaces. There are also numerous picnic tables and BBQs right by the playground as well as toilets!

Laguna Park, Palm Beach

This is a great playground for ages 2+, check out the huge adventure playground, pirate ship, slides and rockers, a pedal power monorail, funny faces interactive boards and more. The entire playground is fenced, which is great for the little ones, and it also includes a Liberty Swing for kids in wheelchairs. Much of the playground is shaded by sails, and there are toilets nearby. The playground is surrounded by a lovely lake and a walking trail. A great bonus is that Laguna Park is steps away from Third Base coffee! 

Robert Neumann Park, Currumbin

This is smaller than some of the other playgrounds we’ve listed, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun!

This nature-based playground has two mega slides, a toddler slide, climbing opportunities and swings. Note it is not fenced and sits near a duck pond, so adult supervision is a must! However it does have shade sails,  a picnic gazebo, and BBQ is available, as well as toilets onsite and big open grassy spaces to run around.

Frascott Park Safari Playground, Varsity Lakes

Frascott Park has two playgrounds!

Accessed via Yodelay Street or Mattocks Road, the most popular section of the park is the Mattocks Road entrance safari-themed playground. Here you’ll find two play structures, one for the bigger kids and one for the toddlers. A huge slide and flying fox are keen favourites, while little ones will love driving the safari jeep.

The second playground is located by Yodelay Street and is well suited for younger children. There is lots of natural shade, and easy climbing opportunities on the playground. The playground includes bridges, a slide, merry-go-round, swing set and spider net.

Ronnie Long Park, Tallebudgera

This is a great set of two playgrounds between the Tallebudgera Surf Club and the beach. With one playground suited toward slightly bigger children, it’s partially fenced, has a big climbing tower, large nest swing, spinning frame, and rockers. This area is shaded and has a rubber floor, while the second playground is more suited to toddlers. There’s a slide, two swings and a plane to climb in and on. This area is also shaded with a sand floor. Behind the playground is the surf club’s cafe for parents. There are toilets and BBQs nearby. Just beware, because the playgrounds are steps away from Tallebudgera Creek, parking can be a challenge on nice days.

Deodar Park, Burleigh Waters

Deodar Park is home to a total of seven slides, including a mega slide. Partly covered by shade sails, this small but mighty playground has elements suitable for a range of ages. Here you will find climbing opportunities, a flying fox, interactive panels, swings, a seesaw, balance rope and tunnels.

Alongside the playground is a fenced BMX pump track, suited to confident young riders. There is also a concrete basketball court and a large grassed area that allows for dogs off-leash.

There’s also a drinking fountain, picnic shelter, picnic tables. Note, there aren’t toilets located near the playground.

Broadwater Parklands

This is one of the most beloved play areas on the Gold Coast with several fun areas for children to explore. There’s the huge fenced bouncy pillow, as well as a popular monorail track that circles the perimeter of the playground. There’s also a zip line that runs along one side. There is also an unsheltered sand-based playground with swings, slides, and climbing equipment. A jumping pillow, seesaws, and other bouncing play equipment provide lots of play opportunities for kids of all ages.

The Rockpools water play is a sculptural water playground. The water play area is designed with cool water fountains and vibrant marine-themed equipment. It includes a creek bed and several tidal rockpools for children to splash in and explore.

The playground features a liberty swing for all abilities. There are four electric BBQs near the main playground area, and several covered table areas near the main playground, plus shady trees and umbrellas in random places on the large lawn area closest to the café. There are several toilet blocks throughout the park, including accessible toilets. There’s lots of paid parking, but know it’s well-patrolled by Gold Coast City Council.

Palm Beach Pirate Park

Coming soon …

The new and improved Pirate Park at Palm Beach. After 10 years, this beloved southern Gold Coast playground is getting a renovation! The new design will maintain the popular pirate ship theme, and provide a variety of different play opportunities and experiences for a range of ages. We’ll update when it’s complete, expected mid-2022.

Northern Gold Coast

Bim’bimba Park, Pimpama

This award-winning park has a large outdoor amphitheatre, toddler play space, playground, teen hangout, and basketball court, which are all connected by a series of entwining paths perfect for bike and scooter riding. There’s also the metal music gong, the animal sculptures, and a spinning wheel. Everything is spread out at this park, with lots of little spaces for different types of play. The park really encourages exploration and the use of imagination.

It’s a climbing-focused park, so better suited to children ages 4+. There is a toddler area separate to the big structures.

The park is partially shaded by shade sails. There are also toilets and baby change facilities, as well as picnic shelters and BBQs on site and onsite parking for 50 cars, otherwise street parking available.

Eagle Tree Park, Coomera Foreshore

Eagle Tree Park at Foreshore Coomera is one of the newest on the Northern Gold Coast. It’s packed with areas for imaginative play and sensory play, as well as more traditional play equipment. It comfortably caters for all ages, and provides a range of experiences for all ability levels.

Based around a central ‘birds nest’ structure, the playground includes a standalone toddler play space, small basketball court and swing set. There are heaps of flat pathways for bike and scooter riding, a picnic shelter with BBQ and a toilet block.

This playground is perfect for those who love to climb! There are platforms to reach, bridges to cross and huge slides to come down again. Little ones are not forgotten, with a space that has a sandpit with hidden shells and diggers and a playhouse with interactive game and music features. There’s also a number of small slides across the park.

The bike paths allow you to link up with the Foreshore Jetty Park, which incorporates a launch pontoon for kayaks and a riverside setting for family get-togethers and barbecues.

On-site there are BBQs, toilets, and a water fountain. The area is accessible for  prams, wheelchairs, bikes and scooters.

Parklake Park, Maudsland

This playground is a child’s dream! It has six different playground play spaces and a large park to explore, with a giant brightly-coloured two-level treehouse fort with two slides, several sets of swings including a nest swing, rockers, and see-saws, flying fox, suspended rope bridge, a play car, climbing dome turtle and drums!

There’s also shade sails or large established trees that provide shade over the majority of playground play space, a large sporting field, wide walking paths, one gazebo and several BBQ picnic shelters scattered throughout park, a basketball court, on-site public toilets and an off-street carpark.

Gibirrngaan Park (Black Snake Park), Maudsland

Gibirrngaan Park is a unique one! It’s centred around a huge black snake statue. There is play equipment for both young and old with a toddler cubby and slide, as well as a giant rope-climbing tower and enclosed slide for the bigger kids. There’s even a fun sandbox to dig for dinosaur fossils!

There are no toilets or cafes nearby so be prepared. There are several shaded picnic tables for snack breaks.

Celadon Park, Helensvale Surrounds

Celadon Park is located in the Helensvale Surrounds estate. This is a great play space for 0-5 year olds with its to the endless opportunities for imaginative play! This playground doesn’t feature any of your traditional play equipment pieces and allows for creative play!

The playground is surrounded by an interactive bike track designed to help kids of all ages learn how to ride a bike. Incorporating traffic signs, a petrol station for refueling, a fire station for imaginative play and a small pump track component for the children looking for a challenge, do not forget to bring the bikes or scooters on this visit!

The playground is shade-sail covered, but the bike track is not. Note there aren’t toilet facilities or BBQs. Picnic tables, rubbish bins and a water fountain are available.

Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang

The centrepiece of the adventure playground is the 11.5m windmill with mega slide, accessed via a water-tank tunnel and swing bridge. Wrapping around the entire playground space is a creek bed with water play elements. There are toddler and primary schooler play spaces, as well as the central playground for everyone to enjoy. The water play area features water pumps, troughs and ramps, encouraging the kids to build natural channels for the water to flow.

This area includes BBQs, toilets including accessible ones, a drinking fountain, picnic shelter and picnic tables.

Just beware, we’ve heard magpies can get nasty during mating season.

The Backyard, Coomera Westfield

An unexpected gem at a shopping centre! The Backyard at Coomera Westfield offers a lot for children of all ages!

There’s an age one – four years play zone: a ‘fallen log’ immersive sensory zone entertaining children with tactile, auditory and visual experiences. The fallen log includes cubby and hiding spaces, sound tubes, a playful tunnel experience and slippery slide.

Then there’s an ages four – eight years play zone: a fun-filled obstacle course providing imaginative and adventure play. The space includes numerous balance and climbing experiences, trampolines, swings and a spiral slide.

The real highlight of The Backyard, particularly on hot summer days, is the water play area, which features ankle to knee-deep water, children can pump the water pumps, dodge squirting frogs, spin water wheels and explore the winding streams of water. The Backyard features big shade sails and grassy banks, and has deck chairs for the adults. There are change rooms are right beside the water area, plus toilets and BBQs. The Backyard is also conveniently located right next to the shopping centre’s fresh food Marketplace!

Green Grove Park, Pimpama

Green Grove Park in Gainsborough Greens (Pimpama) isn’t the biggest playground in the area, but the playground’s interpretive and educational play experience is why it received an Award of Excellence – Play Spaces at the 2019 Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards in recognition of the playground’s elements of exploration, discovery, role play, balance, climbing, storytelling, exhilaration, and social interaction.

Children will enjoy this award-winning adventure playground with its eight-metre-high hill slide, timber log play forts, sandstone block stair climb, and sand play at the base. The playground also includes a reclaimed fallen tree for climbing over as well as big sandstone boulders and climbing structures. The area is connected by pathways and dry creek beds.

Note, there are no toilet or BBQ facilities available.

Hilltop Park, Ormeau

An oldie but a goodie! Hilltop Park is split into two sections, you’ll find a shady toddler play area with a car, climbing frame and mini playground with slide and swing in one area.

The main playground space is better suited for bigger children, with a larger playground and slide, large climbing net, balance beams, spinners and a swing set. Little ones can also climb the ramp up to the old water tower, which has been converted into a play structure.

Toilets, a BBQ , water bubbler and picnic shelter are right beside the playground, with additional shady seating all through the park.

Redlands

Thornlands Community Park, Thornlands

Thornlands Community Park is a nature-themed playground that includes multiple nature-inspired installments. Children will be able to spot plenty of fun larger-than-life vegetables scattered around the playground too!

The park features a ‘dinosaur dig’ area where kids can uncover a large dinosaur fossil buried in a sandy pit, with excavation tools included.  Alongside this is a large sandpit with diggers and the area is rimmed with large stone and wood stepping stones.

you will find a huge, three-towered climbing structure which features two giant enclosed slides, climbing nets, enclosed netted walkways and even a pirate ship crows nest.

It has large climbing mounds covered in soft matting and a delightful little farmers market cottage with slide. It has a slide, outdoor dining area and a couple of little spots to set up in.

The playground also features a two-person flying fox, ninja warrior-like climbing course, swings and includes sensory and all-abilities play too!

The park features accessible toilets, is partially shaded by shade sails, BBQs, picnic shelters with tables and benches.

Mount Cotton Community Park, Redlands

Mount Cotton Community Park has a wonderful mix of slides, tunnels, monkey bars, balance beams, and a challenging climbing web. The main play structure has several ideal look-out posts and a bridge that invokes fantasy games of houses and ships. There’s a great toddler section too, with its own mini fort featuring low-set stairs and slides, plus musical instruments, a sand activity table, and a large plastic igloo. Both playgrounds are covered by a shade sail and surrounded by sand.

Other features include a flying fox, a basketball court, skate park, off-leash dog area and lots of green space. The parkland also has wheelchair-accessible toilets, electric BBQs, covered picnic tables, and a network of wide concrete paths.

Capalaba Regional Park, Capalaba

Capalaba Regional Park is a great all abilities playground, with a giant terraced playground for children of all ages, in which they can clamber, swing, wander, wheel, and interact with sensory installations. The climbing webs, a fortress, flying fox, built-in slides, a sandpit, and totem pole maze are supported by sensory equipment such as steel drums and an audio spinning wheel.

The playground is overlooked by BBQ and picnic pavilions and with wheelchair-accessible paths winding throughout. There’s also covered areas and accessible toilets nearby.

The park also boasts a spacious dog off-leash area, lily ponds, and a number of paths for walking or cycling.

O'Gorman Street Park, Alexandra Hills

O’Gorman Street Park received a high commendation in the recent Queensland Parks and Leisure Conference Awards of Excellence for its ‘outstanding and innovative upgrade’ just a few years ago.

The park offers swings for babies and children, musical play, a basketball court, slides, climbing ropes, and plenty of things to climb and jump over.

The accessible park also has drinking fountains, BBQs, public toilets and plenty of shade and picnic shelters.

Brisbane

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

A visit to the Botanical Gardens is a must when you’re in Brisbane, but have you been to the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens playground? This play space has been designed to host a range of sensory play, musical activities, imaginative and physical play.

There are climbing objects for little ones and tall musical chimes that can have two kids at any one time playing a melody. A circle of ten speaker tubes has been set up for children to listen and speak through, and to encourage social interaction. There’s also spinning hand objects, clear shapes to look through, and a sand play area with little diggers to sit and dig in the sand. This playground features all the standard equipment, including multiple one and two-person see-saws and spinning seats, a four swing set, including one baby swing and one for all abilities.

Located nearby are public toilets, it is partially shaded but not fenced.

Kalinga Park Playground, Clayfield

Kalinga Park Playground offers some fun timber forts, resembling trees houses, which are adorned with many opportunities to climb – nets, poles, bars, ladders, steps and a climbing wall. The playground is suitable for children of all ages, with a separate structure, slide and swings designed for the younger children.

There’s a mini traffic track, adjacent to the playground, can be utilised to develop road safety awareness and riding skills.

The park also offers accessible toilet facilities, electric BBQs, picnic tables both sheltered and unsheltered, water fountains, walking and cycle paths and a fenced, off-leash dog area. Note the playground is not fenced.

Lower Moora Park, Shorncliffe

This seaside playground offers fantastic forts, slides and wooden carvings. Confident climbers will enjoy exploring the many levels of the playground

There is also a separate fort perfect for toddlers, which includes a slide and a place to express themselves musically via the instruments. Toddlers can also amuse themselves under the main playground in the play area underneath the fort or get busy in the sand area, where there is plenty of space for digging. They can also play on the colourful animal structures and spring rockers.

Note this park is near water and unfenced, but does offer shade sails and large trees, a variety of seating options surrounding the playground, water fountain, shaded picnic tables, BBQs, and accessible toilets.

 

Hidden World Playground, Fitzgibbon

Hidden World Playground is a wonderful north Brisbane playground with a series of interconnected rainbow-coloured ‘houses’ built on sand and is ideally suited to toddlers and preschoolers. Besides clambering through the houses, there are plenty of other fun activities including the sandpits surrounding, as well as an in-ground lawn maze.

Hidden World has a whole back story that you can find here!

The playground is not fenced, but it’s not close to the road. It offers accessible toilets including a baby change table
There are no shade sails over play equipment, but in the general area there are. There are water fountains, four shaded picnic areas and electric BBQs.

Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks

The popular Rocks Riverside Park offers a whole day of fun for families!

There are two playgrounds, each aimed at differing age groups. There is a giant fort aimed at bigger kids, with so many climbing and exploring options. The fort is mostly covered, so lots of shade, with additional shade sails nearby. There is also a flying fox, giant climbing net, swings, bike paths, exploration paths, and even a half basketball court. The playground for younger children is fully fenced with two smaller forts: a toddler fort and one for those slightly bigger kids. There’s also a sandpit is also within the fenced area, with a sand table and push-button water tap to help with the sand creations. Toddler swings, bouncers, and safari car seat all add to the fun to be had here.

This park also makes for a great summer stop, with a water play and splash zone. Children can play in the shallow water, run in and out of the fountains, relax in the man-made rock pools and more. There are multiple shade sails covering most of the water play area.

There are accessible toilet facilities, a soft-fall ground cover, BBQ and covered picnic areas.

Riverside Green Playground

A visit to the Southbank isn’t complete (at least for children) without a stop to the Riverside Green Playground!

The two-level playground has an adventure zone up top, and the lower level features interactive equipment. The 7.5 metre high structure has sky cabin towers interconnected by a series of rope bridges and connecting slides.

For the smaller ones, there’s a dedicated toddler area on the upper terrace level with an all-inclusive area pirate ship-themed toddler zone with undercover areas, grasp holes, climbing ladders and ropes, slides, compass, binoculars, and interactive elements to touch and turn.

This park space also features climbing nets, slides, swings, and a giant hamster wheel!

The area, not enclosed, also features accessible toilets, including baby change table, shade sails, picnic tables, electric BBQs and water fountains.

These are just some of our favourite playgrounds, but we’re always happy to add to this list, just let us know on our socials @littlescholarsearlylearning!

 

*Images courtesy of Gold Coast, Redlands and Brisbane city councils, mrslardeedah.com, romethegnome.com, and kidsonthecoast.com.

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