If you’re anything like me, you only ever venture to the one side of Kings Park, which is the side overlooking the river. I decided it was time to get out of my comfort zone and head to some of the other spots in Kings Park – at 1,003 acres, it is, after all, one of the biggest inner city parks in the world. I took my daughter and dad to the Synergy Parklands, which is on the western side of the park and is accessible via Saw Avenue or Poole Avenue.
The playground is a short walk from the road and is surrounded by gorgeous lawn. There’s not a lot of shaded areas in this section, but the playground itself is naturally shaded by lots of greenery and trees.
One of the first things I noticed about the playground is the giant, reptilian statues littered throughout the park. They are large-scale replicas of extinct Australian fauna, and boy, were some of them giant. I wouldn’t fancy meeting one of those in the backyard.
The play equipment isn’t your average monkey bars and slide. The play structures are made largely from timber and feature elevated walkways with some tricky obstacles along the way. The timber bridge may look easy enough, but it’s actually a little unnerving to walk across, especially when you are carrying a toddler. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
The structures are most suited to kids aged over five or six, who feel comfortable sliding down poles or up and down rope ladders. The platform starts with timber steps and leads to more steps at the other end, with ladders along the way.
The second of the two elevated platforms is a bit trickier. It starts with a nice, easy ramp, but the other end presents somewhat of a challenge (for adults, anyway.) There is the long walk back to the end of the platform, a set of very steep steps, a rope ladder, a metal ladder, a pole to slide down or a twisty blue slide that looks very dark.
After I sent my fearless toddler down (to meet grandad at the bottom, of course) I realised this was the easiest of all the options, so down I went. I wasn’t convinced I was going to fit in a kids’ slide but wonders never cease. Part of the slide is pretty steep, but I survived nonetheless.
Synergy Parklands is home to a gorgeous lake, which you can walk across via a bridge and wooden walkway. There is a little island play area with more ropes, timber and another twisty slide. This section also has mist jets – perfect for a hot day.
The walkway leads to another grassed area with barbeques and the Zamia Café, which is dine in or takeaway for breakfast and lunch. Otherwise, there are barbeques in the main playground, along with the Bovell Kiosk, which opens during peak times (Thursday mornings during the school term don’t count as peak times) although the adjoining toilets are open to the public.
Synergy Parklands has a swing set and a couple of other bits of play equipment here and there, but its main focus is the natural bush surrounds, the dedication to Australian fauna and the timber play structures. It’s well worth venturing away from the hustle and bustle of the Fraser Avenue side of Kings Park and away from the crowds.
For more great parks and playgrounds, read on here.
This production of The Jungle Book relies strongly on physical theatre, from a young ensemble, and will incorporate puppetry, poetry, and animation, creating an eclectic style of theatre true to itself.