I enjoy freelance creative writing and being a Mum to my two awesome boys.
Published November 3rd 2011
This is a playground you have to see to believe. Right from the days when there was no such thing as a do-gooder and no political correctness ruled the world. However be warned, this playground isn't for the faint of heart.
Coming from Perth, the most direct trip to Katanning is via the Albany Highway, the majority of which is nearly 200km. The entire journey one way is around 285km for roughly 3 1/2hrs. This is not a day trip for many, so a pre-arranged holiday would suit best, making this a stop on the way.
The All Ages Playground can be found on the corner of the Great Southern Highway and Clive Street West in the town of Katanning.
Pulling up in the carpark, the first thing you notice is the size and material of the playground structures. They are enormous and made of steel. The second is the warning signs such as, "PEOPLE USING THIS PLAYGROUND - Do So At Their Own Risk" and "CHILDREN USING THIS PLAYGROUND Should Be Supervised At All Times" both are by order Shire of Katanning.
This seems hefty until you see it for yourself. If you have young ones, you'll want to do exactly that. Supervise them at all times. The kids will have much enjoyment and might remember it forever. Be sure to stay with them, so you may reflect on this time with good memories also.
The equipment gets extremely hot during the day, so wearing suitable long length clothing is ideal if you have some with you. Otherwise, be cautious as it can burn you. Who's the do-gooder now?
There are numerous slides of all different sizes, a long half-tyre swing, climbing frames and other round contraptions that spin and turn. We discussed at the time that they appeared to be created or came from the local farming community. Whether this is true or not, I haven't found out yet.
If you feel a bit squeamish about taking your kids here and you're passing through, there's also an age appropriate playground here for tiny tots which is considerably safer. Bring a picnic or use the free barbeque. Toilets are on-site and a Tourist Information board will show you the attractions in the area.
On the second and fourth Sunday of each month, the Katanning Miniature Railway is in operation beside the playground. Run by volunteers, there is a small charge to help with the upkeep of the miniature trains. Please wear closed in shoes.
Katanning, the 'heart of the great southern region,' is a place that has maintained much of its history. Look around and you'll see old homes still in place from the days of first settlement. The Roller Flour Mill, Old Winery Ruins, Katanning Historical Museum and Kobeelya all hold heritage value.
Then jump into the present. Katanning Recreation and Leisure Centre is a modern facility that boasts as, 'one of the largest single span structures in the southern hemisphere.'
Want to know more about Katanning? Contact the Tourist Bureau on (08) 9821 2634, open 10am 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am 12pm on Saturdays.
If you're going south next holidays, try a different road and pass through Katanning. The All Ages Playground really does deliver fun for everyone. Just stay clear of the tallest slide if you're scared of heights do-gooder.
The map feature couldn't pinpoint the exact location of the park. It's actually lower down on the map, right at the corner of the Great Southern Highway and Clive Street West. Look for the two green patches signifying a park, with a small creek running through it.