Googong is officially the fastest growing residential area in NSW. Situated just over the border as part of the Queanbeyan Shire, it is only 20 minutes from the southern suburbs of Tuggeranong and 25 minutes from Canberra's CBD. As this area is newly built, it also comes with some great rewards for kids - brand new playgrounds.
Although not a Googong resident myself (or Googonian as they are called), it isn't far to visit to try out their range of modern and colourful playgrounds. At the time of writing, only the first stage of Googong has been built, with four more stages to go - so there are plenty more playgrounds and facilities to come. Here are the best of the playgrounds already built so far...
Love Grove Park is an all-abilities playground and includes custom designed equipment to accommodate children with a range of abilities. This impressive new playground has a BBQ area, swings, see saw that you stand on, a net tower, a high slide to climb up to and a roundabout built into the ground. There are carved wooden totem poles at the entry and smaller ones behind the slide, painted by the students at The Anglican School Googong. Take a picnic or an esky and stay for awhile and enjoy this large playground. If you have older kids who enjoy climbing, the impressive tower will provide hours of fun.
Duncan Fields has an extensive playground with some fun and new equipment that we haven't seen before. There is a BBQ area, toilet facilities and three inbuilt trampolines nearby which are a lot of fun - for big kids too. Test your balance on the gymnastics balance beams, walk the swinging bridge, hop between the tree stumps and play basketball on the colourful half court at the back. The highlight of this playground for our daughter was the large spinning rope play equipment. Unsure of quite how to use it, she figured it out and with a push she could almost get airborne. Older kids could do a lot with this swing and really get it moving.
3/ BELTANA PARK - Beltana Avenue This playground is ideal for small kids and toddlers with its net swing, flower drums, small slides and colourful paint pots to play on. One of the pots is empty and used as a pretend playhouse, whilst the other is a small slide. It is in a handy location near the community hub with tennis courts, swimming pool, toilets and café/general store nearby.
4/ ROCKLEY OVAL - Gorman Drive This small playground has another big slide for the kids to climb up to - which is particularly fast. There are also swings and a geometric climbing frame to master. This playground is situated next to Rockley Oval, so you can take a ball and have kick or play on there afterwards. Although not a large playground, the slide and climbing frame are particularly popular.
This up and coming area is an intriguing region to explore. Situated away from both Canberra and Queanbeyan it will become a region in its own right over the next 20 years. If you don't have an up to date GPS it can be tricky to find each playground, so perhaps get your bearings first with the Googong North Masterplan map here. Whilst out exploring Googong, why not drive a few minutes down the road to Googong Dam and explore the foreshore area and see the impressive dam wall. With walks, picnic areas and views over the blue expanse, it is a pleasant area to stop for a break before driving back to Canberra.
So if you are looking for somewhere new to take the kids, why not pack up the car and go for a Sunday drive this weekend. The kids are guaranteed to love it!