When you have kids, especially when they're young, you tend to spend a lot of time at local playgrounds - pushing them on swings, helping them climb up rope ladders and catching them off the end of the slide. Even when you go on holidays, you end up looking for playgrounds near where you are staying, so the kids are happy and exploring somewhere new. It also helps that all the fresh, salty air they are getting combined with a trip to the playground, means they are sure to fall asleep at naptime or as soon as their little heads hit the pillow!
As new residents to the Nelson Bay area, our family have found five playgrounds that our daughter enjoys, however there are sure to be more tucked away, just waiting to be discovered. If you are a local and have a favourite playground not mentioned here, please leave a comment at the top of this article. When it comes to kids and playgrounds - you can never know about too many!
Fingal Bay Foreshore Playground is our daughter's favourite playground, as it has the one thing that she just can't get enough of - a flying fox! It is long enough to provide a good amount of speed, before she hits the end and comes giggling back. Underneath is soft fall bark, so if the kids have a stumble as they get off the seat, then there are no tears. As well as the flying fox, there is also a net swing, climbing frames, small slide and a colourful area for toddlers to play underneath. Many local families ride their bikes to the playground and there is a small riding track around the playground for kids on their trikes. See here for a Google map to find it.
For mums, dads, grandparents and carers, there is something there for you too - coffee! Just behind the playground there is the Longboat Cafe with takeaway coffees, drinks and snacks to take with you to the playground, or sit with afterwards on the beach.
Longboat Cafe, just metres from Fingal Bay Foreshore Playground. Cheers to that!
Nelson Bay Playground is another family favourite, as it is located right on the water along the Nelson Bay Foreshore. This larger playground has sun sails over the top, so it is an ideal playground to visit on particularly hot and sunny days. Smaller kids will enjoy the toddler area with slides, imaginative play and a small toddler swing. Older kids will like the monkey bars, climbing nets, rock climbing wall, moving bridge and spinning toy. This playground is the perfect place to start, before walking down onto the sand and having a splash in the water. Don't forget to take your buckets and spades! See here for a Google map to find it and here for a full article on the playground.
Plenty of shade and coastal breezes at Nelson Bay Playground!
Corlette Point Playground is a new and colourful playground, that is a hit with smaller kids in particular. It is located behind the beach and next to The Anchorage hotel in the scenic bay side suburb of Corlette. This new playground has a pirate ship theme with a large net climbing frame, slide, net swing and plenty of areas to shout out "Ahoy!" and play pirates. See here for a Google map to find it. For more things to do whilst there, also check out Conroy Park and the article What are the Best Things to do at Corlette Beach?
Be the Captain of your own ship at Corlette Point Playground
Little Beach Playground is an ideal playground for toddlers with a sand play area, pretend play, digger into the sand, net swing, spinning toy to sit on and soft ground if they fall over. Older kids enjoy climbing the frames of the outdoor gym equipment. Take your bucket and spade, with the sand just metres from the playground. See here for a Google map to find it.
Dutchmans Beach Playground is located at the grassy reserve that runs behind the beach, at the far end of the picnic table area. It has three slides, a tunnel, swings, metal flying fox, stepping stones and plenty of grass to run around. It is also located on a popular walking and cycling path between Bagnalls Beach and Nelson Bay, so take their bikes or scooters for a ride afterwards. See here for a Google map to find it.
If you know of any more hidden gems tucked away in the Nelson Bay area, please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your tips of where to find them.
If, like me, you are new to the area or in Nelson Bay on holidays, these five playgrounds are a good start when exploring the area. As all of them are located near a beach or bay, a trip to the playground is just one thing to do when you get there. Kids can have a play and then ride their bikes, go for a swim, collect shells, make sandcastles or have a picnic on the sand. As the water is particularly clear, it also makes you want to walk in for a paddle...
Cool off and look for fishes in the clear water at Little Beach