I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published November 17th 2016
From flying fox to talking rocks, this park has it all
When my daughter sat on a giant rock at the newly opened Bibra Lake Regional Playground and it started "talking", I could see we were in for a good morning.
Bibra Lake's new Regional Playground is beyond impressive.
This magnificent playground, in Bibra Lake in Perth's south, is something truly special. With a flying fox, tree walk and assault course – just to name a few credentials – it's going to be hard to get the kids to leave.
The playground is clearly a welcome addition to the area.
Bibra Lake Regional Playground opened on 12th November and when we visited, the place was already packed at 9:30am on a Thursday morning. The flying fox is a must-do for any child and like much of the park has been designed to maximise accessibility, with one of the two seats designed for people of all ages and abilities. There is an accessible swing set next to the end of the flying fox.
I must admit, of all the playgrounds I have taken my daughter to, the "talking" rocks were the first I have encountered. The rocks are inspired by the traditional indigenous Yarning Circle, which have been used by the local Nyungar people for sharing stories of the lake over many, many years. My daughter thought they were amazing and probably could have sat there all day, babbling away to the rocks.
Next, we moved onto the climbing frame. There are several metal structures, all moulded into different shapes and padded with a lovely soft sand. There are sloping surfaces on the outskirts of the sand, so keep an eye on the little ones who can't quite navigate the slopes just yet.
The tree walk is also unlike anything I've seen before and is guaranteed to thrill kids who love a challenge. The kids have to climb to the top via a rope ladder and then make their way from one platform to the other via a rope bridge, before whizzing down the giant, twisting slide.
The local wildlife also provides inspiration for the park, with the giant turtle splash pad the perfect place for kids to cool down on a hot day. This gorgeous mother turtle and her newly-hatched babies make for a special addition to the park and some unique seating and photo opportunities for the little ones.
The playground has a musical play area, plus in-ground mini trampolines and another small climbing structure with water play behind the turtles. There is a wooden climbing section, perfect for little bodies learning to balance, and a sandpit that parents and kids alike were having a good old dig around in. There's a hill and small slide for younger kids. Lots of parents had set up for the morning on the hill due to its lovely shaded areas.
The playground is home to a 'hollow hill' – the hill has four tunnels leading to a sandy junction. It's a busy area, with kids running in and out frequently, so I probably wouldn't recommend this section for younger toddlers who aren't completely confident navigating the tunnels. That is, unless you are prepared (and small enough) to crawl into the tunnel and retrieve them. Thank goodness I did not have to do this.
Next to the hollow hill, you will find an intriguing pole maze, made up of a number of vertical logs that the kids can weave in and out of. The playground surface is made up of sand below the play structures, mulch in the natural areas and a soft rubber path throughout.
The playground has a large undercover barbeque area, picnic tables, plenty of grassed areas to sit, plus toilets and change facilities. It also has a fully accessible, height-adjustable adult change table with a hoist and automatic doors, plus room for two carers to assist. The playground is fully fenced with latches on the gates, making it difficult for little wanderers to escape.
When my daughter and I visited, a coffee and snack van were parked at the front of the park, which is super-handy for parents, although they may not be a permanent fixture for the playground.
Although there are two carparks (including ACROD bays), the popularity of this park meant the carparks and the street parking closest to the playground were full, but there is additional parking just a short walk away. During summer, the playground will be open from 8:30am to 9pm.
Bibra Lake Regional Playground is a must-see for locals and visitors to the area alike. The kids will have an absolute ball and you will have a difficult time tearing them away from all of its spoils.