I'm an educator and freelance writer living in Melbourne's inner west with my husband and two lovely boys.
Published June 28th 2012
Driving round the final bend on Buckingham Crescent, a suspicious voice pipes up from the backseat, "Are we almost there? It doesn't look like there is a park here to me." "No?" I reply. "Well then, what do you call that?" And there, all of a sudden, there it stood. A magnificent feat in playground architecture.
Oh, yes. It might be Sunshine West, but keep your own suspicions at bay till you visit Buckingham Reserve yourself. This is a park we will now be visiting regularly, though perhaps when it's not so bitterly cold.
The 'spaceship' style slide, descending from the dizzying height of the tower's turret, was the obvious first choice for the kids when we arrived. Screams of delight continued to hurtle down the passageway for a good twenty minutes.
Then there were more screams of delight and snorts of laughter (I wish I could upload the video), as two little buddies flew down on the seated flying fox and held tight to avoid shooting off at the end.
Finally we had a game of "spider and fly" on the wicked, low slung netting. I loved watching the kids work hard and be challenged while they were having fun playing. Judging from an article I read in the Age recently about the regeneration of parks in Melbourne to suit our children's expanding needs, we should be looking around with anticipation for what else the various councils have planned across the city.
With runny noses and freezing cold hands, we clambered back into the car after 2 hours of non- stop play, ready for some egg on toast by the fire and a chat about the cool new park in Buckingham Reserve we found today.
In the warmer months, this spot is totally ideal for birthday parties and BBQ's. Bring scooters, a bucket and spade for the great sandpit but don't plan to rush them away, the kids will want to stay, whatever the weather.