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Burnside Adventure Park Playground

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published May 12th 2013
Had an adventure lately?
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Burnside Adventure Park Welcome Sign


It seems that the most popular type of playground in Adelaide is the adventure playground.

I have yet to work out whether it's the kids or the parents who like them better, but places like the Dunstan Adventure Playground and St Kilda Adventure Playground pull in large crowds, and not just during the school holidays either.

Puzzle Park is another example of a massively popular adventure playground with high risk play equipment, but families flocked to it in the 80s and 90s. Its unique play equipment and rides were not to be found anywhere else, and set the bar around Australia.

It almost seems like an outright rejection of a playground in the suburbs - carefully crafted with their safe swings and soft surfaces. Councils have to be influenced by their duty of care (and insurance premiums) and they go overboard to make places safe, but clearly not everyone wants a playground that is "safe".

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Kensington Gardens Reserve


I only heard of the Burnside Adventure Park in Adelaide's eastern suburbs recently, so it was with some interest that I went to check it out. It's set within the Kensington Gardens Reserve on the Parade. The Reserve is pretty much a collection of sports fields and tennis courts - all well used by the local community.

In the middle of all the sports grounds for adults is an adventure playground for the little ones. When it was installed in 2005 it won several awards for its construction.

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"The Spider's Web


Entry for parking and the playground is via West Terrace, off The Parade. There is a small car park at the entry and more parking available inside the reserve. Curiously, the sign for the playground is oriented so that it's visible as you leave rather than when arriving.

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Slide or Slippery Dip


The playground includes a Spider's Web climbing frame, a Tree Top climbing frame, slide or slippery dip, and swings. While the concept outlined on the welcoming sign is imaginative and the attractions are colourful and well maintained, I think it falls a little short of the adventure playground title.

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Flower Shaped Swings


There are a couple of items that I hadn't seen elsewhere. One was a rotary ring swing, set on bark chips to minimise risk of injury.

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Ring Swing


The other swings were conventional but had a very unusual design frame.



There were also several small spring loaded rides to sit on.

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One of the Rides on Springs


A large buried pipe creates a cave to explore, while other children can cross the grassy "bridge" over it.

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Bridge and "Cave"


The park is well equipped with facilities - toilets, drinking fountains for you and your dog, picnic tables and free barbeques are all provided.

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Free BBQ and Picnic Tables


Burnside Adventure Park will be sure to delight young children who visit, but if you are looking for a true Adventure Playground I would look further afield. The nearest that I would recommend is Dunstan Adventure Playground which will satisfy the keenest thrillseeking kids. It's also close to the St Peters swing bridge and the St Peters Billabong which are very popular with children.

Dogs are permitted off leash in this park, but must be on leash in the playground area.
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Why? Another playground to explore
When: Anytime
Where: 420 The Parade‎ Kensington Gardens SA 5068
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Keep up the playground reviews, Dave. I have a 15mo so always interested in ones to suit littlies.
by Justc (score: 2|139) 2042 days ago
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