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Published September 5th 2011
There's something for everyone near Federation Playspace in Warrandyte. The playspace itself is better than your average playground and plays on the gold settlers theme. But that's not all. There are enough attractions within coo-ee to satisfy history buffs, antique enthusiasts, fitness freaks, sweet tooths, caffeine cravers, book worms, and wildlife lovers.
Federation Playspace is partially fenced and caters for 2-10 year olds. The tall bushy surrounds and shade sails offer respite from the sun. There are four main structures featuring pipe-slides, steps, swings (including one children can operate with their arms), wibbly slides, timber train carriages, a tunnel, timber ramps, chain ramps, flying fox, chain ladder, rope climbing, bar rings, fireman's pole, swinging ramps, and a tower with binoculars for bird watching. Drinking fountains, bench seats, mosaic art, and a couple of small rustic tables are situated within the fenced area. No dogs are permitted within 15m of the playground.
Those watching the young 'uns may choose to overlook the space from the outdoor seating at The Bakery, which boasts a woodfired oven, rustic breads, delicious baked goods, pastries and cakes, fresh fruit, coffee, local produce and duck food. Or pack a picnic and choose a nook on the river bank.
Behind the playspace the Warrandyte River Walk stretches along the Yarra River for approximately 1 kilometre.
Take in the river residences, breathe in the Spring air, listen for kookaburras and the rushing river, and watch for one feisty backyard goose. The local ducks will gladly gobble up your duck food. Allow 20 minutes each way, or turn back when you're half-way done. It's an easy, flat track for walkers, cyclists, joggers and dogs-on-leads, and is particularly lovely when the blossom and wattle are out. That's right about now! Wheelchair access is from the riverside carparks at each end of the playground.
History enthusiasts will find much to whet their appetite here too. Adjacent to the playground is Taffy Jones' house, a ruin that saw more than its fair share of bushfires and floods, finally succumbing in the fires of January 1939. Wall plaques outline its history. Over the road from the playground is Warrandyte Mechanics Institute where you can listen to a soundpost by the footpath. If you're craving more tour the 6 soundposts in the area with thanks to the Warrandyte Historical Society.
Back at Federation playspace, turn up an old treasure at the second-hand and antiquarian book store Yarra Cottage Books, Ratty and Mole's Riverbank Antiques or the Op Shop just beyond the Mechanics Institute. Drop into Ben and Jerry's Lollies and Treats for ye old style candy.
Angle street parking is limited, but there are more options at either end of the playground. Buses 906, 364, 578 and 579 stop at the nearby roundabout. Toilets are situated 280m west of the playground as you walk the river track.