I count myself lucky to be born in Australia's coffee capital of Melbourne and love to write about what's on in my home town.
Published May 28th 2012
What a lucky bunch the kids of Mitcham Primary School and Dr Stanley Cochrane Kindergarten are, having a playground of approximately 5.8 hectares. Of course, Halliday Park does not fall inside the grounds of the School or the Kindergarten, but it is close enough for the kiddies to hear sausages sizzling on the park's electric barbeques.
The broad, grassy Mitcham Road frontage, punctuated by ancient oak trees and a towering World War I memorial, may seem to present a somewhat serious face to the outside world, but this family friendly park, established in 1938, provides a wonderful environment in which to stroll, play, picnic and reflect. It also plays host to numerous planned (and impromptu) student visits, as well as a range of community activities, such as Clean Up Australia Day.
Don't be concerned by the park's proximity to busy Mitcham Road, for with the exception of the War Memorial, facilities are located several hundred metres away, deep inside the park. The best way to enter the park is via Bowling Green Lane, which as the name suggests, is situated alongside Mitcham Bowling Club. At the end of the lane is a car park accommodating approximately 40 cars. It is worth noting that this car park is shared with the primary school, so it can get a bit crowded on school days.
If you are prone to over-packing your picnic basket, you will be pleased to know that it is only a short walk from the car park to the paved seating and barbeque area. Grab a table and set up camp whilst the kids explore the large playground, which is reassuringly close by (as are the toilets). There is some shade over both the seating and playground.
Catering well to kids from pre-school upwards, the playground presents a number of fun obstacles and challenges, including several timber platforms, ladders, monkey bars, rope and chain climbing frames, as well as the usual swings, slides and see-saws. For older children (park guidelines suggest 12 years and above) the highlight - best tackled on an empty stomach - is the super-long tandem flying fox.