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Published August 13th 2011
Located on the beautiful Broadwater at Labrador, Harley Park provides a relaxing escape for both adults and children alike. Surrounded by sky high Pine trees that encase its extensive picnic tables, barbecue facilities and playgrounds, this park really does have it all.
Featuring a huge crystal clear swimming lagoon which laps at its sandy shores, Harley Park is a sparkling gem in a plethora of Gold Coast Parks. The Ian Dipple Lagoon surrounded by raised sandbanks and fronted by a sandy beach is partially emptied and refilled naturally with the swing of the tides. The entire circle of the lagoon is shallow, while the middle is deep, making it an ideal swimming lagoon for both young children and adults.
Ian Dipple Lagoon at Harley Park
Kids regularly frolic around the edge of the sparkling lagoon, while adults swim further out. Sunbathers drop their towels and worship the sun on the circled sandbanks, sliding into the lapping waters for a regular dip to cool off. Visitors don't have to worry about undesirable marine animals poking around and parents don't have to worry about their kids being carried off in a rip.
Pelican and Seagulls in the Ian Dipple Lagoon
Birds are abundant in the park, especially the satisfied pelicans that hang around waiting to be fed by the nearby famous Charis Seafoods operation. On most days these huge birds can be found sitting atop the high street lights watching the scenes below, or bobbing contentedly on the calm waters of the lagoon.
Harley Park boasts a variety of exceptional adventure playground facilities and a flying fox based in a sandy setting overlooking the water. For something different, there is a musical "Thongaphone" which looks like an unusual black seat, but don't be fooled, you can actually make music and play this instrument with your thongs.
A seat at Harley Park overlooking the Lagoon
Seating along the Broadwater is plentiful with park benches lining the walkway along the lagoon. Many of the picnic tables are shaded, and the park is home to two very large rotundas to cater for large groups.
Located right at the Park, Charis Seafoods provides beautifully cooked fish and chips for those who feel too lazy to barbecue. With the Grand Hotel across the road and a variety of restaurants just a few minutes' walk away, there is no shortage of food options.
While the Park provides plenty of options for pure relaxation, those who want to be more active are fully catered for. A shared bike path and walking track run straight through the middle of the Park. The sandy beach provides an opportunity to throw a ball around and make a game of it. A popular boat ramp at the end of the Park allows boaters and those keen on water sports to make the most of the surrounding Broadwater and nearby Wavebreak Island.
One of the playgrounds at Harley Park
Harley Park contains roomy shower and toilet facilities and drinking fountains. Best of all, much of the park is shaded by the trees and the shelters put up by the Gold Coast City Council.
On alternating Sundays there is often live music or free lunches in the park. For events that are coming, see the Gold Coast City Councils 'Parks Alive' program website.
Overall, the perfect swimming lagoon, pelicans, gorgeous scenery and picnic facilities really make Harley Park a favourite weekend destination. Best of all, it's free.
Directions: Harley Park and the Ian Dipple Lagoon are located next to Charis Seafoods, 371 Marine Parade, Labrador.