Hawthorne Canal playground lies between a well used bike path and Hawthorne Canal. Last week we took our new bike there to check out the water. Small one patted my back as we rode down the bike path along Hawthorne Canal.
Boats?' he asked.
Yes, after the playground,' I said.
Weeee!' He approved.
Hawthorne Canal divides the long reserve leading down to Iron Cove Creek; dogs are free to run off-leash on one side while children claim the other. Particularly handy for dog owners wanting to combine walks with coffees, Cafe Bones on the off-leash side of the Canal provides tasty treats for two- and four-legged creatures alike. Dogs slurp puppacinos while their owners sate coffee addictions and fulfil the cafe's maxim. 'Made for doggies, fun for humans' indeed.
Small one and I first visited the Reserve for a friend's two year old birthday party a year ago. Then we ate strawberries and cheese, in between swings, and I wondered what small one would be like at two.
Now, we visit the Reserve weekly and small one spiders over the playground equipment with glee. Last week he played with another young boy here for nearly an hour. They stomped on the platforms, hid behind melaleucas, swung like monkeys, and drew lines in the dirt.
A large fence prevents accidental wanderings in to the Canal and fish (usually small and of the toad variety) can be spotted winding their way upstream. The Reserve is under the flight path so aeroplanes frequently plough through the sky, but these generally cause more intrigue than disturbance.
The playground has very toddler friendly equipment and challenges for older kids as well, including a sliding pole and decent climbing frames. I see people drive down to the park and bring bikes out for practice along the flat and well maintained path. Last, there are useful amenities along the Canal too - tennis and netball courts, BBQs, toilets and bins.
We rode along the path, looping around the bay before heading for home, counting boats. Small one patted my back again, assuring me the trip was worth it.