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 September 9th 2012
Loads of fun for the kids
When it comes to parkland, residents of Melbourne's verdant eastern suburbs are spoiled for choice. Whatever your objective - from kicking a footy to cooking a barbie - most suburbs have something to offer. However, if you add playground to the mix, suddenly the options fall away, leaving you with a few goodies and many tired imitations.
Catering for children of all abilities from toddler to late primary school age, Hays Paddock not only provides loads of different play options, it does so in a leafy bushland locale whose tranquillity (if you overlook the occasional wailing toddler) belies its proximity to the bustling Kew Junction.
Central to the playground layout are two huge, open ended timber boardwalks, each with several different entry/exit points along their lengths, including single and double width slides, fireman poles, vertical and diagonal spiral poles, ladders and climbing nets.
Two large boardwalks are central to the playground.
At each end of the securely fenced playground are activities aimed at smaller folk, such as a spacious, timber walled sandpit - equipped with several ride-on diggers and a small fort - regular and harness swings, ride-on springy animals and small trampoline enclosed by a web of climbing nets.
Once arrived, most visitors big and small seem to settle in for a long stay - not surprising given the ample shade, barbeque facilities and comfortable seating areas along the perimeter. Parking is also quite good - it is largely paved and at least half of spaces offer some shade.
If you need time out from the play equipment, take a moment to visit the small boardwalk which lays at the rear of the playground, overlooking the picturesque Kew Billabong. This peaceful wetland is presided over by a family of ducks and often features several other varieties of native birds. Thankfully, a dense bank of water reeds running alongside the boardwalk discourages little ones from attempting to get up close and personal with feathered residents.