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John Downes Park Playground, Port Macquarie

Home > Port Macquarie > Barbecue | Family | Lookouts | Playgrounds | School Holiday Activities
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun! I also enjoy painting and creating jewellery - find me on: www.etsy.com.au/shop/CorellasByTheBay
Published October 3rd 2020
Whiz down the flying fox this weekend
John Downes Park Playground is located along the coastline at Port Macquarie, between Nobbys Beach and Shelly Beach. It is a reasonably new playground, built in 2016, and named after a local character John Downes, who served as president of Hastings Shire Council on six occasions between 1915 - 1936. If you are driving south along Pacific Drive looking at the spectacular views, you will find John Downes Park along the roadside, just past the turnoff to Nobbys Beach.

My family visited Port Macquarie on a holiday and as we were driving along, my daughter spotted her favourite playground apparatus - the flying fox - at this popular playground. We pulled in for a look and she couldn't wait to hop on and go for a ride ...

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Pulling the flying fox back to the start for another turn!


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Swings, free BBQs and flying fox


The flying fox is a fun addition to this playground, particularly for older kids, however, there is also another section of the playground designed for younger children. There is a bright red, twin plastic slide and a wooden tower to climb up, as well as planks and stepping stones to walk along to test their balance. There are also benches and seating nearby, for parents to sit and take a rest...or try to!

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Play area for smaller children, with toilets nearby


Once you have finished playing at the park, ensure you walk over to the lookout platform and take in the views of Nobbys Head and Nobbys Beach dog beach, below. There is also a popular coastal walk directly below the platform and spectacular 180-degree views of the magnetic, aqua blue ocean.

On our visit in late September, we stood at the lookout for only a couple of minutes before we saw the tell-tale splash of two whales, surfacing just to the right of Nobbys Head. We were so surprised to see them and marvelled at their size from our high vantage point. Our quick stop at this playground to ride the flying fox became a treasured memory of Port Macquarie, which we will remember forever.

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Look for whales between May and November!

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Why? A small playground, but big on fun!
When: 24 hours a day, all year around
Where: Opposite 78 Pacific Drive, Port Macquarie
Cost: Free!
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