McKenzie Reserve Adventure Playground @ Yarra Glen

McKenzie Reserve Adventure Playground @ Yarra Glen


Posted 2013-03-24 by Anita Coiafollow

Hidden in a little town northeast of Melbourne is what could be Victoria's best adventure playground.

Yarra Glen, north of Lilydale, is a nice little town in a picturesque location, and is considered to be the gateway to the Yarra Valley. Home of the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie , surrounded by great wineries like Chateau Yering and De Bortoli with the Yarra Valley Dairy a stone's throw away, and host to more than its fair share of decent coffee places, it also boasts one of the best playgrounds around - McKenzie Reserve.

This playground was built after the 2009 bushfires with the assistance of donations from Victoria organisations and a number of others including Tesco UK (due to their relationships with local wineries), De Bortoli, and the District Council of Grant in South Australia.

The result is a well-planned activity area that integrates with the surrounding grasslands and has good facilities, making it an ideal location for functions. It's part of a bigger grassed park area with mature European trees and a walking track, so there is plenty of room to spread out a picnic rug on a nice day, or take the bikes for a ride. It's also adjacent to the shopping strip, so easy walking to get lunch or a snack.

There are covered areas with picnic tables (as well as picnic tables out in the open and under trees), at least three double electric free BBQs, toilets, and bench seats everywhere. My only criticism would be that the toilet block seems to be the original pre-fire one, and has only two female toilets and no baby-change facilities.

But it's all about the playing, right? And this place has heaps to do. As in any good adventure playground, there are plenty of opportunities for kids' imaginations to dictate the play. Even when it's busy, there is plenty of space for everyone.

The standout features include a huge partially-shaded sandpit with a great rock waterfall and a water bubbler, a big basket swing, the 8-metre climbing net, two excellent spinners (one with seats, the other a tilted gravity-driven spinner), a family-sized 8-seater springer rocker (a big improvement on the old seesaw!), and lots of landscaping that doubles as activity points for children.

The main structure has lots of options, including clatter bridges, multiple slides including a big spiral tube slide, rope climbing walls, tunnels, step-climbs, and monkey bars. The other equipment rings the main structure so kids can explore outwards then come back in to the main area.

All the equipment has a rubberised surface underneath it, so it's very safe. There's also a fantastic imaginative section with a big metal dung beetle surrounded by colourful rubber mounds (for jumping from or whatever else takes your fancy) and landscaping with big flat rocks to play on.

For younger kids, there is a toddler-sized play equipment that is integrated into the main playground, so you can keep an eye on all your kids.

There is also a skate park adjacent to the park, and when we visited recently, part of the lawn was being ripped up to install a half basketball court as well - a nice addition for older kids.

We've been to this park a few times and love it - there's so much to do. There are two car parking areas, one off the main road service lane, and one off the adjacent side street. If you happen to be passing through Yarra Glen with kids in the car, this playground is well worth a stopover.

131971 - 2023-06-13 08:19:19


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