Moorpanyal Park and North Shore Beach is the second article in my series on Playgrounds around Geelong.
Most of my playground articles will also feature beaches, because most of the playgrounds are set close to a beach. Moorpanyal Park is set on a bluff overlooking Corio Bay, and North Shore Beach is directly below the park, accessed by a steep gravel path. The Park and Beach sit at the street junction (corner) of The Esplanade and Seabeach Parade.
At the top of the beach and bluff there is a lot of space for car parking. You can park over on The Esplanade too, in front of the playground.
Since I was 14, we have been regular visitors to the North Shore Beach and Playground. The original playground wasn't as nice as the current, new playground. There wasn't much play equipment. I think there was a slide - an old, rusty slide that burned your legs and backside as you slid down, and left dirty marks on your clothing, and there were two old swings.
Nowadays, the new playground has modern equipment. It's very bright, colorful and there is lots of different equipment to play on.
There is a barbecue, tables and chairs, a toilet block, and lots of trees. Please watch your children while they play here. There are cliff faces not far from the playground, and no fences to stop any one from going over the edge. If your children are supervised then they should be safe.
The beach faces south-east. Above the beach are the bluffs that I've mentioned. The cliffs are approximately 10 to 15 metres high. You can take a small walk along the beach at low tide, but not high tide. The water is quite clear with not much seaweed close to shore. You can swim here at high tide when the sand flats are covered.
There are cliff top pathways if visitors to the park and beach want to take a walk. The playground has recently been upgraded and the toilets are new.
For the nature lovers, you may be able to see flocks of Crested Terns on the sand along the foreshore. Or you may be able to spot Pacific Gulls and Cormorants.
What to Eat / Where to Buy It
I usually enjoy taking a picnic or food for a barbecue. It depends how many times you've eaten a cut lunch, whether you eat at North Shore Beach or opt for a meal at a pub or for some fast food.
There is a milk bar in Seabeach Parade. It is open during weekdays, however it usually isn't open weekends. If you're looking to buy lunch there are fast food restaurants on Melbourne Road, opposite Fords. You could also try a pub meal as there are a few pubs close by. The Norlane Hotel is just up the road on North Shore Road, and Ayces / Gateway Hotel is on Station Street. There is also a supermarket and milkbar at Labuan Square, Forster Street Norlane.
North Shore is a small town of about 200 homes. The town is squeezed between Corio Bay and Geelong's major industrial precinct. Some of the industry around North Shore, Norlane and Corio include the Ford Motor Company, Shell Refinery, Pivot and many other industries, the wire mill, Local Mix, warehouses and workshops.
Finally, before I get too carried away, there is the Moorpanyal 1000. Local residents of North Shore formed the North Shore Residents Group. In the year 2000, they organised a swim of over 1000 metres in Corio Bay. The strategy behind this was to draw attention to the rundown state of Moorpanyal Park and the beach - to the City of Greater Geelong,
The park and beach have been cleaned up since the inception of the Moorpanyal 1000. The first year of the swim, fourteen swimmers responded. This is now Geelong's only regular open water swim. There is always a free sausage sizzle after the swim. In 2015 116 swimmers participated, and 250 sausages were consumed.
Come to North Shore for the playground, for a swim in the beach, or try out for the Moorpanyal 1000, the free swim event. Whatever brings you to North Shore, I hope you have a great and safe day out. Remember hats, sunscreen and cold water. Oh and slip, slop, slap!