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Oakdale Drive Reserve

Home > Adelaide > Free | Fun for Children | Outdoor | Parks | Playgrounds
Published November 24th 2012
After shopping, the children can play, the parents recover
This little-known playground and reserve is nestled in behind the Gilles Plains Shopping Centre, barely a three minute walk from that complex. After a shopping trip with the children, it is a great place to allow them to blow off steam and let the parents relax on one of the benches underneath the large native trees.

View from Blacks Rd

To start with, there is a small grassed area where some basic games can be played, like kite flying and simple ball games. The roads nearby are minor ones, with mainly local traffic.

Grassed area

The nearest amenities are found at the Gilles Plains Shopping Centre.

To the west, there is a long grassed area with many trees which gives the area the look of a more natural reserve. A drain outflow has been converted into a small wetlands-like area, where plenty of arthropods and occasional birds can be found.

Wetland style plants at the drain

[ADVERT]However, this area can get quite muddy, and in winter it is virtually impassable, although some children in gumboots have been seen hunting frogs and the like in the puddles of water that form over the colder months.

The playground itself is rather small. A climbing frame and a smallish slippery dip are set up as separate entities, which is something of a surprise, as even joining these two sets of equipment together would add to the playground. There is also a double swing set. My children find the playground a little dull if we go there just to go on the playground; however, after a shopping trip, they are more than happy to play on it.


The landscaping is very pleasant, with lots of native trees, some having been planted in relatively recent times. However, some users seem to feel that the rubbish bins are optional; it is a rare visit when we do not find rubbish of some sort on the ground.

Some of the landscaping

All the native vegetation does encourage the birds into the area. Although the variety is not as wide as at some other reserves (in particular Parkinson Avenue), there are still plenty there with hopes of more making the area their home.

One of the birds

So while maybe not ideal playground to visit for the sake of visiting, after a morning of shopping with the children, it is the perfect diversion for the whole family.
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Why? To relax after shopping
Where: Oakdale Drive, Gilles Plains
Cost: Free
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