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Published September 2nd 2015
A new playground? Lets go
This buzzing new suburban playground is at the corner of John and Arthur Streets at the Payneham Oval complex. This is in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide, not far from the Marden Shopping Cente. You can access the playground from the oval carpark or from some carpark spaces on the street. The playground is a family orientated one with a brightly coloured puzzle piece theme and has facilities for adults and children.
The landscaping surrounding the area is all new with fencing, however this is not a locked childproof fence. Toilets are provided and also a filtered drinking water fountain. A basketball shoot area is at one side of the playground and this would be popular with teenagers and adults. Remember to bring your own basketball and practice shooting some hoops. For adults there is an exercise area with fitness equipment and some diagrams to show you what to do.
The all new adults exercise equipment with one of the barbeque shelters in background. Image by this writer.
There are two shelters with double barbeques and a large picnic table in each. It's usually first to arrive gets the table. However if you arrive to find no room at a table, there are many separate grassed areas to the sides of the playground that could be used for a small gatherings if you bring your own chairs. Four barbeques in total would mean plenty of cooking space.
Facilities include two barbeque areas with covered shelter areas. Image by this writer.
The space for kids is well designed, and even though there were many children there when I visited, kids can be well spread out and play in the different zones. There is a climbing frame area with platforms and rope and metal ladders. There is also a swing area with locking seat for a toddler and one for disabled kids.
The climbing frames and ropes to exercise big and growing muscles. Image by the writer.
To one side of the play area, the earth has been mounded into a small hill which is covered in a soft foam padding. This has a large rope climbing scramble net and at the top of the hill a slide going down the other end. Under the hill there are tunnels to run or ride your bike or scooter through.
The gently sloping hill for climbing and to get to the top of the slippery dip. Image by the writer.
For Adelaide's hot summers there is a water and sand play space. There is a water wheel that runs into a mini creek to splash around in. Nearby there is a small gently sloping rock climbing wall on a gentle slope, again all soft padded. Kids really need their play clothes for this playground as they will get dirty while having lots of fun here. The grounds are linked by small paths and green grass with newly planted trees. As the trees are new there is not much shade at present but as the years go by there will be cooler places to sit. However the sun will be strong at this playground, so bring your hat. The climbing jungle gym area does have some shade sail coverings.
I talked to some local parents who said this playground was much needed in the area. There was a few pieces of old play equipment here before, but council has spent almost $300,000 upgrading and expanding the space. It has already proved to be a hit with the kids. The only fault I can see is that there is no seating for adults apart from the barbeque areas. Parents like to be close by when children are playing and many adults were sitting on the large rocks edging the garden.
The swings at the playground include one for a child who is in a wheelchair to be able to access with handlebars and safety belt. Image by the writer.
When I left after an hour with my test the playground out children, they complained they hadn't been on everything yet. That's great I told them, as there will be more to do when you come back again. The Payneham Oval Playground has all the indicators of a good playground for children. As an adult I was pleased with the facilities that cater for all. As for the kids, they were constantly moving, didn't want to leave and want to return someday. It's an all round winner.