A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published June 4th 2016
In a short stretch of two kilometres, around the central hub of Rhodes, you will find parks abounding in numbers that put other Sydney suburbs to shame. Whilst many have the usual children's playgrounds with slippery dips and sandpits, there are some that have that 'something extra' that makes them unique and worthy of mention.
The local council is big on art and heritage, having put into place some very different pieces using different mediums and artists whose works are both engaging and inspiring.
Hoskin's Reserve is one such special place where the wooden picnic tables are no longer average. They have been painted with board games just a few months ago (the artist's name has eluded me). We're not talking black and white chequer boards but beautiful images of birds, crocodiles, frogs, a fish or two and some lady beetles.
Three tables in total, appear brightly coloured. One is a maze with different paths to follow, another is bingo numbered and a third is about seeing how many lady beetles can be found in the picture (with the answer to be found under the table).
Play and eat at the same time, this reserve also features a sandpit, a climbing apparatus and a see saw and can be found on Darling Avenue, between Shoreline Drive and Walker Street.
Peg Paterson Park is another park with some art, in the form of a ping pong table that has been painted with a mural. Joel Moore, who runs the Mulga brand, is the artist behind this one. It features the Parramatta River running through the middle, bordered on each side by activities enjoyed around the river. It also highlights the indigenous heritage of the area.
The table is free for all to use and bats are conveniently stored in a pocket underneath the table. Unfortunately, the ball was missing when my husband and I visited. Hopefully, it has been returned or replaced.
Located in Mary Street, the children's playground here features some Australian fauna in the bouncy sit on kangaroo and wombat.
Phoenix Park embellishes the fishing heritage of Parramatta River in the children's playground with its net to climb through and a wall, The Wangal Wall, named after the Aboriginal people of this land. The latter has been designed in collaboration with artist Jason Wing and features fish in earthy tones of ochre, burnt red and black. It links the upper and lower levels of the park with ramps that are frequently used by skateboarders.
You can work out at your own pace or join one of the groups that get together on weekdays. There's boot camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30am and yoga on Fridays at 10.30am. Both are free but you need to register online here in order to participate.
Mill Park Street is the location and there's parking adjacent to the park.
Foreshore Park combines fitness and sculpture. It is more slim and lengthy rather than large and spacious.
It has a walking path and cycling path that takes you north to south along the Rhodes Peninsula and water's edge, parallel to Shoreline Drive, hence the name of the park.
Six bronze statues, entitled 'Cartwheeling Youngster', have been created by artist Caroline Rothwell to celebrate the youth and vitality of the community. They adorn the river's side and adjacent grass, signifying growth and potential.