Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground is located in Richley Reserve, which is part of the Blackbutt Nature Reserve in New Lambton, Newcastle. The playground sits amongst a beautiful nature park, with picnic tables, BBQs, toilet facilities, two duck ponds, walks and native wildlife all around. It is hard to believe today that this whole area was an active coal mine before it was purchased by Newcastle Council to create the natural wonderland you see today. Listen to kookaburras laugh in the trees, as children giggle nearby at the sandpit playground that sits in the centre.
The Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground is a sight to behold, painted with bright reds and eucalyptus greens to highlight the native flora behind. As you walk there from the car park, past the picnic shelters, which you can hire, you see the large towers in the far distance - and yes, it looks mega! Your kids will spot it before you will, and then they will be off and running with excitement ...
There's no looking back once they see the Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground!
The playground has two distinct sides - one for the older children (with a tall tower to climb) and one for the toddlers. Our 8-year-old daughter ran directly for the tower, to climb up the net tunnel to the top and then take the slide down. The sign on the tower states that it is suitable for ages 7 and over, as it can get quite steep and tricky to climb. There is also a high fireman's pole, net climb and a bridge directly to the slide if the kids didn't want to climb the tower.
At the bottom of the slide, there is a large green mound to climb, bars to hang off, a tunnel to run through and slopes to run up and down. There is also a couple of swings, before you walk on over to the toddler area of the playground.
This section for the littlies has a net swing, sand pit, traditional swings, moving bridge, stepping stones, metal tunnel slide and interesting places to explore. The beauty of this playground is the natural environment all around it. On our visit, a kookaburra created some entertainment by swooping in to pick up a bread roll from a nearby picnic and fly over the playground to sit in a tree. The kids were amazed to watch it bang the bread roll against the tree trunk, just like it would if it had caught a lizard or small animal. It is the native environment, which is also a source of interest and wonder - for all ages.
Exploring the toddler area and the rest of the playground
This huge playground incorporates natural tactile elements like timber, stone, sand and water to reflect the environment it is in and encourage children to play outdoors. On our visit, my daughter loved playing in every area, particularly on the tower and long slide.
If you are trying to get your kids outside and off the iPad these school holidays, why not hop in the car and visit the Richley Reserve Mega Adventure Playground? It is just 3 minutes from Kotara Westfield, so it is the perfect place to visit after shopping, if your kids still have some energy to burn. Beware however - they may never want to leave!
Visit this natural, colourful playground amongst the trees