Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published October 17th 2012
Everything you've ever wanted in a park, and more
Steel Park Playground is a fully equipped play area situated in the picturesque surrounds of the Cook's River. The play area is just off of Illawarra Road, and can be accessed via a number of footpaths or it's own carpark.
With two slides (one for big kids, one for littlies), swings, a see-saw, some balance beams and a raft of other playthings, there's plenty to keep the kids occupied. The park isn't under sunsails, but it is quite well shaded by the trees in the area, so most of the activities stay fairly cool, most of the time.
The little red slide is very popular with the littlies @ Steel Park playground
The swings are separated with two on one side of the park and two on the other. Each set of swings features a baby swing (with bucket seat and chain to strap them in,) and a swing for older kids. The problem is that one set of swings is right next to the slide for little kids, which means that little ones are constantly inadvertently walking in front of the swings, so as a parent you're either worried that your child will get hit by a swing, or worried thata child will walk under the swing that you're pushing. This doesn't exactly make for a relaxing time.
Beware little children and swings @ Steel Park Playground
The little slide is great for younger children, but the big curly slide, whilst a lot of fun, definitely needs supervision for the younger ones as the steep metal stairs are a hazard (we witnessed a child fall from them not too long ago). The real draw card for the older kids though, is the flying fox, which seems to really gather speed, much to the delight of the young daredevils.
If the kids tire of the playground, they can always make use of the Water Play area that sits alongside the playground, or you can sit and have a picnic or a barbeque in the grounds or go for a stroll along the Cook's River and admire the views. I defy anyone not to wear out the kids with so many activities on offer.
Kids are unlikely to get bored @ Steel Park playground, but if they do, a walk along the Cook's River should help wear them out
The park is serviced by public toilets that always seem quite clean, and an ice-cream van also pulls up nearby on busy days, so there are generally refreshments to hand if you need anything. There is also a cafe a short walk away for all your coffee, sandwich, cake and salad needs.
The playground is best accessed from Illawarra Road, either by car on foot. A word of advice if you do decide to drive though – the carpark is very small and gets full pretty quickly at peak times like school holidays and weekends. There is also a bit of street parking on Illawarra and quite a lot on Wallace Street, which is just opposite the playground.
Apart from the parking, my biggest gripe about this park would be that the play area is not fenced off, yet it backs on to the river. The only thing between a small child and a life-threatening dip in the river is vigilant parents, a short (less than 1m high) wall, and about 25 metres. Not ideal when fast-moving, crazy people are on the rampage.