I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published February 22nd 2017
Gorgeous nature playground in the heart of Kings Park
Did you know that Perth's Kings Park is one of the largest inner city parks in the world and it's even bigger than New York's Central Park? No? Me neither, until it came up as a question on Millionaire Hot Seat. You can learn a lot from Eddie, you know. So why then, do I only ever visit the one side of this gorgeous park - the side overlooking the river? With my dad visiting from overseas, I was determined to see a side of Kings Park I'd never seen before, so we went to the Synergy Parkland.
Turns out I have been here before - I did a 'fun' run at the site back in 2013. There was nothing fun about sweating and panting for 8km. Still, coming here with a toddler in tow was a first. We parked in the shade and walked a short distance over beautiful manicured lawns to the playground, which has a strong focus on nature.
The first thing I noticed - apart from the giant timber play structures, which are pretty hard to miss - was the oversized crocodile-type statute that had attracted a number of kids to climb aboard. It is huge. The park has several similar statues dedicated to extinct Australian fauna. Trust me, you wouldn't want to find one of these lurking in your backyard. It would probably take up most of the backyard.
The play structures are different. One is a set of timber steps that leads to a platform to well, nowhere. We'll call this a lookout tower. The first of the large structures is accessible via steps and features an unnerving timber bridge in the middle. It's not for the faint hearted or people who suffer vertigo. It's stable, but it sure doesn't feel that way when you're crossing it with a toddler in your arms.
There are ladders and rope ladders to climb down, otherwise you can take the gentle option of the steps and ramp at the end. You can follow the path to the next structure, which isn't as difficult to navigate across but the tricky part is the ending - do you walk all the way back to the ramp and then walk the length of the play structure, just to reach your toddler (with her grandad, of course) at the bottom of the slide? Do you climb down a steep ladder or a rope ladder? Heck no. What about slide down a pole? Not in this dress. So I follow my toddler down the twisty slide. My little girl thinks this is hilarious of course, as mummy's backside doesn't usually fit on many slides. Not the toddler slides anyway.
We had walked past the Bovell Kiosk, which wasn't open but the toilets were. I found out later that the kiosk only opens during peak times. A family were cooking a late breakfast on the barbecues, which made us hungry, so we crossed over the bridge on the lake towards Zamia cafe.
There's a little island at the end of the bridge with a small playground and a water play area. There is another walkway linking the island to the other side of the park, so be careful with kids when crossing over it.
If you haven't been to Synergy Parkland, it's well worth a look, and feels like a world away from the busy tourist hub of Fraser Avenue. If you want to see a different but ultimately gorgeous side of Kings Park, head to Synergy Parkland.