I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published July 10th 2013
When you can't decide if it's a beach or a park day
Some days you want a playground, some days you want the beach and other days you want both. Victory Park offers the local community and visitors both options and once you're there, it's hard to resist either. Located in Chelsea behind the buzz of the main stores and cafes, the park sits along the foreshore with direct access to the beach along a lovely wooden boardwalk.
Victory Park Chelsea
The park sticks to the beach-side theme with a large red and white lighthouse dominating the play area. It's easy and fun to climb, maybe not for all adults however, but kids of all ages can comfortably cruise up the spiral staircase and the view from above is brilliant, particularly on a cloudless day. Beneath you is the sight of kids busily making their way along the maze of ropes and bridges and on the other side, the shiny blue ocean beckons.
There's a beautiful view from up top this glorious Lighthouse
There's a labyrinth of walkways and paths leading to slides, poles, things to climb and bridges. You can even wander, (or run if your a kid cause who has the time to dawdle?) to the adjoining wooden boat fit out with a tunnel to stowaway in.
Ahoy Captain I spy a lot of kids down below
A completely separate space holds another action packed play station, this time it's a big, old fort with billowing flags and an underground hideaway great for laughing in, spying from and sharing sea stories in. This section is surrounded by sand, so kick off your shoes and feel the tiny grains massage your toes. It has two swings and diggers as well, perhaps you'll excavate a hidden treasure!
The wooden fort is protected by a moat filled with sand.
There are great trees to climb, a stage to perform a jig on and yet another set of swings, all great escapes from the chaos going on in the main play arenas.
The playground and equipment is in fantastic condition having been upgraded in 2012 by the local council. Facilities include outdoor showers, deck chairs overlooking the sea, two fully accessible toilets, a barbeque area and heaps of table and seats, or there's green lawns to lay out a picnic rug or kick a ball on. The barbeques are highly sort after and have been is use every time we've been around, so if you're hoping to use it, my recommendation would be to get in early, particularly during weekends.
Tall showers and short ones made just for feet will keep your car sand free
And then there's the ocean, literally just stroll down the boardwalk and there it is, golden sand and blue water ready to immerse yourself in or walk the edges of. You can imagine the draw card this is in summer, play, swim, play, swim. What a wonderful combination. But be aware, there is no secure fencing blocking entrance to the beach so parents need to be vigilant with children, particularly those who tend to wander off.
The beach is only a stroll along the boardwalk away
There are plenty of cafes close by to grab a drink, ice-cream or a bite to eat and a supermarket down the road. There's parking at the front of the park and residents of the City of Kingston can use their permit to stay all day for free. For others, its not cheap, $3 an hour or $11 for the day. Perhaps look out for street parking along Nepean Highway or at the supermarket which is only a short walk away.
This playground encourages activity, action and imagination, all the things parents and kids are looking for, so be prepared for the sounds of tears and tantrums as the dreaded cry of "home time" rings out in someone's little ears. And when its your turn and they go into hiding, try under the fort, they always go under the fort!