Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published October 28th 2015
A Playground in Perfect Surrounds
Perhaps we should call Wilson Botanic Park, the People's Park as it has so much to offer. The icing on the cake for families is the wonderful children's playground and BBQ area. Take the path to the left after the marsh if you can tear the children away from the antics of the ducks and waterfowl. Up a slight hill and around the weeping willow on the curve you will find the playground.
The playground is divided into two spaces and is fenced. It is protected by shade sails despite also being surrounded by trees. There is a woodchip mulch on the ground and each of the spaces has seating for parents. There is extra seating in the BBQ area which overlooks the playground.
In the first and larger of the play spaces are two traditional swings with rubber seating, one of which has leg holes and a safety chain for the smallest of your tots. Further on children can launch themselves across a track ride, squealing with delight, "I can fly." A good start, but the best is yet to come.
A wooden ramp leads to a platform cubby with a plastic steering wheel. Your child can stand aloft like a captain on the bridge and survey all around them as they steer their ship. From this platform step up and over a raised bridge to another platform from which a slide is suspended. The slide can also be reach by a set of stairs.
The second play space has a two platform cubby with a slide and fireman's pole, and a tunnel beneath. The platform is reached by ladder or by climbing a small rock wall. Beside this is a well sprung see-saw with hand holds and foot rests.
Immediately past the playground, is a picnic area with two electric BBQ's and four sets of tables, three of which overlook the playground. Steps lead up from the BBQ's to a lawn area with three more sets of tables.
More steps lead from here to the Hoo Hoo Lookout Tower from which there are spectacular views across Melbourne to Port Phillip Bay. The steps are steep and once at the tower it is a bit of a climb up so please do supervise the children. If heights aren't for you the views from the base of the tower are no less awesome.
In addition to the marsh, there are two lakes in the park. Anniversary Lake is a short easy walk. Turtles live there in abundance and are easily spotted near the surface, especially at the father end of the lake. I spotted a bunny in the lakeside vegetation on my last visit.
Wilson Botanic Park is at 668 Princes Highway, Berwick. Maps can be collected from the Visitor Centre or downloaded here. The park is open daily from 7am to 6pm or from 7am to 9pm during daylight savings, every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. The Visitor Centre is open from 10am to 4pm. There is off road parking. Public toilets and a water tap are near the playground. Admission is free except when special functions are on. For more details ring the City of Casey on (03) 9707 5818 or check their website.