Mindarie Park Inclusive Playscape, Lane Cove North

Mindarie Street, Lane Cove North

How wonderful it is to see a new focus on the development of inclusive playspaces, inviting children and adults of all abilities to enjoy the facilities. Last week we checked out one of Sydney’s newest all-abilities playgrounds, Mindarie Park Inclusive Playscape, in Lane Cove North. Here’s our review.

An exciting inclusive new playspace has just opened (February 2019) at Mindarie Park, in Lane Cove North. Situated on Mindarie Street, just off Mowbray Road, the playground is part of the NSW government’s Everyone Can Play program, aiming to create spaces that cater to people of all ages and abilities. It’s the first of three stages of development for the park.

The design and facilities at the Mindarie Park playspace are appealing and have been thoughtfully planned. The playground is fully fenced, with a distinct yellow entrance gate and animal details along the fencing. Visibility throughout the space is good. The playground has a multicoloured rubber softfall surface, also depicting Australian fauna. There is some bark chip surrounding the trees (but this is not within the actual play areas.) A giant bright yellow sunflower feature adds colour and warmth.

All-abilities and standard play equipment are located together throughout the playground. The equipment is intended to engage children in many possible ways – through movement, balance and dexterity, visual displays, touch and sound.

A large play structure – accessed via wide elevated ramps or by scaling various elements, such as ladders, logs and rock wall footholds – is the hub of the playground activity. Kids love the slides, particularly the log-style tunnel.

Next to this structure is another enticing feature, the Sway Fun boat. There’s also a small sandpit with digging equipment, and a selection of music-making features.

The playground features numerous swings as well, including traditional and supported styles.

At the time we visited, midmorning on a Friday, Mindarie Park’s play area was very busy. We expect that over time the playground will be less crowded. Despite the popularity of the playground, our son loved exploring all the different elements, some of which we’d not encountered previously.

There is ample shade over the key play areas, provided by umbrellas and established trees, and a drinking fountain too.

There are approximately ten benches scattered around the playground area, which would likely be sufficient in quieter periods. We noted that some parents and carers had brought their own picnic rugs and set them up at the edges of the playground.

Contemporary wheelchair-accessible toilets, one of which includes a baby changing station, are located close to the playground, along a short path outside of the fenced area. At the time we visited we found the toilet amenities to be clean and tidy.

Currently the entertainment area is quite limited, with just one covered picnic table and a barbecue located outside of the playspace. This would suit a children’s birthday party or other small gathering, but you’d need to nab it early! Works are, of course, ongoing and will eventually include the construction of a large grassed area with recreational amenities, an additional play area and multipurpose court.

Street parking is available, with several disabled parking spots, and we had no trouble finding a spot on the day we visited despite the playground being busy. Take note: Mindarie Street is quite narrow.

When planning a visit Mindarie Park, in addition to the usual hats, suncream, etc, we would recommend packing your picnic blanket, in case seating is not available. If you child enjoys playing with sand, we would also recommend taking a bucket and spade for the sandpit.

 

Reviewed by Lisa Giurissevich

 

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