The Rhodes Park 5 Senses Garden, Concord West

Killoola Street, Concord West
 
Heads up, there’s a brand-new playground in our neck of the woods!
The 5 Senses Garden at Rhodes Park, in Concord West, is a fully fenced playground and community garden for people of all abilities and backgrounds. We checked it out early one morning last weekend, together with our children, aged five and six years, and really appreciated this new inclusive facility.
An initiative of not-for-profit organisation Inner West Neighbour Aid, and created in partnership with the City of Canada Bay, the Rhodes Park 5 Senses Garden is a safe, welcoming place where the whole community can gather and relax, with nature play elements, picnic and barbecue facilities and seating, and accessible garden beds and paths. It’s intended that the garden will host workshops, therapeutic activities and provide opportunities for people to volunteer and socialise.

The landscaping throughout the 5 Senses Garden is thoughtful and attractive. There is a brightly coloured path running through the middle of the garden with both new and established plants and trees. These offered ample shade at the time we visited; however, it’s possible the surrounding trees may not provide adequate shade when in full sun, so be sure to pack hats and suncream.
The play equipment, intended to engage the senses in multiple ways, includes two sandpits (one of which is raised for wheelchair users), a water pump with channels, a climbing frame, balancing beams, logs and sandstone blocks, a tightrope, a boat, a bee rocker, a bird’s nest-style swing and musical instruments.

The nature-based balancing elements were a highlight for our children, and so was the water pump.

We suggest you supervise your children closely on the metal climbing frame. It’s not nearly as forgiving as the rope, wooden or plastic climbing structures found in other playgrounds.

There are gardening amenities, bench seating, a large picnic shelter with a tap and sink and barbecue, and a bubbler.

Immediately outside the fenced area are toilets and the Kokoda Cafe, which has outdoor seating at the back.

There is a car park directly outside the Rhodes Park 5 Senses Garden, accessed via Killoola Street.
Next to this is the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, which is a living memorial and site of commemoration honouring those who fought for Australia during World War II.
The 5 Senses Garden can also be accessed via a car park on Mary Street, where we parked. Following the signs to the Kokoda Café, we walked through Brays Bay Reserve, an attractive setting with glistening water views, and along part of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, with lush tropical vegetation reminiscent of the Kokoda Track. It was a very achievable walk with young children through to the garden, approximately 200 metres.

If you’re looking to extend your visit, there are also two playgrounds in McIlwaine Park, on the Mary Street side. If you’re coming by public transport, Rhodes train station is about a 5–10 minute walk.
While this garden and playground may not offer the thrills of some of the Inner West adventure playgrounds, it is a fantastic community resource and certainly provided a pleasant outing for us. It will particularly suit families with toddlers and young children.
 
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