5 nature play spaces to enjoy in South Australia’s national parks and gardens

5 nature play spaces to enjoy in South Australia’s national parks and gardens

Look­ing for a new play­ground to take the kids to? Try these nature play spaces in SA’s nation­al parks and gardens.

There are plen­ty of play­grounds to choose from in South Aus­tralia, but if you’d like to vis­it one that’s been cre­at­ed with nature in mind, we’ve got a few spe­cial spots to add to your list.

Best of all, they’re nes­tled with­in some of Adelaide’s most pop­u­lar nation­al parks and gar­dens.

1. Mori­al­ta Con­ser­va­tion Park

The Mukan­thi Nature Play Space at Mori­al­ta is a must-vis­it for the young and young-at-heart. Mukan­thi is a Kau­r­na word mean­ing cel­e­brate and play’, and is pro­nounced muh-gan­thee’.

Locat­ed at the Strad­broke Road pic­nic area, this award-win­ning play­ground sprawls over an area almost the size of Ade­laide Oval and includes fea­tures like a climb­ing tow­er and long slide, the maze-like Great Snake and 3 climb­ing boul­ders to help chil­dren and adults build their rock climb­ing skills.

This unique play space has been cre­at­ed out of nat­ur­al mate­ri­als and is designed to inspire and chal­lenge chil­dren while con­nect­ing them with nature. Climb the Kook­abur­ra Nests, dis­cov­er an Abo­rig­i­nal fire pit at Frog Island, find the secret tun­nel at Great Snake, and reach the peak at Eagle’s Perch.

With acces­si­ble park­ing, toi­lets and bar­be­cue areas near­by, the Mukan­thi Nature Play Space is the per­fect spot for a fam­i­ly day out.

Note: The car park adja­cent to the Mukan­thi Nature Play Space is being rede­vel­oped, and will be closed from Mon­day 25 July to pre­pare for con­struc­tion works that begin on Mon­day 1 August 2022. The­ses works are expect­ed to be com­plete by Fri­day 30 Sep­tem­ber 2022. While these works are under­way, vis­i­tors can­not park at this location.

You can still park at the near­by Resource Cen­tre car park and along Mori­al­ta Falls Road, but it will be extreme­ly lim­it­ed so you might like to keep that in mind when you’re decid­ing when’s the best time to visit. 

The upgrades to the car park will cre­ate extra car park­ing spaces and new walk­ing paths to the nature play area and beyond, mak­ing it eas­i­er and safer for you to enjoy the park. Check the Nation­al Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice web­site for all the details.

2. Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park

The rap­tor-themed nature play­ground at award-win­ning Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park was inspired by the kites and kestrels that fly over­head look­ing for prey in the open grasslands.

Get a birds-eye view of the play­ground from the climb­ing struc­tures that mim­ic tree nests.

Sand­pits have been designed to look like bird nests with giant eggs in the mid­dle, and there’s a fly­ing fox and tra­di­tion­al play equip­ment to enjoy as well.

Why not make a day of your vis­it and enjoy the BBQs, pic­nic shel­ters, toi­lets and near­by bike trails.

3. Para Wirra Con­ser­va­tion Park

Check out Para Wirra’s nature play for­est at the Gawler View pic­nic area, com­plete with shel­ters and acces­si­ble toilets. 

Wan­der along the Nature Dis­cov­ery Walk, head over the rope bridges and creek line, and find a space to build your own cub­by from fall­en branches. 

Put on a per­for­mance for your fam­i­ly and friends in the stone amphithe­atre or check out the fly­ing fox which is rat­ed for up to 140 kg, so mum and dad can have a go too!

5 nature play spaces to enjoy in South Australia’s national parks and gardens

4. Belair Nation­al Park

Let the kids explore an active won­der­land at Belair Nation­al Park’s adven­ture play­ground while you grab a hot drink from the kiosk, open dur­ing busi­ness hours on week­ends, pub­lic hol­i­days and school holidays.

Be sure to check out the adult-size wood­en fort and the maze of tun­nels, per­fect for a game of chasey or hide-and-seek.

Make a day of it and spend time explor­ing the rest of the park too.

One of the wooden forts at Belair National Park
One of the wood­en forts at Belair Nation­al Park

5. Wit­tun­ga Botan­ic Garden

The new and acces­si­ble nature play­space at Wit­tun­ga Botan­ic Gar­den is the per­fect spot for kids to learn and play at the same time.

The play­space was designed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with stu­dents from Black­wood Pri­ma­ry School.

It includes a ribbed frog where chil­dren can exper­i­ment with music, a log scram­ble so they can hone in on gross motor skills, an in-ground wheel­chair tram­po­line for chil­dren with acces­si­bil­i­ty needs and a rock mound com­plete with a play tun­nel for kids to get an ele­vat­ed view across the garden.

With toi­lets and drink­ing water avail­able near­by, make a day of your vis­it. Enjoy a pic­nic at the acces­si­ble pic­nic set­ting and pod decks, and take your time to explore the beau­ti­ful botan­ic garden.

5 nature play spaces to enjoy in South Australia’s national parks and gardens

Under con­struc­tion: Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta Nature Play Precinct

A new nature play space is com­ing to Adelaide’s south­ern sub­urbs, at Glen­thorne Nation­al Park-Itya­mai­it­pin­na Yarta, 17 km from the city.

It’s still ear­ly days as the con­cept images have only just been released, but when it’s built the whole fam­i­ly will have a heap of fun fea­tures to enjoy.

On the cards is a maze walk, tree tow­er and an obsta­cle course with acces­si­ble ele­ments included.

Here’s what it might look like:

5 nature play spaces to enjoy in South Australia’s national parks and gardens

Check out our blog on the top three parks for your tod­dler to enjoy mud, glo­ri­ous mud. Know of any oth­er great nature play spaces in South Aus­tralia? Tell us in the com­ments below.

Main image: The rap­tor-themed nature play­ground at Cob­bler Creek Recre­ation Park

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in June 2018 and has been updat­ed with new information.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living