Central Gardens, Merrylands – Sydney’s Best Playgrounds For Kids {Updated}

Central Gardens Merrylands

Since the last of my boisterous bairns started school, our visits to playgrounds have reduced in number – and I miss the exploring!

Our weekends can get really busy, with lots of sports, ballet, teenagers working and playing gigs. It’s all very different. 

I do miss exploring Sydney’s many fantastic playgrounds like we used to.  I know some mums can’t bear playgrounds, but they clearly don’t have kids with ADHD!!

Playgrounds saved my sanity many times, and the lovely mums I often struck up conversations with often had their ears bent for ages. Maybe it was they who saved my sanity – or at least tried their best.

Anyway, here’s one of the very best of Sydney’s playgrounds, a marvellous park and playground in the western suburbs.

Have you visited Central Gardens in Merrylands?

You haven’t?  How daft!  You need to get over there!


Central Gardens

Cnr Betts and Merrylands Roads

Merrylands West 2160

Council website here.

Central Gardens is a large parkland with great playgrounds close to both entrances and a huge open space in the centre. The smaller playground is to the right of the Merrylands Road entrance, beside the Yarrabee picnic area. It has long, wide ramps, two slides, a rope-grid bridge and spring rockers. The picnic area is shaded and has barbecues. Beside it is a huge pond full of ducks and other birdlife, plus two fountains and a waterfall.

There is another picnic area on the other side of this playground and close to it is Central Gardens biggest attraction for the under fives, the aviary and animal enclosures. The animals on view include wallabies, hens, cockatoos, budgies and waterfowl.

To the right of the Paton Street entrance is a third picnic area with barbecues, lots of picnic tables and plenty of tree shade. The larger playground is found here. This playground has an impressive play structure that includes grid climbers and bridges, five slides, a tunnel climber and large beads, bordered by eight spring rockers. It is completely shaded.

Central Gardens is open Monday–Friday 7.30am–4pm, Saturday–Sunday 9am–5pm in winter and Monday–Friday 7.30am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday 8am–7pm during daylight saving. The fountains are in operation in the middle of the day only.

Nearest takeaway coffee: BYO

Toilets: Toilet blocks beside both playgrounds, the disabled toilet has a baby change table

Shade: Yes

Enclosed: The playgrounds are not enclosed but the gardens themselves are fenced

Mum’s report: A great spot for a picnic and play, especially if you are meeting friends and family. A trip to see all the animals always goes down well with the children.

Map reference: Gregory’s 306 H11, Sydway 271 P3, UBD 210 C11

Parking: Carparks near both playgrounds

Bus stop nearby: Yes


You might like these other playground posts:

Seven Great Cafes Beside Playgrounds

Sydney’s Best Bike Tracks Part 1

Best Fenced Playgrounds – North


 Do you love a good playground? Or loathe them?

Do they save your sanity too?

Happy playing


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Posted on: March 24, 2018


  • Reply September 17, 2011


    You are full of ideas! I haven’t ventured to Merrylands with the tribe but I now know where to go if I were so inclined. 200 hits, 1 comment! Thanks for Rewinding x

  • Reply December 1, 2013


    I had no idea this was in Merrylands. Not that big a distance for us. Must take a look 🙂

  • Reply March 26, 2014


    Australia has hands down the best playgrounds in the world! Been to Perth and these playgrounds looked nicer than most Disney entertainment parks.

    I just followed you on Twitter – looking forward to connect!

    • Reply March 26, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Lovely to meet you! Will pop over to visit your blog too. I agree that our playgrounds here in Oz are just fantastic, much better than most UK ones we have visited though there are some top ones there too.

  • Reply March 28, 2014

    Lisa Wood

    Playground? Whats a Playground? Can’t remember the last time we were able to visit one with all the rain we have had!
    I am so disappointed in the Playgrounds in the Wollongong area – there is nothing worth visiting besides the Botanical Gardens Playground.
    Can’t wait for the sun to come back out so that we can look for more places to explore – will have to remember Merrylands when we are up in Sydney visiting our older son 🙂

  • Reply June 5, 2014

    Mama Frog


    That park is 18min walk from my house!!! I will try…


    – Isolated incompetent 1st time mum with 5mo Froggie scared to leave the house…

    • Reply June 5, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Get out of the house!! Would you like to have a chat sometime. I found the early days with my first son very hard going. Very sympathetic!

  • Reply November 21, 2016

    Petra L

    This is a great park as both play areas are completely covered with shade. On a hot 30degree day, we enjoyed our time underneath the canopy. However, there are no swings in this park.I am finding it very difficult to find a park where the swings are covered. My son is at the age where he is not walking without assistance and his favourite equipment is the swing, but not ideal now that summer is here.

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