Oh, I do love a playground with a real theme, don’t you? And this one has a ‘zoo animals’ theme, what more could a toddler or preschooler desire?
And there’s a delightful cafe just beside the playground... a parent’s joy.
One of Willoughby’s finest, this is a very extensive playground with great spaces for imaginative play, excellent picnic facilities and a swimming pool nearby. It’s got the lot.
Hallstrom Reserve Playground
Small Street, Willoughby 2068
This is a very large playground with many features which will entertain and inspire visitors of all ages. There are several areas linked by wide paths which are good for bikes, plus there is a large bike track at the Willoughby Road end.
The play equipment is inventive and blends in well with the natural environment. The play area’s theme is Taronga Park Zoo, many artworks are found throughout the playspace and these are a terrific attraction, favourites include the two fish sculpted into a huge boulder in the middle of the large sandpit and the big gorilla and elephant sculptures with soundboxes.
Some of the play equipment includes a small slide with rocky steps leading to the top (look out for the snake sculpture), a longer slide with rocks to scramble up, swings suspended from huge wooden sleepers, a mighty flying fox and a jetty play area.
There are all sorts of features here, like the water pump and the wonderful musicosaurus (a musical percussion sculpture) and the bike track’s groovy wave bridge. A large rotunda has a picnic table and several benches under shade and there is a smooth grassy picnic area with two barbecues and picnic tables. A creek area divides the picnic area from the bike track.
There are paths leading from the playspace all the way under Flat Road Road to Tunks Park, so there are lots of opportunities for walking.
Toilets: There is a toilet block in the middle of the park with a spacious disabled toilet
Shade: From trees over play equipment, but not over bike track
Enclosed: No, but is below the level of Small Street, with lots of equipment at a safe distance from the road
Mum’s report: A fantastic place for children to explore. They will find lots here to stimulate imaginative play. Adults enjoy the playspace as well because of the artworks, and with all the sandstone rocks, wooden sleepers and plants it’s simply an enjoyable environment to be in.
Extra: Willoughby Leisure Centre is a five minute walk away (see page 111)
Map reference: Gregory’s 285 F16, Sydway F12 257, UBD 196 A16
Parking: Parking spaces on Small Street
Bus stop nearby: Yes