Livvi’s Place Five Dock: An Excellent Inclusive Playground

Livvi’s Place Five Dock is, quite simply, one of the very best playgrounds in the entire Sydney metropolitan area. This park and its excellent all abilities playground makes a great day out and is a fantastic place to meet up with groups of friends and family.

wide shot of shades roundabouts and climbingframes at Livvi's Place Five Dock
There is heaps of shady space at Livvi’s Place Five Dock

Opened in 2009 and then updated in 2016, Livvi’s Place Five Dock was a ground-breaking playground for Australia, and it’s as popular today as it was when it first opened.

the large roundabout at Livvi's Place Five Dock
This amazing inclusive roundabout is such fun
A large musical instrument at Livvi's Place Five Dock
My daughter playing one of the musical instrucments at Livvi’s Place Five Dock
girls hanging upside down over wall with kids handprint art
Children’s art works are a feature at this all abilities playground

If you have a child with special needs, you will feel at home in this playground and in very good company. As will your typically developing kids too.

climbing net at Livvi's Place Five Dock
A low climbing net, excellent for younger kids

The Touched By Olivia Foundation

The Touched by Olivia Foundation was established in 2006 by John and Justine Perkins in memory of their baby daughter who had died at just a few months of age.

The Foundation partners with councils and community groups to create all abilities playgrounds where all members of the community, young and old, able and with special needs, can come together to play side-by-side.

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What Are Inclusive Playspaces?

Inclusive playspaces aim to cater for all members of the community, including those with vision, hearing and mobility impairments, as well as people with autism spectrum disorder.

There should be colour and textural changes in the playground, musical sculptures that create vibration as well as sound. There should be equipment which can be used by adults alongside the children, such as the birds nest swing, the bull riders and the motorised roundabout.

20140807 Livvi's Place Five Dock_0092_1 Livvi's place 3 shot

Livvi’s Place Five Dock

Address: Timbrell Park, Henly Marine Drive, Five Dock

This is a very large playground indeed, with plenty of space amongst the play equipment and with a lovely quiet bushy area too.

Timbrell Park is very large and flat with huge grassy spaces for playing ball games, and lots of paths for bikes and trikes.

You can see the equipment in all of the photos I have added to this article, but here’s a handy list too:

  • Seating
  • Inclusive playspace
  • Artwork/sculpture
  • Livvi’s Cafe
  • Snakes and ladders path
  • Fenced
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Picnic tables
  • Synthetic softball
  • Swings
  • Jungle gym
  • Rope climb
  • Natural shade
  • Rubbish bin
  • Bike track
  • Toilets
  • Shade structure
  • Bubbler
  • Barbecues. 
girl running and jumping on old car tyres
The bushy areas are lovely for running and jumping games

Special needs:  There’s an interesting article on the playground in an architecture journal here. 

Nearest takeaway coffee: Livvi’s Cafe is right beside the playground, a social enterprise managed by the Touched By Olivia Foundation

Toilets: The toilet block is just outside the playground, with both child and adult change tables.

Shade: Yes, plenty from trees and shade cloths however these can be busy in high summer and some of the playground is still in full sun.

Enclosed: Yes, fully fenced with only one exit/entrance.

Mum’s report: You will really appreciate coming here whether you have kids with special needs or not. I’m so glad my kids have such a great place to come where they see all sorts of people, all sorts of ages and stages.  And there’s something about the equipment that really encourages me to get in there and play with them.

Parking: Plenty of parking along Henley Marine Drive

Bus stop nearby: Yes

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The large roundabout is electric and this is the control for it
the roundabout in motion
Getting arty – a photo of the electric roundabout in motion

Video of Livvi’s Place Five Dock

If you have a child with autism, you might find it helpful to show them this video about Livvi’s Place before a visit.  It’s a bit out of date eg there is now a roofed area over the roundabout, but it’s helpful.

Livvi’s Cafe at Livvi’s Place Five Dock

Livvi's Cafe at Livvi's Place in Five Dock
Livvi’s Cafe is run as a social enterprise, isn’t that great?

Stay up to date with the cafe opening hours and activities there on the Livvi’s Cafe Five Dock Facebook page. On Facebook you can also find a Friends of Livvi’s Place Five Dock group.

Livvi's Place cafe cups and coffee
Livvi’s Cafe is a lovely spot to sit and relax, if your kids will allow you to. If they are very busy, grab a takeaway and drink it in the playground!
shaded grassy area within the playground
There are some delightful shady secret places where children can find some quiet moments to play alone

Livvi’s Place Five Dock Map

You can tell myself and my Ms8 had a very enjoyable visit to the playground! It wasn’t crowded the overcast day we were there, however at weekends this excellent playground can be busy.

You might also be interested in these articles:

The Bay Run – A Great Walk or Cycle for Families

Sydney’s Best Cafes Beside Playgrounds

Livvi’s Place, Yamble Reserve Ryde

Do visit these playgrounds. They are excellent and I’m sure you’ll join me in being so happy that the needs of ALL members of the community are so well catered to.

Have you visited one of the Livvi’s Place playgrounds?

Happy playing!

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    1. says: Seana Smith

      And this was a day when, according to her, she was very unwell and couldn’t go to school. Let’s hope the teacher doesn’t see the photos. Oh well, we all need a mental health day now and then. xx

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