A new Olympic Park play space has been open since June, and has had a steady flow of little feet treading its rubber mounds and rock-climbing grooves, tiptoeing across its giant web netting and ascending its 12-metre tree house ever since. And when Time Out visited recently with two little reviewers in tow – four-year-old Daniel and six-year-old Jack – the place was in frenzied school holiday overdrive.
Parents set up camp with picnics under large shade cloths and watched on as their kids raced, eyes wide, towards the playground’s multiple structures. The space sprawls out over 300 metres and sits just a few hundred further from the Parramatta River. Time Out presumed the water views were for the benefit of the parents, but was quickly set straight by young Daniel when we quizzed him on the best part of the park: “I like that you can see that river.”
The boys’ first stop was a large rope-climbing web surrounded by tunnel slides on all sides. Our young reviewers were a little camera-shy to begin, and Time Out’s photographer had quite a task chasing them up the rubber embankments and down the slides – much to their delight, of course.
The tree house, Daniel’s second favourite element, was next. You can enter the wooden structure via a large rope bridge, and when we climbed across it we found Spider-man hanging from the roof. A rope level about ten metres above the ground was a little scary for both young and old Time Out reviewers, but boasts a great view of the whole park. We used it to plan our next adventures: swings, flying fox, and then more slides (Jack’s fave).
The flying fox is a lot bigger those on offer at other Sydney parks – “Should I wear my helmet?” asked Jack, looking a little concerned – but sits not too far above a squishy, rubbery ground. It also has two ‘foxes’ so kids can go tandem with mum or dad if they’re feeling scared.
With our guest reviewers worn out, Time Out had to give the giant spinning disc, water play area and Viking swing a miss, but we sure are itching to get back there and give them a whirl.