Regardless of how realistic gaming apps get, there really is no substitute for playing outside. Regular physical activity (i.e., tossing a ball around or simply running about) not only builds strong bones and muscles in youngsters, but it also helps them learn fundamental movement skills like jumping, pivoting, and jogging.
These days, however, the challenge lies in bringing your kid to a place that will entice them away from their tablets and smartphone screens and out into the sunshine.
Rocks Riverside Park is one such playground.
About a 25-minute drive away from Brisbane’s CBD, this one of a kind play area is located near the Centenary Highway Bridge. The park area itself has served many uses over its lifetime, such as a sugar cane, oats, barley, and corn plantation and even as a headquarters for the operations of Queensland Cement and Lime (QCL).
It wasn’t until 1999, after QCL closed down its plant in the area, that the Brisbane City Council was convened to create a contemporary riverside park that could be sustainably managed and enjoyed by the area’s inhabitants.
Thus, the playground was born and at first glance, it doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary. It’s got the traditional playground set of slides and seesaws, which younger kids will undoubtedly love, and there’s quite a few spaces for picnicking and barbecuing.
But what will truly make your youngster set down that iPad is Rocks Riverside’s Waterpark. For starters, there are shaded, shallow pools in which toddlers can splash around in to their heart’s content. Nearby are nautical-inspired playground equipment that will encourage children to play out their fantasies of being sailors or pirates.
And for the truly intrepid little adventurer, there’s the Flying Fox. This brilliant set-up features nets and and heights that allow young Brisbanites to swing through the air like Tarzan.
Sports buffs will, of course, love the half-sized basketball court and the climbing web. There are also provisions for handicapped children to enjoy on the premises, such as a liberty swing (the key of which can be obtained from the Jamboree Ward Office of the Brisbane City Council).
Lastly, parents and guardians were not forgotten in the planning of this remarkable space. If your inner child isn’t particularly frisky on the day of your visit, you can hang around the community garden or even spread out a blanket on the park’s great lawn. There are also wi-fi hotspots scattered across the area in case you want to post about achieving your latest #parentinggoals.
Rocks Riverside Park is located at 531 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, Seventeen Mile Rocks, South Brisbane. The playground is open from 7 AM to 7 PM everyday, and admission is free.