The new Rockhampton Zoo and Botanical Gardens play space is wowing tourists, locals, and animals alike. Nestled amongst heritage listed trees, the natural colours used in the play space design pays careful attention not to disrupt the landscape while still enticing all to come and play. With designs and equipment that pay tribute to the zoo’s residents and universal design principles incorporated, the new playground invites children of all ages and abilities to play.
The thousand-metre playground is packed full of play value with over 500+ play activities, from ground level play opportunities, such as swings, seesaws, and music panels, to towers that reach high into the air. The 4 metre high dingo play structure, modelled after zoo resident Ernie, is the landmark of the space. Keeping watch over the play space, Ernie goes beyond aesthetics and is packed with play opportunities thanks to slides, climbing grips, ladders, and vantage points.
The custom Giants play structure stretches across and around the playground with play opportunities available for tiny toddlers through to daring teens. The tower is decorated with animals, eucalyptus leaves and zoo themed elements. There are hours of fun to be had without ever having to touch the ground thanks to play panels, an almost 9-metre-high tower, bridges, track rider, turbo carousels, sensory play panels, swaying pods and more. An inclusive ramp is decorated with zoo residents to encourage visual and imaginative play as children make their way up the ramp, supported by the handrails and wide surface. A multitude of other entry pathways onto the structure offer graded challenge for children of all ages and keeps them engaged and playing longer. Once it’s time to leave the tower, winding enclosed and open slides, banister bars, a curly climber and ladders offer an exhilarating ride to explore the rest of the play space.
Rubber softfall connects many of the play elements, including Ernie and the Giants Tower to ensure wheelchair and mobility aid users can access the majority of the play space. Custom rubber designs include hopping kangaroos and embedded rock seating areas, hammocks and ground level play activities keep inclusivity and child development at the forefront of the play space design.
Urban Play worked closely with Rockhampton Regional Council and KOMPAN Australia to design and install a play solution that met their needs and budget. Urban Play delivered an entire park solution from design to installation with custom play equipment, softfall and a custom shade solution to keep kids and families sun safe. The Council said they could not fault the Urban Play experience from conception to delivery and the playground has been enthusiastically embraced by the whole community.
"Since opening, the number of visitors to the cafe has doubled, every day."