For a super fun family outing, check out the stunning Blaxland Riverside Park, on Jamieson Street, Sydney Olympic Park. Set on three hectares, this park really has it all: a glistening riverside setting, wide open space, winding paths for walking and bike riding, exciting play equipment to entice children of all ages and abilities, picnic tables, shelters, umbrellas, barbecues, toilet facilities, a cafe and even bike hire.
The play equipment includes a huge swing set, numerous climbing nets and walls, a tunnel system and slides, a spinning dish, a double flying fox, a tree house climbing structure and the ever popular water play area (open from 10 am to 4 pm).
Although it was quiet on the day we visited (a Monday during term time), the park and playground can get very busy at weekends and during holidays. There are two parking lots, one close to the play equipment, and another on the far side of the grassy area (with views over Silverwater Correctional Complex!). At peak times on weekends it can be tricky to find a parking spot, so try to arrive early.
If you’re planning a visit, you’ll need sun protection – unfortunately there is not a lot of shade at this park. Also, if you’re headed to the water play area, bring swimmers, swimming nappies for any children who are not toilet trained, a towel and spare clothes.
Be sure to keep a close eye on your children at all times. The playground is expansive and unfenced. There are a number of steep hills. Also the riverside boardwalk area is unfenced, so children will need very close supervision there.
The Armory Wharf Cafe, located on the boardwalk overlooking the Parramatta River, has an appealing menu of fresh, gourmet foods and both indoor and outdoor seating as well as the option of takeaway.
Bikes are available for rental at the historic Newington Armory precinct. On weekends, visitors can even explore the precinct on the Heritage Railway Discovery tour. Details are here.
The final word on Blaxland Riverside Park, from Miss 4 years: ‘That was the best park ever, Mummy. Can we go again some day?’ To a park that provides hours of fun? Sure, we can!
Images © Anita Vitanova and Ginny Grant
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