Fun and adventure the drawcard

Adventure means climbing on the rocks at Montrose Playground for Laylah. 131047_01. Pictures: KATH GANNAWAY


IF A playground is safe, clean and has equipment to suit different age and ability levels, it will tick most of the boxes for the grown-ups.
For the kids, it’s all about adventure and fun.
There’s no doubt that, next to clean toilets, a playground where the kids can run off some energy has to be top priority when holidaymakers pull up for a pit-stop with the kids.
The Yarra Valley, Dandenongs and the Ranges have an abundance of fantastic playgrounds, most with the added bonus that they are located in beautiful parks, close to other attractions … and, yes, toilets.
The Tourist News team has short-listed 10 of the region’s ‘funnest’ playgrounds, and whether you’re stopping for a break as you pass through one of the region’s beautiful towns, or spending time in one spot, the kids will thank you for keeping this list in your glovebox.
1. Montrose Community Playground. A wood-style playground, lots of swings, a sensory garden and a large central climbing net – the one and only in Australia. Picnic/barbecue facilities. Mt Dandenong Tourist Road (Melways 52-D8).
2. Marysville Kin Playspace in the heart of the town. Special features include adjacent to the Steavenson River (an ideal paddling creek in the summer months), fantastic flying fox. Picnic/barbecue facilities. Murchison Street. (Melways 628-A3).
3. Yarra Glen Adventure Playground. Located at McKenzies Reserve adjacent to a skate park for older children, there is good shade … and it’s brand new. Picnic/barbecue facilities. Corner Anzac Avenue and Melba Highway. (Melways 275-A1).
4. Kalorama Reserve. Plenty of space and shaded areas. Special features include a new eight-seater see-saw and spinning carousel. Adjacent to Karwarra Australian Plant Garden. Picnic/barbecue facilities. Mt Dandenong Tourist Road (Melways120-B9).
5. Lillydale Lake Playground. Loads of equipment, plenty of open space and network of trails, a sandy beach adjacent to the lake for sand-play and paddling. Picnic/BBQ facilities. Swansea Road. (Melways 38-G7).
6. Yarra Junction Community Playground. Fully fenced with good shade. In the heart of town, adjacent to the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail, indoor swimming pool and skate park. Picnic/barbecue facilities. (Melways 288-D7).
7. Healesville Railway Playground. Railway-themed playground, adjacent to the Healesville Tourist Railway and new community Labyrinth. Picnic facilities. Healesville-Kinglake Road (Melways 278-A1).
8. Belgrave Borthwick Park Playground. Large playground. Lots of shade beneath giant California Redwoods, adjacent to Belgrave swimming pool. An enormous 360 degree basket swing due to go in before Christmas. Blair Road, Belgrave (Melways 75-F11).
9. Seville Water Play Park. Yarra Ranges’ first water play park built with young children and families in mind. Features 15 random water jets and other water-themed activities. Picnic/barbecue. Corner of Warburton Highway and Monbulk-Seville Road. (Melways 119-K10).
10. Mount Evelyn Morrison Reserve West Playground. Farmyard theme, recently expanded to better cater for younger children. Picnic/barbecue facilities. Mikado Road, Mount Evelyn (Melways 118-C9).
Some playgrounds include all abilities play equipment. A key may be needed for some equipment. Phone Yarra Ranges Council on 1300 360 333 or google the playground name for further details for all playgrounds other than Marysville. For information on Marysville, phone 5963 4567.