Family friendly adventures,  Free to do,  Playgrounds,  Water play

Broadwater Parklands North, Southport

The brand new playground at Broadwater Parklands North has opened, and boy was it worth the wait! I’m calling it early and declaring that this is my new favourite park on the entire Gold Coast. Everything about this epitomises a family day out on the Gold Coast! Gorgeous views over the broadwater, a calm swimming spot for the kids, shady picnic spots and an EPIC playground that has some of the most amazing pieces that I haven’t seen before at any of our parks.

What can you expect from the new playground? Well, let’s round it all up here:

  • a spectacular spiral tower over 4 levels with interactive play equipment like a glockenspiel, binoculars, telescopes, suspended nets, rope tunnels and an enclosed slide. The tower is one of the best I’ve seen in that it has differing sized nets and bridges so younger kids can actually climb a fair way up (and back down) safely and comfortably, even if they can’t make it to the top.
  • there is a water and sand play area with carved sandstone, bronze sea animals, water pumps, mini weirs and water gates
  • an elevated sand play table designed as a ‘fish and chip shop’ that can accommodate wheelchairs
  • play equipment including play panels, swings, slides, trampolines, diggers, stepping stones, balance beams, a carousel, climbing walls, and climbing nets
  • lots of informative signs to learn about the local bird and sea life and interact with features and embellishments such as oversized mud crabs, sculptural birds, murals and discovery trails. You can even use the glockenspiels to play bird call tunes!

The variety of equipment is huge, with what seems like everything that could possibly be in a playground included. While nothing is the biggest or the best, it delivers a fabulous interactive experience that caters to all ages and you could easily spend a day hanging out here. The all-abilities inclusions are so fantastic to see too – things like the roll up sand table, in floor bells for wheelchairs to roll over and musical elements at a lower level mean this playground really is for everyone.

There is plenty of shade covering the playground, and even visiting in the middle of the day it didn’t feel too hot thanks to a beautiful sea breeze. Unfortunately the slides are metal, and even though it’s supposedly some high-tec stuff that reflects the sun and heat, one of the slides was definitely too hot to use – my 4yo complained as soon as he went down it that it was too hot on his legs. The other two slides are shaded and fine to use.

In terms of the parkland area, there is heaps of shaded seating and tables as well as BBQs, and astro turf areas around the outside are perfect for setting up a picnic blanket. Nearby there is a toilet block, and the lagoon off the broadwater makes for a shallow calm water swimming spot. This park is going to be one that everyone goes back to, time and time again. What an incredible addition to the Gold Coast!

Need to know

  • What to pack: picnic blanket, swimmers, hat, food (closest food is from Cafe Catalina at the Aquatic Centre)
  • Toilets: There is a toilet block located at the Northern Pavilion, about a 200m walk from the playground
  • Parking: 4hr free parking in the Parklands carpark (accessed via the entrance at the intersection of Marine Parade and North Street)
  • Further information: see my post about the Broadwater Parklands and Rockpools