The Gold Coast is known for both the green and gold – the bush as well as the beach. Our children are very lucky to have many opportunities to connect with nature during play, exposing them to opportunities to be imaginative, creative and problem solve. Here is my round up of some great nature play destinations across the Gold Coast.
Gilston Hall park, Gilston
Gilston Hall Park is a beautiful nature play park that will capture imaginations, encourage exploration and lead to many new adventures! The top most level is home to the playground and a “campfire teepee”. Take the slide down to the second level, or follow the rock pathways to discover the swings and sandpit. There are many rock gullies and paths to explore as you make your way to the very bottom and jump on the flying fox! Best catering for children aged 4 and over, there is still plenty to do here for those a bit younger with an imagination and a love of exploring. It was great to see the little ones balancing stones, collecting sticks and following the rocky pathways.
Country Paradise Parklands, Nerang
The centrepiece of the Country Paradise Parklands is the 11.5m windmill with mega slide, accessed via a water-tank tunnel and swing bridge. But wrapping around the entire playground space is a creek bed with water play elements for the kids to get back to nature. The playground has been built in the existing Country Paradise Parklands, and so there is plenty of shade from the established trees, and as the newly planted trees grow this will only be enhanced. The water play area features a number of water pumps, troughs and ramps, encouraging the kids to build natural channels and gullys for the water to flow through the rocks.
The Sensory Gardens by Gold Coast Green Living at Country Paradise Parklands in Nerang is just the perfect spot! Gold Coast Green Living is a Not for Profit, dedicated to helping people of all ages and abilities live a more green and sustainable lifestyle. A group of volunteers has put together an all-abilities sensory garden that is open from early til late (basically dawn to dusk) and free for everyone to visit. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and settle in for a nice catch up with friends while the kids explore.
Schuster Park, Tallebudgera
Schuster Park playground is connected by a series of nature paths, with balance beams, jumping posts, sand paths and stepping stones all enticing children to explore. Along the main sand based nature path there are some drums and musical flowers – speak into one and see where your voice travels to! There is a swing set as well as a basket swing for the swing lovers. Schuster Park is set alongside Tallebudgera Creek and is part of a larger parklands. There is a small sandy beach beside the playground, that in summer time is bound to be popular with little ones wanting a splash so make sure to pack a change of clothes.
Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach
While the Gardens are located along the Gold Coast Highway in one of the busiest spot on the Coast, their location beside one of the Nerang River canals gives this spot some much needed tranquillity. In the sensory garden you’ll find elements including a musical gong, wayfinding design and productive gardens that encourage you to interact with the gardens through sight, touch and smell. It’s a beautiful addition to the Gardens and makes this spot perfect for multi-generational get togethers! The playground is older in style and I would love to see it upgraded eventually, but the kids don’t seem to mind. You’ll find a flying fox, rope bridge, rock climbing wall and a carousel. There is also a liberty swing available for those needing all abilities access.
The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens have something for everyone – whether you’re a gardening guru or not! Free to visit, you can smell, touch and taste plants and flowers in the Sensory Garden, discover butterfly friendly plants in the Butterfly Garden, smell the roses and find out about all the varieties in the Rose Garden, check out the Bush Tucker gardens for ideas on edible plants, play in the playground or grab a coffee in the cafe.
Arundel Springs Parklands, Arundel
With a fabulous combination of parklands and walking tracks, the green space at Arundel Springs is perfect for young families. Situated on the edge of the Coombabah Lakelands nature reserve, kids can play on the playground or you can take the bikes for a ride along the many paths and spot the local wildlife. Follow the path down to the entrance to the Coombabah Lakelands nature reserve, and through a small gate you’ll find a number of concrete pathways to explore with information signs along the way. This is a great spot to see kangaroos, wallabies and all sorts of bird life.
Gibirrngaan Park, Maudsland
This nature inspired playground is one of our favourites on the Gold Coast! Gibirrngaan Park (Black Snake Park) has a contemporary dreamtime theme, and is filled with play pieces for kids of all ages. Younger kids will be in their element as they balance along the giant Red Bellied Black snake, dig for dinosaur fossils or explore the playhouse with slide, shop front, and talking teletube. Older kids can climb the net to the wooden birdsnest for views across the park, and then race down the mega slide! Little explorers will love the dry creek bed and giant snake eggs, and the giant ring swing lets both kids and parents get in on the action!
Syd Duncan Park, Lower Beechmont
One of the highlights of this park is the nature play space. Home to the Gold Coast’s first community-built nature play space, it includes a dry creek bed, timber structures for physical and imaginative play, a tunnels embankment slide, basketball court and mud kitchen.
Livvi’s Place at Goorimahbah, Tweed Heads
Set along the foreshore with water views, you’ll find so much packed into this playground. Nature play elements include a water and sand play station, carved wooden animals, a water pump and sand table. Right nearby you’ll find some accessible musical elements too. The playground integrates stories of the Indigenous Seasons Calendar through art, colour, and storytelling. Kids can wind the player up and then select a season and listen to Indigenous stories! The play zones reflect the 6 seasons and explains the seasonal changes we see throughout the year.