City: Auckland

Local Board: Kaipātiki

Playground Safari visit: January 2017

This partially fenced playground is great for children aged three and older, although with younger children you’ll need to keep a close eye on their access to the road. As of January 2017 there was no shade provided at the playground.

We visited when my kids were four year olds, and they loved their play session. They could handle everything but one of those high zip line things (which they know better than to ask me to help them with, given that my son weighed 20 kilos at the time and was far too big for me to hold up that high while he has a go). They particularly loved the extensive ‘fort’, with multiple levels, and lots of things to climb up and down – they enjoyed trying out everything, and decided that the whole thing was the perfect site for a rousing game of Octonauts:

There was plenty of space for caregivers to sit nearby, with a large picnic table and benches next to a free BBQ (out of order at the moment), and some bench seating under a pergola. There are also some artfully-placed rocks nearby. After they’d had a good 20 minute play on the playground itself, my kids mountaineered up the rocks, and practised their balancing skills under the pergola:

My son also decreed that the path leading down into the middle of the Reserve would be “really good if you were on a scooter”. The basketball court would be great to keep older kids occupied while younger siblings played, or for younger kids to sharpen up their scooter skills before heading off down the hill:

So, in many ways, this is a really nice playground. However, the lack of fencing continues to be an issue, given its proximity to the road (and it’s a busy suburban road, with a car passing at least every 30 seconds while we were there today). And although there’s a ‘no dogs allowed’ sign, there’s nothing to actually stop dogs from entering the playground.

When we visited the lack of shade was a huge problem. We were there at 10.30am, and there was a very small element of tree shade on the slide, but that was fast disappearing, and the playground equipment would be in full sunshine for most of the day. The picnic bench possibly gains some shade by mid-afternoon. And another irritation was the sole rubbish tin on this side of the Reserve, situated around 400m away from the playground and seating.

The verdict: A fun playground, as long as your children are reliable about staying away from roads. However, be liberal with the sunscreen, and perhaps time your visit for no later than 11am in the summer!