OK, so we know this one is definitely not in the Hills District. In fact, it’s a bit of a trek to Sydney’s eastern suburbs. But it IS pretty special and would make for a lovely family day trip. Note, as of December 2019 the water play has been turned off due to water restrictions.
The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is located in Centennial Park Sydney. This park is a stunning park already but with this new space, it’s even more amazing! This $4 million nature play space only opened in late 2017 – the key term to note here is ‘play space’ not ‘playground’. Our kids have visited twice now and absolutely love it because it’s so different!
WILD PLAY provides children with the chance to get lost in the wonder of nature. There’s dry creek beds, an artesian water play area, a bamboo forest, giant slide, banksia tunnels, turtle mounds and a treehouse. Children are encouraged to run, jump, play, learn and discover the wild side of life!
It’s an enclosed area which provides some level of security but we did see the gate open a couple of times. We were comfortable to base ourselves in one spot and let the kids roam – they returned to this spot regularly. This works well for kids of about 5 and up. There are other areas, like a sand pit or the water play area where toddlers would be delighted to be based!
Coffee nearby? Yes, The Bar Coco van is located within the Garden, near the gathering circle and the Discovery Centre. Bar Coco is open from 10am to 5pm daily.
There are also toilets and parking, although if it’s a super busy day you may have to hunt just a little. There’s also a second small cafe by the playground that’s about a 7 minute walk from the Garden.
What do you need to bring? As mentioned there’s water play, so it’s worth bringing a change of clothes, swimmers and towels for the kids. We also recommend sports shoes/closed toed shoes for exploring as there is a LOT of bark. The ideal age group is 2 years to 12 years.
The garden does close once a year for a month so that it can be regenerated and repaired. It’s shutting for all of August 2019. Check out the park’s website or Facebook page for updates.
This video will give you an idea of the fun your kids can have at the WILD PLAY Garden.
Centennial park has a lot of other areas to enterain families too! So once you’ve visited the garden you could hire bikes, feed the ducks, have a picnic or go horse-riding!
Open from 10 am – 5 pm daily.
How to find WILD PLAY: Enter from Grand Drive in Centennial Park. The Garden is adjacent to the Education Precinct off Dickens Drive. Here are some maps to help you get there.