Kings Park Playgrounds are an awesome place for visitors, and locals, to enjoy an Australian bush experience in an iconic location. Here are our tips and hints of how to get the best out of a visit to Kings Park with kids. It is worth mentioning that there is a lot to do in Kings Park, Perth, apart from playgrounds, which is summarised in our post “A Guide To Kings Park With Kids”.
We are huge fans of the Kings Park playgrounds and have visited many times over the years.
Synergy Parkland (Also Known As May Drive Parkland)
This is a superb playground and BBQ area for children above approximately 5 years. You step back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Either play on the challenging playground equipment or engage in the great educational information about prehistoric times!
Our personal favourite is the gorgeous Lycopod Island, with a water feature in summer and lots of fun playing all year round. Then cross the bridge and step back into the Palaeozoic Period. There wooden tree top walkways keep little legs running for ample time!
It is an excellent place to burn off energy or have a BBQ at the end of a long day. There is also Zamia Café on site. It is open until 4:30pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends. One of our favourite Kings Park Café.
Visiting Notes – Synergy Parkland
- There are a number of BBQ sites available but fill up early in the evening.
- With open water all around in this playground if you are taking very small children you need to keep a close eye on them!
Rio Tinto Naturescape
There are awesome playgrounds, and then there is the Naturescape. Naturescape takes adventure playgrounds to a whole new level. Apart from running out of superlatives, I can’t believe that such a place exists – and is free – smack bang in the middle of the city. This is our favourite of the Kings Park playgrounds.
For both city folk – and international visitors – this is a wonderful place to experience a little bit of the Australian bush, in a challenging but fun play setting.
This is one of the few playgrounds I have ever arrived at that warns you to participate at your own risk. I love it!
This was entirely suitable for our 5 year old, and a wonderful environment for older kids right through to teens who seemed to thrive in the challenging atmosphere. This is a playground where adults and kids participate together, while enjoying the bush.
If we were to pick ONE playground to visit in Kings Park, this would be it! However, we only recommend it for children aged 5 up. Especially international visitors will love the chance to have this taste of the Aussie bush in the middle of the city – for free.
Visiting Notes – Rio Tinto Naturescape
The Rio Tinto Naturescape has OPENING HOURS, from 9am to 4pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays, all of February and on very high fire danger days.
- Remember in the hot summer months – December through February – this playground will be hot and sticky from 10 am to 3pm.
- Kids should wear old clothes, as this is truly an adventure playground.
- Take a change of clothes should they get wet in the creek or billabong.
- Mumma’s don’t wear short skirts if you want to go climbing with the kids, and practical shoes are necessary too!
- Hats and sunscreen are a must at any playground, but particularly this one.
- There are no BBQ facilities and no picnic tables; this is not a place for leisurely lunches, but to get dirty and up close with nature.
Ivey Watson Playground
Specifically designed for under 5 year olds, the Ivey Watson Playground is another excellent playground in the Kings Park area. Like all the other Kings Park playgrounds, this is one of the best playgrounds in Perth, especially if you have a small child.
To start with, the age distinction means that there is a very different vibe and feel about the playground. All the equipment is suitable and challenging for a small child, and there is no risk of larger children bowling over your tottering toddler.
There is a large café, Sticky Beaks. As well as a large soft fall picnic area and plenty of green grass where you can bring your own picnics. Of the Kings Park Café, this is the most oriented to families so it is not a place you would go without little ones!
A lovely wooden ship and house with stained glass windows kept our littles occupied for a long time.
The Ivey Watson Playground is highly recommended if all your children are under 5. For families with older and younger children it might not work as well.
Visiting Notes – Ivey Watson Playground
- You need to access this playground from Kings Park Road, not Kings Park itself.
- It is open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
- It is absolutely packed on the weekends. If you have shy kids, (as our first was) they might be daunted by all the other kids.
- It is fenced, which means it is a quite different experience than the other playgrounds.
Variety Place Playground
Variety Place Playground is located on Saw Avenue in Kings Park, and of the Kings Park playgrounds is probably the least popular. Although it still gets very busy at times
In the same vein as the other Kings Park Playgrounds, it is a wonderfunature-baseded playground. There is a maze made out of metal, a hill of tunnels, and an awesome wire cage which can provide plenty of enjoyment.
A fun place for a quirky stop is the DNA Tower in Kings Park. Technically this is not a Kings Park playground, but our kids treat it like it is.
The DNA Tower was built in the late 1960’s but I always feel that it is futuristic. It’s a fun climb to the top for views around Perth. Yes, it is named for the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) double-helix molecule and no, we haven’t got to explain that one to the kids yet!
Logistics of Visiting Kings Park
The War Memorial and Botanic Garden area are accessible by the Blue Cat public transport bus (it is free). The Blue Cat goes around the western end of Perth city and its route includes Kings Park. It leaves every 15 minutes throughout the day.
If you are self-driving is also significant parking available!
Accommodation Near Kings Park
Quest Kings Park – A great serviced apartment located on the outskirts of Kings Park and only a 2 minute drive from the CBD. These are very nice hotel style rooms. Check here for the latest rates to stay at Quest Kings Park.
The Peninsula Riverside Apartments – These serviced apartments are a great option for family accomodations in Perth. It is located directly across the penisula from Kings Park and only a 5 minute walk to Perth Zoo. For people who are arriving in Perth via car, this ia a great place to stay as it offers free parking. Check here for the latest rates to stay at The Peninsula Riverside Apartments.
Mounts Bay Waters Apartment Hotel – This hotel is located on the outer edge of Kings Park. It is also a short walk to Barrack Street Jetty where you catch the ferry to Rottnest Island. A great family accomodation as it offers self-contained, apartment style accomodations. Check here for the latest rates to stay at Mounts Bay Waters Apartment Hotel.
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