What is it that makes a playground stand out in our experiences? What are the structures that encourage endless play? The Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore in Hobart boasts a fantastic playground with all the right elements and unique features that kept our four daughters playing for hours and hours.
The fenced playground is located on the foreshore area of Lower Sandy Bay in Hobart.
The playground is adjacent to large expanses of lush lawn, perfect for family ball games.
There are so many options in this playscape that it's hard to know where to begin.
A tall lighthouse feature dominates the playscape which is a rambling collection of platforms, steps, slides and ramps.
Instead of the usual ladder, the climb to the top of the slide is like a commando course.
Sand, steps, bridges — these varying surfaces and levels are great for promoting balance and spatial awareness.
Tunnels under the main structure provide hidey-holes as well as passage to a different section of the playground.
A wonky mirror keeps toddlers amused on a mid-level.
A set of drums makes a tricky beat.
Other colourful surprises are also mounted underneath the structure.
Through the fixed binocular accessory, we can spy on pirate ships in the bay.
Ramps permit access to higher levels for children sitting in wheelchairs. Rarely have I seen a playscape so integrated for all abilities.
One end of the structure features a definite ship's prow, with a captain's cabin for children who want to go places.
Delaney takes the wheel for a while.
Underneath the top levels, benches and side-tables easily transform into beds, shop counters or vehicle seats.
The lighthouse is particularly well-designed so children *can't* climb it.
These rope bars are a great way to hold someone in "prison".
Looking through the coloured portholes provides a new outlook on the world around us.
The spinners at the top of the lighthouse catch the wind that comes off the bay.
A large whale sculpture keeps with the nautical theme of the playground.
The back of the humpback is a little slippery dip.
A large selection of swings suits children of all ages and abilities.
The elliptical merry-go-round is a particular favourite of our girls.
They take turns riding on it and pushing each other around. Both options are fun.
Delaney pretends she's a bird on the quasi-see-saw... I don't even know what these tame bouncing rides are called!
Our girls like to race down the double slides together.
Several spinners attract older children who still find amusement in getting dizzy.
All the structures are explored and used except for this one, a lonely, little try-hard in the middle of imaginary worlds. The only time our girls engaged with this was when Calista asked me to put her up on one of its arms.
A separate playhouse construction provides additional interest, although it doesn't fit with the nautical theme, and I wonder at its inclusion in such an otherwise well-planned playscape.
Off to one side, a ring of rubber mushrooms is a great obstacle course.
Two different types of natural soft-fall materials are separated from each other by an undulating row of log stumps.
The coarse sand really invites our children to play in it. This is much friendlier than rubber soft-fall.
Calista pours sand into the top funnel to watch the wheel turn.
The digging machine is also fun to use in the sand.
I'm personally thankful for the benches that are conveniently positioned all the way around the playground for tired parents who need a rest.
Blooming flower beds line the paths to the picnic shelter and electric barbecues.
The residents of number 15 not only have a waterfront property, but their property is attached to one of the best playscapes in Hobart.
We stayed at this location for a couple of days. We parked overnight in the carpark without any hassles, and other motorhomes also occupied spaces nearby. There are public facilities nearby, an outdoor kitchen sink attached to the amenities block, and beautiful views across the bay.
It was here that we saw our first rainbow of the year, and here that the girls drew detailed pictures in the sand. Surely Hobart locals are blessed to have such a great playground and beach facility on their doorstep!
We take advantage of the sunshine's warmth to play on the beach.
Brioni's fabulous seahorse is drawn with the inspiration of our recent visit to Seahorse World.
In fact, Brioni can fill a whole aquarium with her drawings.
After she's finished with the aquarium, Brioni moves onto drawing larger animals — like this pig.
Delaney likes to draw very, very happy suns.
Cali continues to draw pictures of pretty girls with funky hairstyles or crowns.
Inspired by the ocean, Aisha draws a mermaid.
After catching sight of the rainbow that greets the new year, I'm feeling peaceful with our circumstances and surroundings.