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.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The fenced playground is located on the foreshore area of Lower Sandy Bay in Hobart.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The playground is adjacent to large expanses of lush lawn, perfect for family ball games.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
There are so many options in this playscape that it's hard to know where to begin.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
A tall lighthouse feature dominates the playscape which is a rambling collection of platforms, steps, slides and ramps.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Instead of the usual ladder, the climb to the top of the slide is like a commando course.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Sand, steps, bridges — these varying surfaces and levels are great for promoting balance and spatial awareness.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Tunnels under the main structure provide hidey-holes as well as passage to a different section of the playground.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
A wonky mirror keeps toddlers amused on a mid-level.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
A set of drums makes a tricky beat.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Other colourful surprises are also mounted underneath the structure.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Through the fixed binocular accessory, we can spy on pirate ships in the bay.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Ramps permit access to higher levels for children sitting in wheelchairs. Rarely have I seen a playscape so integrated for all abilities.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
One end of the structure features a definite ship's prow, with a captain's cabin for children who want to go places.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Delaney takes the wheel for a while.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Underneath the top levels, benches and side-tables easily transform into beds, shop counters or vehicle seats.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The lighthouse is particularly well-designed so children *can't* climb it.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
These rope bars are a great way to hold someone in "prison".

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Looking through the coloured portholes provides a new outlook on the world around us.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The spinners at the top of the lighthouse catch the wind that comes off the bay.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
A large whale sculpture keeps with the nautical theme of the playground.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The back of the humpback is a little slippery dip.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
A large selection of swings suits children of all ages and abilities.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The elliptical merry-go-round is a particular favourite of our girls.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
They take turns riding on it and pushing each other around. Both options are fun.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Delaney pretends she's a bird on the quasi-see-saw... I don't even know what these tame bouncing rides are called!

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Our girls like to race down the double slides together.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Several spinners attract older children who still find amusement in getting dizzy.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
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.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
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.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Off to one side, a ring of rubber mushrooms is a great obstacle course.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Two different types of natural soft-fall materials are separated from each other by an undulating row of log stumps.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The coarse sand really invites our children to play in it. This is much friendlier than rubber soft-fall.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Calista pours sand into the top funnel to watch the wheel turn.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
The digging machine is also fun to use in the sand.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
I'm personally thankful for the benches that are conveniently positioned all the way around the playground for tired parents who need a rest.

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
Blooming flower beds line the paths to the picnic shelter and electric barbecues.

Number 15 at Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
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!

Long Beach Playground (Lower Sandy Bay Foreshore Playground), Hobart, Tasmania, December 2012
We take advantage of the sunshine's warmth to play on the beach.

Brioni's seahorse in the sand, December 2012
Brioni's fabulous seahorse is drawn with the inspiration of our recent visit to Seahorse World.

Brioni's jellyfish in the sand, December 2012
In fact, Brioni can fill a whole aquarium with her drawings.

Brioni's pig in the sand, December 2012
After she's finished with the aquarium, Brioni moves onto drawing larger animals — like this pig.

Dell's drawing of a sun in the sand, December 2012
Delaney likes to draw very, very happy suns.

Calista's drawing of a girl on the sand, December 2012
Cali continues to draw pictures of pretty girls with funky hairstyles or crowns.

Aisha's drawing of a mermaid in the sand, December 2012
Inspired by the ocean, Aisha draws a mermaid.

Rainbow over Hobart, January 2013
After catching sight of the rainbow that greets the new year, I'm feeling peaceful with our circumstances and surroundings.