12 must try Central Coast playspaces
The Central Coast offers more than 400 public playspaces, reserves, and parks for kids to explore… so where will your family play today?
We’ve done busy parents a solid and rounded up 12 of the best locations for outdoor playtime from the north to south of the Central Coast…
Playgrounds offer the perfect remedy for families who need to entertain the kids for free, while also enjoying a healthy dose of the great outdoors. Playspaces offer children hours of free fun, socialising, outdoor exercise and creative stimulation, so it helps to have a list of the best local spots to hand.
The NSW Central Coast is home to a diverse network of inclusive outdoor playspaces, which includes some truly amazing playgrounds. And many of these are conveniently located near charming local cafes, shops, beaches, BBQ areas and public amenities. After consulting those who know where to go – the savvy local parents – we’ve collected the Top 8 best Central Coast playgrounds to get you through the school holidays and beyond!
Sun Valley Park, Green Point
The kids will be begging not to leave this adventure park after they have visited this new upgraded mega-park! Sun Valley Reserve located at Green Point is much more than your classic play park, it is divided into different sections to explore. Designed with the input of the local community, the nature inspired outdoor area boasts a creative and dynamic set up for all ages, not just kids!
There are two flying fox to whiz along, a 6 metre eagles next tower to clamber up, an inground roundabout to whip around on, rope nets to scramble over and swing sets to swing sky high on. For the younger kids there is a mini bird's tree nest for them to practise their balancing skills and encourage them to crawl over. There is a super sensory play area to create music from the musical chime bars and drums plus mirrors and balance beams to have fun with. The seniors park, that isn't just for seniors, provides equipment for gentle exercise that tests balance and agility. Practise your ball skills on the newly upgraded basketball and netball courts and bring your own paddles for a game of ping or table tennis.
There are toilet amenities onsite, ample car parking, barbeque facilities and seating areas making it a great place for birthday parties and playgroup meetings.
South Eastern Park, Gwandalan
South Eastern Park is a fun space for pre-schoolers and kindy kids to explore and play in. It has been created with nature in mind and blends beautifully into the surrounding bushlands combining irregular raw timber beams, iron bark wood chip and native trees throughout the park. Little ones can clamber over ropes climbers, pull themselves up timber ramps, balances along a rope bridge and swing on a 360 degrees nest swing.
Educational signs are dotted around the park allowing children to learn about themselves and the natural species in the area. The path around the park connects to seating and a grassy area ideal to kick a ball around on or enjoy a picnic.
Jirramba Reserve Playground, Saratoga
Set in the idyllic waterfront suburb of Saratoga, or 'Saradise' as the locals call it, is the newly upgraded Jirramba Reserve Playground. The new play equipment now features a natural and coastal themed play space that will keep your kiddies active as they master the obstacle course of a rope bridge, climbing ropes and slides before tackling the raised steppingstones and trying their balancing skills on the monkey bars. Surrounding the shady park is a small walking path loop that connects to the toilet amenities, freshwater facilities and picnic tables where parents can sit and catchup while enjoying a takeaway coffee from the nearby local cafe located 2-3 min walk away.
This refreshing park encompasses what village life is all about, connecting locals and visitors alike. After the kids have played until to their hearts are content, take a walk to the end of New Brighton Wharf opposite the park and see if you can spot crabs and fish or maybe you'll be lucky enough to see the local resident seal!
Hylton Moore Oval, East Gosford
Located right next to the Hylton Moore Oval at East Gosford, the newly rebuilt play park with it's bright green and yellow pops of colour, is a great space to let the kids run off some steam! Featuring climbing nets, a rock-climbing wall to test strength and agility, a set of three swings to choose from, a slide and perhaps the most favourite things a spinner, kids will be able to safely explore all the new and exciting play equipment.
There are toilets amenities onsite, sandstone blocks to sit on and because of its proximity to the oval, is a great place to visit after weekend sporting games or have a play after school.
Peninsula Recreation Precinct, Umina Beach
Arguably one of the best playgrounds on the Central Coast, the Peninsula Recreation Precinct ticks all the boxes – there’s ample parking, plenty of green space, shade, a fenced play area, public amenities, BBQ areas, and even a quality on-site cafe, Jasmine Greens Kiosk, offering many vege, vegan and gluten-free options. For the kids, they are spoilt for choice with a large merry-go-round and swing (both wheelchair accessible), basket net swing, maze, pirate ship, sand play table, bouldering wall, bike and scooter path and even a nearby BMX track.
This playground is also perched beside the main entrance to Umina Beach, a great family-friendly choice for paddling as it’s patrolled with a Surf Life Saving Club and on-site takeaway café operating daily throughout spring and summer.
Susan Fahey Park, Copacabana
Tucked away in the gorgeous beachside burb of Copacabana, neighbouring Macmasters Beach on the Central Coast, you will find the new Susan Fahey Park and its impressive Black Forrest Tower! Proving quite popular with locals when it first opened in 2021, this inclusive playground is surrounded by lush, green trees inviting kids to climb the 7 metre tower to the treetops. This also means the playground is well-shaded and as it’s not located on the busy seafront of Copa, so it really is a hidden gem.
The playground design is also developed for children on the autism spectrum, with a variety of visual and sensory features, plus spaces to retreat to for quiet time. Your kids will love the stand-up See Saw and Duo Rope Swing, encouraging them to make new mates by playing together.
Terrigal Rotary Park, Terrigal
Located by Terrigal Lagoon just before you drive into the busy seaside hub of Terrigal itself, you will find Parklife Coffee and the Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre. And beside these two brilliant, family-friendly gems, sits the Terrigal Rotary Park, a treasure trove of fun for the kids and an amazing place for adults to relax. With quaint log benches under the shade of surrounding trees, parents can make use of the communal picnic furniture shared by the cafe and set up a comfy spot to watch the kids play in (semi) peace.
Other perks of this park include the playground being fully fenced, fresh coffee and a locally sourced café menu there when you need it, beautifully handcrafted wooden pirate ship play equipment, and of course the welcoming community vibes of Pauly Mac, café owner. You could seriously spend all day here! The playground itself features a flying fox, merry-go-round, net swing and rubber soft-fall ground for safe play. Banjo’s Skate Park is just down the road in the direction of the beach, so if you venture there Parklife Coffee can deliver food & drink via their little mobile trike.
Leagues Club Park, Gosford
This exciting, new park on the edge of the beautiful Brisbane Water was conducted throughout the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the NSW Government’s dramatic transformation of the playspace at the heart of the Central Coast’s capital, Gosford. Kids will have fun adventuring through the nature-inspired playground with its uniquely interactive discovery trail, while adults can go on their own tour of the space and discover its significant features linked to local indigenous heritage.
Local Aboriginal culture has been imbued into the site's cultural heart, including a circular gathering space formed by large timber poles with designs by a local artist. One of its most exciting features is the ‘Tidal Terrace’ – which brings the bay into the park through a shallow waterway, and as the tide rises and falls the terrace will uncover sandstone animal 'islands' inspired by the nearby Bulgandry Aboriginal art site.
The kids will love the 'play pods' that encourage unstructured play, climbing and exploration, connected by rope tunnels that connect to a twisting slide back to the ground. So much fun! Nearby you will also find great cafes including South End Social, Bouffant, and The Apricot Cafe.
The Entrance Waterfront Playground, The Entrance
The excitement of taking the kids to The Entrance foreshore never fails to disappoint, especially with a waterplay area, known as Vera’s Water Garden, which doubles as interactive play and cools the kids down in balmy weather. The play equipment here is colourful, characterful and toddlers just love paddling in that shallow water.
In addition to this, kids have the choice of two playgrounds – one to the East and one to the West of Memorial Park. Features include four in-ground mini-trampolines, climbing frames, basket swing, accessible trampoline and spinner, plus soft-synthetic surfaced hills to navigate. There are accessible toilets, accessible picnic tables and accessible parking nearby. Don’t miss the tooting Pelican Express mini train passing during weekend playtime, which you can all board for a few dollars.
Swadling Reserve Park, Toowoon Bay
Swadling Reserve is an accessible, inclusive park popular with families as not only is it a grassy playspace perched by the picturesque seaside, near Toowoon Bay, a calm swimming spot for locals and visitors, it's also within easy walking distance of tasty takeaway coffee, pastries or chippies.
The park includes a great (and recently upgraded) playground, double storey slide, rope climbing equipment, large green picnic area, swings, ride-on surfboard, climbing wall, and in-ground trampoline. There's also accessible BBQ facilities and more sheltered picnic tables below the towering pines.
According to the experts at Playing in Puddles, this playground is “a step outside the normal run-of the-mill equipment that you see at every tom-dick-‘n’-harry park... if you have a child aged 4+, they’ll absolutely love it“. The climbing equipment is definitely on the adventurous side for kids! With that in mind, if you have littlies under four years, they'll be better suited to the mini play equipment nearby, featuring interactive elements that get their imagination shopping or driving.
Wallarah Point Peace Park, Gorokan
The rainbow double slide definitely has the wow factor to impress the kids at Wallarah Point Peace Park! A short distance from the main street of Toukley, over the bridge, you will find the fully-fenced, shade cloth covered Wallarah Point Peace Park on the edge of Tuggerah Lake.
Peaceful, scenic and shady, it's perfect for picnics, pelican spotting and for the little ones - there's unlimited rides down the colourful double storey rainbow slide. The ground cover is a mix of woodchip and softfall, and you have the convenience of amenities nearby, beside the local art gallery. There’s a sheltered BBQ area with several picnic tables, water fountain, and plenty of surrounding trees for extra shade and picnicing too.
Woodbury Estate Reserve, Mardi
Woodbury Estate Reserve in Mardi is the latest playground on the Central Coast to get a much-needed makeover! Situated in among established trees providing plenty of shade, this is a playground the kids will definitely love. Featuring fun brightly coloured themed wildlife playspaces, kids can climb over the obstacle style frame while trying to spot native animal decals! There are kolas, kangaroos, frogs and kookaburras to try and find!
Located a short distance from Westfield Tuggerah, it's a great place to visit after a busy time at the shopping centre with the kids!
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