My passion for inclusive play has me detouring to see playgrounds here and overseas despite BJ no longer being interested. Given there were no accessible playgrounds around when BJ was little, it’s still a novelty to see what is being built.
We first visited the Bathurst Adventure Playground many years ago when the kids were still keen to visit a park, and we loved it. A friend first told us about it saying if we were visiting Bathurst we just had to see the “dinosaur park” and on her advice we had an afternoon playing in the playground. I would now offer up similar advice to anyone looking for an accessible playground and a family-friendly activity when visiting Central NSW.
BATHURST ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND – ALL ABILITIES PLAYGROUND
The Bathurst Adventure Playground is located in Victoria Park, on the corner of Durham and Hope Street. Dinosaurs have long inspired children and the all abilities playground in Victoria Park combines the fun of this theme with inclusive play equipment.
It’s always a good start to see alternative communication boards offered. Not only does it give children with alternative communication needs a chance to use the boards but it educates others and opens up the opportunity for children to learn about its use.
The Bathurst Adventure Playground offers a variety of equipment including slides, swings, climbing structures and more. I love the fact that swings sit side-by-side in two areas of the park with one specialised swing which can be operated by pulling on the handles helping a child self-swing without needing to pump their legs.
A seatbelt provides security for the user but it would be nice to see another higher backed swing seat for those children who are unable to sit securely.
Our favourite feature in the Bathurst Adventure Playground is the raised sand pit with hidden dinosaur bones.
It’s lovely to see a sandpit that wheelchair users can use without getting out of their chair. The design of this sandpit allows for lovely side-by-side play.
On our most recent visit the dual flying fox wasn’t available. I’m not sure if that’s a COVID related precaution, though it seems unlikely, or if it’s undergoing maintenance but hopefully it will be back soon as it’s wonderful. BJ loved flying across with AJ at his side when they were younger. It was the first time BJ was ever able to access a flying fox so it was a big deal. The high backed seat and harness meant that even as a young teen he could ride it and from memory it has a fairly generous weight limit.
A small bridge allows for musical play with musical buttons embedded in the timber allowing kids to activate them by walking or wheeling over the bridge.
We always have fun in mazes and the one in the Bathurst Adventure Playground is wide enough for wheelchairs to manoeuvre through.
When BJ and AJ were younger they loved wandering around and finding their way out.
The park area is extensive with barbecues and seating but the playground is unfenced, something to take into consideration if you have a child who isn’t safe near traffic.
A unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom is available at the playground. Although it has a MLAK key lock sign on the door it was open on a weekend when we visited.
Parking is available in the surrounding streets but we didn’t notice any specific accessible parking.
You can read more about the Bathurst Adventure Playground on the Bathurst Regional Council website.
While in Bathurst, it’s also worth taking a drive around Mount Panorama and visiting the National Motor Racing Museum.
You may also like to see the other inclusive playgrounds we’ve visited in this blog.