In Photos: Lake Belvedere in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park 

  

   
    
 
   
    
    
 

   
    
 

Advertisements

Lake Belvedere Pram Walk / Trike Ride, Sydney Olympic Park

Lake Belevedere, Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park provides a great morning out with the kids. Pack the pram, trikes or scooters and a picnic and you’re set for a good morning out. 

As with anywhere we go for the first time we got lost. Sydney Olympic Park is massive and it’s easy to get lost trying to get there and then once you’re inside. 

Thankfully, Bicentennial Park is right at the main entrance of Sydney Olympic Park. Coming along Homebush Bay Drive / A3 you will see signs for Sydney Olympic Park, going around the big circle at the entrance will land you on Australia Avenue. 

  
Once on it, look out for signs to turn right into Bicentennial Park. The first right will take you into Bicentennial Park Drive. If you miss that go right into Bennelong Parkway – it’s the first big intersection with traffic lights. 

   
The best way to enter is along Bicentennial Park Drive, drive all the way around until you see the lake on your left and then find a parking because then you won’t have to push the pram and carry the trike / bike or scooter uphill.

Wheeler Park, Narrabeen 

Wheeler Park is a little playground, fully enclosed and shade overlooking the Narrabeen Lakes. We stumbled upon it but burnt off some serious energy so I’m glad we came across it. 

KWheeler Park Playground doesn’t really have an address which is weird considering there is even a car park. If you’re looking for it, you would be best served putting Lakeside, Narrabeen in your GPS. The next three pictures should give you an indication of where it is: 

Picture 1: The blue spot in the picture is the covered playground alongside Lakeside Road.  

 Picture 2: Where Lakeside Road is in relation to other roads / streets in the area (more specifically Mactier Street) and the Lakes.   

Picture 3: Where Mactier Street and the Lakes are within the greater Narrabeen area.  

The beauty about this little playground is its location

  • It’s on the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail which means you can walk around the Lakes / lagoon a bit with the kids. It’s perfect for prams and trikes. 
  • There is a cafe (walking North) called Boatshed cafe where you can pick up a coffee / babychinos / smoothie. 
  • Ducks and geese are abound.
  • There are open areas nearby where you can sit and peacefully watch the water (or the people trying their hand at various water sports).   

 

The playground itself is small but has the basics – climbing frame, slides and swings. It is all spring form and as I said above its completely enclosed. 

   

   
There are BBQ facilities (just one I think), picnic tables and a few benches inside and outside the playground. 

  
  
There is street parking all along the Narrabeen Lakes and a little parking lot near the playground. One of the down falls is that there aren’t any toilets which is a bit of a pain if you plan on spending a while there. 

Golden Jubilee Field, North Wahroonga

Big path to cycle around, big sweeping bush land views. The area has plenty of parking and is completely accesible with a pram making it perfect for a pram walk and trike / scooter ride. 

  
It is referred to by the Ku-ring-fai Council as a “sport and recreation spot” which is a strange way to describe such a big piece of land that houses soccer fields, one or more baseball diamonds, a playground, a mountain bike training area, a model aeroplane club, off-leash dog walking, playground and an rural emergency service.

I’ll just call this whole area “The Field” throughout in an attempt to stick to its title but really it’s made up of fields but I’m getting sidetracked and want to avoid confusion. 

So, to get to The Field put Esk Street, Wahroonga into your GPS or Golden Jubilee Field, Wahroonga (or North Wahroonga) may work too. 

  
Driving to Esk Street along Westbrook Avenue turn left into Esk and the entrance to the Field will be on your right. It’s such a big space you can’t miss it. 

Initially what you will see is a massive field which is either set up for soccer or baseball. To get to the walking / trike track or the Mountain Bike track you’ve got to head to the field at the back. Below is an aerial view to help you follow me. The blue dot is where you park and the ‘sandpit’ looking thing to the right is actually a field which is the main baseball field. It makes no sense to me that it looks like that when it is actually lovely and green (you’ll see from the pics I took on out bike ride / pram walk). 

   

The second ‘sandpit’ looking thing is very much like a sandpit. As it is the Mountain Bike Course. It is huge fun for a 3 year old boy. I will get to this a bit later in the post. The buildings in the picture are the Emergency Services’ buildings. 

Starting out from the parking (where the blue dot is) you’ll need to go up onto the field level, there are plenty of entry points. You’ll either see the model aeroplane grandads in action (such fun) or there will be a soccer game or baseball game in action. On the days we’ve been there we’ve not seen a sports game in action. You’ll then have plenty of track to cycle / pram round and round. 

The views out over the bushland are impressive and it’s all fenced so you don’t have to worry when the little ones go off track. 

  

   
   
You’ll find a spot in the track where you can go right past the emergency services buildings and can ride to the other baseball field. You’ll know you’ve found the right turn when you get to the sign that says “dogs must be on leash from this point”. 

  

Going along this track will take you past the batting tunnels and down to a playground. The playground isn’t big or fancy but definitely a nice addition to the fun of cycling. 
  

On this occasion we didn’t visit the playground, we decide to keep left and make our way round the trike track again and then onto the mountain bike training park, Jubes Mountain Bike Park.

Had this been the weekend or anytime when there were actual mountain bikers on the circuit I wouldn’t have let my son on but as there was no one else there (like the other times we’ve been) we had free reign.  

There are three areas according to the web (KMC – Jubes Mountain Bike Park website): “Skill development – Designed to help riders improve off-road cycling with rock, wood and narrow sections. Pump track – Easy, medium and difficult levels to encourage the rider to use their upper body to ‘pump’ through the course.Single track -800 metres of track that meanders up and down the hillside.”

I’m not sure which sections we were on but my son rode over some mud mounds, rocks, paths, wooden ramps and then moved on from the bike and together with my daughter “practiced their running”.

   
    
 
A word to the wise: if there is mud, even a little bit rather avoid it. I know it’s meant to be fun and probably is huge amounts of fun but the mud is thick and sticks to the wheels and feet, shoes, legs, clothes and everything that comes into contact with it. 

  

Wheeler Park Playground, Narrabeen Lakes

Wheeler Park is a little playground, fully enclosed and shade overlooking the Narrabeen Lakes. We stumbled upon it but burnt off some serious energy so I’m glad we came across it. 

Wheeler Park Playground doesn’t really have an address which is weird considering there is even a car park. If you’re looking for it, you would be best served putting Lakeside, Narrabeen in your GPS. The next three pictures should give you an indication of where it is: 

Picture 1: The blue spot in the picture is the covered playground alongside Lakeside Road. 

  

Picture 2: Where Lakeside Road is in relation to other roads / streets in the area (more specifically Mactier Street) and the Lakes. 

   

Picture 3: Where Mactier Street and the Lakes are within the greater Narrabeen area.

 

The beauty about this little playground is its location:

  • It’s on the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail which means you can walk around the Lakes / lagoon a bit with the kids. It’s perfect for prams and trikes. 
  • There is a cafe (walking North) called Boatshed cafe where you can pick up a coffee / babychinos / smoothie. 
  • Ducks and geese are abound.
  • There are open areas nearby where you can sit and peacefully watch the water (or the people trying their hand at various water sports). 

  
The playground itself is small but has the basics – climbing frame, slides and swings. It is all spring form and as I said above its completely enclosed. 

   
     There are BBQ facilities (just one I think), picnic tables and a few benches inside and outside the playground. 

There is street parking all along the Narrabeen Lakes and a little parking lot near the playground. One of the down falls is that there aren’t any toilets which is a bit of a pain if you plan on spending a while there. 

Hammond Playground in Beauchamp Park, Chatswood 

Last week we ventured to Hammond playground in Beauchamp park, Chatswood. I’m really glad we went back for a second look after I’d driven past it without the kids when lost one day. 
 
 

Beauchamp Park is quite big itself and includes the playground, a sporting field (used for dog training during the week), a rose garden (did not see this), basketball court and a spring garden which I believe is under restoration.

  
The point is, this is a big park so don’t just put them name in your GPS and hope to find the playground, you may not.

The address I would use is Beauchamp Avenue or Nicholson Street, Chatswood as you can then park along those roads, or Darling Street. The only problem with Beauchamp, other than the fact that it is a one way, is that the development in the park means you have to walk to the end of Beauchamp to get into the playground via Darling. 

   

There are plenty of paved paths accessing the playground and throughout the playground so it is completely pram and wheelchair friendly. I suppose this also means that you could take a scooter or bicycle around the perimeter of the park but you would have to be careful of kids running around. 

 
The major problem with this playground is that there are no enclosed areas if you have wanderer you have to be very careful. While the playground is away from the road by some distance it is always a worry in the back of a mum’s mind I reckon. 
Hammond is a “Natural” playground like Hallstrom which makes sense because they are both the responsibility of Willoughy Council. Being a Natural Playground means there are rocks to climb, trees to run around, leaves to run through and plenty of shade.

There are plenty of things to play on: 

– 2 Swing sets 

– Massive sandpit 

– Double slide for siblings 

– Row boat

– Climbing frame 

– Those dangerous spinning things 

  
There are a number of picnic benches, open spaces to sit, BBQ facilities but no bathrooms close by. I believe that there are some next to the basket ball courts (as I was told). 

There are also some strange things like a cow chair (it’s called a “Cowch” which is pretty funny) next to a sculpted dog and pair of boots. We realized that you can step inside the boots which is lots of fun. There are also some fancy sculptures, fancy according to the council’s website. 

  
You could definitely make a proper visit out of this park by bringing a picnic lunch or tea helped by the fact that there is 2 hour parking around the playground with a few exception.

It was a good experience and we will be back! 

McKell Park, Hawksbury River 

We set out to find ducks and didn’t see a single one, a pelican in the distance, some seagulls and dogs but no ducks. Carrying our duck food ( as I now know ducks should not eat bread).
SIDEBAR: ducks should be fed fruit and veg (click here for a link on what you can feed them). 

For starters we headed north on Pacific Highway and then onto the Pacific Motorway just aiming blindly for Brooklyn on the Hawsbury. 

I now know Brooklyn is a little town on the Hawksbury River, with a school, fire station and train station (food places and houses too). 

I also know you can’t put a town’s name in your GPS and expect to find a duck. In hindsight it was a ridiculous move. 

So, anyway, we landed up in Brooklyn, beyond the town, past the train station and marina in McKell Park. And in the words of my 3 year old ‘we went the wrong way for ducks but still had fun’. 

   
The above pin shows exactly where we landed up in relation to the M1, Brooklyn and the river. For a GPS address you could use Mckell Park, 23–25 Karoola Street, Brooklyn NSW 2083, Australia. The other alternative is to take the train from Hornsby to the Hawkesbury Station, it’s only a 25 minute trip (one way from Hornsby).

  
We wandered out from the Park carpark and found a little walkway, a short walk and we had found the Hawkesbury Baths, an enclosed swimming area. The kids both played on the sand and in the water despite it being Autumn. 

  
Right in front of the car park is a little playground with a fishing / boating theme. As we were the only people there we spent an hour playing on the slides and the climbing ropes. Against the backdrop of the river spending time at the playground was so peaceful even with two crazy kids and two bush turkeys in a tree (those things are so strange!! The turkeys not my kids). The views are magnificent and with the odd Pelican popping in for a visit, you feel like you’re in a different world. 

   
  
A little further on there are some picnic benches and bathrooms so you could really set up for a morning or afternoon and be quite comfortable. 
The town itself has a few fish and chips shops, a cafe and general store within walking distance from the station. 

We’re going back, on the train, with dad to explore a bit more. Maybe a walk to the heads, a visit to the Pelicans at Parsley Bay, who knows maybe we’ll even stumble across some ducks. 

Wahroonga Park Playground 

Wahroonga Park Playground is awesome. Awesome. I rate it as one of my top two North Shore playgrounds so far (the other being Flying Fox playground in Mona Vale). It is set in a beautiful park and has all sorts of playground equipment. 

The address on my GPS and the quick internet search I did showed Millewa Avenue but you could put in any of the streets that borders the park as they all have parking: Stuart Street, Illoura Avenue, Coonanbarra Road. In fact I wouldn’t aim for Millewa as its parking isn’t great as its the road that borders the train station.

   
The park itself is located nearest to the Stuart Street / Coonanbarra Road intersection as shown on the aerial photograph below. 

  
The one problem with the park is that the toilets are at the top end of the park closer to Illoura Avenue than the playground but at least they cater for families with a large bathroom that has a smaller loo and a change table.
The playground is just lovely and is very popular which you can easily guess at with how many Facebook groups and websites it appears on. I think the allure is how many different things there are to play on, that the playground is enclosed, the benches for weary moms and that there is a coffee shop right across the road (again for those weary moms 🙂 ). 

Included in the set up is:

  
– metal balls you step on to make musical notes (or if you have a 3 year old male – an earsplitting cacophony)

   
   
– climbing frames with ropes and ladders

– slides for big and little kids 

   
 – see-saw and roundabout type things 

– swings (although most of the bigger-kid swings are outside of the enclosed area) 

   
– a giant wooden train to drive, ride on or crawl through (the above picture doesn’t do it justice as this is just the engine part of the train – there are carriages too) (yes I know my trains, I’ve watched my fair share of Thomas the Tank Engine).

  
– one of the above things that I have absolutely no idea what they are called but look like immense fun for older kids.

It would be remis of me not to mention that there is a bubbler (oh how my 3 year old loves a drinking fountain) and the wood chips under the bigger jungle gyms (oh how my 1 year old loves playing in wood chips). 

There is space in the playground to have your morning tea but there is not much grass in the playground area, for that you would need to go outside into the park. The park is lovely and very well maintained so it’s worth having a look around or laze in while there. 

   
 While the park doesn’t have a dedicated trike track there are walking paths that seem suitable for trikes and scooters. 

I didn’t get a chance to sample the coffee from across the road but as I loved this playground and feel so calm walking through the park, even after the chaos of the playground, we will be back and then I’ll let you know about the coffee. 

Berry Island Reserve – Park and Bush walk

Berry Island Reserve is beautiful and has an awesome playground! Until I was invited by a friend to accompany her and her tot to Berry Island Reserve I didn’t  even know that Wollstonecraft had greenery and such good views.

Situated at the end of Shirley Road Wollstonecraft, 2065 is the reserve. There is parking on the street (it wasn’t available when we were there due to building or something) or you can take the train to Wollstonecraft Station as it is a ten minute walk. Personally I would never take the train because the hill from the reserve is enough to make you want to put up a tent on Shirley road and never leave. In the below map the pin is the reserve and the blue dot, the massive blue dot is where the playground is.

IMG_1849-1

 

The reserve has the playground which I will go into detail about in a bit but it also has a giant area for picnics and a bush walk called the Gaydan Track which shows off some of the areas Aboringinal History. There are toilets as you enter the Reserve on your left and BBQ facilities with a couple of picnic tables.

The playground is fantastic!! It has been “custom designed” and you can tell – every is perfectly set in the natural bush. The jungle gym is surrounded by trees which are perfect for hiding in or exploring from the jungle gym, there are a variety of slides and swings and plenty of rocks to walk on. There are plenty of climbing ropes and ladders too – just what my son ordered. There is just enough grass to picnic on while watching the fish in the water.

The park is well shaded and as you can see there are benches for weary mums and dads.

 

We chanced the Gaydan Track and it was really lovely except when my three year old needed to be carried which sparked the one year old running down the track because no one was holding her back. But I digress, it is a beautiful walk to the point of the Island and back around to the same starting point, it says online that it should take 20 minutes but I think its a bit longer when you’re stopping to look at mushrooms, lizards and huge rocks.

During the walk you feel a million miles away from Sydney until you spot the bridge peeking through the trees of the Westfield tower over the water or the Anzac bridge in the distance.

If you are going with more than one child I recommend you take more than 1 adult. There are lots of rocks and tree trunks to trip up on and the sides of the walk fall away to the water. The lookout is fenced but its not very well constructed – you want to hold on to your children to keep them from falling through!

 

 

I like this place a whole lot and will definitely take the husband there and visitors to Sydney. One last point, try get there before 10h00 because it seems like 10 is when all the grannies on grandchild duty arrive (aah, if only my children’s grandparents were closer – they too would be dispatched there).