shadow of swing Gough Whitlam Park Swings, baby, swinging, shadow

Gough Whitlam Park

Gough Whitlam Park

Pros

  • Some interesting equipment
  • Plenty of space
  • Walk along river
  • Accessible for all

Cons

  • some parts a bit old
  • Baby swing a bit small

Another Thursday and another adventure to one of Sydney’s great playgrounds. This week we visited Gough Whitlam Park in Earlwood.

Gough Whitlam Park

I had been a bit busy with work this week, so when Thursday arrived I hadn’t really planned out our day. First thing in the morning, I hopped onto Google Maps and searched around for any large areas of green that I could find. The Wooli Creek area stood out as having several large green patches around it, and as I zoomed in, I happened upon a park called Gough Whitlam Park.

A quick search revealed that it did indeed have play equipment worth checking out, so after breakfast, off we went.

Getting There – Gough Whitlam Park

The park its self was fairly easy to find, once I negotiated the rabbit warren of Tempe. A large sign at the entrance to the carpark indicated that we had arrived. Those travelling by train will find it a very short walk from Tempe Station.

 Accessible Equipment for All Ages – Gough Whitlam Park

The first piece of equipment to grab my attention was the flying fox. These are a lot more common than they used to be, and Hannah is not yet at the age where she can use them, so they usually aren’t terribly high on my radar. Except this one is different. It has the usual sit-on rubber contraption, but it also has a parallel line with a seat –  designed to be accessible for all.

flying fox, Gough Whitlam Park
The Flying Fox at Gough Whitlam Park

The Toddler Playground – Gough Whitlam Park

After a few goes on the flying fox, we headed in further. Next to a café, we found the toddler section of the playground. It is partially fenced and contains a decent variety of equipment.

For the past few park visits, Hannah has only had eyes for one piece of equipment – the swings. This visit was no different. Immediately Hannah headed for the baby swing and asked to be placed inside.

Gough Whitlam Park Swings, baby, swinging, shadow
Swings are life!

The baby swing at Gough Whitlam park is really quite small. This is good for helping young children enter and exit, but not great for tall adults who are required to push it. The other issue is that it has fairly noticeable lateral movement, which means that swinging occurs in a more circular motion, rather than just back and forth. Nevertheless, Hannah enjoyed herself and she spent quite a while swinging.

The park also offers ship-themed equipment, with platforms, slides, tunnels and a few other goodies. I was impressed by the size of the equipment and the range of activities that it offered, but Hannah was less interested. After just one climb up the ladder and subsequent slide, Hannah was straight back over to the swings.

Gough Whitlam Park Playground, ship, swings
Hannah wasn’t terribly interested, but I thought it looked like fun

Some parts of the playground look a little tired, but overall it was an attractive environment for young children to explore and play.

 

Walks and Other Attractions – Gough Whitlam Park

After some time in the playground, we searched for a nice, sunny spot to have a snack. A path along Cooks River took us past some picnic tables, but they were very shaded (perfect for summer picnics). After a short walk we stumbled upon this beautiful sunny spot. An interesting sculpture was the central feature.

Gough Whitlam Park, sculpture
A great place for a snack

As Hannah was still happy enough in her stroller, we went for a short walk along the river. The path took us well out of Gough Whitlam Park its self, and it appeared to be part of an extensive network of riverside paths. The path was shared with cyclists, but I only saw one person on a bike for our entire walk.

An interesting bridge over Cooks River supported major water pipes. It made for some interesting photos.

Cooks River, water bridge, Gough Whitlam Park
A bridge to carry water over water

We also discovered another small park along the way. Despite having less equipment, it did have a better baby swing. Of course, we had to spend about ten minutes giving it a thorough test!

Gough Whitlam Park, play equipment
The other park with less play equipment, but better swinds

Finally, it was time to go home. We returned to the carpark and had one last play in the wood chips (after all, you haven’t really visited the park if you don’t get a little dirty!).

Final Thoughts – Gough Whitlam Park

Gough Whitlam Park is an enjoyable place to visit if you are fairly local to the area. There is enough play equipment to entertain young kids, and plenty of space to picnic. There are toilet facilities, a café and a decent sized carpark. The path along the river adds an extra point of interest for those who enjoy a good walk. It’s probably not worth travelling too far for, but it’s a valuable resource for locals to enjoy.

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