ADELAIDE NATURE PLAYGROUNDS
1. Glenthorne National Park – Ityamaiitpinna Yarta Adventure Playground (Adelaide)
One of the largest nature play spaces in South Australia, the adventure playground at Adelaide’s newest national park spans across 7,000 square metres. Featuring Kaurna carvings and sculptures from different artists, three slides, a 25m long flying fox, rope and log climbing and accessible equipment, children of all ages and abilities can immerse themselves in the park’s rich natural environment and Aboriginal history.
Where: Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta (Majors Rd, O’Halloran Hill)
Distance from Adelaide: 16 km south
Parking and amenities: The visitor hub includes shelters, BBQs, toilets, picnic areas and car parking
Accessibility: Accessible play equipment, walking trails and car parks (located near the playground)
More things to do: Beyond the playground, families can enjoy a picnic or explore the park on foot or bike from the visitor hub. The trails feature interpretative signs and an interactive app, Walking with Winaityinaityi (birds), that provides a fun way to learn about the winaityinaityi of the park, including their Kaurna names.
2. Natureplay Forest Playground (Adelaide)
Find Adelaide’s only Natureplay Forest at the Gawler View Picnic Area. With a focus on natural materials, it blends into its natural surroundings. Children can climb trees and giant fallen logs, explore the dry creek bed, build an Aboriginal Wudli along the tunnel run, enjoy rope and sand play, as well as an epic flying fox.
Where: Para Wirra Conservation Park (Humbug Scrub Road)
Distance from Adelaide: 41 km north
Parking and amenities: The visitor hub includes shelters, BBQs, toilets, picnic areas and car parking
Accessibility: The Gawler View picnic area has two accessible parking spaces, accessible toilets, and a large, open recreation area with an oval and a flat grassy site near the barbeques. Accessible toilets are also located at Wirra and Hissey picnic areas.
More things to do: Families are spoilt for choice with shared-use trails ideal for hiking and mountain biking and abundant birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities. Spend the night among the pink gums and grass trees at the Wirra campground and download our 40 Things to Do in Para Wirra Conservation Park resource because there’s far too much to do to list here!
3. Mukanthi Playground (Adelaide)
Mukanthi (meaning ‘celebrate and play’ in Kaurna language) is a multi-award-winning playspace featuring physical challenge, Kaurna culture, sustainability, and connections to local place. Five areas – Frog Island, Eagles Perch, Great Snake, Birds Nest, climbing boulders and trees – invite children to explore the landscape and connect with nature.
Where: Morialta Conservation Park (Stradbroke Rd, Woodforde)
Distance from Adelaide: 10 km northeast
Parking and amenities: Parking, toilets, BBQs, shaded tables and benches available
Accessibility: Accessible car parks are located at the Stradbroke Road parking area, along with two accessible toilets at the playspace
More things to do: Morialta is a much-loved spot for creek adventures, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. In winter, walk to three iconic waterfalls or find shelter in Giants Cave. Listen for frogs and spot wildlife like kangaroos, koalas, tadpoles, yabbies, and birds like Honeyeaters and Thornbills. Find more Morialta nature play ideas here.
4. Kites and Kestrels Adventure Playground (Adelaide)
Play the day away at Cobbler Creek Recreation Park. Test out the flying fox, nest towers, and natural elements like sand, creeks, and stepping stones in the bird of prey-themed playground. Pack the bikes to discover the Park’s pump track and purpose-built riding trails.
Where: Corner of Bridge and Smith Roads, Salisbury East
Distance from Adelaide: 20 km north
Parking and amenities: Shaded picnic tables, BBQs, toilets and car parking
Accessibility: Accessible parking, toilets, and picnic area available at the main entrance carpark.
More things to do: Learn about local plants and animals at the nearby Birds, Bees, and Butterflies Garden and Colour of Nature display. Spot kites and kestrels in Pedlars Paddock and look for lizards sunning themselves. Find out about bush tucker and Kaurna culture on the 2.4km Mai Tappa Circuit. Discover more bushwalks and things to do at Cobbler Creek here.
5. Wilfred Taylor Reserve (Adelaide)
Southern Adelaide can rejoice with the opening of this $2.2 million playspace, offering adventurous and inclusive play to all ages and abilities. Kaurna culture, the site’s farming history, and Hills-to-Beach themes feature as key design elements, with Junior and Older kids play areas providing abundant active, imaginative, and sensory play opportunities.
Where: Wheatsheaf Road, Morphett Vale
Distance from Adelaide: 26 km south
Parking and amenities: Parking, sheltered picnics, toilets, BBQs, fenced Junior play area
Accessibility: Inclusive elements include basket swings, a bucket-seat flying fox, raised sensory gardens and sand play, a vertical xylophone, and a wheel-chair accessible carousel
More things to do: Explore the broader Wilfred Taylor Reserve along walking and riding paths. Follow Christies Creek, taking in ancient Red Gums and birdlife like Lorikeets and New Holland Honeyeaters. Play ball sports on grassed areas. Experience a family train ride two Sundays a month (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).
6. Oaklands Reserve (Adelaide)
Spend a few hours or the whole day discovering Oaklands Reserve’s three unique areas. Climb, balance, and find adventure in the nature playground; explore Oaklands Wetland, brimming with wildlife and native plants; or ride the skate park and more in the popular Recreational Plaza.
Where: Oaklands Road, Oaklands Park
Distance from Adelaide: 13 km south
Parking and amenities: Ample parking and toilets facilities available
Accessibility: Accessible toilet and parking available
More things to do: Pack a towel and change of clothes for water play in the nature playground. Look for wetland animals and insects like ducks, spoonbills, fish, frogs, and dragonflies. Ride your bike in the Recreation Plaza’s mini-circuit or go further afield on the River Sturt Linear Trail or Marino Rocks Greenway. Try orienteering in the wetland, using the maps available from Orienteering SA.
7. Mitcham Reserve (Adelaide)
Pack a picnic and prepare to be enchanted at this creek-side playground in the southern foothills. Children can flow between play areas using a small footbridge. Discover elements such as an elf tower, balancing and climbing logs, carvings, and references to local culture and history.
Where: Corner Old Belair Road and Norman Walk, Mitcham
Distance from Adelaide: 8 km
Parking and amenities: BBQ’s, picnic tables, gazebo, toilets, and parking
Accessibility: Disabled access toilets, access to double slide
More things to do: Meet friends for a BBQ or celebration. Play ball games on the open grass. Explore Brownhill Creek Recreation Reserve – bushwalk the Wirraparinga Trail or find 300 year old River Red Gums. See what you can learn about local history (Brownhill Creek was a Kaurna camping, hunting, and gathering place and the Reserve was the site of the village green in colonial times).
8. Jervois Street Reserve (Adelaide)
Meet friends at this much-loved, multi-award-winning nature playground and reserve. Discover water play, stepping logs and rocks, and timber features, including a wooden caterpillar named ‘Jervie.’ Giant butterfly-shaped shade structures and a fully fenced space makes this reserve popular with young families. Older children and sports lovers are also well catered for.
Where Jervois Street, South Plympton
Distance from Adelaide: 7km
Parking and amenities: BBQ’s, picnic tables, sheltered areas, off-street parking
Accessibility: Disabled parking and toilets
More things to do: Pack the bikes to ride the pump track and path around the reserve. Enjoy a scratch match or shoot hoops at the 3-on-3 basketball court and netball ring. Kick a footy or soccer ball on the open grass area or discover the chess and table tennis tables (BYO equipment).
9. St Kilda Adventure Playground (Adelaide)
Epic adventures and imagination call at this award-winning playground on Adelaide’s northern coastline. A $3.5 million revamp has transformed this iconic SA destination with elements like a towering hill-top castle, wooden pirate ship by the water, giant slides, thrill-seeking flying foxes, rope obstacle courses, climbing frames, swings and much more.
Where: 470 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda
Distance from Adelaide: 28 km north
Parking and amenities: BBQs, shaded picnic tables, large lawns, toilets, ample parking
Accessibility: Liberty swing and wheelchair accessible slide
More things to do: Look for resident and migratory shorebirds like the Red-capped Plover and Curlew Sandpiper at the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary- Winaityinaityi Pangkara. Discover Adelaide’s old trams at the nearby St Kilda Tramway Museum.
10. Belair National Park Adventure Playground (Adelaide)
Generations of memories have been made at Belair National Park’s Adventure Playground, cherished for its vast tunnels, a giant wooden fort, curious wildlife, creek, and bushland. A culture of cubby building has grown in recent years with the Cubby Town event by Nature Play SA and National Parks and Wildlife Service SA attracting thousands of families.
Distance from Adelaide: 13 km
Parking and amenities: Public toilets, parking, kiosk in peak periods. Park entry fees can be paid at the gate or online
Accessibility: Accessible carparks and toilets. Learn more via the Park’s Accessibility Map
More things to do: Build a cubby using long fallen sticks on site. Look for geocaches near the Playground and throughout the Park. Choose from the many biking or bushwalking trails, including the Waterfall Hike to Belair’s Lower and Upper Falls. Look for kangaroos, emus, koalas, kookaburras, and echidnas. Find more nature play ideas here.
11. Marshmallow Park (Adelaide)
Located in the greenery of the Adelaide Parklands, this playspace engages children with multiple water play features, climbing frames, Boulder Island, metal jellyfish sculptures, and traditional play equipment like slides, swings, and other apparatus. Expansive Moreton Bay figs, lawn, and fencing make this an ideal place to picnic with family and friends.
Where: Glen Osmond Rd, Adelaide
Distance from Adelaide: In CBD
Parking and amenities: Toilets, seating, shelters and BBQs, parking on Glen Osmond Road (note time restrictions apply)
Accessibility: Accessible BBQs and toilet
More things to do: Hop across rocks in the nearby creek bed and Oxbow playspace. Pack a basketball or tennis rackets for use on the Park courts. Explore the Adelaide Parklands by bike on the Parklands Trail. Take a short stroll to reflect on the beauty of nature in the Japanese-style Adelaide Himeji Garden.