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  • Writer's pictureKimberley Schollick

Five all-abilities parks and playgrounds in Melbourne (and surrounds)

As temperatures drop and autumn settles in, it’s all too tempting to bunker down inside with the heater and some hot chocolate for the next few months. But given the fact that it is well established that spending time outside and in nature is extremely beneficial for physical and emotional well-being, it’s worthwhile planning to spend at least a little time outdoors during these colder months.

 

Luckily for us, there are plenty of beautiful, fun and accessible outdoor spaces in Victoria for people of all abilities. Let’s take a look at five of our favourites.

 

 

Telford Park All Abilities Sculpture Trail

Relatively new, having only been opened in late 2023, the Telford Park All Abilities Sculpture Trail is located in Darley – just outside Bacchus Marsh, around 60km northwest of Melbourne.

 

There are 1.8km of all abilities trails that wind up the slope of Telford Park to a indigenous sculpture, Binak Biik. Also known as Basket Country, this sculpture was created by Aunty Kim Wandin and Chris Joy and encourages a tactile exploration of the local landscape through woven baskets, plants, and basalt rocks which reflect the geology of the Western Plains.

 

The trail circles Telford Park with spots to sit and relax, with options for longer or shorter loops.




Indigenous sculpture Binak Biik at Telford Park

 

 

All Abilities Play Space in Mill Park

 

This fully fenced and accessible playground in Mill includes a water play area, a multi-level climbing tower, a full-sized basketball court, multiple sheltered areas and more.

 

While we might leave the water play features (such as accessible water play tables, shooting water jets, misting rings and manual water pumps) until the warmer months, there are plenty of other things to see and do, including a quiet and sensory play area has also been and a 4.5 metre multi-level climbing tower featuring accessible ramps and bridges.

 

A double flying fox with an accessible seat, trampolines, inclusive swings and slide, picnic and barbecue facilities, toilets (including a Changing Places facility), shelters and lawn areas are also available.

 

Aerial shot of All Abilities Playground in Mill Park



All Abilities Playground Shepparton


All abilities spaces are not just found in metropolitan areas. Shepparton, located 180km north of Melbourne, has its own all-abilities playground that has been designed and with access as a key priority.

 

The playground provides a series of ramps and structures that allow for children and parents in wheelchairs or with limited mobility to move throughout the area, while a 1.8m high fence provides a safe and secure environment for children, allowing parents and carers to relax without the constant worry of children moving outside of the play area.  

 

Three family-sized toilets and change rooms form part of the playground, all of which cater for wheelchair access and mobility. Several picnic areas are available (with and without shelter) and an electric BBQ.



All Abilities Playground in Shepparton

Livvi’s Place, multiple locations


Touched by Olivia is a charity organisation that has created more than 40 inclusive play spaces across the country by partnering with government, developers, corporates and community groups.

 

In Victoria, there are currently 8 of these inclusive play spaces, known as Livvi’s Place, in regional and metro areas.

 

While each Livvi’s Place is different, they are all designed in a community-led way, with the people at Touched By Olivia consulting with children, youth and families to create intergenerational, custom playspaces that are owned and loved by all.

 

You can find Livvi’s Places in Ballarat, Lyndhurst, Clyde North, Craigieburn, Clyde, Berwick, Point Cook and St Albans.


Livvi's Place playground in Clyde North

 

 

Serendip Sanctuary, Lara

 

Set against the backdrop of the You Yangs, Serendip Sanctuary is a bush sanctuary located in Lara, about 60km south-west of Melbourne and 22km north of Geelong.

 

The sanctuary is home to plenty of Australia wildlife, including wallabies, kangaroos and emus, as well as spectacular birdlife and native plants.

 

Serendip has four interconnecting trails, each of which is no longer than a 2km long journey. Paths are wide, flat and made of compacted deco granite. All walkways, corridors, doorways, bird hides, seating and ramps within the sanctuary comply with current access standards.

Serendip also provides accessible toilets and shelters with picnic tables and BBQs.


100 Windermere Rd, Lara VIC 3212



Emus in grassland

 

 

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