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Neil Hawkins Park in Joondalup is a park more suited to the under 5’s.
The playground is partially enclosed and is quite compact and easy to keep track of little ones. It features play equipment in the guise of a train engine and its carriages with each carriage providing a different feature. The train engine houses a small slide which is great for crawlers and early walkers.
The next two carriages provide seating areas which my kids love retreating into with their food stash and enjoying a picnic.
The final carriage is a tunnel with small windows – great for playing a game of peek-a-boo with crawlers.
There is a play frame structure which contains one slide. This is great for the older children but not so much for the toddlers as there is a lot of open spaces and gaps for them to fall through.
There is a see-saw that seats 4 which is very popular with kids of all ages – including those big kids that call themselves adults! There is also a four-seater rocking horse themed see-saw.
Other play equipment dotted around includes 2 rockers, a large abacus and the jungle drums. There are no swings.
The playground relies on the natural shade from the large trees that surround it. However, the left side of the playground doesn’t get as much shade so the metal see-saw and rockers can get quite hot during the summer months.
Neil Hawkins Park is located in the beautiful setting of Lake Joondalup. It is a stroll away from the waters edge and a jetty which is great for paying a visit to the resident wildlife on the lake. With that in mind, you do have to keep a close eye on your children if they are the type that likes to go for a wander. They could very easily take themselves off to the lake.
Dotted around the playground are 7 picnic shelters, and 3 BBQ stations so it makes a great place for social gatherings.
I would not recommend Neil Hawkins Park if you are afraid of birds and there are quite a lot of them in residence there. If you don’t mind them and are looking for a great photo op they would quite happily come and perch on your arms and take food from you. I have also heard that the park is a great place to visit at dusk as may spot a resident kangaroo or two.
Lake Joondalup has a pathway around it that is suitable for walking or bike riding. We like to take our daughters down there with their bike and trike and go for a stroll and then head to the playground afterwards.
There is sometimes a coffee van parked in the car park at the weekend. There are plenty of parking spots available however most and pay and display.
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Jennie McNichol is the co-founder of Buggybuddys. She moved to Perth in 2010 after 11 years of living in London, working in television for the BBC. She is the mother of two daughters aged 9 and 6 and loves the family-friendly lifestyle that Perth has to offer.