Blackbutt Reserve is about to get even better with Saturday's opening of Richley Reserve's new adventure mega-playground.
The $2.5million overhaul includes new wider footpaths, shelters, bbq areas and green space, but the playground - the largest in the Newcastle local government area - is the real star of the show.
"This adventure playground is the city's biggest and best, and is set to entertain tens of thousands of children in the coming months," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes.
"Fantastic memories will be made here for Newcastle families."
Rock and stick play spaces, a ropes course, swings and an adventure tower complete with bridges, slide and fireman poles are all part of the huge 60m-long play area, inspired by the surrounding bushland.
The variety of activities and spaces creates nature-based play for toddlers through to tweens.
"Adventure play is just good old-fashioned outdoor fun," said Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes. "I know that many parents are looking for ways to get children away from screens and out into the great outdoors.
"This playground design lets kids be kids. They can get dirty, play hard and enjoy the outdoors, all in a way that is controlled and safe. It also provides greater access for kids with mobility challenges."
"We have completed extensive improvements on the Carnley Avenue side of the Reserve with the wildlife arena, viewing platform, additional shelters and BBQ areas. Now we have turned our attention to Richley Reserve."
"With the adventure playground and new amenities, Richley Reserve will now be a major attraction and the perfect location for family outings," said the Lord Mayor.
Natural, tactile materials such as timber equipment, smooth river stones and a sandpit with water fountain stimulate a love for nature, give kids control over their play and integrate with the surrounding bushland.
A specially designed carousel puts kids with wheelchairs at the centre of the fun, while a new pathway provides an accessible route to the new playground and recreation area.
New and improved playground funding is part of Newcastle City Council's long-term strategic plan to provide activated outdoor spaces and foster a diverse, inclusive community.
All up, Council provides and maintains 116 playgrounds across our local government area.
Blackbutt Reserve offers trails, wildlife exhibitions and recreational facilities across more than 182 hectares of bushland.
Richley Reserve Adventure Playground official opening
We are celebrating the official opening of this fantastic new facility tomorrow, Saturday 1 September, from 10am to 12noon.
Come along for heaps of free activities including circus performers, inflatable slides, jumping castles and face painters. You can buy a sausage sandwich from our charity partner Got Your Back Sista, buy a coffee from our carts or just bring along your own picnic.
For parking, enter via Freyberg Street. There are 120 car spaces at Richley Reserve and they will go fast for this popular event - Council staff will be on hand to redirect you to alternate parking once the car park is full.
Please carpool or take public transport and if you do drive, remember that families with small children will be unloading and walking to the playground.