Go play outside: Wanaka Playground Review

On the run in Wanaka Station Park.

See-saws! Swings! Slides! On Magazine’s round-up of Wanaka’s best playgrounds.

The Dinosaur Park
Corner of Ardmore St and Lakeside Rd

A Wanaka classic, the Dinosaur Park underwent a $350 000 upgrade in 2004. New swings, a “Spiderman” rope tower and all sorts of things that spin were added, and the dinosaur slide got a spiffy new coat of paint. The prehistoric plaster creature has taken pride of place at the park since 1976. The red sliding surface warms up nicely on a summer morning, and the plates along his spine are perfect for hiding behind, especially when the grownups are calling home-time.

Domini Park
Trevathan Lane, off Kings Drive

This playground has swings for both little and big kids, a groovy wooden car, a covered BBQ area and the best flying fox in the region. Get up enough speed, and you’ll flip completely upside-down when you hit the rubber stopper at the end.

Wanaka Station Park
Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road

Only one swing set, but acres of grass to run around on, thick bushes for hide-and-seek, epic tree climbing and the ruins of the original homestead and farm equipment for clambering action. This park is the most sheltered spot in town when the Nor’wester gets up, and there’s a banquet-sized wooden table for summer picnics. A great spot for outdoor birthday parties.

Luggate Park and Domain
Main Road, Luggate

Luggate has two parks almost directly across from each other. The newer playground is located in front of the Luggate Park. There’s a flying fox, tunnel slide and a scale model of the nearby Red Bridge. On the other side of the road is the Luggate Domain, where delightfully old-school climbing frames–paint slightly flaked, steel bars slightly askew–sit next to the cricket pitch. Take a pic nic, there’s a good few hours’ of fun to be had between the two.

Albert Town Playground
Dale Street, Albert Town

One of the newer parks in the district, here you’ll find a pirate-themed climbing frame for little scurvy dogs and a concrete kid-sized tunnel through a native-tussock-clad hillock. It makes an excellent echo chamber. Next to the playground, a smooth, concrete path winds its way across a large grass field—the perfect training ground for first-time cyclists, rollers bladers and scooter pilots.

LAURA WILLIAMSON

 

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