I have memories of being a kid out at Tidbinbilla – quiet family BBQs soaking up the serenity of the Aussie bush. I can also still hear the sound of my screams when an emu decided that once the BBQ meat was cleared, a plastic bobble in my hair looked just as appetising. About six years old, having the big pointy beak of an emu bearing down at my red pigtails… it’s the stuff dreams are made of!
These days, I’m creating new Tidbinbilla memories with my own family. There seem to be fewer emus out there, or maybe they’re less aggressive – or maybe the playground isn’t really their thing.
Tidbinbilla is a pretty great day out whether you have kids in tow or not. There is an animal sanctuary great for spotting brolgas, platypus, pelicans and koalas (among others), loads of walking trails and of course – a playground.
Included in the Nature Discovery Playground is a flying fox, spider’s web and dual slides. There are also swings and cubby houses. At the top and bottom are BBQs and picnic tables, although shade is limited at the top and it can be hot mid-summer. That said, the (metal) slides are thankfully shade protected.
My kids (aged five, three and two) love it at Tidbinbilla. They can spend an hour just going up and down on the slides together. As a side note, the left one was a bit slower than the right when we were there. We have never really come across a huge crowd, but it is always reasonably popular. My little ones are pretty game and egged on by older siblings and cousins easily, so it may not be suitable for all kids under four or five – although the colorbond cubbies and little slides up the top are perfect.
There are toilets nearby and an open area at the bottom perfect for kicking a ball around if you don’t mind a bit of kangaroo poo.
The only potential downside is the park entry fee of $11 for the day (for a car up to eight seats) or $32 for an annual pass.
This is one of my favourite playgrounds in the area and is only about 25 minutes from Weston Creek. It’s a nice day out.
What: Nature Discovery Playground, Tidbinbilla
When: Tidbinbilla’s gates open daily in summer from 7.30am to 8pm and daily in winter from 7.30am to 6pm.
Parking: Parking is plentiful but park entry fees apply
Recommended for: Kids aged five and above (or younger if they’re more confident!)