First steps to adventure

Rhonda Dredge

The new playground on Southbank Boulevard is encouraging people to tap into their adventurous spirit and take a few risks. 

A group of drama students from the Victorian College of the Arts had climbed onto a rock instead of a stage. 

A two-year-old from a high-rise was learning how to come down to earth.

And a grandmother from England was wondering how a playground so close to the city was freely available to the public.

The students had chosen the rock as a meeting place for an early dinner before their show at the Southbank Theatre. 


“It’s peaceful here. We’re among trees. It’s a creative park. It’s different to other parks,” they said.


Local resident Brad was taking his two-year old daughter Jamila to engage with the drama of the earth and its contours.

“For inner city kids, the country is made of boulders and rocks. We don’t have a backyard,” he said.  

The most enthusiastic supporter was Vicky Wales from Nottingham who was staying in Southbank for her son’s wedding. 

“In the UK we have nothing like this. They took away a lot of parks because youngsters trash them. You have to go quite a way to find one,” she said.

Her grandson Roczen was targeting a few rocks to climb and had made a friend from Spain.

The park has large bluestone boulders perched on dollies, abseiling pegs on rocks to encourage climbing, slides, rope bridges and soft pavers to cushion falls. •


Pic 1: A rocky hollow for drama students.

Pic 2: Brad and Jamila pull up at a cave.

Pic 3: Vicky and grandson Roxzen on a slide.

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