Austek Play recently completed the nature-based playground at Bundaberg Botanic Gardens – an iconic destination parkland – that appeals to users of all abilities. An innovative and considered space that is complementary to the natural setting, it has become a central community hub, promoting recreation and socialisation.

The playground was recently jointly awarded as the winner of the <$0.5M Playspace Award through Parks & Leisure Australia, and the project will now go through to the national PLA competition!

Austek Play’s planning and delivery focused on the three design principles of Functionality, Inclusivity and Visual Appeal. By carefully addressing Council’s vision from start to finish, through both the design and delivery processes, Austek Play ensured the delivery of a truly unique and inspiring playground.

At Austek Play, the team are very careful not to attempt to reinvent the wheel, taking great care to offer traditional activities in their playground designs while still creating opportunities for innovation through design. This was undoubtedly achieved at Bundaberg’s Botanical Gardens.

Austek Play’s design focus was to ensure the overall aesthetics of the playspace would be sympathetic to the local surrounds within the Botanic Gardens. To inspire and motivate users of all ages and abilities, significant focus was placed on offering a wide and diverse array of tactile and sensory experiences throughout the playspace that would combine to create a theme befitting of the location, with equipment dominated by natural products.

The playground includes four individual play zones and 17 freestanding equipment items, which, when combined, offer a total of 89 individual play activities.

The four defined play zones are as inclusive as they are interchangeable and interlinked. While each zone has a specific purpose or target group, elements are included throughout the entire playspace that attract and encourage all users to explore the entire playground, regardless of age or ability.

The layout is deliberately designed to incorporate inclusivity and accessibility. This is not solely limited to how children will use the equipment to play, but also extends to how parents and carers engage with the space as supervisors and spectators, increasing accessibility through intelligent use of surfacing.

The playground provides points of interest and play activities that are relevant to the needs of the varied ages and ability levels of different user groups, without promoting segregation and isolation. Intergenerational features include the Tango (face-to-face) swing seat, water pump and Spinmee Round-About.

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