Takapuna Playground: Review & what’s next!

With a new extension coming to our amazing beachfront kids’ playground at Gould Reserve, we wanted to take a look at its history and all the cool stuff on offer at this all-ages all-abilities playground..

You should definitely bring your kids down to the Takapuna Beach Playground – and here’s why:

Just visiting town? Long time admirer, first time player? Looking after someone else’s kids and need something awesome to burn off some energy? If you haven’t been here yet, you should remedy that ASAP.

First thing you’ll notice is the MASSIVE tower. Kids (and adults, let’s face it) have an in-built need to be at the top of towers. Release them and they’ll be up the ladders in a flash, popping out the three slides (five if you count the wee ones on the bottom level). The best way to reach the top is to climb up the ropes on the neighbouring A-frame and cross through the tunnel made of netting – it’s hard to beat for beach views!

The two structures feature rock-climbing walls and all kinds of nets, ladders and swinging things. But wait, there’s way more!

Yep, there are swings of all sizes, a giant hamster wheel, a giant see-saw, monkey bars, a trampoline and a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round. Yes, the equipment is all made of tough stuff and adults can get involved too. Uh huh, there’s also heaps of grassy space for picnics and for caregivers to rest watchfully in the shade (and hammocks too!). But there’s something else, something even more amazing.

Water play.

Yes, that’s right, with summer coming on and a supposed heat wave headed to our shores, there’s never been a better time to unleash sweaty and irritated kids on an interactive splash zone complete with buttons, pumps and aqueducts.

The Playground is also perfectly positioned next to the stunning white sand beach allowing for the perfect transition from playground fun, to beach fun and a refreshing dip to cool off properly!

And if that’s not enough to cool you down after a play, just head straight up to Hurstmere Road for some delicious ice cream – just a 3min walk away! From Movenpick on the corner of Hurstmere Green, KiwiYo where you can load up from their toppings buffet, to the brand new Duck Island shop just a few doors down, there’s plenty of delicious, cold and refreshing treats in Takapuna to satisfy any and all sweet tooth cravings – even the vegan/allergy-conscious (at Duck Island)!

If you’re after something with a little more substance, then you’re also in the perfect place to grab a bite to eat! There are so many great places to eat and drink in Takapuna, but from the Playground it’s just a few steps up to the incredible beachfront dining options of Franc’s Bar, Tokyo Bay and Regatta Bar – or if it’s coffee and brunch you’re after, there are plenty of cafes just a short walk away, like Catch 21, JAM Cafe, Leaf and Loaf, Holy Shot, Joe’s Eatery – or walk along the beach to the Takapuna Beach Cafe!

Check out all our other suggestions of things to see and do in Takapuna here, as well as the full list of everywhere to eat and drink in Takapuna here!

Where did it come from?

The playground is the culmination of a vision of locals Jackie and Chris Reeve, who not only campaigned for the playground, but also underwrote the cost of the $1.2 million community-led development, which was also supported by other generous local donors and the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.

The playground opened in August 2016 and immediately became a hit destination. There was a big opening day celebration with food, face painting and entertainment.

What’s coming next?

If you’ve been to the playground in the past few months you’ll already have seen the biggest new addition: brand new toilets and changing facilities. These are a much-needed replacement for the old toilets, and are going to be world-class fully accessible facilities.

Features of the new block include new toilets, showers and changing rooms, as well as an incredible, fully accessible Changing Places Room! These rooms can only be accessed by those with a Changing Places membership to prevent unnecessary use and damage – but the room includes a height-adjustable adult changing table and sink, a ceiling track hoist, a shower, handrails and a toilet with space on both sides for two carers to assist its user.

With the addition of this brand new facilities block, Takapuna Beach is even more accessible, as we are proudly the first beach in Auckland to install a Beach Mat! This extends from The Strand and across the sand for 20m, to allow for easy wheelchair access – so that all of our wonderful community can enjoy our amazing Beach this summer!

There are also some upgrades happening to the playground equipment, scheduled to start in early 2023 – you can check out the plans here and the images below!

Construction is set to commence May 2023, with completion in late August, and will include: civil works, playground installation, wetpour safety surface, pathways, BBQs, seating and gardens.

This wonderful family responsible for the original playground and new amenities block, are now funding this playground extension to provide additional accessible play elements, as well as associated supporting assets, paths and planting. We love our community!

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