Parks and Playgrounds Frequently Asked Questions

At Sutherland Shire Council we do more than serve our community - we are our community.

We understand that our natural landscapes - the bays, beaches and bush - and our love of outdoor living gives us a unique energy that sets us apart from anywhere else.

Our vision is for play spaces for everyone that are welcoming, diverse and fun!

Our playgrounds range from small local playgrounds for a quick turn on the swings, to larger regional parks which provide more facilities and equipment for kids to play all day.  Each year we upgrade those playgrounds most in need of care and attention under our Playground Renewal Program.

View all our great outdoor facilities in the Sutherland Shire, including playgrounds.

Sutherland Shire has a wonderful portfolio of play spaces, including a number of playgrounds for children that are award winning for their design, like the playground at Bonna Point, Kurnell . We presently have 143 children’s playgrounds dispersed across the local government area, along with 6 skate facilities and many play group play spaces.

Play spaces are opportunities for communities to connect and build relationships. It is important as our neighbourhoods grow and change that everyone can access opportunities for play. We aim to ensure that play spaces are distributed equitably across the Shire and can be easily accessed by everyone, both now and in the future.

View playgrounds by facility to see which facilities (including toilets, barbeques and parking) are available at our parks and playgrounds or find a playground by suburb for a location close to your home.

View all the great outdoor facilities in the Sutherland Shire, including playgrounds.

Council receives many competing demands for upgraded playground equipment at locations across the Shire. With more than 150 playgrounds, renewal projects are delivered as part of a planned and prioritised approach.

In 2021/22 we are renewing the following playgrounds:

 

Did you know Council currently provides a play facility within a ten minute walk (840m) of nearly all residents in the Shire?

Council receives many competing demands for the installation of new or significantly upgraded playground equipment at locations across the Shire.  Unfortunately, it is not financially sustainable for Council to agree to all requests, and so requests for new or upgraded assets need to be delivered as part of a planned and prioritised approach.

Council's current asset management strategy is to prioritise the renewal of existing assets over the provision of new or upgraded assets.  Our focus is on reinvigorating the 150+ playgrounds we manage and only upgrading facilities or providing new playgrounds where demands are proven or a clear service gap has been identified.  Generally playground upgrades are focused on enhancing service levels at our district or regional parks and increasing the capacity to provide recreation opportunities for underrepresented groups like youth, seniors and those with limited mobility.

Play is not just for the young. Play can be for everyone – young and old, families and carers, and people of all abilities. We want to provide play spaces that are more inclusive and that bring us all together. We want to provide a variety play opportunities to suit different needs and promote active and healthy lifestyles

We are actively improving the accessibility of our parks and playgrounds. This includes the selection of more inclusive play equipment and the creation of accessible connections to and between different facilities.

The playground at Burnum Burnum Sanctuary, upgraded in 2021, features an accessible carousel, in-ground trampolines and level paths and synthetic grass softfall to facilitate wheelchairs.

Cassandra Crescent Reserve focuses on all-abilities play.  The play equipment includes a ramp to the upper deck so less mobile children can gain access and join in the play.  The play area has synthetic grass pathways through the middle providing better access for wheelchair users. Pram ramps and new paths at the entry provide all-abilities access around the entire reserve.   

The playground at Salmon Haul Bay in Cronulla includes synthetic turf, a wheelchair accessible carousel, basket swing, sensory and imaginative play, and accessible connections to picnic tables and the nearby disabled access toilet.

As funding becomes available, we will continue to upgrade facilities that promote inclusiveness in district and regional parks.

 

Implementation of our Play Strategy will see more play spaces to suit a range of age groups, needs and abilities.

With more than 150 playgrounds, our parks range from small local playgrounds for a quick turn on the swings, to larger regional parks, which provide more facilities and equipment for kids to play all day.

In general, playgrounds cater for children in the 2-10 age range. It is difficult to categorise equipment and activities provided as suitable for a specific age range, as children of the same age vary greatly in their physical abilities and interests. Where possible a variety of graded challenges is provided in each playground rather than age appropriate equipment.

Some equipment can however be considered appropriate for a general age group such as spring rockers for younger children and climbing nets and flying foxes for older children.

 

We are actively planning for play spaces for children aged 12-17.

We know that this age group has different recreational needs.  They prefer play speces with skate parks, outdoor basketball, gyms, and “hang-out” spaces.

In 20/21 we are developing a Master Plan for the construction of a youth precinct at Seymour Shaw, Miranda, to provide informal recreational opportunities for all the community, including a skate park and action sports facilities.  Some of the facilities that we are considering at this location are a half basketball court, parkour and fitness equipment. 

We are also developing a Master Plan over the next three years for the design and construction of an Active Sports Youth Precinct in Engadine. Some of the facilities we are considering are a skate park, half basketball court and parkour zone.

In 20/21 we are investigating opportunities for improved recreation at Jenola Park Playing Fields by way of a multi-purpose reserve, to provide play opportunities for older children

For older children who like to skate, we have a great skate park at Marang Parklands (Greenhills) and a skate alley at Bonna Point Reserve, Kurnell, which is a plaza-style layout for free form skating.  We also have skate facilities at MenaiEngadine and Bundeena.

To see a list of all our skate parks, click here.

Our playground at Bonna Point Reserve, which was opened in March 2020, was designed to accommodate older children, with the biggest slides and rope climbing play equipment in the Shire.  Other playgrounds with climbing nets suitable for older children are Como Pleasure Grounds, Centenary Park, Miranda and Barden Ridge Reserve

There are more youth-oriented facilities in the works, so watch this space!

 

 

At Sutherland Shire Council, we want you and your children to enjoy our wonderful playgrounds without any slips or trips.  To ensure that each visit to our playgrounds is memorable for all the right reasons, please consider the following:

The best way to help your child avoid bumps and bruises in playgrounds is to actively supervise your child at play.

By staying close to your child, especially when they are trying something new or complicated, you can help keep playground visits safe and give your child the confidence to develop movement and social skills.

It’s also important to choose activities and equipment that suit your child’s skills and abilities.

 

Shade can come in many forms including natural shade, playground roof structures, shade from adjacent buildings, and built shade like pavilions and shade sails.

Our service level standards for shade are:

Regional: Shade to the majority of the play space activity zones and central seating areas.

District: Shade to key play space activity zones and central seating areas.

Local: Natural shade where available to key play space activity zones and central seating areas.

Community Buildings: Shade provided within the building alongside the outdoor play space.

Youth Play: Shade to key activity zones and central seating areas.

 

We encourage those visiting Council’s parks and reserves to be sun safe and take appropriate measures to reduce their risk of UV exposure.

This is a common question we are asked. Just as important as what kids are falling from, is what they’re falling onto.

We use play bark and play sand at most of our local playgrounds. These materials are highly effective when it comes to absorbing impact and preventing playground injuries. They are also environmentally friendly, economical, and easier to maintain. We also use play bark in areas that are prone to sun exposure because it stays cool over the hot summer months.

 

All playgrounds in the Shire are routinely inspected by Council for safety and general maintenance.  Our Operational staff report any damaged or vandalised equipment they come across during their inspections.

If you have concerns about the maintenance of a playground or identify a safety concern during your visit please report it to Council. 

Please make sure to include the playground location and provide details about the issue that you have identified.

Snap Send Solve

If you're out and about Council is now offering an extra way to Report It with the Snap Send Solve app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. You can find more information here.

 

We know that public toilets are an important service to the community, but due to financial constraints we are not able to construct public toilets at every park or playground. Council focuses on providing public amenities at our regional and district parks.

The National Public Toilet Map provides information on over 19,000 publicly available toilets across Australia, including accessibility, opening hours and facilities, such as showers & baby change.

https://toiletmap.gov.au/

 

Council does not fence all playgrounds. Fencing is appropriate where a playground is located immediately adjacent to a busy road, car park, permanent water body or any other activity considered hazardous to children and their carers.

 

 

While many people’s dogs are beloved members of their families, we recognise that not everyone feels the same way about our four-legged friends. Many children are afraid of dogs, and their safety and enjoyment is the highest priority at public playgrounds. It’s also against regulations for a dog to be brought to a playground. Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 - Section 14, dogs are not permitted within 10 metres of playgrounds or play equipment, whether or not on a leash.

All dogs in public places must be under the control of a competent person. Council is required by the State Government to enforce the laws concerning dogs, and Rangers may issue on-the-spot fines for infringements of the regulations listed above. Please contact Council if you wish to report dogs at playgrounds. 

With more than 600 parks and reserves throughout the Shire including six off-leash facilities, there are many places you can enjoy with your furry friends. For information about where you can and cannot take your dog, including our interactive dog off leash map, click here.

 

Council, in collaboration with the NSW Department of Health, has commenced installation of “no smoking” signage at selected playgrounds throughout the Shire.  Playgrounds have been selected on the basis of past complaints about smoking near playgrounds at those locations.

The new signage warns park visitors that smoking is banned within ten metres of children’s play equipment in outdoor public places in NSW.

 

Alcohol Free Zones and Alcohol Prohibited Areas are restrictions on the possession and consumption of alcohol in public places. They are established by Council and enforced by the police.

Follow this link to view a list of Council's Alcohol Free Zones and Alcohol Prohibited Areas.

 

Council’s playgrounds are provided for all members of the community to use, and it is not possible to book them for exclusive use by a particular group. 

Everyone is welcome to use the facilities on a first-come, first-served basis.

To view our guidelines for portable barbecues, please click here.

To see which playgrounds have barbecues installed, use our playground selector.

 

 

Small (Local) playgrounds

Medium (District) playgrounds

Large (Regional) playgrounds

Catering for local residents

Typically include a small bike track, play units catering for a specific age group, swings, seating, a rubbish bin and a bubbler

Softfall is typically sand or play bark

Cater to residents from the general district

Typically include multiple play units for several age groups, shade structures and trees, picnic shelters, a bike track, seating, picnic tables and car parking

Softfall may be sand, play bark or synthetic surfaces

"Destination" playgrounds designed for longer visits

Multiple pieces of equipment, for different ages and abilities that may include water play, flying fox, bike track, outdoor gym

Facilities such as shade structures and trees, covered BBQs, picnic settings, toilets, lighting and car parking

Softfall is typically synthetic rubber or turf

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