Finding a good park that is age appropriate is a big win for parents. I have two little kids (2yr & almost 1 years) and instead of pub hopping these days I go park hopping. We go from one to the other having a play and on the search for our favourite go-to park, and I must say there are many that my kids are too little for. Some have woodchip that spikes feet, others have sand that gets eaten and all over everything, some climbing parks that are too big and out of reach, some with shade and then no shade, or some that are awesome yet sand-flies or mossies bites are a given. Now, with all of that said I think in Gladstone we are super lucky and spoilt for choice. We have an abundance of parks to take our kids too. They are free, well maintained and wonderful. However, we have turned a new page of awesomeness when it comes to parks with the latest, the redeveloped, Alf Larson/Lions Park, Miriam Vale.

Child enjoying the new Miriam Vale Park
Child enjoying the new Miriam Vale Park

I experienced it for the first time the other day, at ‘almost’ the end of a long drive from Brisbane back to Gladstone on the weekend, the kids were well and truly in need of getting out of car seats and into the wild. We pulled into Miriam Vale and WOW-WEE I was so excited (maybe even more than the kids). I didn’t run and push them out of the way so I got a turn first, but it was close to that kind of stage ‘Mum behaviour’. I was elbow to elbow with the kids looking at all the new things to play with.

Here is a quick run-down of the park through a Mum’s eyes:

It’s clean and looks exciting, there is green grass to lay and play on. The park is set out in age-appropriate play equipment, up the top is a mega climbing fort that even some of the dads got onto. It has ropes and tunnels and an epic slide. For those that have little kids like me, the small kids play area has a soft ground (no chip bark or sand) , a nice little slide and climbing space, small toys that little ones can interact with and water play! How cool. Plus some great swings and an inbuilt trampoline. It’s a really cool place to be.

Nikki Wingates Son & Husband Having Fun
Nikki W. Son/Husband Having Fun

After a long drive this park is a beautiful place to let the kids run wild and have fun. It is really got something for the whole family. The only thing that I think is needed now is a great big sign on the highway with pictures of the epic park and something that says – ‘Turn off at Miriamvale, and lets your kids enjoy our awesome park.’ This should be the place to stop while in transit. I know the sign thing has been said before, it might be a federal issue, but I think parents AND families traveling would love the heads up about this spot.

I decided to ask some local Mum’s what they thought of the park and here were the answers:

Stephanie Machen I made the drive down there especially check it out. It was absolutely amazing and I there is nothing else like it in this area. It was definitely worth the drive.

Megan Wynne My son loved it we stopped in on our way home from Agnes waters/1770 my son didn’t want to leave! A couple of friends and I are planning to drive down one day soon so the kids can spend more time there!

Hayley Ann It’s awesome, my 5 kid’s love it.

Nikki Wingate I live in Miriam Vale and our kids nag us to go there every weekend and most afternoons, such a wonderful thing for our town.

Jessica Slavin We drove down just for the park. It was the best park we have ever been too, even better than any we have been to in Sydney or other cities. Kids 2 and 4 loved it and ask every day to go back. There is something for all age groups and the sensory aspect of the park is wonderful. I hope we get something like this in Gladstone one day.