Play on the wild side at Canberra's newest playground | HerCanberra

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Play on the wild side at Canberra’s newest playground

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Kids of all ages are invited to come take a walk on the wide side at the National Zoo & Aquarium’s new and innovative playground.

With 55 exciting activities for children ages 2-12 to engage in, including life-size elephants, gorilla and more, even supervising adults may be finding themselves wanting to embrace their ‘inner child’.

Located next to the Rhino Bistro, parents are able to take some time to relax while their kids immerse themselves in the flora and fauna.

Part of the Zoo’s new Open Range precinct which also features a BBQ-equipped viewing park, the playground adds another element to the already extensive entertainment options available for members and guests. The area is nestled amongst enclosures, so “wherever [guests] are, they’re going to have an animal close by,” says Richard Tindale, owner of National Zoo & Aquarium.

Friday 25 January marked the hotly anticipated opening, with ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr officially designating the site open for fun. Described by Richard as a “labour of love” over the last couple of years, the playground features landscaping and activities crafted by the zoo staff themselves.

The uniquely styled site offers a variety of interactive and inclusive play items, so there’s sure to be something for all personalities and preferences. Despite the hot weather, families were out in full force enjoying all the different activities with plenty of shade available.

“While they’re playing and having fun, they’re getting a message that they can help the conservation of wildlife,” says Richard.

Realistic wildlife sculptures dotted around the play space are part of the broader objective to assist in the preservation of the natural world. “They range from a full-size giraffe down to small lizards that you might find climbing up a tree somewhere.”

In addition to these, the playground’s Discovery Trail is full of surprise facts and learning opportunities. The playground is also dynamic, with future guests able to make new wildlife discoveries as the tropical gardens grow over time.

There are plenty of opportunities for bigger kids to play too, with a large tree house with three-metre-high slide, net climbers and flying foxes.

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