Project: Bowen Crescent Playground
Client: Opunake Community Spaces Development Group (OCSD)
With views out over Opunake Beach and beyond, Bowen Crescent Playground has long been a destination for generations of this South Taranaki coastal community.
Affectionately known as ‘the mountain playground’ for its central mountain play feature, the space, although well-loved, had become tired, unsafe, and in desperate need of replacement.
Community members established a charitable trust with the aim of creating a new playground highlighting their unique location for local residents and visitors to enjoy.
The newly formed Opunake Community Spaces Development Group (OCSD) consulted with the South Taranaki District Council, local iwi, and community to create a new playground vision. They wanted to incorporate ocean themed elements as well as retain the iconic mountain play feature.
The new playground, designed and constructed by Playground Creations, blends maunga and moana with custom built surfboards and a new and improved ‘mountain’ incorporating a variety of play elements. The rubber mound was surfaced by Playtop NZ and reflects a snow-capped Mount Taranaki, while the incorporation of native planting is a nod to the national park. Traditional swings round out the fun for families.
The new mountain feature connects with the environment while providing multiple opportunities for free play. The design is a magnet for children who can climb, scale, crawl and slide their way up, down, and through the mountain. Children can also challenge themselves individually in a variety of ways on the mountain, while the inclusion of talking tubes encourages social play.
Custom surfboards offer a taste of catching a wave and encourage body balance and risk taking, while the inclusion of a hammock is a great social space for several children to share - or one tired parent to catch a kip in the sea air!