A new Mooloolaba playground will be the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, due to its specially made all-inclusive design for children of all ages and abilities.

The playground is part of Sunshine Coast Council’s Stage 1 Northern Parkland works.

It follows the successful opening of the new boardwalk and viewing platform at the Mooloolaba foreshore in November 2021.

The Queensland Government has invested $4.6 million into Stage 1 through the $50 million Unite and Recover Community Stimulus Package for South East Queensland councils to stimulate economies and support jobs. 

Sunshine Coast Council also committed $11.5 million towards Stage 1 and is proud to have local firms deliver the new parkland precinct.

The adventure playground, which was designed in collaboration with Queensland’s Urban Play, KOMPAN Design Studio and Fleetwood Urban, features three main elements.

These include a multidimensional climbing net, large swing set and Pandanus Play Towers.

Two of the three playground elements are expected to open in early April 2022, including the climbing net and swing set, ready for the peak Easter holiday period.

The unique climbing net experience will challenge and develop children’s motor skills, build muscle strength, courage and social skills.

The 360-degree design of the net allows people of all abilities to climb onto or play underneath the net and offers inclusive sensory ground-level activities.

The final element, the Pandanus Play Towers, is due to open by mid-June 2022, weather and site conditions permitting.

Shade sails will be installed over the swing set and lower elements of the play towers for sun safety.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 4 Councillor, Joe Natoli, said the new playground would deliver major economic benefits to Mooloolaba and further position the iconic foreshore as a prime destination for locals and visitors.

“This will be one of the most incredible playgrounds in our region and I am thrilled our community will be able to enjoy early access to the climbing net and swings prior to the official opening of the entire Stage 1 Northern Parkland mid-year,” Cr Natoli said.

“The adventure playground has been designed to fit within the natural terrain and will be positioned at the southern section of the Stage 1 Northern Parkland area, near the new sheltered barbecue facility, public amenities building and the coastal pathway.

“This one-of-a-kind playground has been especially created for our Mooloolaba Foreshore.

“Stage 1 includes over 10,000 new plants and 120 trees, including palms native to the Sunshine Coast.”

The adventure playground is surrounded by new open grass space to throw out a picnic rug or play ball, extensive garden beds and revegetation, accessible boardwalk and pathways – all with the vantage of Mooloolaba’s famous ocean views.

The new adventure playground is an outcome of community consultation from the 2015 Place Making Mooloolaba Master Plan

The complete Stage 1 Northern Parkland will be officially unveiled with an exciting community event in late 2022.

Stage 1 of the Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation includes:

  • A new viewing platform with seating at the Alex Bluff Foreshore Park
  • An accessible boardwalk linking Alexandra Headland and Mooloolaba
  • Two new sets of stairs linking Mooloolaba Esplanade to the parkland and beach
  • Open space for the community to come together and connect with nature
  • Children’s adventure playground
  • A sheltered barbecue area and public amenities
  • A new seawall to protect our foreshore including the new community infrastructure being constructed
  • More than 120 new trees and more than 10,000 new shrubs and groundcovers as well as removal of weed species

The new infrastructure is part of the greater Mooloolaba Foreshore Revitalisation project which will increase public beachfront parkland by 40 per cent and include new community spaces and amenities, all of which aim to enhance and celebrate the natural Sunshine Coast way of life.

Image: Sunshine Coast Council. Artist impression of the new playground (indicative only).

  1. Phillip Anstis 2 years ago

    I don’ think the headline claim stacks up to being the first inclusive playground in the Southern Hemisphere – not even Australia. Maybe a first for Queensland but that would probably be about it. Perhaps the magazine needs to do a bit more fact checking before repeating ‘first of its type’ claims. Ballarat’s inclusive playground was opened in 2016 and there were others before that.


    • angus 2 years ago

      If I had have noticed your comment Phillip, I wouldn’t have made mine. Channel 7 did the same thing only two ago in Sydney when the Hammondville playspace was officially opened. Channel 7 reported the new playspace as being the first of its kind in Australia.

      • angus 2 years ago

        * two weeks ago.

  2. angus 2 years ago

    As fantastic as this is… and we all should applaud Sunshine Coast Council for its initiative and commitment to inclusivity, are you sure that this is the first one in the southern hemisphere? I know that there is approx. 10 of these accessible playgrounds in Sydney alone. Livy’s play spaces are popping up right across the Sydney area. Another one has just been completed in Hammondville in Sydney’s Southwest, and in there has been two constructed in the Macarthur area in the Campbelltown LGA, with one recently winning an award. A number have been constructed in Sydney’ Northwest.
    Everyone should be thinking this way and implementing what is such a great play space, that can bring so much joy and respite, to those that can unfortunately be excluded as a result of traditional play space designs.

  3. Emily 2 years ago

    Fantastic for the Mooloolaba community – but please, less of the ‘first of it’s kind’ claims. It’s actually insulting to the many of organisations and Councils that have been delivering quality inclusive playspaces for years. Good transport access and wayfinding, adult change / ‘Changing Places’ amenities, comfortable infrastructure including shade, seating and water, and a play experience for everyone is what makes a playspace truly inclusive.

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