January 12, 2013

Local Adventures: Howard Springs Nature Park

Howard Springs Nature Park, NT, Australia

This week we ventured to a new playground close to home.  The Howard Springs Nature Park is about 35 km out of Darwin city.  It has been a long-time bbq and picnic area.  In particular, it was a great place to come and feed a barramundi or catch a glimpse of turtles.

turtles at Howard Springs

During the Second World War, the springs were used as a rest and recreation camp for servicemen.

But although historically, Howard Springs was used as a swimming hole, the water quality has not been good enough for swimming for many years.

Recently, the Nature Park underwent an upgrade.  They added a large children’s play area and a series of man-made rock pools for water play. 

There is now an amazing natural playground which includes two ziplines …
zipline at Howard Springs

a tree maze …
tree maze at Howard Springs
tree maze at Howard Springs

climbing areas …
climbing at Howard Springs
rock climbing at Howard Springs

and a series of rock pools for water play …
rock pools at Howard Springs
rock pools at Howard Springs

There is also a toddler swimming pool (about 60 cm deep) on the other side of the Springs. 

The playground is quite challenging and exciting for all ages of children.  The ziplines and climbing activities in these photos were a perfect challenge for my 7 year old.  J, who is 4, required more support and close supervision.  But there is are lots of hills to climb,  rock walls to balance on, a slide, a low treehouse platform and more for younger children to enjoy.

As you walk around the Springs you can see, with little trouble, many types of birds (especially ibis) and different species of fish and turtles in the water.  I’m sure there are many other types of wildlife to be found for quiet and careful explorers.

I know we will be returning many times to this playground.

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