Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground at the National Arboretum is one of Australia’s best playgrounds and it is must-do if you’re in Canberra with kids.

The playground is part of the National Arboretum, which in itself is an interesting destination. It is host to 100 forests of rare and endangered trees from around the world. You can admire a bonsai collection, see open air sculpture, walk around the plantations and enjoy the views, which on a clear day stretch all the way to Parliament House.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground is a stunning architectural structure, perched high on the hilltop. It takes its inspiration from the surrounding trees and botanical environment.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra - 1 (2)

The series of giant acorn cubbies are the most striking feature and suitable for older, confident climbers.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

They’re connected by net tunnels and reach the ground through a long slide and various steel ladders. Each acorn also holds different features to investigate, from a kaleidoscope and insect displays.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Baby 2.0 gets up to the third-highest acorn before being too freaked out by the darkness and the high slide and backtracks. It really is very high!

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Younger children can enjoy sand play and a more gentle slide at the banksia cones.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

There’s also a bank of swings, including two bird’s nest swings, a large climbing net and a rock climbing wall.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

I really like how the equipment encourages kids to take risks, to try and try again and to challenge their physical limits so they don’t get bored. 

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Children can also explore sound and music through a musical bridge and banksia cones that hold a drum and pipes.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

One of the lower acorns include percussive elements and wheels that replicate the sound of rain and a thunderstorm.

Pod Playground National Arboretum Canberra

Functional facilities include a public toilet with a child-size seat, benches with sun cover and water tap. The play space is fully fenced. Paid parking is available.

Pod Playground is a stunning playground in a beautiful serene destination and it is only a short drive from Canberra CBD. We spend a few hours there and only leave because we want to return to the CBD to eat lunch (though note there is an onsite cafe and restaurant but reports tell me they’re not great). There is enough equipment to challenge all ages and to engage imaginations for a whole day or return visits.


HOT Tips:

  • Suitable for toddlers;
  • Suitable for older kids;
  • Fully fenced;
  • Toilets with change table and child-sized toilet;
  • Water taps;
  • Sprout Cafe and Conservatory Restaurant on site;
  • Free and paid guided tours of the National Arboretum available;
  • Entry to the Arboretum is free-of-charge, however, pay parking applies from 9am until 4pm daily at the rate of $2 per hour with a maximum of $7.50 for one day.

National Arboretum, Forest Drive, off Tuggeranong Parkway, Weston Creek

Village Centre 9 am to 4 pm daily. Closed 25 December.

Grounds and Pod Playground 6 am to 8:30 pm seven days a week during Daylight Savings Time and from 7 am to 5:30 pm seven days a week during Eastern Standard Time (Non-daylight Savings Time).

 

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