With kids, fenced playgrounds are always a bonus and the fully-fenced playground, Fern Bay Reserve Playground has something to suit all ages.
Located just north of Stockton, The Fern Bay playground is outside the Fern Bay Community Hall and adjacent to the Fern Bay Public School car park. You should have no trouble finding a parking spot here on weekends or in the school holidays. However, the car park does get busy through the week around school drop-off and pick-up times.
For toddlers and smaller kids, there is a baby swing, a spiderweb swing, a roundabout, a rope bridge plus plenty of wobbly areas to utilise their gross motor skills and to practice balancing.
A cement path inside the fence encircles the playground and is wide enough for young children to scooter around.
For older kids there’s a regular-sized swing and the climbing wall, climbing net, suspended tires and monkey bars all provide lots of opportunity for climbing.
There’s also one of those crazy spinners that one or two kids at a time can stand on and spin and although lots of older kids love this, it does gain momentum quickly and can overwhelm some kids.
The playground has natural elements built into it including log steps, a timber bridge and a soft woodchip ground cover. These are all nestled amongst grassy shrubs, the perfect hiding spot for penny lizards which the kids will delight in spotting.
We even saw a big old bluetongue lizard here once so the kids will need to take care when playing in this area of the playground. The grassy shrubs can also be spiky for little ones if they happen to trip and fall into them.
The steps of the community hall are large and wide, the perfect place to sit and watch little ones play. There are also some large sandstone blocks inside the playground where the kids can stop and have a rest, a drink or a snack. There is a water fountain and shade sails over the playground provide shade.
If you have tweens or teens they won’t be bored as right behind the playground is a newly built, fully-fenced, half-size basketball court which incorporates soccer goals and a tennis/handball wall.
Just remember to pack all the balls and racquets in the car before you leave home. When there is no one else using the court, my two littlies love to have a quick scooter here in between playing in the playground.
Right next to the playground is a large grassy area, well-shaded and also great for kicking a ball around. An undercover, coin-operated BBQ and undercover picnic tables are located here too.
The Fern Bay Community Centre also has two tennis courts and a large multi-purpose hall space suitable for kids birthday parties etc. Both are managed by community volunteers and are available for hire through Port Stephens Council.
My three and five-year old rate this playground as one of their favourites and the fact that this playground is fully-fenced makes it one of my favourites too. I consider it well worth the extra drive and a great place for a playdate.
Address: Vardon Road, Fern Bay, NSW
Ideal Age: All ages
Public Toilets: Yes, disabled ramp and disabled toilet
Water Fountain: Yes
Picnic Facilities: 2 x undercover picnic tables
BBQ: 1 x coin-operated undercover bbq
Cafe Nearby: No
Meg is a born and raised Novocastrian whose interests include gardening, reading and writing poetry. In between writing for Newy With Kids and working casually as a School Learning Support Officer, Meg enjoys camping and travelling with her family and exploring Newcastle and all it has to offer. Meg has two energetic kids and is passionate about kids having the opportunity to be outdoors as often as possible.