If you haven’t visited Thomas H Halton Park in Croudace Bay yet, it’s worth a visit. The long-awaited transformation of Thomas H Halton Park (also known as Croudace Bay Park) has been completed and it is amazing. The new all-abilities playground just opened in late Febraury by Lake Macquarie City Council and it’s one to put on your list of places to visit. Be prepared for lots of crowds in its opening months though!
There are so many things to rave about at this playground but we love the lakeside location of the playground (super scenic), the fact that it’s fully-fenced and that pirate ship!
It’s also cleverly designed with the playground divided into different zones. These zones have a very natural feel incorporating lots of sandstone rocks, trees and grassy areas. Plenty of areas for kids to enjoy some nature of play. There is plenty of seating whether it’s on seats or sandstone rock benches and parents or caregivers have a clear line of sight across most of the playground.
Pirate ship at Thomas H Halton Park
Ahoy matey! The centrepiece of the playground and the attraction you’ll notice right away is the massive pirate ship.
Pirate-themed play equipment seem to be the playground trend at the moment with the updated playground at Honeysuckle also featuring a large pirate ship.
The design of the pirate ship is ingenious with ramps, slides and ladders making it fun for kids to get up and down from it.
There is also plenty of space underneath for kids to play (or hide) and if you look down from the deck of the ship, you’ll notice rope tunnels, a flat climbing net and lots of portholes to peer out on the world.
Toddler area at Thomas H Halton Park
West of the pirate ship, you’ll see the toddler area. Cleverly designed so that little kids are away from older kids, this area is the only section covered by sail shade.
Within this timber-themed area, you’ll find toddler swings, a rocker, balancing logs and beams as well as a small fishing boat.
Next to this area is a small musical area with steel drums and a xylophone
Timber forts at Thomas H Halton Park
It’s then onto a larger timber forts play area that is suitable for preschoolers or younger kids who love to climb.
Kids can climb up the climbing wall or across the cargo net, slide down or run across the rope tunnel and shaky log bridge.
Near here is a timber seating area which would be perfect for hangouts and storytimes.
Water play area at Thomas H Halton Park
The water play area is ingenious. Made of concrete and rocks, it features three water pumps that kids can get operate. It also has blue dividers which can be lifted up so kids can adjust the flow of the water.
It’s a large area with multiple pumps so kids can spread out and not fight over whose turn it is to operate the pump. (Just be sure to bring a towel and a change of clothes if you think your kids will get wet playing in this area).
Swing sets at Thomas H Halton Park
In addition to the baby swings in the toddler section, you’ll find more swings located closer to the western fence.
In addition to a group nest swing, there’s a separate timber structure with two more swings. We reckon, they have the best view from a swing!
Spinning area at Thomas H Halton Park
If your kids love to spin, head to the southern end of the park. Here you will find a net climbing spinner as well as a roundabout. This is on softfall so provides a bit more cushion if they fall off.
Sensory & special needs at Thomas H Halton Park
Thomas H Halton is classified as an all-abilities park. This means it’s designed to accommodate the physical and intellectual needs of children and parents.
There are no steps in this playground to impede wheelchairs. Wide pathing flows throughout the playground providing access to the different zones of the park. The pirate ship has a wide ramp so that kids can access the top deck. The water play area is concrete and level and the roundabout is level to the ground.
There is a variety of flooring including bark in the pirate ship, toddler area. Softfall flooring is in the spinning area of the park and in patches underneath the swings or landing spots for slides.
There is an accessible toilet located to the very left of the toilet block which is located just outside of the playground behind the pirate ship.
Eating at at Thomas H Halton Park
Although there is no cafe located at Thomas H Halton Park, we spotted a coffee cart set up in the parking lot on the weekend we visited. Bring some sausages and cook them up on the barbecues. There are two covered picnic areas with barbecues located within the playground. Guessing these will be popular for birthday parties.
If you or the kids get thirsty, water fountains are located around the playground and you can fill up refillable water bottles.
Also at Thomas H Halton Park
As well as the playground, there are other fun things for your family to do.
There’s a new hit-ball wall and half basketball court 350 metres north of the playground so bring tennis racquets and balls or a basketball and have some fun.
The skate park is located 300 metres south. It’s designed as a street plaza style skate park with quarter pipe, flatbanks, hubbas, downrails and manual pad.
Good to Know
Address: Main entry is on Bareki Road in Croudace Bay. You’ll find parking at this location. There is also a car park located just north by the Croudace Bay boat ramp. From here, it’s an easy walk or scoot to the playground. There are also bus stops located on Bareki Road if you’re coming by public transport.
What to Bring: Bring picnic rugs, drink bottles, snacks, sunscreen, bikes and scooters. If your kids plan to play in the water play area, bring a towel and a change of clothes.
Bike Stand: If your family is coming by bike, you can lock up your bike near the amenities.
Public Toilets: Yes. There is a toilet block located just outside of the playground behind the pirate ship. Accessible toilet available as well as baby change facilities available in three of the toilet cubicles. Additional toilet block located at the hit wall /basketball court north of the playground.
Water Fountain: Yes. Multiple bubblers are located around the playground.
Picnic Facilities: Covered picnic tables and park benches
BBQ: Yes. There are two available in the playground.
Café Nearby: No.
Find on map
Want more things to do around the Lake Macquarie area? Here’s some inspiration:
- The Best 20 Lake Macquarie Walks You Must Do With Kids
- Best Picnic Spots in Lake Macquarie LGA to Meet Up With Friends
- 20 Things to Do in Lake Macquarie With Kids
- 15 of Newcastle Region’s Best Beaches & Ocean Baths for Kids
- Visit Caves Beach But Check the Tides First Before You Explore Sea Caves
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