The Stuff news site is constantly pounding a drum that this is the “largest play area in the Southern Hemisphere”, but I have been unable to find any statistics to prove this statement. Looking at exclusively the play equipment spaces of the playgrounds we have been to, it is up among the largest, but we have been to many other playgrounds where the additional features (splash pads, pump tracks, courts, lawns, miniature railways, cycle parks) make for a much larger total recreation space.
That off my chest, this IS genuinely a lovely play area. Its nice to have something family-focussed in the centre of such a damaged CBD. The parking at the playground is reasonably generous, which is important when no-one uses buses in Christchurch.
The play equipment offers a great variety of activities for all kids. From the giant slide and massive climbing frame, to water movers and a flying fox. You will need to keep an eye on any runners you have, as the playground is unfenced and continues right down to the river bank, where it has a dock for the punts that glide by.
There are few to no cafe’s or shops nearby, but a regular fleet of food trucks resolve that issue, and there are toilets built within the playground.
Bring a change of clothes as there is water play as an option, and be prepared to be a kid yourself as some of the equipment is just too enticing to ignore.