Hon Ian Hunter MLC
Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation
The thrilling new natural play space at Morialta Conservation Park has officially opened, and young and old are already climbing, sliding and playing across the 200-metre adventure playground.
The $900,000 playground, named Mukanthi, is made up of five themed areas: Eagle’s Perch, the Kookaburra Nests, the Climbing Boulders, the Great Snake and Frog Island. Mukanthi is a Kaurna word meaning ‘celebrate and play’, and is pronounced ‘muh-ganthee’.
Ian Hunter, Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, said that the play space has already proved tremendously popular with Adelaide families.
“We’re seeing such a buzz on social media – everyone wants to experience it for themselves,” he said.
“Two years ago, we undertook an extensive community engagement process to learn what people want from their national parks – this included online surveys, roundtables, park discovery days, community panels and the Minecraft park design competition for primary students.
“The Minecraft competition was such a great source of information on how children think that we decided to let the winning class work with the designers to share more of their ideas for the Morialta play space.
“There are wonderful Kaurna cultural elements here, too, like The Great Snake and on Frog Island, where there are shields and faces carved into the trees, a traditional canoe and a campfire story area, which will encourage children to engage in imaginative play.
“The finished product has places to climb, to explore, to take risks, to get lost, and to learn, and I think it’s fantastic,” Minister Hunter said.
Spread over 200 metres at the Stradbroke Road picnic area, it includes features such as a climbing tower and long slide, the maze-like Great Snake and three climbing boulders to help children and adults build their rock climbing skills.
The play space was built by local company Climbing Tree Creations, with design input from Peter Semple Landscape Architects, the Kaurna community, and the children from Linden Park Primary School who won the 2015 Minecraft national park design contest.
“My family has lived in this area for many years and when I was growing up there was nothing like this for children to use,” said Peter Field, Candidate for Morialta.
“It’s so great to see this kind of nature playground for children to interact with and enjoy.
“Nature play is so important for children’s development, and for their health, happiness and wellbeing, and I encourage families to come along and enjoy this fun new play space,” Mr Field said.
The Morialta play space is part of a 2014 election commitment to invest $10.4 million in connecting more people with nature by improving visitor facilities in Adelaide’s metropolitan parks.
For further information on Morialta and other South Australian parks and reserves, visit www.parks.sa.gov.au.