The Iluka Park All Abilities Playground was Mackay's first public playground specially-designed to meet the needs of the children with and without a disability, and their families.
The play space evolved from a targeted community engagement process run by state and local governments in partnership.
Name: Iluka Park All Abilities Playground
Size: approximately 2500m2
Officially opened: Friday 13 August 2010
Main play elements: A fort surrounded by a maze paths, sensory plantings and interactive panels, including chimes, tom toms and other musical elements, a sand play station, junior and senior play areas, a kick-about area, climbing structure, double swing, giro spinner, hand water pump, circle swing and dry creek beds.
Facilities: Accessible picnic shelter and drinking facilities, soft-fall surfacing, perimeter fencing, shade sails and bike racks.
Toilet facilities: Toilet facilities next to the carpark were upgraded. Accessible amenities formed part of future planned works.
Address: Binnington Esplanade, East Mackay. View on Google map.
- Queensland Government ($283,150, Queensland All Abilities Playground Project)
- Mackay Regional Council ($120,000).
For more information: Contact council on 1300 622 529.
Mackay Regional Council's playground project aimed to enhance the appeal of Iluka Park – also known as Town Beach – as a family destination, complete with idyllic beachside attractions, family-friendly conveniences and play options suitable for children with and without a disability.
To help capture the needs and aspirations of potential user groups, Disability Services staff coordinated a number of community consultation sessions and provided analysis as well as educational support to council.
Students from two local schools provided their unique ideas and designs by completing activity books, while observations of children at play also provided invaluable insight into the needs of children. Local residents were also able to provide their thoughts via council's website, utilising an online comments feature.
Following the development of the initial concept design, a community workshop was held to refine plans. Plans were also displayed in public libraries and posted on council's website, to ensure maximum community participation and feedback.
By mid 2009, a multi-faceted design was finalised which aimed to maximise opportunities for children to interact and develop social skills through play, while also encouraging children to experience different types of play.
The playground's exploratory and creative play spaces included a path and plant maze, a dry creek bed, and a fort lookout and a sand play area. These spaces were designed to encourage children's creativity, imagination and exploration through the use of different shapes, textures and heights, sensory plantings and raised beds, and musical elements, such as chimes and tom toms.
Other spaces were targeted at different age levels and featured play equipment specially-selected to challenge children of all abilities, with a focus on learning and physical development.
Another special feature was a train play area promoting train-crossing safety.