This is part of a series where I review local playgrounds in and around Whanganui. Non-locals will want to skip this!
Kai Iwi Beach was my favourite place to go swimming as a kid. Situated at the small settlement of Mowhanau, Kai Iwi Beach is a mere 15 minute drive from Whanganui. It’s very popular with young families due to the playground and gentle stream flowing out to the beach. The stream is perfect for tots to muck about in and for older children who aren’t confident swimmers. My family and I whiled away many a summer’s day at this beach.
So it was with a great deal of dismay that we were greeted with this sign:
Umm, what? I can’t find any information online as to why the stream isn’t currently safe for swimming (Jan 2015), but I did find an article from 2012 which blamed toxic blue-green algae producing high levels of E. coli in the water. Come on Whanganui District Council! This is absolutely disgraceful! Kai Iwi is by far the most popular beach in the area.
We didn’t go into the stream at all as I didn’t want to risk it with a baby in tow.
Anyhow, rant over. Onto the playground!
While the slide of my childhood has been replaced by a bigger, better structure, I am convinced that this witches’ hat is still the same.
The original slide has been replaced by an awesome boat structure which has several climbing areas, a flying fox, a swing and of course, a slide.
There is a really cool standing see-saw (see picture above in foreground) and a toddler’s area with a climbing frame and bucket swings
There are regular swings and a rope climbing frame, a couple of charcoal barbeques, and several picnic tables close to all the action.
- Next to Kai Iwi Stream
- Spitting distance to Kai Iwi Beach
- Toilets at the car park
- The unique play equipment will keep a range of ages happy
- Lots of seating and rubbish bins
- Old-school barbeques
- You must cross a footbridge to get to it – loads of fun for the little ones
- With the stream being out of action, this is suddenly a less attractive place to come for those of us with wee ones
- No shade!!! Sigh. Once again, there are no trees anywhere near the play equipment for parents/babies/tuckered-out tots to sit and watch
Tots in Tawhero rating: 6/10 without the stream, 9/10 if stream is safe