This is part of a series where I review local playgrounds in and around Whanganui. Non-locals will want to skip this!
Ah, Peat Park. It’s one of Whanganui’s oldest playgrounds as evidenced by the Art Deco entrance.
Tucked away at the foot of St John’s Hill, the park is located on the corner of Halswell St and Peat St, and is next to Cullinane College. The play areas are unfenced but are a reasonable distance from the road. The streets were relatively quiet while we were there, although I imagine it gets rather busy around school drop off/pick up time. Outside of those times you should find ample parking space.
Peat Park is sometimes used as a sports ground as the place is huge.
The original playground equipment is long gone, and there are now two play areas for children. There is a massive climbing frame structure for older kids.
It has an obstacle course sort of feel to it, and will probably appeal to older children as there are arm grinders to test their strength on as they go from one end of a bar to another. This structure however, left me cold. It seems rather characterless, and is definitely more the sort of structure I would expect to find being used in a school for P.E.
There is a small toddlers area with two swings (one bucket, one regular), a cool bug-shaped see-saw, and a spinning pole with a platform. Sausage needed my help to use the spinning pole, but I reckon in a few months time she will be capable of using it on her own, which is always a plus in her books. This area could do with more play equipment, such as a slide or a toddler-sized climbing frame.
One of the reasons I have always loved this park is it lined with really old trees (mostly oak). The trees are huge and provide plenty of shade (hoorah!) for parents to sit and watch their children at both play areas, and for those watching team sports on the playing field. There are two picnic tables – one near each of the two play areas. There are toilets on-site, but they were closed when we visited and looked like they had been for some time.
As a kid these were my favourite reason to come to Peat Park.
The foot of the hill is used as a deer sanctuary, and it is a delight to be able to view these graceful creatures up close. At the time of writing there were several baby deer. The deer are quite used to people and were not in the least perturbed by my noisy toddler squealing ‘REINDEER Mummy!’ when she saw them.
- The park is beautiful. Lovely established trees, wide open spaces, what’s not to like?
- Deer! A great chance to get your tots up close.
- Picnic tables
- Play equipment suitable for toddlers and school-aged kids
- Reasonably quiet location and good parking
- The play equipment is just a bit boring (but that’s just my jaded, world-weary adult opinion 🙂 )
- No rubbish bins
- No toilets
Tots in Tawhero rating:7/10 because I love deer…
* My eagle-eyed readers will notice the smudge on my camera lens. The culprit shall remain nameless but I’m sure you can guess whodunnit…