River Heart Parklands
King Edward Pde
Along the banks of the Bremer river and a hop skip and jump from Ipswich town centre can be found a stunning river walkway that leads to the best children's aquativity park in the west.
Otherwise known as Bob Gamble Park, the play area, aka Stage 2 of the River Heart Parklands, incorporates a state of the art zero depth water park, discovery forest, flying fox, climbing spider, swings, barbecue and picnic facilities.
For creativity, imaginative and active play this one's hard to beat: in the 'wet' zone are a mini city of 'stepping stones' through a little valley of streams, a terraced water zone and zero depth 'pool' that children can frolic, slide or ride bikes through, mini fountains and interactive water pumps.
The swings range from toddlers to circular and long rope 'logs' that hold a bunch of children, there's a fabulous giant climbing net attached to a Calamvale District Park style sliding tube and a 25 m flying fox.
The lush discovery forest makes the most of its natural attributes, with a giant Tarzan style rope looped between the branches of statuesque trees, a balancing maze along the forest floor, two three storey cubby houses and a sandpit boat on the edge.
Either start and end the day at the park or incorporate a visit with a splendid river walk, starting from the car park under the rail bridge at Bremmer Rd. The wheelchair and pram-friendly walk of about 1km hugs the river bank all the way to the water park and passes along zig zag boardwalks, a mini rainforest, a concrete waterfall, a sculpture pond and has loads of sheltered seating along the way. And look out for historical plaques and items unearthed when the parkland was being built that are encased in the boardwalk and by night for the mythical creatures illuminated in the water.
Need to know: the walk is quite exposed in parts and best not done in the heat of the summer's day. Parking is available in the car park under the rail bridge or on the street/in the dedicated parking lot (still under completion) next to the water park.
The water park has excellent shower and toilet amenities handily located.