Playgrounds You Need to Visit This Summer

Wet pour rubber surface

Summertime is the best time to visit parks, beaches, and playgrounds. As playground builders, we have worked on many projects that are perfect spots for a hot summer day packed with fun.

Let’s explore some of the playgrounds you should visit this summer!

Shorland Park – Wellington

Located in Island Bay, Shorland Park is the perfect spot for a hot summer day. Bring the kids, don’t forget your beach gear, and have fun! A little about this project: Shorland Park in Wellington underwent a significant upgrade, receiving much community interest.

Creo’s design retained beloved elements like the original slide, which was integrated into a new tower structure, and the refurbished snail structure.

New play features like fresh swings and a flying fox were added. The playground, located by the waterfront, features a subtle beach theme with light blues, nautical elements, and natural turf. It includes boat-like structures for different age groups, celebrating the blend of old and new elements.

Caroline Bay Playground – Timaru

Considered the largest playground in the southern hemisphere, Caroline Bay Playground caters to children of all ages. This space will be a hit at historic Caroline Bay this summer. If you are driving past Timaru or living in the area, this one is a must-visit with the children!

A bit about the playground: This community-driven project to revitalise Caroline Bay Playground focuses on inclusivity and local heritage, reflecting the area’s rich history from its geological beginnings to Maori and European influences. Key features include bespoke playground equipment like a lighthouse and shipwreck, designed to narrate the region’s story.

Scarborough Park – Christchurch

Stroll across the shore and stop by Scarborough Park when visiting Sumner in Christchurch. It’s an excellent spot for the family, where you can stop by for lunch or grab a coffee from the shops next to the park. A bit about the playground: Scarborough Park in Sumner, Christchurch, features a marine-themed playground.

The design by Jennifer Dray, Christchurch City Council Landscape Architect, includes blue water, sandy yellows, and red starfish motifs.

The playground surfacing, installed by the Creo South Island team, was completed on time and has become popular with local families and visitors. The Christchurch City Council involved the local community in the planning, resulting in a well-received family-friendly space.

Scarborough Park, Christchurch

Wanaka Rotary Park – Wanaka

Are you going to the countryside? Wanaka is a favourite spot on the South Island for both winter and summer. Water activities are the best, and this playground is a spot for a relaxing afternoon just a second away from the lake.

A bit about the playground: In 2021, Wanaka’s Rotary Park Playground underwent an upgrade in collaboration with the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Creo.

The design utilized blues, greens, and greys to complement thepark’ss surroundings. The playground featuresPour’n’Playy surfacing, creating a visually appealing and safe play environment. It includes rubber rocks and a variety of balls and steppers in various sizes, adding sensory dimensions and challenges for users of all ages and encouraging creative play.

Long-term Value of Quality Playgrounds

Lorna Irene Reserve Playground

When considering the budget for your playground project, you’ll probably consider the value of the space over time. In our experience, a quality playground should last up to 20-25 years. That is a lot of play!

In this article, we will point out the main reasons a quality playground design and build can make your playspace value last longer, making it a sound investment

Assessing Playground Costs

The cost of constructing a playground can vary significantly. Usually, a playground will range between $500-1100 per metre square. The main factors are access to the site, complexity of design, and choice of equipment and surfacing.

 While initial expenses are crucial, the value lies in long-term sustainability and reduced maintenance needs. Investing in quality materials and thoughtful design can lead to substantial savings over time, a crucial factor for community planners and councils to consider.

The Art of Playground Design: A Blend of Function and Aesthetics

Effective playground design combines functionality with aesthetic appeal. It’s about creating safe, inviting, and stimulating spaces for children of all abilities.

The design process should involve community input, ensuring that these spaces meet the unique needs and preferences of the local population.

This process is extremely important to add value to your space. This will certainly reduce the need for future updates, making your space more relevant to its location in the community.

Creo expert team of playground equipment that will last a long time.

Choosing the Right Playground Equipment: Durability and Inclusivity

Selecting the right equipment is pivotal. Durable materials suited to New Zealand’s diverse climates ensure longevity, while innovative and inclusive play options cater to various abilities and interests.

This approach enhances the playground’s appeal and ensures it serves a broader segment of the community.

Maximising Your Playground Budget

Budgeting for a playground is a strategic process. One effective approach is to phase the development, starting with essential elements and gradually adding more features. However, it is not the most common alternative; it can work sometimes.

Rolling out the project at once is cheaper, so you avoid costs such as travel and possible repairs due to use and having construction signs in your space.

Engaging the community in fundraising can also provide additional financial support, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in the project. Another way of raising funds is contacting government grants and other institutions subsidising community or educational projects.

Custom equipment and surfacing in Whitikau Reserve Playground.


Investing in quality playgrounds goes beyond providing a space for play; it’s a critical factor in nurturing community development and well-being.

These playgrounds, designed with durability, inclusivity, and engagement in mind, become more than just physical structures.

 They evolve into vibrant centres where children learn, socialise, and grow. This approach to playground development reflects a commitment to the future, highlighting the importance of creating environments that support active learning and community interaction.

The Top Creo Projects of 2023

As 2023 ends, we look back and appreciate all our work this year. Thanks to all of our clients, our team and those who follow us to know more about playgrounds. Our team chose the top playgrounds of 2023 and why we love them.

It can be that they are inclusive, tell a story or that it is just a great project to develop.

Check them out below!

Elm Park - Auckland

Elm Park School - Auckland

Elm Park School’s playground in Auckland is an expansive space designed for unprescribed play, allowing children to challenge themselves and develop key skills freely. The open design fosters multipurpose learning and engagement.

Key Features:

  • Open Design: Encourages freedom and creativity.
  • Diverse Equipment: Catering to various interests and abilities.
  • Safety-Oriented: Ensures a secure play environment.

Why We Love It:

It’s a dynamic space where children’s imagination and physical abilities are nurtured. The playground’s diverse equipment and safe environment make it an ideal place for children to grow and learn.

St Patrick's Catholic School - Te Awamutu

St Patrick’s Catholic School’s playground offers a unique, natural play environment, inviting children to explore and connect with nature, enhancing their motor and cognitive skills.

Key Features:

  • Natural Play: Integrates sustainable, eco-friendly elements.
  • Sensory Experiences: Rich in textures and natural stimuli.

Why We Love It:

This playground stands out for its commitment to an eco-conscious, natural play setting, fostering a strong connection with the environment and promoting imaginative, physical play.

Whitikau Reserve Playground - Opotiki

Whitikau Reserve Playground - Opotiki

Whitikau Reserve playground in Opotiki is a custom-designed, inclusive playground that tells a story, connecting children with their local community and culture.

Key Features:

  • Custom Design: Reflects local cultural themes.
  • Inclusive Play: Welcomes children of all abilities.
  • Storytelling Elements: Engages children in the local narrative.

Why We Love It:

The unique design and storytelling aspect of this playground creates a space that not only provides fun but also instils a sense of local identity and community connection.

Caroline Bay Playground - Timaru

Caroline Bay Playground - Timaru

Caroline Bay playground in Timaru is a bespoke, inclusive playground born from a community vision, representing the local story and engaging all ages.

Key Features:

  • Inclusive Design: Accessible to all age groups.
  • Community Effort: A collaborative creation.
  • Bespoke Elements: Customized to reflect the community’s narrative.

Why We Love It:

This playground embodies the essence of community collaboration and inclusivity, offering a space that resonates with everyone in the town, making it a unique and cherished local landmark.

The Process of Collaborative Playground Design

Undertaking a playground project can seem daunting, but with a collaborative design approach, this complexity transforms into a seamless and rewarding journey.

This process not only ensures a personalised playspace but also evokes a sense of pride and ownership among those involved. In this article, we will share the collaborative journey you get when working with a full-service playground company.

The Full-Service Collaborative Approach

At Creo, our role is to guide you through every step of your project. We provide comprehensive support from the initial design ideas to the final installation. This approach ensures you’re an integral part of the process, transforming your vision into a tangible reality.

You will work closely with our designers, engineers and site teams to ensure you are well-informed and aware every step of the way.

Initial Consultation: Capturing Your Vision

Everything starts with a conversation. This initial consultation is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire project.

It’s about capturing what you want your playground to be. At this stage, we want to hear your vision and the primary needs for your space, such as the age you are catering for, the style, and how we can be a great fit for each other.

Creating Your Playground Wishlist

Once we understand your vision, we move on to the wishlist. This is where you can let your imagination run wild. What features do you see in your playground? A maze of tunnels, a towering climbing structure, or perhaps risky elements to create a bit of challenge for the users?

This wishlist becomes our guide, shaping the project to your desires. With experienced designers, we will challenge ourselves and create designs that are uniquely yours.

Budget Planning and Funding Assistance

A great playground needs a realistic budget. We collaborate with you to align your vision with financial feasibility. It is important to be aware of the real cost of the playground and keep it within budget, which will prevent any future frustration.

We also offer guidance in navigating the funding landscape, helping you explore various funding options from different institutions out there.

The Design Phase: Crafting Your Vision

Armed with your wishlist and budget, our design team starts crafting your vision into a design concept. This phase is highly collaborative. We present initial designs, gather your feedback, and make revisions. It’s a dynamic process where your input is vital in shaping the final design.

Equipment Manufacturing and Landscaping Preparations

Before the physical work begins, there’s a focus on manufacturing the playground equipment and preparing the landscaping.

This phase ensures that the materials and design elements are of the highest quality and tailored to your needs. In our workshop, we can craft unique pieces, from high towers to sensorial pathways, that fit any age group.

Construction Phase: Civil Construction and Playground Assembly

The construction phase is where plans and designs materialise. It includes civil construction work and the assembly of the playground equipment.

Our team, comprising experienced site managers and installers, ensures that every aspect of the playground reflects the agreed-upon design. They keep you informed, explaining each phase and how your vision is coming to life, not to mention good banter between the steps of the project. After all, we’re making a playground, so it should be fun.

Cutting the Ribbon

Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for – the opening of the new playground. This is a time for celebration, a testament to the collaborative effort and shared vision. But our support doesn’t end here.

We continue to offer assistance with maintenance and advice on best practices to ensure the longevity and success of your playspace.

Creating a playground is much more than a construction project; it’s a journey of collaboration, creativity, and community engagement.

It’s about building a space that not only entertains but also connects and enriches the community. By engaging in a collaborative design process, you’re not just constructing a playground; you’re creating a vibrant, inclusive, and a landmark that will be fun for years to come.

 Ready to start your process with a team that will understand your needs and vision? Book an ideas session below or call our team on 0800 000 334 or send us an email to [email protected]