Harbour Park, inclusive Play Space, Secret Harbour

EPCΛD were appointed on this project to design a totally inclusive play space with a difference. The challenge was to create an innovative space that catered for all ages and abilities.

The play space is designed around the ‘underwater’ theme, with the main structural element being the oceanic ‘cave’. The cave was designed to be constructed insitu from concrete for longevity, and with specialist rock sculpting to create a realistic cave look. This ‘cave’ not only provides a great wind break, creating shelter from the sun and south westerly winds, but it also allows people of all abilities to access a raised area with ocean glimpses and a commanding view over the whole space. Parents and children with disabilities at last get to see their family from an alternative view, from the top of a slide or play net, and looking down on their play mates.

There are numerous ways to reach the top of the structure, either the more challenging, up the giant octopus or whirlpool net, or up easier slopes, ropes and footpaths which vary in difficulty and cater to a variety of physical abilities. A range of slides were incorporated into the design from the outset, from the double toddler slide, through to the two embankment slides, and lastly, the large twisted slide that takes you down in the underwater cave. Rubber finishes to embankments with ropes and grips allow people with disabilities to make their own way to the top of slides, building their upper body strength.

There are quiet, tactile corners for autistic or other mentally challenged users, with colours specifically selected so as to provide a calming atmosphere.

A shaded area of predominantly rubber, sculpted basins and seats was designed to provide for either parents with babies or mentally/physically challenged children, where they can roll around and practice standing or walking in safety. Dubbed, ‘Parent’s Corner’ it provides a specific nook in an otherwise action packed playground.

Interpretative signage and element’s are scattered throughout the playground, providing another layer of interaction and play. Signs that provide educational information about sea creatures are also translated into braille for sight impaired users of the space.

The play space provides a sense of adventure and imagination, whilst incorporating challenging play to develop body strength and conditioning, social and communication skills for all ages and abilities.


  • Initial site analysis, constraints and opportunities
  • Early research and analysis of various child behaviour and disability needs
  • Overall concept designs
  • Lumion perspectives for marketing
  • Demolition Plan
  • Full design, documentation and delivery of all aspects of project for tender
  • Site inspections during construction as requested by the City of Rockingham


City of Rockingham – The Harbour Playgound

Buggybuddys – Harbour Playground, Secret Harbour

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