The Bay of Plenty flaunts natural beauty and has arguably some of the best playground locations in the country. Cira Oliviers discovers a few of the best around the region.
It doesn't just have to be a place that kids are dying to visit, many playgrounds in the region are a destination for the whole family to enjoy.
Boyes Beach Reserve - Lake Ōkareka
Boyes Beach is one of the largest beaches on Lake Ōkareka with the lake itself popular for swimming and a range of facilities adding a cherry on top of the location.
This includes a picnic area, barbecues, drinking water, toilets, showers, dishwashing facilities, and, of course, the playground.
The playground itself is modest but has everything a young spirit would want, be it working on climbing skills or having the wind rush through their hair on the swings while looking at the lake.
When the sweat is dripping, a dip in the water is a few steps away.
There is also an overnight parking area for motorhomes and campervans and a walkway that connects the lake's Department of Conservation campsite for a small fee.
Besley Park Playground
Venturing further south, Taupō's Besley Park in Acacia Bay is where families can find a well-kept playground and surrounding grassy area, away from crowds in the CBD.
There's a ship steering wheel on one end and a mast with joining slides on another. There are two rock-climbing walls, a fireman's pole, and a staircase - a great place to kill several hours.
The playground is surrounded by tall trees and neatly-kept grass, with a field for any activities someone could want, including football goalposts.
It overlooks Lake Taupō and is near a dairy and bar.
The Rotorua Lakefront playground only opened last month but it's already proving popular.
The playground was built as part of the wider $40 million Rotorua Lakefront redevelopment and local tamariki had input into what they wanted to see included.
It includes a slide, climbing ladders, pump track and flying fox.
There's also a large grassy area for ball games, running around or a BYO picnic.
Later, wander along the new boardwalk at the lakefront and feed the ducks and swans or head to nearby Eat Streat to grab an icecream or a meal.
Mount Drury Reserve
Mount Maunganui needs no introduction and anyone can tell you how kid-friendly it is.
Down the road from Mauao is Mount Drury, smaller but home to the centrally-located playground.
The equipment can bring the best out in the kids, with a roundabout, spiderweb, seesaws, and monkey bars.
There are benches, public toilets, rubbish bins, and shaded spots to sit with a lot of grass to choose from.
It's a short walk to Mount Mainstreet and several great icecream shops, or cafes for a quick scone break for parents.
Around the other side of Mount Drury is a grass amphitheatre overlooking the beach with a bunch of food trucks.
Ororoa Reserve is a destination. You can't pass through it and why wouldn't you want to?
On the Pukehina Parade, a small playground for younger tots is in the middle of a sandpit.
Kids can bring along buckets and spades to build and dig to their hearts' content.
The reserve is right on the beach, think white sandy beaches where adults can bring their toys like kayaks and jet skis, or anyone can go for a paddle.
A great day to spend the day and watch the sunset down the beach with fish and chips. There is also is a camping area if it's too good to leave.
In Ōhope, just outside of Whakatāne, is a playground in the Maraetotara Reserve with all the classics a child - or an eager adult - could want, including swings, slides, and a flying fox.
There's a pirate ship to get the creative juices flowing and a skate ramp for the kids with a bit more co-ordination.
It sits on the reserve in eyeshot of the white sand beach, a perfect spot to go for a dip or build sandcastles.
The reserve's vast grass area is a prime location for a game of touch, cricket, or a picnic.
Public electric barbecues, toilets and rubbish bins are available, making it an easy place to stay all day.
Freedom camping is allowed if your vehicle is certified.
The Maraetotara Stream mouth near the playground is also popular for the little ones keen to dip their toes in the water.