Whanganui's Kowhai Park is a finalist to be named New Zealand's top playground in the NZ Herald's Best of Summer 2022 series. Liz Wylie talked to some young park visitors and their caregivers to find out what makes the park one of the best.
Pani Marshall, 7, said she enjoyed visiting Kowhai Park to have fun and spend time with her family.
"I love the swings and the flying fox is really good," she said.
Her brother Haare, 5, said the water play fountains were his favourite and both children were enjoying climbing up and sliding down the concrete whale that was built in 1961.
"We have spent a lot of time here during the holidays," said their grandmother Annette Gulliver, who was also caring for Pani and Haare's 14-month-old brother Vincent.
"They all love it - they don't get bored here. I enjoy it as well because there is plenty of shade and places to sit. I'm not surprised it has been named as a top playground. We lived in Waiouru when I was growing up and I loved this place then too."
Kate Soulsby's son Taj Romeo, who is about to turn 3, was enjoying getting wet running under the water feature and climbing on the round boulders of the penguin feature.
"It is a great park and I like that there are plenty of shady trees," Soulsby said.
"My only criticism would be that I wish it was a bit safer. Taj is more sure on his feet now but he slipped on the concrete under the water feature and hit his head a while ago.
"It would be good if there could be softer surfaces under some of the equipment."
Sian Lambert said she had also been visiting the park often during the summer with her five children aged from 12 years to 18 months.
"I always loved coming here when I was a kid and I'm so glad it hasn't changed much. Everything was so well made and it's really well maintained. I always loved the dinosaur slide and I love to see my kids playing on it now," she said.
"We came to a birthday party at the pirate ship recently."
Ellahdee Lambert, 9, said she enjoyed the flying fox best.
"I like the roundabout and swings too and the big, round swings are good because I can share rides with my brother and sisters."
• Kowhai Park is one of 10 finalists in the best playground category. If you think it should win, vote now at nzherald.co.nz/bestof. Entries close Monday, January 24.