Do your kids love climbing trees?
Parents of climbers rejoice! One minute your toddler is attempting to climb the bookcase in the living room, the next they’re old enough to hoist themselves up to the loftiest of limbs in the best climbing tree in your local park. It’s a transition that seems to take forever to get to, and maybe the kids will never stop climbing all over your furniture, but once you can harness (….geddit!!?) your child’s love of climbing, it will lead them to new heights of never ending adventure.
Finding the perfect climbing tree can be a challenge in itself, but we here at KIDDO have a few years experience under our belts with kids that just want to scramble up anything in sight!
We’ve put together the ultimate list of the absolute best climbing trees, and climbing tree locations in Adelaide. Whether hidden beneath canopies of dense foliage, or standing loud and proud in the centre of a city park, there’s a tree here for every kid, of every climbing ability!
And for those kiddos who aren’t quite so mad on heights or hanging precariously from tree limbs, we’ve got a special section for fallen logs, where many future climbers can start building the balance and coordination that may one day lead them into the treetops with their siblings!
Olive Tree Grove (adjacent to Victoria Park, East Tce)
The Olive Groves in the South Parklands are full of (spoiler alert) Olive trees, which are not only awesome for climbing but also predominantly low to the ground, which makes them great for our littlest climbers and their nervous parents. Easy to scramble up, there are so many different trees within the grove, that part of the fun is finding the best one!
East Tce, Victoria Park
Dragon Tree, Victoria Park
This Dragon Tree behind the old Grandstand in Victoria Park was made for climbing! Whilst kids might need a boost to actually get into the tree, the branches are so dense that once they’re up, they can climb with little parental intervention. The bravest of climbers might even get to the very top and poke their head out through the foliage to catch the view. Bonus points for coffee shops Kiosk on 16 and The Stables, both within a hop skip and a jump.
Corner Wakefield Rd & Fullarton Rd
You don’t often find a glorious climbing tree smack bang in the middle of a city park, but that’s exactly what we’ve got in the middle of Hurtle Square, otherwise known as The Forest of Dreams. Morton Bay Figs are the Kings of the climbing tree world, and you’ll find several perfect for scaling in Hurtle Square and its neighbouring parks.
Intersection of Pulteney St & Halifax St
Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens
You generally expect to find a few good climbing trees in Botanical Gardens, and Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens does not disappoint. There’s not just one amazing tree here, but many! And half the fun is the exploration to find them. Best access to climbing trees here, in our experience, is from the lower carpark.
16 Lampert Road,
As the name suggests, the Waite Arboretum is FULL OF TREES. Big trees. Small trees. Low trees. Tall trees. Sure hope you don’t fall trees. Sorry, I’m channelling my inner Dr Seuss. One of the great parts about putting aside some time to go tree climbing in Waite Arboretum is the fact that each tree is tagged with its botanical name and some background information, so the kiddos can learn about the trees they’re climbing and get to know which species are commonly great climbers and where they originate from.The only thing as good as hiding education and learning in fun filled activities is hiding vegetables in bolognese. Take a short walk up the hill you’ll also find Urrbrae House with its beautiful landscaped gardens and lawns, where the kids might like to do some extra exploration.
Claremont Avenue, Urrbrae
An oldie (quite literally) but a goodie. The Morton Bay Fig that is the centrepiece of Marshmallow Park is great for climbers, if you’re comfortable giving them a bit of a boost. The aboveground root system is also good for little people who aren’t so keen to go up high but want to be involved in the climbing experience. The surrounding renovated playground is also a bonus if you want to keep your options open.
Glen Osmond Rd, Adelaide
If you haven’t taken your tree climbers to Botanic Park yet, then you don’t know what you’re missing. There are so many options for climbing in this park you won’t know where to begin. A great destination for a day out, with lots of wide open spaces for playing red rover all over and stopping for a picnic lunch.
Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide
It might seem obvious to say the Botanic Gardens is great for climbing trees, but the awesome part about it is that the best trees for climbing within the gardens are often hidden underneath canopies of dense foliage. The adventure and exploration of finding which trees have secret, magical hideaways underneath their canopy, with low lying branches to climb up and hang off, is half the fun!
HINT: The tree in this photo is on the lawns near the Botanic Gardens Araucaria Avenue, opposite the Schomburgk Pavilion.
North Tce, Adelaide
Fallen logs for kiddos who aren’t so keen on climbing trees
Not every kid wants to hoist themselves skyward into the upper limbs of a Fig tree, and some kids are still learning what all this climbing business is all about. So for the littlest among us, and the kids who’d prefer to stay closer to ground level, we’ve found some of the best fallen logs for scaling, balancing and jumping from; because we’ve all got to start somewhere!
We’re pretty sure here at KIDDO, that Brownhill Creek is where fairies are born. It’s just that magical. To have such a lush, secluded oasis just a hop skip and a jump from the city is such a treat. There’s no end of nature play at Brownhill Creek, including EPIC LOGS of MASSIVE PROPORTION to clamber over. This is a mini climbers dream! And if you look hard enough and take the right paths, you just might find the village of the fairies…(we’re not kidding! It’s really there)!
Brownhill Creek, Mitcham
Victoria Park / Pakapakanthi, Southern end
Victoria Park and it’s surrounding areas are really just a haven for nature play, and you’ll find lots of areas have fallen logs for climbing, balancing and jumping from. Start by parking at the Beaumont Road carpark and see how many you can find!
Victoria Park, Beaumont Road car park
Carriageway Park/Tuthangga, South Parklands
Not only are there plenty of fallen logs in Carriageway Park in the South Parklands, but also some beautiful areas for your kids to explore in what feels like secluded bushland, but only a hop skip and a jump from the city.
South Tce, Adelaide
Heywood Park ticks a lot of boxes for little climbers and lovers of nature play, with several large logs for climbing interspersed across the area. The recently upgraded Ninja Warrior Playground will also be a hit with the kids.
Addiscombe Place, Unley Park
If you can tear your kids away from the flying fox in the playground at Hazelwood Park, take a look around the surrounding area. There are plenty of different fallen logs to climb and creek beds to scramble through, and you might even see some ducklings!
Greenhill Rd, Hazelwood Park