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Gold Coast Playground is a Wreck

Gold Coast Playground is a Wreck
December 18, 2009

A themed playground featuring a Pirate Ship wreck, crocodiles and a rocky cave complete with a real treasure map has opened on the Gold Coast in time for Christmas.

The ship includes a spinning windlass, musical play, a pirate gaol and noisy cannons and forms the centrepiece of the new free public playground in the redeveloped Palm Beach Parklands.

The playground offers dozens of opportunities for imaginative and expressive play along the pirate narrative for youngsters aged between three to 12 years. A rocky cave provides tunnels and resting areas and the lean of the shipwreck also allows for a slide to be integrated into the deck. Two rope bridges link the elements to provide balancing challenges and adventurous physical experiences which increase progressively in skill requirements from the bow to the stern.

Philip Drake, principal of designers Atomiq Design Group, explains "if you follow the treasure map it will lead adventures to five loads of buried treasure beneath the sands of Pirate Island.

"The 'treasure' was contributed by Palm Beach Primary School grades 4 and 5 as their own interpretation of what treasure means to them and includes representations of teddy bears, electronic games and mobile phones along with the more traditional money and jewels.

"The key distinctions with this themed playground is the degree of compliance with the required Playground Standards while maintaining the core pirate ship theme for maximum dramatic play as far as possible for this type of playground.

"A true pirate ship of course is a nightmare of safety issues for children so we must take the core ingredients of the theme and produce something fun and safe and which stimulates narrative, drama and role play in the child's imagination."

The ship has already sparked a flood of interest in booking the park for events and Gold Coast Council are rushing to finish nearby barbeques and get the whole park fully operational.

The playground was developed by specialist design practice Atomiq Design Group for the Gold Coast City Council.

Drake adds "this is the first of two innovative playgrounds we have been asked to work on with the Council, (with) the next one (to) be an 'all abilities' playground at Broadbeach which will focus on accessibility and inclusive play elements, once again, within a key theme."

Atomiq, who are best known for their design in theme parks and attractions, see this area of all abilities access and activity to be vitally important to the future development of public space and tourism destinations.

Drake concludes "we have been developing inclusive play ideas for a while now and we aim to really push the goals of getting children with disabilities together in the same play environment as their brothers, sisters, and friends of any ability.

"For leisure and tourism operators it just makes good sense for their marketability to pursue inclusive play opportunities. We see the core aim always is to increase the satisfaction level of visitors or customers and this is a critical area for many families."

The Atomiq Design Group is a multi-disciplinary design practice specialising in developing unique, immersive, marketable and successful experiences in tourism and leisure, public space, theme parks and attractions.

For more information contact Philip Drake 07 3255 2656, E:

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