Hinterland Adventure Playground
Located in the heart of Cooroy, the Hinterland Adventure Playground is a unique nature-based, all-abilities destination designed to inspire children and adults alike.
Complementing the natural beauty of the Cooroy Creek site, the park incorporates many diverse elements to inspire nature-based learning and encourage interaction with the local environment.
Built on an old timber mill site, the landscaping and architecture carefully integrates into the surrounding landscape, with links to Cooroy’s key facilities and tourist attractions, such as the Cooroy Library, and Old Mill cultural heritage area.
The playground is made up of a variety of play zones which range from quiet spaces of low activity to highly active adventure play zones. The play spaces are linked via a series of formal and informal pathways, playful steppers and small trails through the landscape. There are gathering spots for BBQs and table settings with small turf areas for picnics and play.
Facilities include waterplay, inclusive flying fox, inclusive swings, natural and rock play areas, sand pit, open green spaces, quiet retreat area, sensory garden, tunnels,a mounded viewing area, picnic areas and BBQ, informal seating, accessible amenities block featuring a Changing Places-accredited change room with a hoist and adjustable table, shaded areas, perimeter fencing and disabled car parking bays.
The high-quality architectural playground, pathway connections and carparks represent an investment of $6.7 million in the community including $2.788 million from the Queensland Government as part of the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.
Key playground features
Match the numbers in the map with the information below to find details on all the features of the playground.
Key playground features
An open oval area offers the opportunity for picnics, games, ball play, frisbee or just running around and having a great time.
A sand pit is located next to the large shelter BBQ area.
The stick stack and tower climb provides an opportunity for children of all ages to build strength and endurance at their own pace whilst having fun climbing through the various challenging play structures.
Two picnic shelters with BBQ facilities are located next to the sandpit and main play area, and the amenities block. These are provided with accessible seating, shade and electric BBQ facilities.
The Rocketship play structure, partially constructed from a stainless steel cylinder that once formed part of the timber mill operations, is the centre piece of the playground. The Rocketship offers the opportunity to climb, explore and slide your way back to the ground.
Fallen logs offer an opportunity for free play and assist children to develop co-ordination and balance as well as challenging children to stay on the log and build confidence.
An inclusive flying fox provides movement and social interaction for users of all abilities and is a key feature of the playground.
The inclusive swing provides easy access for users of all abilities including older children and adults.
The playground offers the opportunity for rock and stick play. Play with these sorts of ‘loose objects’ offers the opportunity for children to discover and create their own scenarios and games in an unstructured and creative environment.
A replicated creek for water play meanders through the playground. Water play activities help to develop and strengthen children's gross and fine motor skills through lifting, pouring, carrying, and splashing.
The playground features an amenities block that has toilets (including ambulant and accessible cubicles) and a room fitted with a change-table for parent and carers. There is also a full-accessibility Changing Places room which includes:
- a height-adjustable adult-sized change table
- a constant-charging ceiling track hoist system
- a centrally-located peninsula toilet
- an automatic door and privacy screen.
Find out more information about Changing Places facilities.
Note that access to this room requires an MLAK key.
The Sensory Garden is a self-contained area where visitors can enjoy a wide variety of sensory experiences that stimulate the senses, both individually and in combination, in ways that you may not usually encounter. The Sensory Garden is particularly aimed at children with sensory-processing challenges.
A quiet retreat is located adjacent to the Sensory Garden for relaxation, recalibration, reading or just a bit of quiet time in between play activities.
The Hinterland Adventure Playground is a unique nature-based playground designed to cater for children and adults alike with special provision and facilities for all-abilities play and enjoyment. As such, we ask you to observe these simple rules when to attend the playground:
The playground is for children and adults of all abilities. Please show respect and courtesy at all times.
Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
Please dispose of rubbish thoughtfully or take it home with you.
If you choose to bring your dog to the playground, you must be responsible for your dog and ensure it does not pose a risk, or cause a nuisance, to other people or other dogs. Dogs must be leashed in public areas and kept away from play equipment. Dogs cannot be left unsupervised (ie tied to a fence or bench). Make sure you clean up your dog’s ‘business’ and dispose of it in bins provided. Council encourages responsible pet ownership.
For the water play area, we ask that all babies or children who ordinarily wear nappies wear aqua-nappies, no glass bottles or containers, no smoking in the vicinity, and take care with surfaces that may be slippery or hot. Dogs are not allowed in the water play area.
The land in and around the Hinterland Adventure Playground is subject to flooding during and after high rainfall weather events such as severe thunderstorms or similar weather systems. Council has a Hinterland Playground Flood Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Plan (HPFRAEMP) in the event of a flood event. This includes an automatic audible and visual flood warning system to alert visitors to evacuate the site as soon as flood waters begin to compromise the safety of the playground. The site will remain closed during such events and temporarily afterwards as maintenance crews clean-up.
The playground is built on the old Cooroy sawmill site originally established in the 1880’s as a logging centre to mill timber from the surrounding area. Fenwicks Sawmill dominated the area from the Second World war until the 1990s and eventually closed in October 2000. The land was then donated to Noosa Council and the Cooroy community.
The old mill and surrounding area came to be known as the Lower Mill Precinct and is now home to the Cooroora Woodworkers club (the Woodies) and Camphor Laurel project (Camphor). The Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre offers program of local and touring art and heritage exhibitions, with free admission, an ongoing workshop program and a well-equipped ceramics workshop and kiln firing services. Add to this the ultramodern Cooroy Library and we have a vibrant and innovative community space.
For more information visit https://www.libraries.noosa.qld.gov.au/heritage/locality-histories/cooroy/
Elements of the playground design are intended to reflect the manufacturing and agricultural history of the Hinterland region, with a general theme of nature taking back over the old mill. The playground also incorporates a number of heritage items sourced from Cooroy and the surrounding Hinterland region, along with other recycled elements from Noosa Shire. These include:
- Bricks manufactured at the Cooroy Brickworks, which closed in 2010 - located at he main entrance of Marara Street
- Concrete once used to line the Cooroy Brickworks brick-firing kiln - you'll find these at the mounded area
- Electrical switches once used in the Cooroy Brickworks - these are located next to the Rocketship
- Stainless Steel cylinder used as a cooling tower for the mill – this has been repurposed as our Rocketship (more information above)
- Windmill shade structures reflecting the agricultural history of the Hinterland
- Timber recycled from various bridges throughout the Hinterland, the Main Beach boardwalk at Noosa Heads, and old disused power poles
- A felled ironbark tree repurposed as a ‘fallen log’ climbing structure.
Noosa Council is grateful to Noosa Beverages (Wimmers) for supplying the items that were once used at the Cooroy Brickworks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Town water is used for the water play area. The water moves through the feature and is collected at the end, treated, and then recirculated for reuse. The treatment includes sand filtration, chlorine dosing and ozone treatment to kill any bacteria. The water is regularly tested to ensure it meets health guidelines.
In addition, the water is vacuumed each day and screened to remove leaves and debris.
From time to time, especially following extensive rain or high use, the water may present mildly cloudy for a short period.
Yes. Please be aware that Council encourages responsible dog ownership at all of its facilities. Every dog owner must be responsible for their pet and ensure it does not pose a risk, or cause a nuisance, to other people or animals.
Dogs must be leashed in public areas - including the Hinterland Adventure Playground - except for the Shire’s designated off-leash areas, where owners must still supervise them.
Noosa Council encourages responsible pet ownership – find out more here
Please note dogs are not allowed in the water play area.
The Hinterland Adventure Playground has CCTV cameras installed to monitor the site during the day and overnight. Council’s security contractor opens and closes the gates each morning and evening, and patrols the site overnight along with the Queensland Police Service.
Council is aware that shading is an important issue for families and carers at playgrounds, especially in Southeast Queensland during the summer months.
Council has deliberately adopted a landscaping plan for the playground that maximises the use of mature tree canopies to provide the majority of shading across the site. A selection of species common to the area were grown at a local nursery to promote as much growth as possible prior to planting at the site.
This fits the nature-based theme of the playground and it is hoped some of the trees may be incorporated into future play elements in the years to come. The image to the right show how we expect parts of the playground to look in the years ahead, and the types of shade that will be provided.
The central play area remains generally unshaded, except at the end of the main slide. Council will monitor this area over the next 12 months and review shading requirements.
Yes. The industrial history of the site as an old sawmill was recognised by Council as a specific area of investigation prior to and during the construction of the playground.
Council engaged specialist consultants and contractors to undertake extensive sampling and laboratory testing of the soil and groundwater across the site for potential hazardous chemical compounds.
Results were checked against Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science and international EPA standards and other guidelines appropriate for this type of land-use. In fact, Council adopted more stringent guidelines for this site than required under current standards to ensure the playground land and environs were of the highest quality for our community.
Any contaminated material found was removed and replaced with clean soil. An independent assessment in 2021 deemed the site appropriate for a playground as per Queensland Government requirements.
Council adopted a risk-based play model for this playground where children of all ages can access equipment and play structures that are designed to specifically challenge themselves physically and developmentally. All play equipment has been independently checked against the appropriate Australian Standards and guidelines and has been warranted as suitable for use at this facility.
As always parents and carers are expected to watch over their children and help guide them as to the most suitable play areas for their enjoyment and safety.
The swale directs stormwater flow through to Cooroy Creek and forms an important part of the stormwater quality management at the playground. This area cannot be fenced-off as this does not comply with the flood management strategy, which requires points of egress out of this area, and the park in general, in the event of a sudden deluge and rapid escalation of floodwater. For much of the year this swale is empty of water – occasionally some minor flow and ponding of water will occur during and after rain periods. The swale banks have been planted using a mix of established plants and smaller plants. These species are fast-growing and it is expected that they will shortly form a natural barrier along the majority of the swale edge. It should be noted that any water present within the swale is generally untreated at this stage, and play in this area is not recommended.
The land in and around the Hinterland Adventure Playground is subject to flooding during and after high rainfall events such as severe thunderstorms.
Council has a Hinterland Playground Flood Risk Assessment and Emergency Management Plan (HPFRAEMP) in the event of a flood event.
This includes an automatic audible and visual flood warning system to alert visitors to evacuate the site as soon as flood waters begin to compromise the safety of the playground. The site will remain closed during such events and temporarily afterwards as maintenance crews clean-up. Evacuation routes are signed at the site – check out the sign near the front entry and below: