New 10.5m playground planned for Airlie Beach foreshore
A NEW playground on the Airlie Beach foreshore designed to protect children from the sun and prevent burnt bottoms is set to be a huge hit with families.
Standing 10.5 metres high, the custom-designed skywalk playground by Urban Play will have two sky cabins interconnected by rope bridges, a climbing octa net and three tunnel slides.
A Whitsunday Regional Council spokesman said the slides would be made from stainless steel, which transfers heat at a low rate, to reduce the impact of direct heat on the playground.
"The enclosed design of the slides prevents the sun directly hitting the section of the slide that the users will sit or slide on and shade sails will cover various portions of the playground," the spokesman said.
"Wind will, at times, contribute to further cooling of the equipment."
Mayor Andrew Willcox said the playground and surrounding area would be a multi-purpose facility and a big attraction.
"We want the foreshore to be usable to all our residents. We want people to be able to take family there, have some fun on the playground and be able to sit down and have picnics," Cr Willcox said.
"The playground will be state-of-the-art with all the latest equipment and a very good slide.
"There's an area at the top you can use like a lookout before you go down the slide."
Cr Willcox said the location of the playground and its angle should prevent it from blocking anyone's view.
The new playground is one of the new attractions built as part of the Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation project.
Cr Willcox said the entire area has been fenced off while power lines are replaced following a number of outages in the Jubilee Pocket area.
But the fence will come down progressively as works advance.
"There's work going on over the whole site. The reason we couldn't do it piece by piece was because when you're laying a cable, it has to be done all in one hit," Cr Willcox said.
Other planned works include 65 extra sealed car parks, a multi-purpose sound stage, an improved amenities block, three-metre-wide pedestrian path, landscaping, 143 new trees, 120 market stalls, improved signs and shade umbrellas throughout.
The project is expected to be finished in March next year, weather permitting.