The playground at West Coast Park is absolutely BRILLIANT! I mean, how many countries in the world have playgrounds of this calibre? Upgraded in 2011, the park features so many options for kids – mega climbing frames and slides, a pirate ship, swings, balancing beams, tunnels, and on it goes. It really is something special and if you haven’t taken your kids but have been meaning to – hop to it because they’re going to love it! You can spend hours in this park, going from section to section, and with things like the flying fox, older kids are going to love it too, but there’s also great stuff for the little ones. It definitely suits all ages.
The park is well laid out in sections, with lots of sand if the kids enjoy digging, and while much of it is well shaded with spectacular trees, some of it is in the hot sun – so come prepared with hats, sun block, etc… It’s also conveniently located next to McDonalds and I have to admit that on one occasion I actually went in for a drink and a cool down – this is unusual because I am not a fan of junk food. Anyway, I noticed most of the staff were retiree age, and what an endorsement for hiring older staff – they provided the happiest service I think I’ve ever experienced. So while I am not a fan of McDonalds, it’s an option for mealtimes and the best bit, you can get a reasonable coffee at the McCafe. I’d just go back to experience that level of service again.
Once you’ve worn your kids out at the park – and if you can get them to come away from the playground – walk across the massive green expanse towards the water. Although another adventure option – if you’re into kite flying, this is the place to do it on the West Coast, and fishing is also another activity option here. Most of the time this area is pretty quiet, but the big green expanse gets choc-o-block on Sundays, with a lot of the migrant workers congregating for soccer, cricket and volleyball. They look like they’re having a blast and it’s nice to see.
When you reach the waterfront, you will have a magnificent vista of boats – lots and lots of boats. There are old rusty ones, super tankers, oil industry ships, luxury yachts, military ships, small fishing vessels and so much more. I absolutely love the view from here, but it only gets a few minutes of attention from my boys. One day they’ll appreciate it.
From here, follow the foot path to the left when facing the sea, and at a natural curve in the path, there’s a dirt track down to the beach. I know this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, because it is quite dirty down here sometimes – especially if there have been lots of storms – but it’s like being in another world. There’s a bunch of Malay fishermen who hang out here, with their temporary fishing camp set up on the grass. They have long boats tied in the water, and are super friendly when my curious boys want to check out what they are doing. There’s also lots of “stuff” on the beach, and while many will be concerned that it’s dangerous – i.e. getting a massive fish hook in your foot – to date, we have found nothing of note. But best to keep your eyes peeled and shoes on.
I just love it down here, because it’s like being in old world Singapore, and I also like the fact it’s not perfect. Down and dirty is fine by me with my boys. After your kids have annoyed the fishermen and had a poke around, you can either jump over the fence, or walk through the prickly grass (yes keep your shoes on) and out to another jetty to look at the ships again – this time you can see the orange submarines – no idea what they are for – and you’ll get a better view of the luxury yachts in town. Make sure you’ve got water for this trip, because it is always at this point the boys get thirsty and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the water back with the bag at the playground!!
There are so many other things you can do on West Coast Park, but this is a current favourite adventure for us.
As I said, there is a McDonalds if you need sustenance, but it’s also a popular picnic spot and whatever you do, don’t forget the water. With a sea breeze it can be quite lovely, but when the air is still it can be steamy. It’s huge, safe, and it doesn’t matter how busy it gets, it’s big enough to feel uncrowded – except in the car park, which gets very full on weekends.
A great place to take the kids.