After months and months of work, and after seeing things slowly take shape, the Oamaru Friendly Bay Playground was officially opened today. Lots of people in town refer to this playground as the “Steampunk” playground, but there’s not really much that’s very Steampunk about it. Yes, there’s a giant Penny Farthing (that is the framework for the park’s swing set), and there’s a large elephant with a howdah on its back and horns and even a sort of rocket launcher–or at least that’s what I think it looks like–but the imagery and style of the park fits very well with its location adjacent to Oamaru’s historic waterfront and Victorian precinct.
The opening event was very well attended, with loads of families coming down in the beautiful late afternoon sunlight to enjoy the rides while sipping coffee from Sue’s Java Express (a standby at the Oamaru Farmers’ Market) and biting into sausages sizzled on the grills that are permanently installed for the public to use. The Rotary Club ran its popular “chocolate wheel”, and the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society brought out its locomotive for people to admire.
More rides and attractions are in the works for the park. Soon there will be a tall-masted ship and a Steampunk tea room overlooking the harbour, and more trees and plants will soon be planted, but in the meantime, if you’re in the area, be sure to pop by and check out this great new addition to the town.