The great pilgrimage of Bayside parks continues with this little gem at Eastwood Beach at Manly. Most have probably never heard of Eastwood Beach, but if you've been to Manly Swimming Pool, Bayside Park, Rose Bay or the Moreton Bay Trailer Boat Club, then you've been to it or brushed right next to it.
Eastwood Beach is the name of the little patch of sand that resides along the southern shore of Rose Bay at Manly. It is the home of a charming playground for small people, a giant climbing frame for bigger people, barbeque areas and a lush patch of green grass (depending on the time of year) for picnics and ball games. It is very close to the Baywatch Café, Coopers Fish'n'chips, the Cuttlefish Café and the more discreet Jetty Kiosk on William Gunn Jetty.
The little people's playground is tiny, containing only some swings, two rockers and a little slide aboard the naval vessel HMAS Manly, but it is perfect for toddlers. The proportions are great for those getting up and running, and discovering climbing. All of the play equipment is surrounded by beautifully coloured shredded rubber matting, then surrounded by white sand. It is fenced on the carpark side which allows carers to relax just a tiny bit, knowing their little people won't be running straight out into traffic. It also has shade sails to reduce the hat fights!
For the bigger brothers and sisters the climbing tower (or the spider-web park as Master 9 calls it) offers great fun and adventure. Kids and their respective grown ups can be seen spending ages climbing this frame, and hiding inside the little crows nest. It can get pretty busy on weekends, which makes the whole thing bounce a little. This can be a little intimidating for the smaller or less confident climber. The shredded rubber matting allows for a softer landing though, and lends some confidence to make a big leap off the ropes.
The beach itself is often littered with sea grass thanks to the tidal movements, but the little pier makes it possible to move out into the water to peer at the water life. Fish, rays and crabs can often be spotted here at high tide. At low tide its also a great chance to wander out with your curious little naturalist to find cone shells, hermit crabs and many other tiny marine creatures.
The amenities for this site are as clean as one can expect from public amenities. There are disabled toilets on site, drinking bubblers in abundance and six hotplates amongst the many covered picnic tables.
All in all this is a pretty nice spot to come and play, have an afternoon picnic, take in some fish and chips or just an ice cream.
On the weekends when the markets are on, it's also a good way to give the children some kid time after mum and dad have dragged them around the markets. See Jan Power's Markets, or the Creative Markets.