Playgrounds Park is an impressive warehouse filled to the brim with skateboarding awesomeness. The park is spread fairly tightly over a decent sized warehouse and it all starts with a cracking 2.5ft mini (with hump). This thing is just perfect for anyone starting with transition skateboarding, a silky smooth surface with coping that sits beautifully. In fact it’s such a perfect mini that anyone can have great session just banging around, you really have to check this thing out – it’s that much fun.
Leading on from the mini is an L shaped plywood street section. It features a smattering of stairs, rails, quarters, banks and a euro and although it’s tight, it works well and links up beautifully with the Mini Bowl.
The Mini Bowl is like the bigger, more beautiful version of the mini ramp. Its about 3ft deep but includes a nice little extension at the far end. The coping is a little bigger and you certainly notice it more, but thats a good thing. The transitions are tighter and once again the surface is perfect (it’s called Skatelite, it’s amazeballs).
Beside the bowl are a couple of big dipper styled roll-ins, one looks about 1oft and leads to a soft rubber landing and some bigger transitions. The other scales around 15ft and leads to an epic foam pit. These are heavily geared towards scooters and BMX’rs, but there’s plenty of airs and grabs you can be working on – so check them out.
But wait, there’s more! Beyond the epic roll-ins and mini’s there’s an extra special 6ft half-pipe. Hiding out the back, away from the scooters and juniors lies the final piece of the puzzle, a wonderfully crafted half-pipe and given the limitations of the space it provides enough to keep the hardcore skater dudes more than happy. While it lacks the Skatelite surface (its plywood) it’s otherwise perfect in every way, and even though it doesn’t quite hit vert – its killer.
Oh, there’s also some impressive trampoline’s, a bunch of lounges and even a hangout area for the mum’s and dad’s… and the promise of much more to come. Limited free parking and plenty of amenities/food nearby make tis one awesome day out!
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Cessnock is essentially another one of those pre-fab cement skateparks that seemed to land all over the Hunter Valley over the past 20 years. Nothing too exciting here, the usual setup: A couple of banks and/or quarters at one end, a funbox in the middle and a couple more banks and/or quarters at the other end. Not a lot you can do here, in fact given the strange reception we got I’d say they don’t see many skateboarders using this facility. Seems very much a hangout for the BMX’rs (they were happy to see some skaters tho). At least the park had a great view!
There is some good news for the locals as the council is currently consulting with the community on a brand new skatepark. Keep up to date via the council website
Updated 5 July 2014 – Kurri Kurri skatepark has been recently updated with a spanking new section designed and built by Convic, we have already added new photos and an updated review will be up soon
Yep, Kurri Kurri is another one of the pre-fab cement skateparks that litter the Hunter Valley (Maitland order an essay & Cessnock), nothing too exciting here. The setup is emulates a 3.5ft spined mini by sticking quarters at each end and a funbox/quarters in the middle. At least this one has the spine which is better than a lot of these pre-fab parks offer.
Just beside the mini is a classic old fashioned snake-run that must have been built in the 80’s (the surface is well beaten). So make sure you pack the longboard for some carving!
It’s located in Lions Park and there’s a bit of off street parking around, but not a lot else. The park itself is mainly used by locals as a place to hang, and mostly only BMX’rs even bother to use the skatepark.
This is the newest of Maitland’s two skateparks (the other being Old Maitland) and is yet another pre-fab basic construction. It starts at one end with a bank of 5.5ft roll-ins (one is a quarter with coping), central banked section and finishes with a 5ft quarter (one with a corner section). So it looks unsurprisingly similar to a lot of skateparks in the area that were all built around the same time.
The surface is pretty good given it’s age and the roll-ins were fast, the coping decent and the cornered quarter almost interesting… a few things that made skating here worth the trip if your passing thru. Once again this is another Hunter Valley skatepark largely dominated by BMX’rs and the odd kiddie on a scooter.
There’s ample parking around and it’s inside a nice big park area with some food nearby. Its also just up the hill from the other Old Maitland skatepark so make sure you check that one out also.
Rutherford scored itself is new skatepark that was designed and built by Convic in early 2010. It’s a strange skatepark due to the space it occupies and is made up of 2 sections that are linked by a footpath (that’s the strange thing).
The main section features a 4ft high, 20ft wide mini (with a 1ft extension), the transitions are surprisingly tight but the surface and coping are very smooth and its a fun ramp to skate. Just behind the mini is a smallish street section that has a quarter leading down to 3 different rails on a central bank and finishes with a cool banked hip. Rad!
The second section (just down the footpath) is a mini plaza featuring a 3ft quarter, manual pads, ledges, flat bars and a fast/steep 6 stair bank with hand-rail. Despite being a little small in actual area it’s an awesome little plaza no matter what your skill level, you just need to be able to pull up really quickly!
Heavily populated with BMX’rs, scooter kids and emo teens trying to look cool, but still plenty of room for skaters to do their thing. Its located right on the Pacific Highway so you can’t miss it and its part of a large shopping complex so you’re surrounded by plenty of parking, food and amenities. Easily one of the best skateparks in the area and well worth a skate!
Hmmm. it’s hard to do a proper review of this one… we have been there and tried to skate it. But it was covered in red dirt, dust and even some mud! Essentially its another Hunter Valley special, i.e. a pre-fab construction of quarters and funboxes.
What it features is two 4ft quarters, a 3ft quarter and a 4ft roll-in. And in between them a central 1ft hump and a small manual box and rail. That’s it. The flat is too long to be of any use for skateboarding… and it’s covered in stuff.
99% BMX’rs here… seriously, Id head south on the New England Highway for 15mins and hit RutherfordSkatepark
Many many years ago I was part of the community that fought very hard to get a skatepark in this town, an awesome skateboarding community joined together to make the council realise just how valuable it could be for the areas skaters. Many years later this is what we got… and while I’m glad this park still stands as a monument to our epic battle, I’d hardly rush there to skate.
It’s a basic 4ft cement mini, with 1ft extension running halfway along one side. The surface of this ancient beast has seen better days and the coping has been so beaten down by the BMX’rs that it feels like gravel. But that’s not to say you still couldn’t have a good session here, it’s like street skating but on a transition!
Just beside the main ramp are a couple of very strange additions. Firstly there’s a little bike path/snake-run with couple of humps. Then there’s a bizarre ramp-to-nowhere wedged into the side of the hill (most likely for BMX dudes I expect).
Plenty of parking, food and amenities nearby. But if you make it this far you really should had 10 minutes up the road and try Rutherford Skatepark.
Metford Skatepark is another suburban pre-fab affair. A bank of 4.5ft quarters at each end (some with coping, some simply roll-ins) and a central funbox with an elevated slide rail. The surface is pretty rough and it’s filled with debri from the surrounding trees and the coping is almost cute! As we’ve seen again and again these kind of skateparks were an easy way for local Hunter Valley councils to get something up quickly and cheaply. They’re all slightly different but are based on the same concept and you can usually have a reasonable session… you’d probably just never go back.
Metford Skatepark seems well used by the local scooter kiddies (the craze that is rampant in the Hunter Valley) and there’s also plenty of older BMX’rs, but they were especially welcoming and loved seeing an actual skateboarder!
There’s a free carpark and a toilet in the adjoining park, but no food nearby. It’s right near the train station and there’s even a basketball court there if you wanna shoot some hoops!
Another pre-fab construction, this one is almost identical to Lambton and once again is very indicative of many other Hunter Valley skateparks built in the 90’s and naughties. This one has a 3.5ft quarter & a 3ft roll-in at either end, and in the between sits a simple funbox and a 3ft spine. The surface is fairly rough (they always used small smooth stones in the cement!) but it has been well used which makes it a little more usable. The coping is very small and forgiving so great for beginners.
While these kinds of skateparks are far from the best, they have served a great purpose in the smaller suburbs by giving the local dudes somewhere to hang out and learn basic skills. Also having a spine makes this one a bit more interesting.
There is some free parking nearby and its all part of a larger park area that includes a soccer field, picnic benches & BBQ’s, play equipment and most importantly the mind blowing Wallsend Skatepark.
Wallsend is one of four Convic built skateparks in the Hunter Valley, the others being Bar Beach, Swansea and Rutherford. Its quite possibly the best due to the wider open space it occupies which has allowed for a beautifully design flow throughout the park. When you first see it it feels like a never-ending expanse of rocking, rolling cement heaven.
So, a few details: The park combines a huge collection of banks and transitions that range from 3ft all the way up to 6ft. The main feature is probably the 6ft x 15ft wide spine ramp – but there’s also a jump box, hipped bank, kickers, hubba ledge, rails and a mogul. The park is designed such that you can literally cruise the entire loop and touch almost every transition. Nothing short of amazing no matter what level you are at.
The surface is typically smooth for a Convic design, and the coping is big, ballsy and beautiful. Because of its awesomeness Wallsend Skatepark is very very well used and serves tonnes of scooter dudes and BMX’rs as well as a healthy scattering of skaters. But it’s generally a hectic session.
There’s plenty of free parking nearby and just behind it is a shopping center with all the food and amenities you could need. Its located at the North end of the Wal Herd Park which also has some BBQ’s and benches for chilling and is also the home of the Old Wallsend Skatepark.