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  • Tamara Sheward

    TropicNow writer

    Email Tamara Sheward

    Awesome new nature playground the first of its kind for Cairns

    Kids of Cairns, get set to get grubby!

    A much-anticipated nature playground at Centenary Lakes has been given the green light, giving local littlies the chance to clamber, cavort and literally immerse themselves in FNQ’s great outdoors.

    Billed by council as a ‘playground with a difference’, plans for the interactive park feature a sensory garden, rope climb, tunnels, turkey’s nest lookout and a digging patch.

    And while it’s all marvellous, messy fun for the young ‘uns, there’s a science to this skylarking: unstructured nature play has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s cognitive and physical development.

    Putting the bite on midges

    In addressing concerns about mosquitoes and midges in Centenary Lakes, a council spokesperson today told TropicNow that the precinct is being targeted by a rolling fogging program designed at reducing biting insect numbers.

    “The vector team has been in that area in the past week doing some spraying around the gardens and lakes,” they said, adding that “generally, a motorised backpack sprayer is used to avoid excessive overspray but the product is not harmful to people or other wildlife.”

    Other projects fast-tracked

    The playground is one of six community projects fast-tracked for competition by the end of November this year as part of a $15.5 million grant allocation through the State Government’s Works for Queensland program.

    Other developments aimed at getting Far Northerners outside and active include:

    • The creation of the Yellow Arrow Walking Track, a new 2.4 kilometre walking track on Mount Whitfield that will link with the existing Blue Arrow. The Red Arrow will also be upgraded.
    • Redesign, upgrade and reopening of Bayview Heights’ popular Ivan Evans rainforest track
    • Establishment of a level area for kite surfing, sporting and community events at Yorkeys Knob Esplanade; further works include the creation of an adventure playground at the southern end of the Sims Esplanade, picnic and barbecue facilities and improved parking.
    • Construction of a new viewing platform and all-abilities water access – plus the replacement of existing pedestrian bridges and viewing platforms – at Babinda Boulders.

    An array of infrastructure renewal projects covering footpaths, drains, kerbs, channels and asphalt across all nine Cairns districts will also be completed by the November 30 deadline.

    Maps and concepts