Overlooking the city in King’s Park, Synergy Parkland is one of Perth’s best-loved outdoor spaces, and free for everyone to enjoy all year round. It also represents our commitment to the people of WA, and to the environment.
We’ve made the Synergy Parkland our largest community partnership investment.
The Synergy Parkland is a family-friendly outdoor recreation area, and a great space for children to explore, learn, and play. Most locals will agree it’s a fantastic place to make the most of a sunny day.
Amongst the features are a 75m-long elevated walkway, a two-tiered island fort, large-scaled replicas of local dinosaurs, a timber boardwalk, and an interactive water misting forest.
Kids can run headlong back in time, to follow the footprints of giant dinosaurs, and discover ancient fossils.
Wind your way through the Windy Walk
Arthur Fairall's incredible vision influenced the use of recycled materials to build the amazing 'Windy Walk' - 75 metres long and up to 2.5 metres above ground.
It’s a new lease-of-life for the 30 year old elevated platform that was once the focus of the old playground.
The name 'Windy Walk', was inspired by the height of the walkway, and the artwork in the railings showing the evolution of birds from flightless, to flying.
Another special feature of the Windy Walk is the story told in pictures of an event with possibly the biggest impact of any event in our history - the K-T Impact Crater. The Crater shows how a meteorite 10km wide, hit the earth 65 million years ago and blasted a hole 100km across, and 12km deep in the Caribbean Sea. It caused earthquakes, fires, world-wide darkness and could have caused the extinction of dinosaurs.
Megafauna for mega-fun
Kids can take a trip back in time to prehistoric Perth — riding one of the dinosaurs that roamed here millions of years ago.
The Muttaburrasaurus was a reptile that needed the energy of the sun to warm its body, and give it energy to search for food. But today it’s back, in a spectacular life-like form to give you a history lesson you won’t forget!
Further along the discovery pathway you’ll find the nesting site of the largest bird ever to live on Earth. The Bullockornis, an ancestor of the Cape Baron Goose that lived in Perth 30 million years ago, has set-up home with its chicks in Synergy Parkland.
You can climb all over these life-like models — they’ve been made with special materials, in amazing detail that shows you just how these animals would have looked, all those millions of years ago.
The job of choosing which dinosaurs from WA’s history to include in the Parkland was given to Dr Steve Hopper, former Chief Executive Officer of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, and the Western Australian Museum's Dr John Long. We think they made great choices with the Muttaburrasaurus and Bullockornis.
Facilities in the Parkland
More than anything, the Synergy Parkland is a recreation area for the whole family. There’s eight free electric barbeques, public toilets and fantastic grassed areas where kids can run wild.
If you’d like to bring a portable barbecue to the Parkland, you need to get written permission from the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority. You can contact them on 9480 3659.
And don’t forget the Synergy Parkland is a smoke-free zone, and no skateboards or scooters are allowed.
Lycopod Island — a wonderland of imagination
On the central lake you’ll find Lycopod Island and its Island Fort. It’s surrounded by a ring of ancient lycopods, replicas of the world's first trees that existed about 1,200 million years ago.
The trees are made from huge wooden poles that are carved to look and feel like lycopod trunks, with fronds cut from stainless steel. And if you look carefully, you’ll see a giant dragonfly hiding in the lycopod fronds.
The dragonfly was designed by a local artist, Nick Compton, who did an incredible job of sculpting stainless steel wings over a metre long, suspended ten metres from the ground. "The dragonfly is bound to create a squeal from children when they see this huge insect flying above them." says Nick with a smile. The Island Fort features many of Nick's sculptures, including carvings of dragonfly larvae in the Fort.
The Calamite Forest is a popular recent addition to Lycopod Island. It includes a water misting system that’s activated when children wander through the replica calamites.
The mist system is very environmentally friendly, using drinkable scheme water and run by solar cells located on replica stromatolites in the lake. Each jet has its own sensor and only runs when people are in the Forest. The water drains into the lake and is used with bore water to top up the lake.
Calamites were small fern-like trees that grew in wet, swampy forests millions of years ago. Over time, calamites and lycopods were buried alive by volcanic ash and mud. We use this fossil fuel today to create some of the electricity you use.
In 2004 a fantastic timber boardwalk was built, to connect Lycopod Island with the picnic area.
Take a look on either side of the boardwalk, and you can see replica stromatolites. Stromatolites are lumpy, layered, living rocks that are built by slimy, microscopic life forms. They were once found in oceans, lakes and swamps with enough light, but today stromatolites are only found in bays and lakes with a good supply of limestone.
The first living stromatolites were discovered right here in WA, in Hamelin Bay, Shark Bay, 1954. You can learn more about the history of stromatolites at the Synergy Parkland.
Most of the plants you’ll see in the playground can be found in Perth's woodlands, grasslands and coastal areas. Others were sourced from the eastern states, including some exotic plants that don’t appear in Western Australia today.
Eucalypts, grasstrees, wattles, peppermint trees, melaleucas and casuarinas are some of the well-known types of flora.
There’s also the unique Wollemi Pine, from Sydney. The Wollemi Pine is a living fossil only recently discovered in a gully in the Blue Mountains, and is fenced for protection.
Don’t miss the ancient and beautiful Ginkgo biloba, a maidenhair tree all the way from China, which is said to be ‘the last of a species that ages before the time of man’. Experts say that it has survived in a natural state since the time of dinosaurs.
Two male Ginkgo trees have been planted in the playground - one near the Muttaburrasaurus dinosaur, and the other near the lake. Female trees were not used because they produce an orange fleshy fruit that has an awful smell when squashed - although Chinese people love the nut inside the fruit, and consider it a delicacy.
School bookings for the Synergy Parkland need to be made through the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, phone 9480 3659.
To find more about the education programs, ‘The Ancient and the Unusual’, and ‘Mathematics Self Guided Trail’ visit the BGPA website.