There is a new park/playground named after Ron Barassi Snr that just opened last month (October 2015) at the Harbour Town side of Docklands. It's located at the end of Docklands Drive, past the Harbour Town Shopping Centre. The playground kind of feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. You have to go past the shopping area, past the last tram stop (trams 86 or City Circle) and past a couple apartments/offices/construction zones…and then you get to the park.
Being named after Ron Barassi Snr, it's only appropriate the park starts with what is apparently "two full sized soccer fields and a junior AFL field" (according to the open day video). But if it's the playground area you are after, you have to keep walking all the way past this massive grassed oval to where the Bolte Bridge is. Someone pass me a cold beverage now please. If unlike me you actually drive though, you don't need to get puffed out as there is free parking around the area.
The field is great to have a picnic lunch on and let the kids run around and play their sport (we brought bubbles which are always great for entertaining toddlers). There is also a BBQ pit and a "community pavillion" next to the playground which has toilets and nappy changing facilities. Apparently there are also plans to build a few "multipurpose sports courts" here next year. The only downside is the lack of shade so if it's a hot day, be sure to lather on the sunscreen and bring the hats.
We heard about this park via word of mouth (definitely not somewhere you would simply pass by chance) and decided to check it out with a few playgroup friends. It's an interesting playground with plenty of sand to play in so the kids might fancy bringing their spades and buckets. The main feature are the two tall tube slides which Miss A loved. The only problem is that you have to accompany the younger ones up so it's a bit of a workout for the adults. The ladder system going up to the slides was perplexing to figure out even for us adults so I can't imagine the kids doing it on their own until they are at least 5 or 6. For the less brave, there is also a regular little slide on the side, along with other features like a tyre swing and rope bridge etc.
On top of it all, there are some water pumps to play in so if you have kids who are attracted to water like a moth to a flame, be sure to bring a towel and a change of clothes.
We went on a weekday in the morning and we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. I guess not many people know about it yet but I can't imagine it ever getting overly popular due to the location, unless sports clubs use the oval or someone hosts a BBQ party there.
It does remind me why I love living in the city though – being able to easily walk to so many wonderful parks/playgrounds like this one. I know many people leave the city to have kids but to me it's seriously the best place to be when you have them!