Playtime has been elevated to a new level with the official opening of the next stage of the Rose Point Park playground today, unveiling a host of equipment for children of all abilities as well as a sensory garden.

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore and Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen MP were among the first to experience the new equipment, which also includes the first NEOS 360 for any NSW council, offering 360 degrees of electronic games for head-spinning, body-twisting fun – as well as building peripheral vision, auditory and spatial awareness skills.

Other equipment includes a xylophone, tactile tree, a spinner/rocker zone, a family-sized seesaw and a bumble bee that really buzzes. A cosy cocoon is tailored too support children with autism who may be overwhelmed by all the colour and activity in the park.

The all abilities playground and sensory garden were the first two stages in a five stage development for the park, all funded by $879,820 from the NSW Government’s $200 million Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Next on the list is a balance beam section and a climbing challenge, which gets underway next week. A custom piece for children who use wheelchairs is also on order and expected to be ready for play by Christmas.

Mr Johnsen said the Stronger Country Communities funding was an investment in local infrastructure to improve the lives of residents and enhance the Upper Hunter.

“In my first term as Member for Upper Hunter, the Singleton shire received $1.3 million in funding from the Nationals in Government’s Stronger Country Communities program,” he said.

“I am ecstatic to be a Member of a Government that continues to deliver for our Singleton community.”

Cr Moore said Singleton was fast becoming a destination for playtime.

“In this era of screens and digital communication, playgrounds are important social spaces for children and adults alike to get outside, meet other people and talk to each other,” she said.

“That’s why it’s equally important that these are facilities that cater for all children of all abilities, and what we have now in Rose Point is a spectacular example.

“It’s a credit to Council’s parks and gardens team who are clearly experts in serious fun, and who have poured a great deal of love into the sensory garden to create boxes of textural, aromatic and tasty plants.

“It’s now up to us to enjoy and care for this space responsibly for the benefit of everyone who will use this playground, especially those children with special needs, and I have no doubt Rose Point Park will be a popular destination for residents and visitors to Singleton alike.”