Adelaide Zoo Nature's Playground

“Connecting children to nature through play, regardless of age or ability”


Royal Zoological Society of South Australia





Design Partners

Wax Design / Ric McConaghy Playspaces

Scope of Work

Deliver, Detail, Develop, Discover

Executive Summary

Adelaide Zoo is one of South Australia’s most iconic attractions and home to more than 2,500 exotic and native animals. With a passion for interactive visitor experiences, Wax Design, on behalf of the Zoo's management, chose Fleetwood Urban to help create a new play structure to connect children - of all ages and abilities - to nature through safe and unstructured play. Nature’s Playground was the award-winning result.


Fleetwood Involvement

Fleetwood Urban was involved from start to finish. Using our unique DesignExecute2™ process, our team collaborated seamlessly with all project partners - Adelaide Zoo, WAX Design and Ric McConaghy Playspaces - on a daily basis. Our role included helping to refine the initial designs, creating 3D concepts and shop drawings, recommending appropriate materials (both from a quality and cost perspective) before playing the lead role in construction and installation.

Community Engagement

The new play structure was the result of extensive community consultation. This external input provided a rich source of insights and inspiration, with the design team gathering many ideas directly from families and children, particularly around issues of inclusivity – something that continues to have a daily impact on the levels of enjoyment experienced by zoo visitors.


Award Name Location Year
AILA National Landscape Architecture Award Play Spaces Adelaide Zoo 2017
AILA SA Award of Excellence Adelaide Zoo 2017
AILA SA Tourism Landscape Architecture Award Adelaide Zoo 2016
Civic Trust Bob Such Award for Social Benefit Adelaide Zoo 2016
City of Adelaide Prize Commendation Adelaide Zoo 2016