Gather earthlings; a kid-friendly UFO has landed at The Grange Reserve in Clayton South!
I’m unintentionally writing this post on World UFO Day, a day for UFO enthusiasts to gather and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. Yes, apparently it’s a thing and commemorates the supposed 1947 Roswell UFO crash. But we’re not here to talk about the Roswell incident; we’re here to discuss the story of the Westall UFO encounter in 1966. Well, sort of.
What does all of this have to do with the totally wicked UFO playground at The Grange Reserve in Melbourne’s South-East? I’m glad you asked. I visited this reserve basically because, how often do you come across an interactive playground in the shape of a UFO? Not enough, I say! The child in me got a little too excited over this one. It wasn’t until I got back to work and did a little research on it that I learned the significance of the UFO Park.
It turns out that this giant flying saucer construction was designed by council to reflect the the 1966 Westall UFO incident where more than 200 students and teachers from 2 nearby schools allegedly witnessed an unexplained flying object descend into a nearby open grass field. Take from that what you will, but for me, the history behind the park made it even cooler!
If you’re feeling disinterested in all of this, let me try to entertain your brain with one more additional cool fact about the park, and that is that the pine trees surrounding the playground have all grown bent inwards. No, I didn’t use a fish-eye lens to take these photos; they really are all bending towards the centre point of the playground!
But if all of this is nothing but fictional nonsense to you, a UFO playground with no context attached is still pretty damn cool! “Kids” can step inside the UFO and use the steering wheels and control panel to take it for a test ride, before exiting back to earth through one of the 2 tube slides. The reserve also features other activities like a sand play area, a basket swing, regular swings barbecue facilities and space to picnic. The playground itself is attached to a large park area with walking tracks, where an extensive range of fauna has been reported in the reserve. But don’t be put off by the snakes or falcons – the local council says if you stick to the defined tracks, everything will be A-OK!
The Grange Reserve
136-176 Osborne Ave, Clayton South VIC
Open 24 hours
City of Kingston