New playground open for play

Construction of the new inclusive, accessible playground at Manly Dam is finished, complete with a climbing frame, tunnel and bridge, carousel, swings and more. Materials such as wood and stone and subtle colours help the play space blend into the surrounding bush. There is plenty of seating as well as picnic tables, BBQs and an accessible pathway from the carpark.

This new accessible playground and others already located on the Beaches, are designed to not only create exciting and vibrant play spaces but to connect the community, in particular, children of all abilities to natural areas. Greater accessibility of these major play spaces enables people of all-abilities to participate in play and reap the benefits of increased physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation.


Construction on the new playground and picnic area is due to commence in February 2020 with work expected to be completed in May 2020 weather permitting.

During this time the playground, picnic area and tables 5 and 7 will be unavailable.

Thank you for your interest in this project, submissions are now closed and staff are busy reviewing feedback.

We have finalised the playground design within the existing play space.

View draft Plan View - May 2019
View revised imageboard - May 2019

Some of the exciting new play experiences to be included in the playground are:

  • an accessible carousel
  • four swings catering for a range of ages and abilities
  • a wheel chair accessible tunnel and build your own cubby – gunyah experience
  • an embankment slide.
  • a rope climbing pyramid
  • sensory sculptures nestled in a fenced area with native plantings and a range of seating opportunities throughout the play space.

Make a submission

  • online
  • in writing - marked 'Manly Dam Playplace' to Northern Beaches Council PO Box 82, Manly NSW 1655

Submissions close Sunday 30 June 2019

We have been working on refining the concept design to fit within the existing playground footprint.

The refined design is anticipated to be ready for exhibition following the April school holidays.

Thank you for your ongoing interest in this project.

At the Council meeting on 18 December 2018, Council resolved to allocate $300,000 to providing an upgrade to the existing playground at Manly Dam.

View the Council minutes, Item 10.7, page 7

In accordance with the resolution, Council will consult with all stakeholders involved in the project to date on the draft design before implementation.

This will take place in the new year.

The results of community engagement on this project are to be reported to Council at its next meeting on 18 December 2018.

View the Council Agenda, Item 10.7, page 86

Meeting details:

  • Tuesday 18 December 2018
  • From 6:30pm
  • Dee Why Civic Centre, access via Civic Drive

To address Council on this, or any other matter, you need to apply online.

View information about Council meetings

Thank you for your interest in this project.

A report to Council on this project will now be presented in December 2018.

The amenities block in Picnic Area 1 was flagged for a major upgrade as part of engagement on the playground and surrounding area. Feedback during the engagement indicated that the community was supportive of this upgrade to the amenities building, considering its age and condition and lack of accessible facilities.

Designs for the new amenities have now been completed and are in keeping with the footprint exhibited as part of the project. The new facility utilises the area behind the current structure to deliver an improved building that will be accessible to people of all abilities.

Work to construct the new amenities is expected to commence on Monday 12 November 2018, with completion expected in April 2019. Development Approval has been received for removal of three trees in the vicinity to allow the new building to be constructed. The identified trees are in poor condition and will be replaced with new planting in accordance with Council policy – at least two mature trees planted to replace every one removed.

Temporary toilets will be available to park visitors during construction.

Should you have any questions about this project, please call the Major Building Projects team on 1300 434 434.

Thank you to those who commented on the final designs exhibited on this project page.

The comments will now be reported to Council with the final designs at the November 2018 Council meeting.

The revised date is to ensure that staff have time to report on the comments collected.

Following community feedback on the initial concept plan, designs have been adjusted to reduce the overall size of the playplace.

The new designs also include:

  • use of natural materials nestled in the bushland setting
  • the removal of fewer trees and enhanced planting areas
  • a fenced area for younger children
  • an accessible amenity block
  • additional informal seating areas.

View the revised designs:

View the Community Engagement Report

The revised designs will be reported to Council for adoption on 16 October 2018.

Comments can be emailed to before 5pm Friday 28 September 2018

The proposed new playplace aims to enhance the recreational experience at Manly Dam by developing a universally accessible place to play that reflects the remarkable natural surrounds and offers comfort, engagement and challenge for everyone.

We want to:

  • Create a Regional Playplace which caters for residents within the local community along with visitors from outside the Northern Beaches region.
  • Create a play journey that celebrates the natural surrounds and endeavours to afford play opportunities sympathetic and complimentary to the environment in which it will exist. The design will be innovative, sensitive and robust, and focus on opportunities for engagement for all.
  • Be a playplace that is vibrant, emphasising inclusiveness, providing elements for users of all abilities.
  • Create a playplace that is engaging and challenging as well as complying with Australian Standards regarding Playgrounds and Public Spaces.
  • Encourage environmental education opportunities, increasing the understanding of responsibility for environmental caring and sustainability.
  • Ensure universal access is provided
  • Refurbish and improve the existing toilet block to be more accessible.
  • Provide an overall design that respects and respond to local cultural and heritage values.

We are planning to upgrade the existing playground at the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park, Manly Dam as part of Northern Beaches Council Playground Improvement Program and ‘Connecting all through Play’ Funding.

The objectives of this program are to provide:

  • Safe, inclusive and accessible playgrounds for the enjoyment of the community
  • Innovative playgrounds offering more opportunity for social interaction
  • Recreational spaces to aid the physical, social and emotional development of children
  • Playgrounds complying with relevant Australian Standards yet offer challenges for a range of ages and abilities

Manly Dam is a regional playground. It is one of several playgrounds to be updated in the current year’s capital works program.

We would like to hear your views on the proposed concept plan and perspectives for the inclusive new playplace at Manly Dam.

Make a comment

In writing to the CEO, marked "Manly Dam Playplace," to Northern Beaches Council, 725 Pittwater Rd, Dee Why 2099.

For more information, contact the Senior Asset Management Officer on 9970 1326

Comments closed Saturday 17 February

This week the project team have had a great time talking to young people from schools neighbouring the dam.

  • Allambie Heights Public School
  • Balgowlah North Public School
  • St Keiran's Catholic Public School

Thanks to the pupils for their great enthusiasm, and fantastic ideas.

The need for a boardwalk was identified in the 2014 plan of management.

We will be constructing a boardwalk to connect areas 2 and 3 whilst avoiding the road. The boardwalk provides and opportunity to engage with the natural bushland and will offer rest stops and view points along the way.

Flora and Fauna surveys have been undertaken along the proposed route to ensure minimal environmental impact.

View the

We are investigating opportunities to enhance the boardwalk with artwork, themes, information or stories and would love to hear your suggestions for this via the online survey.

Survey closes Sunday 13 August 2017

We are keen to hear your ideas and suggestions for the playplace at Manly Dam.

Comments provided will be used in the development of the playground and boardwalk design.

How to get involved

Come along to one of our community drop ins on site - Manly Dam Playground, Sir Roden Cutler VC Memorial Drive, King Street, Manly Vale.

  • Saturday 5th August 2017 - 1-3pm
  • Wednesday 9th August 2017 12-2pm

Complete the Online Survey

If you have any enquiries please contact the Parks & Recreation Team on 9970 1326

Survey closed Sunday 13 August 2017

Manly Warringah War Memorial Park - known as Manly Dam, has a wonderful diversity of flora and fauna. It’s great for picnics by the water and is renowned for mountain biking and water skiing.

Manly Dam’s network of bush tracks are great for exploring. It is a play place for all.

The children's playground at Manly Dam was chosen for the Connecting All through Play project firstly for its key location and amenity, connections with nature and the fact that the playground is ready for an upgrade.

Council has tendered for consultants are excited to have Ric McConaghy on board to design and develop a play place at Manly Dam, the brief includes;

  • Creating an inclusive and accessible facility.
  • Create innovative opportunities incorporating adventure and nature play.
  • Improve connectivity through the site by creating a walkway through nature.

The Northern Beaches has three all-abilities playgrounds located at Collaroy, Manly and Newport. The program will deliver a regional network of inclusive accessible playgrounds by:

  • Creating two major new inclusive playgrounds at Manly Dam and Lionel Watts Reserve
  • Auditing 40 playgrounds to ensure we create fun, safe and accessible playgrounds for everyone
  • Piloting an innovative local neighbourhood inclusive playground program to bring communities together.

These works will be designed to not only create exciting and vibrant play spaces but to connect the community, in particular, children of all abilities to natural areas. The greater accessibility of these major play spaces will enable people of all-abilities to participate in play and reap the benefits of increased physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation.

Council is committed to encouraging the well-being of all the community. The program will:

  • Invest $2 million in sporting facilities to improve and increase capacity of our existing facilities
  • Invest $2 million in Surf Life Saving Clubs for priority upgrades to improve accessibility, inclusivity and the critical role of surf lifesavers in our community

Download the information booklet on Connecting All Through Play program.

We are delivering this once in a lifetime project as part of a $32.6 million infrastructure investment partnership with the NSW Government.

Connecting Northern Beaches comprises of two major programs. The first is a $22.3 million program focused on integrating active walking paths and cycleways that link to B-Line transport hubs and services.

The second is a $10.3 million inclusive and active play program featuring the creation of two new major playgrounds, upgrades to play areas across the Northern Beaches to make them more inclusive, and $4 million for sporting facilities and Surf Lifesaving Clubs to promote the Northern Beaches as an active, social and inclusive community.

Connecting Northern Beaches has been made possible by the formation of the new Northern Beaches Council and will be delivered in partnership with the NSW Government. Funding is through the NSW Government's Stronger Communities Fund, B-Line Project, Walking & Cycling Program and savings made as a result of the Northern Beaches Council amalgamation.

View the project page