LOCAL kids can't keep away from the new playground at Barney Point which was unveiled last week as part of a $1.6 million upgrade by Gladstone Regional Council.
The Barney Point foreshore was buzzing on Friday morning, with about 30 people enjoying the space at 11am.
The foreshore area now has two playgrounds, one of which has its own free app, making it the first Smart Playground in Australia according to Gladstone Regional Council.
The themed playground features popular children's storybook characters The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid and is a hit with kids, according to mother Kirrilee Claridge, and friend Joanne Ballard.
Ms Claridge said her daughters, 3-year-old Ocean and 18-month-old River, had been at the new playground for three hours.
"They've had a ball."
Her friend Joanne Ballard said Barney Point had been a favourite spot since she moved to Gladstone seven years ago, but the recent changes had made it much more interesting.
"I have grandchildren and now it's a lot more friendly," she said.
"It's so good to see all the people using the facilities here, there's always a nice breeze and because it's so central, you don't need to go all the way to Tannum for the beach."
The second playground is also fully shaded by a giant tree. But not all residents are impressed with the new look Barney Point.
Sun Valley resident Betty Habermann was sad to see the spinning top playground feature go.
"The spinning top is gone, all the adult kids like me used to come down here for that," she said.
Wendy Tompkins was enjoying a walk along the foreshore and told The Observer that the revitalised public space looked good, but she hoped the council installed sanitary wipes at the new toilets.
"I'm disappointed there's no hygiene wipes at the new toilets," she said.
New barbecues and picnic shelters are among features likely to attract more locals to the beautifully redesigned public space.