Was your new year’s resolution to get active? You could pay to work out at the gym, or you could gather your mates and head out for a free (and much more fun) game of streetball. We hit the parklands (and the burbs) to find seven of the best courts to play pick-up, no matter your skill level.
Ityamai-itpina/Park 15, Wakefield Road
Three colour-splashed bitumen half courts grace this section of the Park Lands, which share billing with Adelaide’s “temporary” city skatepark. It’s a relatively quiet corner of the city, where you’re almost guaranteed a car park and the surrounding trees lend an air of calm to the sounds of grinding trucks and slamming skateboard decks behind you.
South Terrace, opposite Pulteney Grammar
Two tidy blue full courts sit back-to-back alongside South Terrace’s Clover Playground, beckoning among a sea of lush grass and trees behind. The striking yet no-fuss courts have padding on the rings’ stands, so you can go hammer-and-tongs at your opponent, and towering gum trees at the northern end provide shade on sunny days.
Bowden Courts, North Adelaide
The marketing around Bowden’s city living and urban renewal pegs the suburb as some kind of green, hip and thriving utopia, and its relatively new basketball court lives up to the hype. The spick-and-span blue full court is surrounded by everything you’ll ever need – a train station, tennis courts, undercover tables, barbeque, a skate park and even a community garden. And that’s all before you walk across Park Terrace. Quick game of pick-up before a feast at Plant 4?
Brighton Skate Park
This small full court wedged between Brighton Road and the Brighton Rugby Union Football Club oval isn’t the most glamorous on the list, but it does have one distinct advantage over its city-based cousins. Its eight-foot-high rings (two feet smaller than standard) make for premium dunking opportunities. Bring your skateboard for a roll at the adjacent skatepark if you really feel like tuckering yourself out.
Tonsley Innovation District
If you want to feel like you’re part of a Silicon Valley start-up, these are the courts for you. Housed in the MAB (Main Assembly Building) of Tonsley’s award-winning Innovation District, these back-to-back half courts neighbour global companies, innovative start-ups and Flinders Uni’s science and engineering campus. It’s undercover, cafes and a sushi joint are just steps away and you’re surrounded by calming trees in the MAB’s “urban forest”. Keep an eye out for the driverless vehicles that regularly zip by the courts.
Whitmore Square was one of six squares laid out by Colonel William Light in his 1837 Plan of the City of Adelaide, and while we can’t confirm he was partial to an alley-oop, we’d like to think he’d approve of this curious half court. Like much of the square, the court’s a tad dated, but it’s surrounded by grass, tree-lined avenues, a giant chessboard and table-tennis table, making it an inviting and central spot to shoot some hoops. Café Troppo is just across the road too.
Pityarilla Activity Hub/Pelzer Park, off Glen Osmond Road
A classy little section of the parklands, Pityarilla (Kaurna for “marshmallow root place”) was revamped earlier this year and contains a half court on synthetic tennis court turf, and a native species-fringed half court on bitumen. Push-button lighting allows for night games, while shelter and barbeques complete the b-ball haven. If you’re heading along with a little one or a dog, you’re also set – a dog park and massive play spaces mean Pityarilla’s a winner for young, old and canine.