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About us

Climbing Tree is a South Australian based Nature Play design, construction and events company. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for children to explore, create and reconnect with nature.

We place strong emphasis on valuing the importance of childhood and are dedicated to creating an understanding of the meaningfulness of  play and the importance of  risk and  challenge.


We have a deep respect for the traditional owners and their connection to country. We work to highlight the importance and beauty of children's interactions with nature. 


We work closely with educational centres, small businesses, and local government to bring about strong and lasting change. Our experience spans over many years and many states and countries, we deliver value to our clients by leveraging on our:

  • Expertise in nature play, playspace construction and safety standards

  • Expert design and consultation experience 

  • Track record and experience in successfully delivering a number of unique and bespoke projects

  • Ability to engage with a number of different stakeholders to ensure delivery of a project which is reflective of its place and community

  • Infrastructure, back end operational and program management capability and front-end capability to deliver high quality project outcomes.

Nature + Play

and Risk + Challenge

We endeavour to reconnect children with nature – to nurture rewilding of communities and spaces.  

On a daily basis we witness all the benefits that spending time in nature brings, the beauty of collaboration between varied ages and abilities, excitement, creativity, thoughtfulness, innovation, mindfulness, busyness, and a healthy dose of risk and challenge. 


The natural environment provides ample opportunity to create your own adventures. We believe found objects and loose parts are key to a dynamic, ever-changing space and advocate, where possible, for their inclusion. 


There is a compelling body of evidence which suggests contact in nature is important for the health of our children and wider communities. The opportunity for risk and challenge is abundant in nature and exposure to it ensures children develop the skills required to keep themselves as safe as possible.    Contact in nature ensures children develop a love and empathy towards it and in turn develop a sense of responsibility for it.

Children's voice

Ever wondered what our towns and cities would be like if children designed them?  

Climbing Tree prides itself on engaging with children from design right through to construction. With a background in education our team is experienced in the diversity of children’s language – both spoken and unspoken. We believe that listening to the children’s voice serves as a great foundation for good design.


We also consider collaboration with children a design development process in its own right. We ensure that children are actively engaged and involved throughout the planning of our projects, and give them, our most important customers, a chance to critically reflect, form and express their own opinions about what we are creating for them.

Indigenous connections

Climbing Tree was founded on Kaurna land, we continue on our journey to walk alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and explore connections with communities and gain a deeper understanding of the land. 

With every project we endeavour to spark conversations about the projects/sites connections with local Indigenous groups and their culture, language and stories. We are lucky enough to call some very talented Aboriginal artists our friends who have contributed to bringing a deeper meaning to our collaborative projects through continued dialogue and the creation of beautiful pieces of significance.

Our Process

Our design process is both highly collaborative and adaptive.

All of our designs and outcomes have elements of collaboration and consulting directly from the clients, and often with help from our real clients: the children themselves.

The nature of what we build by utilising a large quantity of natural materials often means that the play spaces evolve throughout the building process. Of course, the original plans and blueprints are followed closely and always within requirement, however the natural factor ensures that no two projects are the same, with outcomes constantly taking on a life and personality of their own.

All of our natural timbers are procured locally and we constantly strive for sustainability and ecologically sound solutions in the use of our resources.


Professional Affiliations

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Meet the Team

Shah Manning


Shah spent his early years growing up in various rural locations around Australia. The nomadic lifestyle bestowed upon him by his parents instilled a deep connection to the Australian landscape, facilitated by outside play, natural development and a strong love and respect for the ocean.  

Shah is a trade qualified landscape and construction professional with more than 15 years of hands on experience. With a Certificate 3 in Horticulture Landscape Construction, he has a varied background in commercial and residential construction,  and is passionate about creating long lasting learning and outdoor experiences for - as he lovingly puts it - "All the little grommets".

After working extensively in the APY lands building play spaces, this proud dad of two little groms himself, along with lovely wife Laura are committed to early childhood development, enhanced by a focussed connection and appreciation for country, and the great outdoors.

Simon Hutchinson


Simon is a qualified primary school teacher with over 10 year’s experience working in primary schools in both Adelaide and London. His passion is children’s learning and their experience of learning through their environment, through play, and through discovery. He is heavily involved in pushing the children and nature movement in South Australia, using his wealth of knowledge and experience in how children learn to guide his play space design and construction.


Simon is driven by the idea of sustainable pedagogical change, where the transformation in the physical landscape becomes the platform for a shift in how educators approach modern learning.  He has also delivered over 80 presentations and workshops to various education sites and partnerships both in South Australia, nationally and overseas. Simon has project managed a number of unique projects from design to construction and has is a qualified Level 3 Playground Auditor with a strong understand of Risk Management in both public and educational settings.

Crew Members


Staff bios

Coming soon.....

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