Macquarie Centre, Level 1 (follow the Toilets sign), Cnr Herring & Waterloo Rds North Ryde NSW

Reviewed by C

Overall: It’s new and clean and tidy, but that might be because no-one knows it’s there. Nappy change, feed, rest and ‘play’ – the play area is pretty poor, just a glass-walled holding pen really. Although it looks like there may be a television on it’s way?

Good Points: It’s new, clean, tidy and quiet. On the same floor as the kids clothing stores and indoor playground – finally! Adult and child size toilets, with auto-slide push-button door. Three nice private feeding cubicles with armchair and table in each. Two change bays with a sink in between the bays, and bins underneath the bench. Separate food prep area with working microwave, filtered (?) water and sink. Armchairs next to the ‘play’ area so you can have a rest while your little one…well…..hangs out in the play area.

Bad Points: There aren’t any extra powerpoints. The Toilets sign hanging outside in the shops does not say there is also a Parent Room down there. The play area is seriously crap – yep, it’s clean and new, but it’s just a glass-walled, sectioned off section of the room. It looks like there may be a television going into the wall cavity, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Just follow the Toilets sign – the Parent Room is down the corridor on the left

Finally!!! There is now a Parent Room on the ground floor/Level 1 of Macquarie Centre. This is a big deal because this is the floor where all the kids clothing stores are, and also where the indoor kids playground is located. So if there’s going to be a Parent Room anywhere in the centre, this is the floor it has to be on. And now it’s arrived. Yay!!

However, you wouldn’t know it was there unless you’d been on the lookout for it for sometime. Why is this? Well, you wouldn’t know there’s one on this floor because the Toilets sign doesn’t say there is also a Parent Room down the corridor. Not very helpful, is it? Noooooo. But now everyone will know, so go and check it out!

Push the big green button and go on in

So now you know there’s a Parent Room on Level 1, and it’s down the corridor where the Toilets are, head down there and you’ll find it on the left side of the hall. My favourite auto-slide, push-button door is big enough to fit a pram through but not so sure about a side-by-side pram – that could be a bit of a tight squeeze.

Great push-button, auto-slide door access to the toilet

Adult and child size toilets

This room is really a nice new facility, although it is missing a few important features (like extra powerpoints, hand-towel dispenser, something for kids to do in the play area). But overall, it’s nice and clean and quiet.
The toilets are really pretty great. The doorway is the best part. It’s a big frosted, auto-slide, push-button door! Seriously, this is a great feature and will greatly reduce the risk of germs being transferred (you can bump the button with your hip to open and close the door). Also, when the toilet is occupied, a little light comes on the outside panel letting anyone know it’s currently in use. Great feature!
Inside there are two toilets – one for adults and one for children. It’s a good size room, definitely capable of having a pram in there. There’s just the one sink though, so little ones may need help reaching the taps and soap.

The work-in-progress holding cell/play area

Three comfortable private feeding cubicles

The colours in this Parent Room are pretty nice. I love the whole nature feel of greens and browns. To me it’s very calming and soothing. Something mums and bubs need when they’re out shopping for sure.

The big let down in this room is the play area. I think it’s pretty generous of me to call it a play area, and I reckon you’ll agree when you go and see it for yourself (or even if you just check out the above photo). 
Right now it’s just a section of the room fenced off with glass fencing. That’s it. Oh hold on, there is carpet with round green circles on it – wow, big deal. I’d feel really slack putting my little one in here. It looks like a little holding cell. You’d think there’d at least be a single wall-mounted activity centre, or maybe even some animal caricatures on the walls. But no, not here. Although on this particular visit it looks like there may be a television being mounted in the wall cavity. That’s what I’m hoping is happening anyway. Otherwise, BYO entertainment/toys….or just take the kids up the the indoor playground outside Shoes & Sox.

The private feeding cubicles are pretty okay. Again they’re clean and new and are big enough to take a pram. Each one has an armchair and little table, and privacy is provided by a curtain at the front of each. Unfortunately for any mums needing to use an electric pump, there aren’t any powerpoints in the cubicles. So you’ll need to bring batteries with you instead. Just something to note.

Two change bays

Separate food prep area with it’s own sink

This part I really do like. Separate areas for nappy change and food prep. And you know what the best part is? There are separate sinks for each area. Yay!!!! It bugs me no end when there is only one sink for both food prep and nappy changes, so having two sinks (one in each area) is just fabulous.

The change area is pretty good. There’s two change bays in the bench, and the sink and soap are between the two bays. There was a small pile of papertowels at the back of the bench, so hopefully there will be an actual wall mounted paper towel dispenser in the not too distant future. May be it will appear at the same time as the television?
Anyway, the bench is a good height and not too deep so I’d say most adults would be able to change their little ones without too much hassle. The nappy bins are underneath the bench in pull-out drawers. Very handy, but I reckon it could get awful stinky in this Parent Room after a few hours. The drawers have the top section open, so you can just toss the nappy in without having to pull out the drawer if you don’t want to. But being an open top means the smell will travel. Hopefully this Parent Room will get more regular cleaning services than some of the others in the centre.

The food prep area is pretty good too. I know I’ve already said it but having it separate to the nappy change area is such a big deal. I love it! The microwave is clean and works well. The sink also has a filtered water tap which is a nice touch. 

Basically, this is the nicest Parent Room in all of Macquarie Centre. You may not have know it was there before, but now that you do know about it….go and check it out! It’s clean, new and quiet. Although now that the word is out…….it may not be so quiet anymore hahaha. Just let me know when the wall cavity in the kids holding pen gets something in it – if it’s not a television, it better be something else pretty darn good.