Bounce Bark®, The Best Choice for Playground Surfacing

Birds eye view St Pauls School Playground Surface Bounce Bark
Birds eye view St Pauls School Playground Surface Bounce Bark

Bounce Bark®, The Best Choice for Playground Surfacing

An important part of a Kiwi kid’s childhood is the time spent playing in playgrounds, whether it’s with family at the local reserve, or with friends at school or an Early Childhood Education Centre. Councils, principals, Boards of Trustees and ECE Centre managers are tasked with providing challenging, yet safe, play environments.

A crucial element in playground design is the choice of playground surfacing, which must meet New Zealand Standard, NZS 5828:2015: Playground Equipment and Surfacing. This article outlines the many reasons which make Bounce Bark® the best choice.


Bounce Bark® is a product developed solely by Wholesale Landscapes, in Nelson, to uphold the New Zealand Standard. It is the only bark-based, safety-certified impact protection used in playgrounds, childcare centres, schools and public areas across New Zealand. However the benefits of Bounce Bark® go well beyond standard-certification.


Bounce Bark® is an all-natural product and the ‘green’ choice.

An environmentally-responsible, sustainable safety solution, Bounce Bark® is a naturally-occurring by-product of sustainable forestation and forms part of Wholesale Landscapes’ circular economy, which eliminates landfill disposal. Compared to other forms of playground surfacing, Bounce Bark® contains no plastic or processed materials, making it the ‘green’ option for a now plastic-averse public. So too, when it comes time for disposal and replacement, Bounce Bark®, as a natural product, can be re-utilised and add value as a garden mulch or compost. Rubber or plastic products, in contrast, require ecologically-costly disposal at landfill sites. The use of Bounce Bark® can reduce a school’s carbon footprint through the reduce-reuse-recycle system.


Bounce Bark® promotes good health.

Recent scientific studies have shown that exposure to microbes prevalent in the great outdoors will establish a stronger, more robust immune system in children. Although Bounce Bark® is screened to remove sticks and stones and washed to eliminate transferable mud, this natural bark product will still help to promote the development of a healthy immune system through play in a natural environment.


Bounce Bark® enables healthy childhood development.

Play is essential to the healthy development of children. Through independent or cooperative play, children are able to learn about themselves and their environment, while stimulating their creative, emotional, and physical development. Risk-taking, however, is also an essential feature of play. Children need to learn to cope with risk and this may lead to bumps and bruises and occasionally even a broken limb.

Bounce Bark® is designed to dissipate the kinetic energy of an impact by localised displacement, such that the acceleration is displaced. When installed and maintained at appropriate depths, this product is an excellent shock-absorber.


Bounce Bark® is the economical choice.

Compared to other highly-processed surfacing options, such as wet-pour rubber, plastic or rubber playground tiles or matting, installation of Bounce Bark® can reduce expenditure by up to 95%. Please refer to our brochure for the price comparison.


Bounce Bark® is easy to install.

Unlike artificial playground surfacing, which can have an expensive installation price tag, Bounce Bark® installation is straightforward and not cost-prohibitive. Timetabling a weekend working-bee for the school community can even mean it’s free!


Bounce Bark® maintenance is trouble-free.

A simple rake every month will keep your Bounce Bark® in good shape. Small annual top-ups are recommended, and can be carried out by ground staff.


Bounce Bark® is resilient and durable.

Bounce Bark® is resilient in extreme temperatures, meaning it won’t heat up in the height of summer, nor will it become a slip hazard during wet, icy winter months. Artificial surfaces, such as rubber or plastic, are prone to crack and split in the heat and can be dangerously slippery in wet or icy weather. Specified between 25-50mm, nuggets of Bounce Bark® are super-durable, lasting for up to 10 years, and their weight means they won’t be dispersed by wind.


Wholesale Landscapes also produce Bounce Bark® Chip, measuring 10-25mm. This is surface media specifically designed for Early Childhood Education Centres, as the smaller size is proven to be softer and more comfortable for toddlers’ feet.


Bounce Bark® is adaptable and flexible to your design.

Thinking of revamping your play area? Bounce Bark® can be moved easily and re-sited without complication. Just remember to check fall heights from new climbing apparatus and adjust the depth of your Bounce Bark® to ensure you comply with the safety standard. You will need to renew your certificate of compliance to show that it is installed correctly. Wholesale Landscapes will happily complete this check for you and provide the necessary documentation.


Known as ‘the schools’ choice when safety is first’ and justifiably, under kids’ feet all over the South Island, Bounce Bark® ensures they are playing in the safest environment possible, whilst still boosting their overall health. Choosing Bounce Bark® will also make playground development and management for administrators stress-free.

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Our Truck Volumes

3T Truck

Full truck load volumes
  • Bark: 7m³
  • Compost: 4m³
  • Supersoil: 3m³
  • Soil: 3m³
  • Shell: 3m³
  • Stone: 1.5m³

7.5T Truck

Full truck load volumes
  • Bark: 20m³
  • Compost: 10m³
  • Supersoil: 7m³
  • Shell: 8m³

11T Truck

Full truck load + trailer volumes
  • Bark: 25m³ - 65m³
  • Compost: 17m³ - 38m³
  • Supersoil: 12m³ - 29m³
  • Shell: 12m³ - 30m³

In Canterbury or other regions? We offer bulk truck and trailer load volumes throughout the South Island.

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Our Retailers

Below is a list of our retailers. Please contact them for stock and supply.

PLEASE NOTE: Not all of our products are supplied to all retailers. We can only guarantee product quality of products we manufacture.

  • Wholesale Landscapes – Stoke Yard (that's us!)
  • Stoke Garden & Landscapes
  • Bay Landscapes & Garden Centre
  • Goldpine Richmond
  • Māpua Landscapes
  • Stonescape Garden Supplies (Concrete & Metals)
North Canterbury
  • Woodend Landscape Supplies
  • Amberley Hire & Landscape Supplies
  • Hanmer Landscape Supplies
  • Garden Box – Middleton
  • Urban Paving & Landscape Supplies – Harewood
  • Pearsons Landscape Supplies – Bromley
  • Styx Mill Landscape & Nursery  – Styx
  • Mitre 10 Mega Ferrymead
  • Odering Garden Centre Christchurch - Philpotts
  • Odering Garden Centre Christchurch - Barrington
  • Mainscape Garden Supplies
South Canterbury
  • Fulton Hogan Timaru
  • Ashburton Contracting Ltd (ACL)
  • Centaland
  • CMT Group
  • Kaikōura Landscape Supplies

Pick-Up Information

We welcome pick-up of product by the public for volumes 1m³ and over. Please check your estimated trailer weight rating below. If your trailer is unable to hold the weight of our minimum pick-up volume, please book a delivery. *We require a minimum order quantity of 3m³ for any bark, compost, soil or shell products and a minimum order quantity of 1.5m3 for any stones or aggregates.

Standard trailer
(750kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
Tandem trailer
(1,500kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates
Tip truck
(2,000kg limit)
  • Bark / Mulches
  • Shell
  • Compost
  • Soil
  • Stones / Aggregates

Product Volume Calculator

*We will quote to the nearest cubic meter.

Recommended depths

Typically you need a finishing layer of screened soil of 100mm when working with an uneven surface. 100mm of soil will allow to even out any hollows and give enough depth to create a flat surface

A general rule for compost is to allow for the depth of the current root structure of your plants with an additional 30-50% to mix in with the base. If you’re planting into holes or filling up a vege garden  you will need to accommodate for this prior to filling up

We recommend 100mm (10cm) deep for new bark gardens and planting into bare areas. For existing gardens with some cover, we recommend 75mm-100mm (7.5cm-10cm)

Note: Barked areas for playground impact protection need to meet NZS5828:2015 standards and is calculated on the fall areas and the height of the playground. Please contact us to discuss your barked playground areas

For paths and driveways which are often exposed to car and foot traffic, we recommend 100mm-125mm (10cm-12.5cm) on newly prepared areas due to settling of product.

This excludes preparation, compaction or drainage gravel underneath. For existing areas 75mm thickness is recommended for areas needing a small top-up.