6 of the Best Free Water Play Parks in Melbourne

We love a playground where the kids can run around over the warmer months, but then cool down with free water play areas - it's a little bit more exciting than the old sprinkler in the back yard!

It's incredible how many adventure playgrounds have sprung up over the Melbourne area these last couple of years, and they bring with them serious play potential. These are not the water play areas of our youth (was there even a water play area in 80s playgrounds?), these bring the fun and excitement of larger water theme parks to your local neighbourhood - without the price tag attached!

1. River Walk Village Park Playground, Werribee

One of the new kids on the block as far as playgrounds go is also a hot spot for free water play - the Village Park Playground in the Riverwalk Estate in Werribee absolutely delivers with two splash parks of differing activities.

The main area is a multicoloured wonderland of misty tunnels, water cannons, jets, spouts, taps, pumps, dumping buckets and rivulet play areas.

The smaller area has stone fountains and paved wet area, excellent for babies and smaller kids who would get lost in the chaos of the bigger area.

The water in the main area does shut off after 30 minutes and a 300 jet water cycle, but there are two areas to push a button and activate the sequence again. 

What you need to know

  • Location: Newmarket Rd, Werribee
  • Water play times: 9am to 8pm (October - March) and 10am to 5pm (April to September)
  • Shade: no, but some of the seating area especially near the stone fountains are covered, and the area gets very windy too.
  • For more info: myriverwalk.com.au, including the safety rules and regulations around the splash play area.

2. Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens

It's a rare Melbournian who hasn't taken their little ones here for a splash over our hot summers! It's a great, shady spot under leafy trees, with cute fountains and streams to splash around in. Plenty of spots to set up a picnic blanket (it does get busy though, so keep that in mind), and you can grab a coffee or bite to eat at the nearby Jardin Tan restaurant and kiosk. 

Wander over when you're finished and watch the water wildlife on the lake and soak up the cool of the forest before the heat of the rest of the day sets in. 

What you need to know

  • Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Birdwood Ave, Melbourne
  • Water play times: Rill (stream): 10am–4pm daily. Spiral fountains: 10am–4pm on days when the temperature is forecast to exceed 25 degrees. The fountains do not operate when the forecast is less than 25 degrees.
  • Shade: plenty, provided by trees.
  • For more info: rbg.vic.gov.au

3. Saltwater Coast Crocodile Park, Point Cook

Crocodile Park inside the new Saltwater Coast estate in Point Cook is has a gorgeous play area based on the Roald Dahl book "The Enormous Crocodile". The book sees a crocodile masquerading as a see saw before gobbling children up, but all you'll find at Saltwater Coast is a bronze and stainless steel version cascading water into a fun (and deep!) play trough below.

It's the end of a 50m long watercourse that weaves through the playground as a stream with stepping stones, raised areas, and plenty of placed to wade before winding up at a large circular area with fun fountains. 

The waterplay area is part of a larger playground decked out with a nautical theme, so think rope bridges, fresh blue and white colours, and soft white sand for the kids to play in, and nearby is a real wetland undulating throughout the parkland itself.

What you need to know

  • Location: 260 Saltwater Promenade, Point Cook
  • Water play times: water shuts off at 5pm.
  • Shade: No.
  • For more info: saltwatercoast.com.au
Image Credit: Mitchell Shire Council Facebook

4. Community Bank Adventure Playground, Wallan

The Community Bank Adventure Playground is a whole lot of fun to begin with, but when the water play kicks in, everything turns up a notch! So many slides, swings, flying foxes, seesaws and fun things to climb, in addtion to the giant fort and sandpit, places to hide, and even a cute red train to pretend to drive.

The water splash area has jets, pumps, troughs along the water channel, aqua drop bucket and misty tunnel, as well as a creek bed for the littles or not-quite-as-adventurous kids. There is plenty of grassland around to properly make a day of it, or just to rest in between getting hit by the contents of that drop bucket! A real family-friendly area, with water play that isn't too full-on.

What you need to know

  • Location: Cnr Northern Hwy & Queen St, Wallan
  • Water play times: 10am to 8pm December to March
  • Shade: Only on the grassland, under some of the big trees there.
  • For more info: visitvictoria.com

5. Woodlea Estate Playground

This free water play area lies in the larger (and amazing) Woodlea Estate Adventure Playground, a massive drawcard for folks across Melbourne since the minute it opened.

In addition to an incredible amount of activities for kids (towers, multicoloured slides, cubbies, swings, skate park, birdsnest swings, native play areas, mini slides, rope bridges... you get the picture!) there is a beautifully-designed splash stream area where children can paddle and cool off among the jets and fountains dotted along the waterway. 

There are plenty of barbecues and picnic tables around so take your lunch (and sun protection) and let the kids go nuts.

What you need to know

  • Location: Cnr Woodlea Boulevard and Frontier Avenue
  • Shade: Some over the sandpit, but not elsewhere
  • For more info: Woodlea Facebook

6. Booran Reserve

Booran Reserve is a wonderful community meeting area, with mini sports fields, massive adventure playground, picnic and barbecue areas, and a sizable water splash area to cool off on hot days. 

One of the bigger water play spots, the kids can jump through water fountains and paddle along the cement streams, water spiral and mini sluice gate.

There are toilets, plenty of grassland, and often even ice cream vans and food trucks rock up to service the playground goers, so be prepared to stay for a while! It's almost impossible to get kids to leave once they step foot here!

What you need to know

  • Location: Corner Booran and Glenhuntly Road, Glen Huntly
  • Shade: some shade sails over the water area, shade over BBQ areas and seats.
  • For more info: gleneira.vic.gov.au
 

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