Harleston Park, Elsternwick VIC
Ankle Deep Water for Kids in Melbourne

 
The water feature at Harleston Park in Elsternwick encourages mild risk taking behaviour and helps to develop your child's sense of balance. I saw many kids of various ages testing themselves as they judged the distances between the stones poking up above the water, and then stepped, hopped or leapt from one to another. The landings don't always stick, so make sure you bring a spare pair of socks, shoes and pants to this park. The meandering stream at Harleston Park, Elsternwick Above: The meandering stream water feature at Harleston Park in Elsternwick

The meandering stream is around twenty metres in length and runs down a very gentle, almost imperceptable slope into a drain at the bottom. After disappearing into the grill at the bottom, the water is pumped under the ground along a pipe back up to the top where it emerges from between a few large rock slabs. The water runs automatically, so you don't need to manually activate it.
The water depth is 5-10 centimetres at most, with two steps in the stream that can easily be stepped onto with little legs. The stream bed has a concrete base with smooth rounded stones set into the concrete to make it look like a natural stream. Either side is flanked with large slabs of rock at different angles, and as a parent you can patrol in the open spaces along both sides of the stream. The playground at Harleston Park, Elsternwick Above: The play equipment at Harleston Park in Elsternwick

The broader park has another fun aspect away from the water feature, with a very long steel slide set into a little hill on the opposite side of the playground. The slope of the slide is quite gentle at the bottom, allowing you to slow gracefully even if you have built up a little bit of speed on the way down. The park has a modern playground with the usual swings, climbing equipment and slides. In one corner of this small park there is a giant chess board, but it was unclear where you hire the chess pieces.

This little park hidden away in the backstreets of suburban Elsternwick also has bbqs and plenty of shaded or sunny lawn area for a picnic, as well as numerous park benches and picnic tables.

Here is a Splash-Rascals video of Harleston Park, featuring Splash-Rascal Froggy jumping on the rocks and taking a daring ride down the really long slide on the hill.

Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Allison Road, Elsternwick, 10 km (around 20 min drive) south-east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.881488 Longitude:145.009288
Getting there: By car, take Nepean Hwy to Elsternwick and turn off at either Glen Eira or Glenhuntly Road. The park is on Allison Rd, which is a suburban street that runs between Orrong and Kooyong Roads. By public transport, take the train to Elsternwick station. You can either walk 1 km to the park up Glenhuntly and then Orrong Roads, or grab a tram running along Glenhuntly Rd three stops to shorten the walk by 800 metres, with only a couple of hundred metre walk up Hopetoun St to Allison Rd.
General facilities: Toilets, sheltered picnic tables, park benches, playground, drinking fountain, rubbish bins, electric barbecues, lawn area, giant chess board
Baby change facilities: None
Sun shade: No shade available at the meandering stream. Full shade available under the picnic shelters, shade cloth and large trees throughout the park.
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: Wheelchair accessible paths and toilet. Water feature is not directly wheelchair accessible because there are rock steps down to the water.
Prohibitions: Dogs must be on a leash at all times.
Managing authority: City of Glen Eira.
Nearby attractions: Booran Reserve splash pad in Glenhuntly, also in the City of Glen Eira
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the water feature at the park.
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© Brad Neal 2016. All rights reserved. This work is not to be sampled, copied, modified, adapted or reused for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.