Kingston Botanic Gardens, Heatherton, VIC
Ankle Deep Water for Kids in Melbourne
Nestled in amongst these Australian Native Botanic Gardens is a pebbled stream that meanders around for about 30 metres through the forest. The
stream is ankle deep along all of its length except for the deeper pond at the downstream end, which it is best to steer clear of.
The stream is entirely constructed, with a concrete base hidden underneath the pebbles. The water continuously bubbles up out of the ground at
the top of two branches, which join shortly thereafter and flow under a little bridge. The forest floor in the gardens is quite open, with only
loosely scattered leaf litter, so you can access the stream at any point along its length. There is also a fair bit of clean leaf litter in the
stream itself. The pebbles under foot can test your ankles at times, so this water play area is only suitable for confident walkers, not new toddlers.
Above: Playing in the stream with some bath toys
There is a lush lawn at the northern edge of the gardens and a shadier lawn deep within the gardens themselves. Both areas are suitable
for picnics, with your choice depending on how hot the sun is when you visit. The gardens are tiny in comparison with the Royal Botanic Gardens,
but nevertheless display a wide range of plants and have the feel of a genuine forest despite their size.
Even if you don't go in the water,
the forest feels much cooler than the surrounding parkland. The banksia grove at the entrance to the gardens is also pebbled, so you can
run there underneath the trees watching the lorikeets feed on the seed pods above.
Above: The lawn area and picnic tables next to the stream
Elsewhere in the park outside of the gardens are sportsfields, a playground and public barbecues. If you live in the south eastern suburbs,
this relatively unknown spot is well worth a visit to cool your feet on a hot day.
Note for anyone who visited in early 2016 when the stream was dry, the council informed me that they temporarily transferred the water pump
to another location for construction works, but it's now back at the gardens and the stream is running again.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Farm Road, Kingston Botanic Gardens, Heatherton, 24 km (around 40 min drive)
south-east of the Melbourne CBD
Getting there: By car, Farm Road is off Warrigal Road between Kingston and Centre Dandenong Roads.
The botanic gardens are at the very end of Farm Road. Follow the path into the gardens from the car park to find the pebbled stream.
General facilities: Public toilets, benches, picnic tables, lawns, car park, barbecues.
Baby change facilities: None
Sun shade: Natural shade available throughout the garden. Some of the picnic tables do not have shade.
Entrance fee: Not applicable.
Opening times: The gardens are always open. The car park gate is open from dawn to dusk.
Wheelchair access: Wheelchair accessible paths through the gardens and wheelchair accesible toilets. No
wheelchair entry to the water.
Prohibitions: No picking flowers, no littering, no horseriding, no golf, and clean up after your dog. Dogs must be
on a lead within the gardens. Dogs can be off lead in the park area outside of the gardens.
Managing authority: City of Kingston
Nearby attractions: The rest of the botanic gardens, the remnant mallaleuca swamp, and the children's playground
at the far southern end of the park
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information
The marker indicates the location of the car park at the botanic gardens.
If you would like to leave a comment about this shallow water play area, please fill in the comment box below.
I'm particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
Make sure you let me know whether you consent to having your comments published on this website.
© Brad Neal 2015. 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.