The Midlands Aquatic Playspace is a free water play area in North Ballarat that is loosely
based on a garden theme, with a giant sprinkling leaf, a butterfly shower and a squirting ladybird.
There is a wide range of water features, including numerous small, ground level sprinklers, two types of tipping buckets,
and rotatable water cannons. To operate the water features, there is a button on a waist high green pole on
the edge of the water play area, which gives you 15 minutes of water play before you will need to press the button again.
Above: The water curtain, giant sprinkling leaf and tipping buckets in action
The best feature of this water park was the positioning of the various sprinklers and showers. Kids would hang around the
edge of the wet zone, and then select a path through the water features to try and avoid getting wet, sometimes succesfully, but
often not. Throughout the fifteen minute cycle, different features would turn on and off, and the path would have to change.
The water features were however less challenging for older kids. The only water features that could be manually operated were the
two rotatable water cannons. You could spin these around in a full circle (and get dizzy in the process), and they would only
operate when you were facing the direction of the other water cannon, which was an intriguing puzzle for some kids. I saw one toddler
spend an inordinate amount of time hugging the ladybird sprinkler, so he may have felt that it was hugging him back.
Above: The shade marquee that runs alongside the water play area
I liked the strip of soft, dry artificial grass that borders the water play area, as well as the long shade marquee
that runs alongside one edge to provide complete shade.
If you are sitting under the marquee, bring a picnic mat because the grass here is patchy. The two barbecues are also fully shaded.
I'd also suggest you bring a first aid kit (or at least a few bandaids), because even though the rules say no running,
the layout of the water play area seems to unwittingly invite kids to run, and if they fall it is on a roughened concrete
surface. I couldn't spot any drinking fountains so bring your own water, and lastly, the wind can whistle through this fairly
open and exposed area, so if it is a windy day, pull your kids out and wrap them in a dry towel if you see them start to shiver.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Midlands Aquatic Playspace, Midlands Reserve, Doveton St, Ballarat North, 120 km (approx. 70-90 min drive)
west of the Melbourne CBD.
From the Ballarat city centre, head north along Doveton St. The park is between Howitt and Norman St.
To get to Ballarat from Melbourne, head along the Western Freeway (M8) then take the Midlands Hwy exit south (A300) then
turn left at Norman St and right at Doveton St. There is parking available in Doveton St in front of the water play area.
If travelling by public transport within Ballarat, bus route No. 2 runs along Doveton St with a stop outside the park, whilst
bus route No. 4 runs along Landsborough St at the northern edge of the park.
Toilets, car parking, shade marquee, dry playground (swings, slides, etc.), open field, shaded electric bbqs, picnic tables,
rubbish bins, bike racks.
Baby change facilities:
Shade available under the marquees and under several large trees on the far side of the water play area. No shade
available on the water play area itself.
Nov-Apr, 7 days a week, 9am to 9pm, except Christmas Day when the water feature doesn't operate.
Yes, including wheelchair accessible toilets, paths and no steps up to the water features.
No running, do not drink the water (it is non-potable), no climbing, no gum or glass or food on the water play area itself,
children who are not toilet trained must wear a swimming nappy, do not use the water play area if you are suffering from any type of
skin sores, infections, or illness including common colds and flu or diarrhoea. Adult supervision is required. Management reserves the
right to deny anyone entry to the water play area.
City of Ballarat
If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try
accommodation in Ballarat
Nearby attractions: Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace
, a similar water
park, located 10 minutes away on the other side of Ballarat.
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information
The marker indicates the location of the street parking in front of the water play area.
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.
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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.