Ankle Deep Water, VIC
Shallow Water Play Areas for Kids
Keep the kids entertained with these fun shallow water play areas in Victoria, Australia. Guaranteed to excite and hopefully wear the little tackers out with heaps of running, jumping, scooping and splashing. Ankle Deep Water is my collection of very shallow water play areas for kids that I collated incidentally while compiling the Guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes for grown ups. I have visited and enjoyed all of these sites with my own children. New splash parks are being built all the time at the moment, so feel free to suggest a location elsewhere in Victoria for me to visit.

Select Your Water Play Area:
Click or tap on the title of each shallow water play area below to find out how to get there and what to expect, or alternatively search by map. These areas have been divided into free splash parks and shallow entry lakes and beaches.
Free Water Play Areas, Splash Parks and Splash Pads
This free water play area includes water features that are loosely garden themed, such as a sprinkling leaf, a squirting ladybird and a butterfly shower. Navigate your way through the various water sprayers from one side of the splash pad to the other, while parents can watch from under a shaded marquee… This free water play areas south of the Ballarat city centre includes colourful spray hoops, tipping buckets and various sprinklers in a parkland setting, that can also be a good venue for a barbecue or picnic… This free splash park fits neatly within the riverside park to breathe new life into this already great open space in Bright, alongside the Ovens River. It has several sprinklers, geizers, spraying hoops and a giant tipping bucket…
This park has various hand operated water features within the park itself, plus the shallow, pebbled stream of crystal clear water in the Steavenson River that you can rest or frolic in directly behind the water features… Patterson Park incorporates a large splash pad that is flanked by two artificial meandering streams, all bordered by a long, curved dry wooden deck on one side, and a non-slip path and lawn area on the other. This little park packs a lot in and integrates seamlessly into the surrounding laid back village atmosphere… Alongside the banks of Lake Mulwala, this free little splash pad has a vertical sprinkler ring and a range of gurglers and water jets. It's only small, but can form part of a day enjoying a picnic on the grassy foreshore, a swim in the lakeside pool or a few runs down the giant waterslide…
Shallow Entry Beaches
The sandstone headland has created a sheltered beach with oodles of flat sand, gentle entry into the water at low tide, and stunning views of both the adjacent point and the beachfront all the way to Anglesea, several kilometres in the distance. For a stretch of coastline famous for its surf beaches, this is the calmest ocean beach that I have found along the Great Ocean Road… The St George River, located just outside of Lorne, meanders its way through a wide, flat sand bar on its way out to the ocean. Skip across this shallow river from one side to the other or just sit yourself down on the river bed and relax in the gentle current… Cowes East Beach is a several kilometre stretch of gently sloping sandy foreshore that creates a flat beach up to thirty metres wide at low tide. In my view, when the tide is out, this is the best beach on Phillip Island for playing in the shallows or digging in the sand…
Shallow Entry Rivers and Lakes
Lake Fyans has gently sloping, sandy beaches that stretch well out into the transparent, amber coloured water. When the sun is out, the water here is wonderfully warm, with a huge area of shallow water for kids to run around in… Lake Glenmaggie is a large irrigation storage on the Macalister River in Gippsland. Here is how to find the part of the lake with a gently sloping entry with coarse sand under foot and loads of shade overhead, and the best time of year to visit… The Tarago River meanders past this grassy knoll with a shallow, sandy beach, where you dangle your feet in the water from the streamside logs, or wade into the water for a splash around. You will also find a playground and barbecue facilities…

Other locations coming soon as soon as I find the time to write them up!

Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information. In addition to your own independent planning, risk management and safety measures, I suggest that if you are visiting these spots, bring a swimming nappy (if your child is not yet toilet trained), bathers, sunscreen, a hat, a towell, a pair of crocs or sandals for your kid's feet, a set of warm clothes for them to change into, a bucket and spade, and any floating toys (like rubber ducks) that you want. Pack a pair of bathers and sandals for yourself so you can supervise your child in the water. You can also visit these some of these spots in winter if everyone is wearing gumboots. In addition to the above shallow water play areas in regional Victoria, you can find my experiences of free splash parks, water theme parks, and shallow entry beaches and lakes in the Melbourne metropolitan area here. Bookmark it if you are heading to the big smoke…

© 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.