Rockpool Waterway, Cranbourne
Melbourne Splash Parks, Shallow Beaches, Lakes and Streams


 
The Rockpool Waterway within the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne is a wide strip of concrete pavers over which a shallow stream of water flows. The designated wading and water play area is a length of about 30 metres, marked by little flags at either end. There is a towering iron wall on the far side which helps to enclose the water play area. Playing in the water at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Above: The small waterfall at the upstream end of the designated water play area

You can leave your prams, towels and other gear high and dry directly beside the stream as you step into the water to explore the little rivulets. The blocks are arranged at slightly different elevations, so some will be ankle deep in water and others will be dry, just above the water line.
After spending some time at the waterway, I noticed that it operates at two different flow rates, changing about every twenty minutes or so. The higher flow rate is still only ankle deep, but tends to cover most of the blocks. The blocks are regularly scrubbed free of algae, so I found them not to be slippery at all, but still smooth enough to negotiate in bare feet. Playing in the water at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne Above: The water play area looking downstream to the lake

This water play area provides a neat compromise between adults and children. Kids love jumping from block to block up and down the stream, and once they have had their fill of playing, adults can load them back into the stroller and explore the rest of these magnificent gardens. The gardens have matured in recent years and the sections at the rear of the gardens are well and truly complete, so if you have visited in the past when the gardens were still in development, it is definitely time to pay another visit. If you pack a lunch you can enjoy it in one of the styled terraces (the lifestyle garden was my favourite) at the northern end of the gardens and day dream about how your backyard could look, if only you had the time. There is also a little touch and smell garden near these terraces. Away from the Rockpool Waterway, the heat can be sapping in the gardens, so bring plenty of drinking water and good sun protection.

If you want to make a day of it, there are barbecue facilities and a playground at the Woodland Picnic Area, about a 500 metre walk south of the visitor centre.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Botanic Drive, Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, 54 km (approx. 45 min. drive) south-east of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-38.129643 Longitude:145.270400
Getting there: By car, head west from the South Gippsland Hwy into Ballarto Rd about 2 km south of the Cranbourne town centre. Follow the signs along Ballarto Rd until you reach the large car park for the gardens.
General facilities: Public toilets, visitor centre, cafe, walking tracks, bus service available.
Baby change facilities: Located in the visitor centre, the rockpool pavillion and the kiosk
Sun shade: No shade available at the rockpool waterway. Shade available elsewhere throughout the gardens. Umbrellas available for hire from the visitor centre.
Entrance fee: Not applicable. There is a fee for the bus if you want to be driven around the gardens.
Opening times: 9am to 5pm daily except Christmas Day
Wheelchair access: Paths around the garden are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible toilets at three locations including a hoist in the visitor centre. Non-motorised wheelchair hire available.
Prohibitions: No dogs or other pets allowed
Managing authority: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Nearby attractions: The rest of the botanic gardens
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the entrance to the car park for the botanic gardens.
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