The Plum Garland Memorial Playground in Albert Park does a great job of integrating the beach into the playground, including a cute little splash
pad for toddlers and pre-schoolers. The splash pad has four jets built into the floor of the splash pad that squirt at an angle to produce
an arc of water about 1 metre high. That's just enough to run under for most young kids. The splash pad is operated by pressing a large silver
button on one end of the concrete seating block on the edge of the splash pad. It is a bit hard to find if you are going there for the first time.
See below for a picture of the button. It gives you about five minutes of splashing before you have to press the button again. The water runs off
the splash pad in a little stream then percolates down through the sand a few metres downstream. There were several kids playing in this area
downstream because of the mix of wet and dry sand available for digging and building.
Above: The splash pad with the sprinkler fountains
(Order gifts or prints of this image)
The park covers only a very small area, squeezed into the few metres of space on the foreshore between the beach promenade and busy Beaconsfield Parade.
For its size it has plenty on offer including a sandpit with mechanical digger, a baby swing, climbing equipment, a cradle swing, two tunnels
and a slide. There are also plenty of seats and a few picnic tables. Overhead sails add to the beach feel as well as providing shade. Under foot,
the park is for the most part covered in sand.
One added bonus is the vegetation (possibly saltbush?) which is home to a host of spritely sparrows that
little kids love to chase. There is also a water trough that used to have a hand pump to circulate water through the trough, but this has been
disabled by the council and the hand pump has been removed. The whole playground is fenced with child proof gates.
Above: The picnic tables and view of the beach (left) and the big silver button (right)
If you live in the inner city area, this is a great bayside destination that is easily accessible by tram. It's only small, so try to avoid
peak times on hot weekends unless you happen to be in the area anyway. I also suggest you go in the morning or
around midday to avoid the often brisk afternoon sea breezes here from blowing a chill through your kids. The beach itself is not great for toddlers,
with a steep entry and uneven sand, so if you are also going for a swim in the bay here, young kids will need help in the water.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Beaconsfield Parade, opposite Victoria Avenue, Albert Park, 5 km (around 15 min drive)
south-west of the Melbourne CBD
By car, Albert Park can be reached from the city via Ferrars St, Clarendon St or Kings Way. If
you are coming from the southern suburbs, Beaconsfield Parade is the continuation of Beach Road. By tram take the No. 1 tram
from Swanston St. The playground is at the last stop.
Bike racks, picnic tables, park benches, playground, shade sails, drinking
fountain, rubbish bins. No toilets at the playground - it is a 100-200 metre walk in either direction along the beach to reach toilets.
Baby change facilities:
Wheelchair accessible paths with a light covering of sand.
No dogs, no littering, no feeding the birds, no smoking
If you are visiting Melbourne and want to stay near this splash pad, you can try
accommodation in Albert Park
City of Port Phillip
Albert Park Beach
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information
The marker indicates the location of the playground.
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 2015. All rights reserved.