Plum Garland Memorial Playground, Albert Park
Melbourne Splash Parks, Shallow Beaches, Lakes and Streams


 
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. Playing in the water at Albert Park 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. Playing in the water at Albert Park 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:
Location: Beaconsfield Parade, opposite Victoria Avenue, Albert Park, 5 km (around 15 min drive) south-west of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.847755 Longitude:144.947975
Getting there: 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.
General facilities: 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: None
Sun shade: Shade sails
Entrance fee: Not applicable
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: Wheelchair accessible paths with a light covering of sand.
Prohibitions: No dogs, no littering, no feeding the birds, no smoking
Accommodation Options: If you are visiting Melbourne and want to stay near this splash pad, you can try accommodation in Albert Park
Managing authority: City of Port Phillip
Nearby attractions: Albert Park Beach
Before you head out, make sure to read the water safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the playground.
Comments:
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