Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace, Ballarat
Regional VIC Splash Parks, Shallow Beaches, Lakes and Streams


 
The Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace is a free water play area in Sebastopol, south of the Ballarat city centre, that includes colourful spray hoops, tipping buckets, water cannons and various sprinklers in a parkland setting. The smaller sprinklers, both at ground level and those elevated by up to a metre, seemed to be the main attraction here. There was good separation of these relatively gentle, playful features from the more ferocious tipping buckets, which allowed kids of different ages to gravitate towards different parts of the splash pad. To operate the water features, there is a button on a waist high orange 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. A tipping bucket in action at Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace in Ballarat Above: A tipping bucket in action at Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace in Ballarat

The splash pad is concrete under foot, with a wonderfully spongey artificial grass border that is a pleasure to walk on in bare feet. Apart from the water features, my kids enjoyed dipping their feet in the smaller sprinklers, and then leaving a trail of wet footprints on the dry concrete nearby.
On a hot day they can do this endlessly, as the footprints evaporate by the time they have gone back to wet their feet again. Apart from the water cannons, there were no manually operated water features. I observed that, after the initial excitement, the water play area tended to not hold the attention of children for long periods of time, any many of them drifted off to other more challenging parts of the park after a short while.

These more challenging areas include a dry playground with swings and a small climbing structure, and some exercise equipment that is probably targetted at older kids or adults, but which many younger kids were still willing to have a go at. Preparing to take on the line of sprinklers 
	and hoops at Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace in Ballarat Above: Preparing to take on the line of sprinklers and hoops at Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace in Ballarat (Order gifts or prints of this image)

The two shade marquees provide good sun protection along the edge of the water play area, and are lined on the ground with artificial grass, so you won't necessarily need a picnic rug or mat here. The park is enclosed with a fence. The only downside with the layout was that the toilets were in the back corner of the park, with no direct path from the water play area to the toilets. The walk across the dry grass and gravel path was a bit uncomfortable in bare feet, so have some thongs or sandals on hand if you think you are going to be making regular trips here. I couldn't spot any drinking fountains so I suggest you also bring your own water. The park has well established trees and good sheltered barbecue facilities, and would be the preferred spot of the two free water play areas in Ballarat if you are planning a picnic.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Sebastopol Aquatic Playspace, Victory Park, Vickers St, Sebastopol, 120 km (approx. 70-90 min drive) west of the Melbourne CBD.
Latitude:-37.593000 Longitude:143.838061
Getting there: From the Ballarat city centre, head south along the Midland Hwy and turn right at Vickers St. The park is 300 metres along Vickers St. To get to Ballarat from Melbourne, head along the Western Freeway (M8) then take the Ballarat-Burrumbeet Rd (C805) exit west. Follow C805 until you reach the Midland Hwy (A300), which you can follow south for 4 km to Vickers St. There is parking available in a small car park in front of the water play area. If travelling by public transport within Ballarat, bus route No. 19 runs along Vickers St with a stop outside the park.
General facilities: Toilets, car parking, shade marquee, dry playground (swings, slides, etc.), exercise equipment, sheltered electric bbqs, picnic tables, rubbish bins.
Baby change facilities: No
Sun shade: Shade available under the marquees and under several large trees near the dry playground. No shade available on the water play area itself.
Entrance fee: None
Opening times: Nov-Apr, 7 days a week, 9am to 9pm, except Christmas Day when the water feature doesn't operate.
Wheelchair access: Yes, including wheelchair accessible toilets, paths and no steps up to the water features.
Prohibitions: 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.
Accommodation Options: If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try accommodation in Ballarat, with the suburb of Sebastopol being the closest to this water park.
Managing authority: City of Ballarat
Nearby attractions: Midlands 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.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the location of the car park in front of the water play area.
Comments:
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