Sadly, there aren’t any Water Play Parks on the North Shore, so if you want to take the kids to a playground with a decent water play area, you’ll have a little drive. But, there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s always nice to explore different areas of this beautiful city.
So what exactly is a Water Play Park? Basically, it’s an outdoor playground that has a water play area – things like fountains, little wading pools and other little water features. Plus, they’re all FREE (although you might need to pay for parking). We’ve put together a list of the ones closest to the North Shore. If you know any more, please comment below and we’ll add them in!
1. Putney Park
55 Pellisier Road, Putney (16 min drive from Gordon, 14 min drive from Lane Cove)
Right on the waterfront, this beautiful park is an expanse of lawn and natural areas. It features a large playground with waterplay area with wading pool (and shade sail!), and a smaller playground for toddlers. It’s a beautiful spot for a picnic or BBQ! There is free parking available next to the park.
2. Blaxland Riverside Park
Jamieson Street, Sydney Olympic Park (24 min drive from Gordon or Lane Cove)
A spectacular waterside location alongside the Parramatta River that features terraced grassy slopes, playgrounds, picnic areas and the contemporary Armory Wharf Cafe plus views. As well as a fabulous water play area, there’s a brilliant playground that includes 12 different play areas and is designed for kids of all ages. Bring the bikes too, as there are paths to ride. You could easily spend a whole day out here!
3. Darling Harbour Playground
Tumbalong Park, Darling Quarter, Darling Harbour (8 min drive from North Sydney)
The playground at Darling Quarter’s playground is one of Australia’s best. The water play area is extensive – lots of little streams that are great for splashing, as well as some more technical water works play equipment. Make sure you pack swimmers and a towel (or at least a change of clothes!). Wilson Parking Darling Quarter has really cheap parking at the weekend – $13 for the day (correct as at 01/01/14).
4. Pirrama Park
22 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont (10 min drive from North Sydney)
Another city harbourside location! This modern playground, built on the former water police site, includes fun water play features as well as a big sandpit, climbing structures, slippery dips, swings and musical play equipment. There’s a good quality kiosk right next door, as well as BBQs, picnic benches and clean loos. Parking is metred, so bring coins!
5. Lizard Log
Corner Cowpasture Road and The Horsley Drive, Abbotsbury (38 min drive from Wahroonga)
A state of the art children’s nature playground that has flying foxes, climbing walls, water play areas, tyre swings and slides. There are BBQs, toilets, new paths and lots of lovely areas to have a picnic.
6. Steel Park
Illawarra Road, Marrickville South (23 min drive from Neutral Bay)
This Waterplay Park is open from October – March (10am – 6pm). It was designed to encapsulate the total water cycle - water flows from the mountains, a ‘rills’ section represents water flowing in a river across plains, and an ‘estuary’ feature includes a collection of jets and sprays. There is lots to play with – interactive fountains, sprinklers and misty spray elements.
7. James Ruse Reserve Water Playground
45 Hassall Street (corner Parkes Street), Parramatta (25 min drive from Gordon or Lane Cove)
Parramatta Council opened a brand new water play park at James Ruse Reserve in September 2014. The water play area is covered by shade sails and there are areas suitable for both little and big kids. The water is turned on from 9am-7:30pm during summer, 10am-4pm during Spring & Autumn, and turned off completely during winter. There is a great playground too, and lots of green area to run around. It’s completely free (though you have to pay for parking).
Have we missed any? Do you know of any outdoor playgrounds with water play areas?