Cabarita Park is probably our favourite warm weather park and such a gorgeous location. It has an awesome combo of a fantastic shaded playground, great toddler pool, yummy kiosk, swimmable river beach, BBQs with water views and you can get there by ferry (or by car). And now there is even a conservatory.
The only downside is that there is metered parking within the park and it is very popular on weekends.
There are two playgrounds within Cabarita Park. An old, small fenced one with natural shade, just across the road from the toilets. And a large newer one behind the toilets, near the entrance. We have never actually played at the old playground so here is just information on the main playground.
With sand under foot and shade cloths over head, the main playground at Cabarita Park can easily keep my little ones happy for a few hours. And from what I have seen, the same can be said for primary school aged kids as well. The playground is set back from the (not very busy) park road. There is also a low perimeter log fence along the road, which offers a small barrier if your kids are prone to running off.
Within the main playground there is a:
- Tall wooden cubby house/ castle, complete with a long slide, fire pole and easy to climb stairs;
- Pentagon swing set, containing two baby/toddler swings and three flat bottom swings. At first you think the kids will all clash in the middle but there is just the right amount of space. By standing in the middle and pushing at just the right time, I can actually push both my boys at once;
- In-ground double slide on a mound that has a climbing net up the back. It is great for running up and down or rolling toy vehicles or balls down;
- Large climbing net dome, complete with hammock type seats, great for primary school aged kids;
- Colourful bucket merry go round is great for kids of all ages;
- point bouncing see saw; and
- Twirling twister.
Around the outside is a path the kids can ride their scooters or bikes on, as well as five park benches and a bubbler. Plus, there is plenty of sand for the kids to play in so remember to bring a bucket or spade, or in our case construction vehicles.
The toilet block is right nearby, though I don’t recall a baby change table. There is plenty of grass to spread out a picnic rug both in the sun or under the nearby trees.
With two kids under two, this is the only pool I felt comfortable taking my kids to on my own. As a result, we were at Cabarita Swimming Centre at least once a week in summer back then.
The shaded toddler pool at Cabarita Swimming Centre has the best views of any toddler pool I know of in Sydney – looking out over the marina and Parramatta River. Next to the toddler pool is a grassed area to spread out on.
There is also a 0.5m-1m deep program/ leisure pool with steps that my boys and I like to splash in and an Olympic pool. All pools are outdoor salt water pools and heated to 27 degrees throughout the season from September to April.
The pool is very popular for school swimming carnivals so best to check their website or Facebook page to make sure the pool is open to the public before you head over there – we found out the hard way unfortunately.
This kiosk hands down serves the yummiest, best value gourmet food of any cafe/ kiosk I know of near a playground. The divine Vietnamese pulled pork roll in the picture is just $10. Being a kiosk, you order and grab your food from the counter and can then sit at the tables at the kiosk or around the corner with a gorgeous view out over the marina and Parramatta River. There is some room for the kids to run around trying to catch seagulls or watch the passing of the ferries.
The beach at Cabarita Park is the closest swimmable one to Parramatta. This is thanks to the Our Living River project. We even saw a pod of dolphins one summer, which is a great sign that the water quality is good. I am though more concerned about sharks and with no shark net, we only have a splash up to our knees. Hopefully City of Canada Bay Council will eventually installed a shark net.
The beach is about 200m long and full of shells. There are a few shady spots on the beach and our favourite spot in the morning is at the opposite end to the ferry wharf. Depending on the tide, you can walk from this end of the beach, around the rocks, to the kiosk.
There are BBQs in various locations throughout the park. The main BBQ area is in between the playground and swimming centre. A toilet block is near the playground, along with a rotunda.
There are plenty of paths for the kids to ride their scooters on. And lots of grassed areas to relax on and enjoy the sunshine and views, particularly down at the Parramatta River shoreline.
Plus in May 2017 a conservatory was opened, in between the playground and the swimming centre. It is a facility for artists and the community to undertake creative and cultural pursuits, including workshops, classes, exhibitions and youth and health programs. Within the conservatory, there is a multipurpose hall, courtyard (with outdoor seating), storage, public toilets, kitchen and food truck facilities.
Getting to Cabarita Park
Cabarita Park is at the end of Cabarita Road, about 17km east of Parramatta. There are five parking areas in the park. The first is to your right just after entering the park, near the playground. If you follow that road further around, there is second parking area close to the main picnic BBQ area and near the Cabarita Swimming Centre. Alternatively you can go left at the round about and drive down towards the wharf and beach. Or go straight at the round about and park on the way to or at the marina. All parking within the park is metered so make sure you get a ticket.
The ferry wharf is at the bottom, western end of the Cabarita Park. There is a bus stop there as well.
Unfortunately there isn’t a map available of the park when you get off the ferry. If you are after the beach, swimming centre or kiosk, head to your left. If you want to go to the playground, follow the path around to the left and then go up the small hill.