Chances are you’re looking for ways to cool down with your kids thanks to this hot weather. While in Western Sydney we can’t easily pop down to a beach, there is still PLENTY of FREE water fun to be had!

James Ruse Reserve Parramatta

Because some days call for a full water experience and other days just a little splash, we have pulled together all the FREE water play options in this one guide. It is divided into seven sections. And there is bound to be something that appeals to your family!

  1. Local parks with water playgrounds
  2. Free swimming spots
  3. Local parks with water play
  4. Local shopping and community centres with water fountains
  5. Beaches near Parramatta
  6. Other parks with water playgrounds and water play further away
  7. Not free but worth mentioning

And here is a map of the free water fun options to help you decide which one you want to enjoy.


Local Parks With Water Playgrounds

A water playground is a great way for kids of all ages, and parents, to cool down on a warm day. They normally have fountains, tipping buckets, water jets and sprays, plus other interactive water features. And kids don’t need to know how to swim! There are eight water playgrounds in and around the City of Parramatta so you can visit a different one each day of the week! And most operate from 9am to 7/8pm.

While one of the smallest water playgrounds, it will still keep kids of all ages happy and cool for a while. There are toilets at this park (about a 5min walk away), bbqs, sheltered picnic tables and a small, shaded playground with swings, slide and things to climb. Plus this water playground has two food options within easy walking distance – The Container cafe and Vikings Sports Club.

2Granville Park [Temporary CLOSED] | Merrylands

Granville Park has heaps of free on-site parking! There are two sections to the water playground, one aimed more at little ones with things to hold onto and the other for older kids with big water jets, tipping buckets and big fountains. There are toilets within the park (but about 150m away) as well as sheltered picnic tables. Plus a playground (not shaded) with swings, climbing play gym and slide. NOTE: the water playground at Granville Park is temporary closed while the sports ground is upgraded.

3Putney Park | Putney

Putney Park is a fantastic park, along Parramatta River. There’s two shallow pools connected by a pebble creek bed. Plus, two other playgrounds in the park, two large slides, toilets, on-site parking and BBQs.

4James Ruse Reserve | Parramatta

This is the largest water playground in the Parramatta area. There’s seating, picnic tables, BBQs, a skate park and playground. Unfortunately there are only portaloos and parking is difficult to find.

5Ollie Webb Reserve | Parramatta

Ollie Webb Reserve is now home to Parramatta’s first Livvi’s Place – a fenced, inclusive playground. And it has two water play areas – one a splash pad and the other a water pump and channels.

6Livvi’s Place, Bernie Mullane Reserve | Kellyville

This is the first and only water playground in the Hills. And thankfully there are now shade sails covering nearly the whole playground, including the water area. This water playground is only one of two that are within a fenced playground. There are also BBQs, grassed area for picnics and toilets. Plus, a variety of play equipment for kids of all abilities.

7Francis Park | Blacktown Showground Precinct

Francis Park, Blacktown Showgrounds

This large, popular park has every from traditional play equipment and a fully shaded water playground to a flying fox, nature based play elements, plenty of grass to play on and bush to explore. Thankfully most of the play equipment has a shade cloth over it. The park is within walking distance from Blacktown Train Station and free parking is available. The Grounds Keeper Cafe is right near the playground and open everyday except Tuesday.

8Blaxland Riverside Park | Sydney Olympic Park

A large and awesome park, Blaxland Riverside Park is best suited for kids 4+. It has a fun water playground section as well, but sadly there is no shade over it. There are toilets, bbqs, a kiosk and shaded sitting areas nearby, plus a sand pit for the little ones. Parking can be an issue on weekends and school holidays.


Free Swimming Spots

Here are six of our favourite free swimming spots within 50mins of Parramatta.

9Lake Parramatta Reserve | North Parramatta

Lake Parramatta Reserve is popular for picnicking, bushwalking, swimming, canoeing and paddle boating. There are BBQs, toilets, a playground and cafe as well. Lifeguards are on duty every weekend from late October until early April. Plus, every day of the summer school holidays.

10Northbridge Baths | Northbridge

High tide

The Northbridge Baths are unpatrolled tidal baths, set within the stunning Sydney Harbour foreshore. The popular baths have a sandy beach at low tide. Plus, swimming lanes and a pontoon that is fun to jump off. There are also BBQ, picnic area, change rooms, toilets and hot showers. And on-site parking (about 50 spots), plus street parking.

11Yarramundi Reserve | Richmond Area

Only about 40mins north-west of Parramatta, you will find a great, gorgeous natural swimming spot along the Grose River at Yarramundi Reserve. With shallow water, sand and bushland, it is an awesome spot to take the kids.

12Cabarita Beach | Cabarita Park

Cabarita Beach

This is the closest, swimmable ‘beach’ to Parramatta. We even saw a pod of dolphins one summer, which is a great sign. But with no shark net at Cabarita Beach, we only have a splash up to our knees. The beach is about 200m long and full of shells. There are a few shady spots on the beach and our favourite spot is at the opposite end to the ferry wharf.

  • Address: Cabarita Park, Cabarita Road, Cabarita
  • More Info

13Berry Reserve | Narrabeen Lakes

This is a recent find for us and we’ve been three times in two weeks these summer holidays! We love the combo of a yummy, family-friendly cafe, awesome fenced playground and lake swimming. And there’s on-site parking – free or $10 all day on weekends.

14Jellybean Pool | Glenbrook

Jellybean Pool is along the Glenbrook Creek in the Blue Mountains National Park. From the carpark, it’s a 100m walk down stairs. Being in a National Park, there is a parking fee of $8 per day (unless you have a National Parks Annual Pass). There is a ‘sandy’ beach area and the water is shallow before going deeper. Depending on when you visit, there will be more or less natural shade on the beach and over the water.

Also see our list of the 20 closest beaches to Parramatta or the 20 quickest beaches to get to. All but one are free to use, though most have paid parking. And our list of 7 natural swimming spots in Western Sydney.


Local Parks With Water Play

If you aren’t after the full water experience of a water playground, then these parks are for you! They have some sort of water play, such as a water pump, fountain or spouts. And are in or around City of Parramatta.

15Domain Creek Playground | Parramatta Park

This is a fantastic park in the heart of Parramatta. Domain Creek playground is located on the Westmead side of Parramatta Park. There’s a host of play equipment that should keep most kids entertained for a while. Plus, there’s a water play area with two pumps and channels running to a sand pit. Shade can be an issue in summer but the surrounding trees are slowly providing some protection.

16Bay Park | Wentworth Point

The new playground at Bay Park is the first playground in Wentworth Point. And it has a little water play area, with four water fountains operated by a button.

  • Address: Amalfi Drive, Wentworth Point
  • More Info

17ELS Hall Park | North Ryde

The new large nature inspired playground at ELS Hall Park has a water pump and channels, under the shade of some surrounding trees. Plus there is a flying fox, shaded toddler play area, swings, cubby house pods, slides and tunnels.

18Jubilee Park | Parramatta

Not too far from Parramatta Library, a few cafes and the Parramatta Interchange, is Jubilee Park. It’s a nice, open nature based playground with a maze and water play area. Unfortunately, there is very little shade.

19Northmead Reserve | Northmead

The playground at Northmead Reserve is a lovely medium sized one, with some natural shade. It’s great for toddler through to primary school. There’s a colourful water table with a maze for the kids to play with.

20Melrose Park Playground | Melrose Park

This lovely playground is along the Parramatta River, just down from the Ermington boat ramp. The play equipment is mostly made from wooden and there’s a great little water play area, with a water pump going onto carved sandstone.

21Memorial Park | Meadowbank

A popular park for social gatherings, Memorial Park is a short walk from Meadowbank Wharf and train station. It has views of Parramatta River and picnic areas with a playground, war memorial and bushland areas. The playground has a water pump with creek bed.

Yamble Reserve water pump and sand pit

Yamble Reserve is a large, fenced playground that’s amazing for toddlers and preschoolers. In the shaded sandpit, there’s a water pump.

23Bicentennial Park | Sydney Olympic Park

Water fountains

This is a fantastic large park that’s great for family picnics, bike rides and playing. There are two shaded playgrounds – Village Green playground near one near the WaterView cafe and Concord West playground on the eastern side of the park. There is also a series of water fountains, located in between the two playgrounds near the tower, which children love to run through for hours. Keep in mind the ground can be slippery.

24Cathy Freeman Park | Sydney Olympic Park

Cathy Freeman Park has huge shady trees and easy access to many Sydney Olympic Park facilities. There are 2 playgrounds that the children can enjoy. And the Cauldron is a favourite among kids to run under and splash about.


 

Local Shopping and Community Centres with Water Play

Most of us probably have memories of running through a water fountain in a public place when we were kids. And your kids can do the same at these five shopping and community centres nearby.

25Centenary Square | Parramatta CBD

Centenary Square, Parramatta CBD

Just a short stroll from Westfield Parramatta, the Parramatta station and Church Street cafes and restaurants, is Centenary Square. Within the square, there are a wonderful series of water spouts that the kids will love running through and splashing in. Around the water feature are a number of shade umbrellas and seating. The square is home to weekly Farmers Markets on Fridays.

Top Ryde City water fountains

If you find yourself needing to go shopping and entertaining the kids on a hot day, Top Ryde City is a great one. Not only can you shop, you can also visit the local library. Just outside in the La Strada restaurant section, you’ll find the water feature.

27The Connection Rhodes

In front of The Connection and Bare Witness, overlooking Homebush Bay, is a water fountain set to music that spurts in a pattern. And just a little along the Rhodes Foreshore is a fenced playground.

28Auburn Redyard

Outside the shops, in the centre of Auburn Redyard, are water fountains.

29Rouse Hill Town Centre

You’ll find a fun series of water fountains at Rouse Hill Town Centre, along Market Lane.


Other Parks with Water Playgrounds and Play Further Away

Here are some other free water fun options across Western and central Sydney.

30Nurragingy Reserve | Doonside

Nurragingy Reserve is a lovely spot to visit year round. There’s picnic shelters, natural bushland, beautiful Chinese Gardens, waterfall, duck pond, a water playground and three other playgrounds.

31Bigge Park | Liverpool

Photo credit: Outdoor Design Source

The water playground at Bigge Park opened in late 2017 and shade sails were installed early 2018. It has a giant soaker bucket, a water ring tunnel and water cannons.

32Bungarribee Park | Western Sydney Parklands, Doonside

Bungarribee Park is the largest park in Western Sydney! And within the playground, there is a good sized water and sand play area, which is thankfully now shaded! It’s right near the main entrance and toilet block. So yes, bring a change of clothes! There are plenty of water pumps for the kids to ‘share’, plus channels carved in sandstone blocks and lots of sand. And so much other fun to be had at this great playground.

Water and sand play area

A long time in the making, this is the newest Livvi’s Place in Sydney. It’s a large fenced inclusive playground for kids of all abilities. We love the colours and layout. And there is a fun water play area under shade sails.

The newest water playground on the list and the second one to be within a fenced playground – yay! This playground is smaller than Livvi’s Place the Hills but has lovely views of the Hawkesbury River, natural shade and is short drive from Windsor cafes and shops.

35Fagan Park | Galston

Fagan Park is a lovely regional park, with beautiful gardens, lake, two playgrounds, large community garden and heritage buildings. Both playgrounds have water play. Though we prefer the water play at the new nature based playground on the northern end.

36Livvi’s Place | Five Dock

One of the new additions as part of the recent upgrade of Livvi’s Place Five Dock was a water play area. It has a few bubbler taps and a wooden water table with channels. And is right near a sand play area. This all abilities, fenced playground also has bbqs, toilets and a cafe.

37Bicentennial Park | West Pymble

Not to be confused with Bicentennial Park at Sydney Olympic Park, this one is in West Pymble. The fenced playground has just received an upgrade, with an improved water play area. Plus there’s an aquatic centre and bushwalks.

A large park is VERY popular on weekends and during school holidays. It has a great range of traditional and technology driven play equipment for school aged kids as well as lots nature based play elements and a small toddler play area with cubby house and sand pit. The water play area has two water pumps and a series of dams and turnpikes that let the kids direct the water in different ways, plus a creek bed the water can run down….makes for lots of fun and opportunity to get wet. There are also over 20 bbqs and picnic shelters scattered around and more than 200 parking spots.

39Steel Park | Marrickville

Steel Park water playground (Photo credit: Australian Institute of Landscape Architects)

This is a lovely, bush park set by the Cook River has a wonderful, naturally shaded playground for preschoolers, flying fox, water playground and extensive bike tracks. Within the water playground there are an interesting series of water play features including a ‘source’ feature representing the water flowing from the mountains, a ‘rills’ section representing water flowing in a river across plains, and an ‘estuary’ feature which includes a collection of jets and sprays. The partially shaded water playground operates between 10am and 6pm from October to March. To start the water, press one of the buttons on the bollards and water will flow for 10 minutes.

40Livvi’s Place | Jordan Springs

Photo credit: Daily Telegraph

This large, fenced playground near Penrith opened in October 2016. Livvi’s Place at Jordan Springs is a state-of-the-art play space with several interactive spaces. These include a large water play area with 6 water jets, a sandpit, trampolines, swings, a range of play
equipment, a performance stage and picnic areas.

41Lizard Log | Abbotsbury

Water play at Lizard Log

Lizard Log has a fantastic nature based playground with two flying foxes, giant swings, slide with climbing wall, water play, recycled timber balancing beams and sand diggers along with a great loop for scooters and bikes. It is a lovely area for family gatherings with plenty of bbqs, picnic shelters, toilets and on-site park. There are a number of walks to take and a nice little dam to visit. The only downside is that there is very little shade over the playground.

42The Playground | Darling Quarter

Water Squirts at Darling Quarter

A fantastic playground in the heart of Darling Harbour. This playground consists of swings, flying fox, ropes to climb, slides, sandpit with diggers and a fantastic water play area. There is a cafe in the middle of the playground as well as restaurants surrounding it (including McDonald’s). There is a sink with soap to wash your hands and the bathrooms aren’t too far.

43Phoenix Reserve | Erskine Park, Penrith Area

Phoenix Reserve, Erskine Park  (Photo credit: Penrith City Council)

The reserve boasts a new splash pad (opened mid December 2016) to help everyone keep cool this summer and is part of a broader range of improvements that includes new pathways, picnic shelters, new furniture and landscaping.

44Werrington Lakes | Werrington

Playground at Werrington Lakes Reserve (Photo credit: Penrith City Council)

This large reserve near Penrith has a gorgeous lake, cycle/ pathways, picnic facilities, exercise equipment, a shaded playground and splash pad. Opened in 2015, the small water play area has water spouts to help the kids cool off, but unfortunately is not shaded.

45Pirrama Park | Pyrmont

Piramma Park (Photo Credit: Furnass Landscaping)

This 1.8 hectare harbour side space in Pyrmont is located near to Star City Casino. Piramma Park includes grasslands, wide avenues great for riding a bike or scooter on, a playground with water spouts, cafe, toilets as well as picturesque harbour viewing spots for barbecues and picnics. The playground has swings, a modern rope climbing frame, nice big shaded sandpit and slides. This park is best though left until your kids wouldn’t be tempted to jump into the glistening harbour, as there is no fenced along the foreshore.

46Mary Obrien Reserve | Zetland

Mary O’Brien Reserve (Photo Credit: outdoordesign.com.au)

A lovely inner city park with two different (recently shaded) play areas, water sprinklers and lots of grass. One play area is best for toddlers and the other for older kids with a large climbing frame and slide. You’ll also find some BBQ facilities.

47Curry Reserve | Camden

The newest water playground in Greater Sydney, and probably the biggest and best, can be found at Curry Reserve in Camden. It takes about 50mins to drive to from Parramatta. There’s on-site parking, BBQs, picnic shelter, playground, toilets and change rooms. And a very fun water playground packed with water fountains, tipping buckets, water splash channel, tunnels and water sprayers.


Not Free But Worth Mentioning

Here are a favourite outdoor swimming pools and netted tidal baths that charge a small fee to enter.

(Photo credit: City of Parramatta Council)

Epping Aquatic and Leisure Centre has lovely outdoor pools in a tranquil bush setting. It is great for families with a kids pool and shaded baby pool. There is free on-site parking and a small entry fee. Note: there is no ramp down to the pools, so ask the staff for assistance in getting a pram down.

This aquatic centre re-opened in 2017 after extensive renovations. It features a 50m outdoor Olympic pool with grand stand, indoor 25m pool, outdoor water polo pool, family leisure and program pool, and an interactive shaded water playground. All pools are heated and feature disability access. Kids under 5yrs enter for free and adult entry is only $6.20.

50Greenwich Baths | Greenwich

If you are looking for a child friendly beach that isn’t to far, Greenwich Baths is the place for you. For a small fee (adults are $4.20, children 3+ and concessions are $3.20) your children get to have a beach like experience along Parramatta River. Find out more about Greenwich Baths, see our review.

51Wentworthville Swimming Centre [CLOSED for Upgrade] | Wentworthville

Wentworthville Swimming Centre is a really lovely place for the family to have a splash, swim and play. There is a partially shaded toddler pool, fenced playground, BBQ and picnic table, 50m pool and mostly shaded program pool, plus a family change room. All pools are heated to approximately 28°C.

52Cabarita Swimming Centre | Cabarita Park

Toddler pool with a view at Cabarita Swimming Centre

Cabarita Park is an awesome place! Plenty of space to have a picnic and a BBQ and enjoy the summer. The park has 2 playgrounds and a swimming centre that faces Parramatta River. There is a shaded toddler pool, a shallow pool for the older kids as well as a larger pool for laps. The water is heated at 27 degrees and is salt water.

53Birrong Leisure Centre | Bankstown/ Auburn Area

Water playground at Birrong Leisure Centre

If you love water playgrounds but also want to be able to go for a swim, then definitely check out Birrong Leisure Centre. There is a 50m heated outdoor pool, 25m heated indoor pool, fenced water playground, kiosk, a large number of shaded picnic tables and a few bbqs.

The fantastic Aquatopia is a large, affordable water park that should thrill people of all ages. It’s open from September to April each year. During the school holidays, the opening hours are 11am to 5:30pm. And we strongly recommend booking tickets online.

55Other Swimming Pools and Leisure Centres in and around Parramatta

For more info on kid friendly swimming pools, check out our list of 18 local pools. Here are three of our indoor favourites.

  • Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre – This is one of our favourites and we think it has the warmest water. There are three heated pools, water features for the kids, a cafe, a gym and a water slide.
  • Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre – The leisure pool has a bubble beach and water volcanoes and next to it there is splasher’s water playground, water slides and rapid river.
  • Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre – a great, family friendly swimming centre with 50m indoor Olympic pool, warm water program pool, 40m wave pool, children’s wading pool, bubble whirl pools, rapid river, 56m giant water slide and cafe.

Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre

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