Once upon a time it was a swamp – now it's a place where children could live happily ever after. Situated on a picturesque, twenty-plus hectare park on Pertobe Road, Warrnambool, across the road from Warrnambool Beach and around the corner from The Warrnambool Breakwater, the Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground is one of the finest family attractions Victoria has to offer, and best of all – it's free.
Starting at The Breakwater end of Pertobe Road, younger kids will delight in a series of play stations specially designed to keep them amused and entertained. With sandpits, sand diggers, monkey bars, forts, climbing frames, a range of slides in various shapes and sizes and just about anything they could want to swing and spin on, there is enough equipment to keep any child utterly enthralled.
For the bigger kids, the CBD end of the park offers more challenging diversions, including a brightly coloured maze with a climbing frame at the centre and flying foxes built around another play area and sandpit.
Dotted all the way through the many play areas are picnic tables, shady seats, benches in the sun and BBQ pavilions, making Lake Pertobe a fantastic place to host family get-togethers, holiday activities, laid-back lunches and birthday parties.
Large areas of lawn allow everyone to come together for an impromptu cricket match or any other group activity, while hot days see many people dipping their toes into the rock fountain pool or the miniature streams that flow through the park.
The lake around which all of this is positioned is more a set of large water holes speckled with small islands. These islands, the lake, and the park as a whole attract many birds including pelicans and ducks. Walking tracks complete with water bridges and bird watching huts circle around the back of the lakes for those keen on spotting more feathered residents in their element.
Boats are also available for those who want to tour the lake from the water itself. Paddleboats, canoes and small motorised boats can be hired for a small fee (averaging around $10 for a fifteen minute ride) and provide another great way to see Lake Pertobe, which receives regular maintenance to ensure the shallow waters are clear of unsightly debris and paddle-catching reeds.
With family facilities, several free car parking areas and enough free diversions to send kids into a frenzy, it's no wonder Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground is one of the state's most popular recreation destinations.