I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published October 19th 2012
The only free water playground in Perth's inner suburbs
Magic elevating ball.
After months of anticipation, the new water playground at Hyde Park is finally open. For the first time since 2010, children would be able to enjoy warm days by cooling down under the spray of fountains and water cannons.
There can be no doubt that this feature would be in high demand over the summer months as kids just love playing with water. If any proof is needed, I met a family whose mum sheepishly asked me what the name of the park was. She admitted that she was driving home from soccer practice and her kids just screamed for her to stop when they saw the water playground. "I don't know what I'll do for towels," she complained good-naturedly as her two very wet daughters caught the full blast of the upended water buckets.
Fighting it off on the water cannons.
Closed in 2010 due to unacceptable levels of bacteria, the water playground received a $370,000 make-over to render it usable again. The remnants of the old water playgrounds are still visible in the form of mosaic floors that now serve as decoration. See whether you can find at least three animals in the mosaic picture below (No, the boy doesn't count).
Remnants of the old water playground.
To me, this new water playground makes Hyde Park the most complete park in the inner suburbs of Perth. On top of the water playground, it has a couple of "dry" playgrounds (one of them newly revamped a couple of years ago and has universal access facilities), a couple of lakes with plenty of water birds, jogging/ walking tracks around the lakes with fitness equipments, barbecue and picnic facilities, public arts, and even a stage for outdoor community events. I dare you to name one other park that has all these.
The mighty pelicans deigned to descend amongs the swans and ducks, causing quite a stir among Hyde Park's visitors.
One of the public arts in Hyde Park, titled Pieces of Leisure.
Last but not least, a few housekeeping notes: Firstly, the water playground is set to auto-off every so often. The button to turn it back on is on a green pole at the south end of the water playground. Secondly, if you're unfamiliar with the set-up of Hyde Park, the closest parking to the water playground would be the parallel street parking along both sides of Vincent Street. Third and last, public toilet is available across the lawn, near the "dry" playground.
The water playground with Vincent St in the background.
Definitely have to have a stroll around as really an amazing inner city park. One a group of us found last we were there for a picnic/Barbie we found talks of the barbecue facilities totally taken over for the afternoon by one extended group who made it clear they did not want to share and had totally surrounded and set up camp around it. They did not want to share due to various culinary/cultural differences. We ended up having to use a barbecue a long way from our picnic set up which had been organized for a very ill friend with people coming all the way from various eastern states. RIP my dear friend and dear to people from the world over with still a smile and hug for a new friend. Anyway I digress; as I understand the facilities are to be shared not wholly taken over for the whole day by one group.....