I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published November 25th 2012
Where to chill out and get wet when the temperature soars
With summer well upon us, now is the time when Perth locals obsess about where they can head to in order to cool off and gain some relief from the endless days of excessive heat. While in times gone by families could cool off after a long hot day with a good water-fight with their garden hose, or frolic under the sprinklers in their back yards, in this era of water-wise gardening this is a definite 'no-no' and attempting to indulge in such old-fashioned frivolity will quite possibly result in a hefty fine from one's local council.
Image is from Wikimedia Commons (by Anne-Cathrine Nyberg).
Of course, Perth is blessed with numerous fabulous beaches, stretching from Rockingham in the south to Yanchep in the far north. However, not all of us are fortunate enough to live with one close by. Similarly, while the ownership of back-yard swimming pools has skyrocketed over recent years, once again, not everyone can afford such a desirable luxury. Therefore, in order to keep our sanity in such a hot arid climate, it's essential that we know where the best spots in our local area are that we can get wet and wild, without it costing a small fortune. The following are some of Perth's top venues for exciting water-based fun that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Maylands Waterland Maylands Waterland is a personal favourite of mine, and I used to take my daughter there regularly when she was younger. Situated at 32 Clarkson Road, right next to the Swan River, it's a beautiful spot for the whole family to pleasantly while away a few hours in on a hot summer day. It consists of four child-friendly pools of various depths, all protected by sturdy shade sails. In addition there is a kiosk, several sheltered picnic areas and a variety of other play areas for when children tire of the water. In addition to standard admission charges, season passes and privilege card discounts are available.
Kalamunda Water Park
A reincarnation of the popular Kalamunda Wet'n'Wild, the Kalamunda Water Park will keep the whole family cool and refreshed this summer. Situated on the corner of Canning and Collins Roads, the park features a variety of water-based attractions including a couple of awesome waterslides for thrill-seekers young and old, paddle pools for the littlies, and an Olympic pool for bigger people.
Image is from the YMCA Kalamunda Water Park website.
Ellenbrook Rainbow Waters Park Unlike most of the other water playgrounds in the Perth metropolitan area, the Ellenbrook Rainbow Water Park is absolutely free of charge. Completed in late 2009, it's the largest free water park in Perth, and boasts a wonderful assortment of exciting water features aimed at mainly younger children, including paddle pools, slides and fountains. It's located opposite the Ellenbrook Community Library on Main Street.
Located just 2 kilometres from Perth CBD in Highgate, Hyde Park has always been a cool spot to visit on a hot summer day. However, it's the presence of the water playground which makes the park a particularly attractive destination for children. Although there's been a water park here for decades, it's been recently refurbished after a hiatus of about three years. Parents will love the fact that this community centred water park is completely free of charge, while kids will simply be delighted that it's open again for 'business'.
The Great Escape Situated at Hillarys Boat Harbour in the northern suburbs, the Great Escape is promoted as Perth's ultimate leisure park, boasting a dizzying variety of water-based fun, as well as drier forms of entertainment such as Jungle Mountain and rock-climbing. During the hot weather, the water slides naturally reign supreme and these include Wild Rapids, a 16 metre high ride that you take on a 'super tube', two Speed Twister slides, and the Hydro Tube. Since these rides can get pretty rowdy, especially at busy times, management emphasises that they're not suitable for littlies under three. Children between 3 and 6 can only use the Hydro Tube and must be accompanied by an adult.
The Great Escape is a blast for people of all ages, and although it's not cheap entertainment, it's definitely a special treat for a hot day. For more information, including prices, check out the Great Escape website. If you think you'd like to go regularly, season passes are also available.
Although, like the Great Escape, Adventure World is certainly not 'just' a water park, no article about water playgrounds would be complete without at least a cursory mention of it, due to the many fun water-orientated activities which are available there. Very little children will enjoy a swim in the Lagoon and riding on the paddle boats, while the more boisterous will enthusiastically participate in water cannon fights on the bumper boats. For the die-hard daredevil, there are several waterslides to choose from, including the Tunnel of Terror, Rocky Mountain Rapids, Speed Slides and Water Mountain Mat Slides.
Adventure World is a great spot to head to for some refreshing water-based fun on a sweltering summer day. A season pass makes good sense for those who'd like to visit regularly. For more information, refer to the Adventure World website.
Water Labyrinth at Forrest Chase An interactive sculpture by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, the newly-installed Water Labyrinth in the heart of Forrest Place offers a pleasant and watery diversion for hot, frazzled folk in the city, both young and old. To find out more, read here.
While purpose-build water playgrounds are often free of charge and leisure parks provide a bewildering assortment of high adrenalin water-based fun, don't rule out your local swimming pool this summer when the temperatures soar. A convenient distance to home, such destinations don't require a sweaty odyssey across the city, and most provide an adequate assortment of good, watery entertainment. While the waterslides (if they exist at all) may not be as high or scary as those at Adventure World, children really don't need all these fancy trappings to keep happy and entertained.
With water playgrounds like these popping up like mushrooms throughout the city, it looks as though we'll all be having a blast this summer. Playing with water was never so much fun.