Published 25 November 2019

There are plenty of cool places to cool down in the Yarra Valley. Just heading to the hills, and the endless green of shady trees, will help you feel instantly refreshed but if getting your toes in the water appeals, here are some ideas for waterplay that make summer heat a breeze.
healesville sanctuary misters, cool down

Ride the rapids, or paddle with the ducks

The Yarra River has many areas that are suitable for waterplay.

Rock Steps (Thomas Ave), Warburton – the addition of rock steps on the river bank has made this site an easy to access spot to take a dip or paddle with the ducks. Try launching a lilo or tyre tube upstream (near the caravan park) and floating down to ‘the steps’.

Big Peninsula Tunnel, East Warburton – Cross the river on the stepping stones and follow a short track to this man made pool (a result of gold mining decades ago!). The poll area also features a natural spa like pond and there’s plenty of space to stretch out on the grass and have a picnic.

Pound Bend, Warrandyte – for lilo lazy ‘sun’days and a natural whirlpool, the swimming area at Pound Bend is a pleasant destination for families

Warrandyte River Reserve – the best spot for swimming is on the upstream side of the Warrandyte bridge (Kangaroo Ground-Warrandyte Rd). A popular fishing spot, there are walking trails too, and it’s a dog friendly destination too. 

Laughing Waters Swimming Hole, Eltham – is a series of rock pools connected by small rapids. This popular spot is tucked away and perfect for lilo cruising and gets super popular in summer.

Griffith Park, Eltham ­– great for hanging out on the banks with a gentle incline into the river making it perfect for paddling. Parking and facilities are limited but a lovely natural setting for catching a cool breeze.

Tips for river swimming – please be aware that river swim spots are not manned by lifesavers. River conditions change frequently with falling trees, rainfall and other environmental factors affecting safety and water quality. Never swim alone and take precautions. Be aware of river currents, and wildlife in the area. Respect the natural environment and take rubbish with you. Swim at your own risk. Life vests may be suitable.

The Yarra and Bay website provides up-to-date water quality forecasts.

Free to splash

Awesome fun regardless of your age, the Splash Park is the best fun you can have on a summers day. Try the Seville Splash Park, which has plenty of shade and outdoor recreation facilities (and is super close to the shops of Seville) or head to Lilydale Lake Splash Pad. Entry is free, access is for everyone and you can stay as long as you like!

Swim like an Olympian

Public swimming pools are located at Belgrave, Kilsyth, Lilydale, Healesville (and Jack Hort), Yarra Junction, Olinda and Aquarena in Templestowe Lower.

These centres offer a range of activities including (and not limited to) outdoor waterplay areas, waterslides, dive boards, indoor and outdoor pools and toddler pools. Some have fitness centres, cafes and other activities to enjoy.

Big fun on big slides

gumbuya world pool

Gumbuya World in Tynong North is home to the Oasis Springs Water Park which is open in the summer months offering twelve exciting water experiences, wave pool like the Boomerango and the Taipan (two slides in one!), thrilling slides, Lazy Rivers and heated rock pools to spend your days. There is a fee to enter but plenty to do once you are inside. A whole day of aquatic rush!

Guest benefits

big 4 inflatable world yarra valley swim

Book an overnight or midweek stay for the next heatwave and stay as close to some cool action as you can. The Big 4 Yarra Valley Park Lane Holiday Park has an onsite ‘world of splash’ with an inflatable water park with obstacle course, ‘beach style’ swimming pool and Badger Creek to play in.

Get cool in the wild at Healesville Sanctuary. New for summer 2020 is a waterplay experience that will have you soaked in no time!  Try the dragonfly misting tunnel, the giant 'rainbird' sculpture, and the Aussie backyard clothesline sprinkler. The zooper-soaker team will also be roaming the sanctuary for some fun water combat - if you dare to play! (and you can also learn more about how wildlife cool down at daily Keeper Talks – koalas love a misting tunnel too!)

And what better way to cool down than with an icecream?

Essential for a hot day! Make your way to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery, or any one of the great gelati/icecream shops dotted throughout the region!




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