Hippo Beach combines water play, a large sandpit and shady cafe in an area that’s bound to be popular with families in the summer months. It’s also right next to the hippo enclosure where you can watch real life hippos snoozing on their own beach!
Lady AB particularly loved the water play area, with spurting fountains and arcs of water to run through. Note the water jets only come on once the temperature hits 27 degrees.
The designer also had a sense of humour, as a spinning wheel causes one hippo to spray water from its bottom!
There’s a large shade sail over the water play area, although unfortunately it does not extend to the much hotter sandpit.
In the sandpit area you can dig for treasure, clamber on a hippo sculpture, relax on one of two rope hammocks swings or just sit on a wooden lounge chair under a thatched umbrella.
The cafe fronts onto the sandpit but as we brought our own snacks we ate in the shade on the brightly coloured furniture. When the cafe is open I’m not sure how strict they’ll be with a no-BYO policy. There is also a handy toilet block close by.
Hippo Beach combines fun, food and essential amenities in one spot so it’s somewhere you could conceivably spend the whole day. Note that each day keepers will feed the hippos and chat to visitors about their amazing habits, with a special Hippo Keeper Talk at 3.45pm daily.
And don’t forget, kids are free every weekend, Victorian Government school holidays and public holidays.