HOT: Footscray Park Playground, Footscray

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]**The heritage Thomson Water Gardens at Footscray Park will reopen to the community in 2024 after they were fenced off and emptied of water following two separate drownings in 2021.

The Footscray Park Playspace, which has been closed since it was inundated by flood waters during the October 2022 flood, will not reopen due to the unacceptable risk to public safety that cannot be mitigated. Alternative sites will be explored as part of a review of the Footscray Park Master Plan in 2024. Read more: www.maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/News/**

Footscray Park is a large green space along the south bank of the Maribyrnong River and one of the largest examples of an Edwardian park in Australia.

Footscray Park Playground

Despite a lovely ornamental duck pond, river views, some exercise furniture and a few small pieces of play equipment, Footscray Park has never been a huge drawcard for families because the park has long been lacking a great play space.

So in 2018 a new regional all abilities play space was built near the bandstand area.

Footscray Park Playground

The (almost) fully fenced playground features a high tree house and climbing equipment….

Footscray Park playground

….sand pit with clambering rocks…

Footscray Park playground


Footscray Park playground


footscray park playground

…dual flying fox….

Find Hotels and Airbnbs near Footscray Park

Footscray Park playground

….some gorgeous sounding musical instruments, particularly the xylophone…

Footscray park playground

….water play with a creek bed (though the pump is broken on our visit) and a splash pad with water jets….

Footscray Park playground

…and imaginative play through a climbable wading bird sculpture, nest and eggs.

Footscray Park Playground

There are public toilets, shaded and unshaded picnic tables and benches within the playground area, as well as barbecues and lots of grass for picnics and ball games outside the fence. An accessible track meanders all the way around the play area – great for bikes and scooters (moving carefully).

Footscray Park Playground

There is some natural shade from the trees.

Footscray Park playground

Speaking of the fence, I’m not sure why the playground is not completely enclosed. There is a significant gap on either side of the public toilets, which means that if you’re supervising little kids you’ll still need to be vigilant. The fence does block immediate access to the river and the shared bike/walking path.

Footscray Park playground

If you’re not riding or walking then the best way to access the park is via Farnsworth Avenue. There is some time-limited free parking there. Ballarat Road has only a handful of parking spaces and it’s quite a trek to the play space itself which is closer to the river than the road.

Click here for more free water play in Melbourne

Visit nearby Quarry Park, Newells Paddock or Pipemakers Park

Click here for more Melbourne playgrounds with a bike or scooter track

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text el_class=”thon-hot-tips-panel”]Tips for Footscray Park playground:

  • natural shade;
  • water play;
  • bike/scooter track;
  • barbecues and picnic shelters;
  • mostly fenced;
  • public toilets;
  • nearest cafe the Reading Room Cafe within Victoria University;
  • best access via Farnsworth Avenue, limited parking near playground and at Ballarat Road;
  • accessible via Maribyrnong River Trail.


About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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