South Australia's laid-back lifestyle is perfect for a family holiday. With so much to do, your most difficult decision will be how to fit everything in.
Bring the family
Looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained? Here's a list of family-friendly events and attractions to get you started, covering all of South Australia.
Clamber aboard the horse-drawn tram at Victor Harbor
and travel across the bright blue sea to Granite Island. Whizz down Glenelg’s colourful waterslides
at top speed or visit Australia's oldest chocolate making company, Haigh’s
Hungry for more? Pick luscious red strawberries at Beerenberg Farm
in the Adelaide Hills, then head over to Melba’s Chocolate Factory
. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to try something sweet straight off the production line.
Feeding koalas at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park is an experience the kids will never forget.
Zoos and wildlife parks
There are zoos, wildlife parks and sanctuaries across the state. Adelaide Zoo is just a 15 minute walk from the heart of the city. It has a huge variety of animals that the kids will love, including Australia's only giant pandas, Wang Wang and Fu Ni. You can take a behind the scenes tour, watch animals being fed and venture into the bird aviary.
Cleland National Park, Gorge Wildlife Park and the Hahndorf Farm Barn are all found in the Adelaide Hills and offer lots of hands on experiences.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park is on the way to Victor Harbor and is home to Australian wildlife including freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, snakes, lizards and wedge-tailed eagles. From Victor, take the horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island for a penguin tour at the Granite Island Recreation and Nature Park.
Just out of Murray Bridge is Monarto Zoo – an open range zoo with many animals from Africa. Press your face up against the glass of the chimpanzee enclosure and watch as they chatter and play. Watch lanky giraffes eat right from your hand.
There's an abundance of wildlife on Kangaroo Island including a colony of Australian sea lions at Seal Bay, lots and lots of koalas, tammar wallabies, echidnas and of course, kangaroos.
Park and playgrounds
Discover the many great playgrounds that surround the city centre and North Adelaide. There are so many to choose from; we've got a whole page dedicated to Playgrounds and Picnic spots in Adelaide, including Bonython Park, the Bush Magic playground and Belair National Park.
The gigantic St Kilda Playground is north of Adelaide and is a fun-filled day for the whole family. Further afield, you'll find Monash Adventure Park in the Riverland.
Hop on a bike
Feel the wind through your hair and sunshine on your face as you cycle along the Linear Park bike path. If you don't have a bike, don't worry – you can hire one for free.
There are more than 500 bikes available for hire in the Adelaide City free bikes fleet. You can hire one from 14 city locations, including the Adelaide Zoo. To hire a bike, all you need to do is show some identification (driver’s licence, passport or student card) and fill out a form. Then a bike, a helmet and lock are yours for the day.
Brilliant beaches and coastal escapes
Taking the kids on a beach trip in South Australia is easy. Most places along the coast are close to a the sea. The thought of fish and chips, sand castles and ice cream will have the kids wriggling with excitement.
Adelaide's metropolitan beaches are at Glenelg, Henley and Semaphore. Glenelg is just a tram-ride away from the city centre. The kids will love the water feature in the centre of Moseley Square and The Beachouse with its water slides, dodgem cars, carousel and arcade games.
Henley Beach is a great spot to start or finish a bike ride, with the Linear Trail nearby. Semaphore Beach is also home to carnival rides, arcade games and a vintage carousel, plus a large expanse of green foreshore which is perfect for a picnic or fish and chips from the beachside kiosk. Take a ride on the steam train that puffs along the shoreline.
South of Glenelg is Brighton Beach which is also home to Jetty Road (not to be confused with the Jetty Road at Glenelg). Along the southern coast is Port Noarlunga beach. In summer, the place the be is under the shade of the jetty. You can snorkel or scuba along the heritage-listed Port Noarlunga reef.
Museums and galleries
Walk along North Terrace and stop at the South Australian Museum. Find yourself dwarfed by huge dinosaur skeletons and gape at the incredible giant squid. Learn about the courageous Antarctic Explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson and travel through space with relics from astronaut Andy Thomas’s space adventures.
The South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and Adelaide Festival Centre put on plenty of shows for the little ones. The State Library comes alive at night as stories, characters and some hidden gems from the Library’s collections are projected onto the exterior wall of the Institute building. Screening every night of the year, including from sunset to midnight during summer, The Story Wall appeals to all ages.
In Port Adelaide, you'll find the Maritime Museum, National Railway Museum and South Australian Aviation Museum. It's a fabulous family destination, with sites close together and within walking distance. Keep an eye on the river too and you'll easily spot a pod of dolphins that call the river home.
Hit the road
Yorke Peninsula is the perfect spot for a family holiday. With 700 kilometres of coastline, there are plenty of great beaches to visit and beach shacks to stay in. The kids will love searching for blue swimmer crabs and exploring Innes National Park. Head over to the Eyre Peninsula to experience aquatic wildlife at its best and swim with Australian sea lions, cuttlefish or even sharks.
Kangaroo Island is also great fun for kids. Meet the country's largest colony of sea lions at Seal Bay. Sand board down the exhilarating slopes of the “Little Sahara” sand dunes.
Learn to surf on the Fleurieu Peninsula at Middleton beach. Enjoy fish and chips at Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot.
Take a canoe or kayak to explore the Coorong and enjoy a spot of fishing along the banks of the Murray River and Riverland.
Creep into the eerily lit, damp, dark caves at the Naracoorte Caves National Park on the Limestone Coast. Learn about stalagmites that could reach the roof if they tried. See stalactites hanging-on tightly so they don’t fall down.
Head north to the Barossa. Check out the Whispering Wall at Williamstown and its amazing acoustics. At Burra in the Clare Valley, visit the site of what was once the world's biggest copper mine.
Camp under the stars in the ancient Flinders Ranges and travel further north. Take the family fossicking for opals at Coober Pedy.
See a list of South Australian attractions below.
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