Load the kids into the car and head off around SA to make some holiday memories with these wonderful family-friendly experiences.
10 Fun family days out around SA
The Farm Barn
It’s a kid’s paradise at The Farm Barn, with plenty of activities to inspire kids of all ages. Visitors can get up close to all the animals, and can touch and feed them. There are reptile shows, pony and tractor rides, and plenty of space to find a picturesque spot for a picnic. Check out the milking demonstration, where the kids can even have a go themselves. This is an authentic country adventure in the heart of the beautiful Adelaide Hills where learning about how to care for our animals and the environment is all part of the rural experience.
Cleland Wildlife Park
Cleland Wildlife Park is a long-time favourite tourist attraction in the Adelaide Hills. Get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos and wombats, as well as scaly creatures such as snakes, reptiles and echidnas. Other animals can also be spotted as you make your way around the park including dingoes, bettongs, potoroos and birds. Some of the animals can be hand-fed and patted and a number of intimate experiences are available, including opportunities to cuddle a koala, hold a snake or lizard or feed the resident pelicans.
It’d be hard to find an Aussie who hasn’t had a jar of Beerenberg jam in their pantry at some point in time. The maker of sauces, jams and condiments is one of the oldest family-owned producers of its kind in Australia and has managed to diversify its range and offerings over the years to remain a relevant household name. Beerenberg came from humble beginnings in Hahndorf in the early 1970s when the first batch of strawberry jam was made. It grew into a thriving family business and is now a tourist destination and reputable food manufacturer. You’ll find Beerenberg jams, sauces and condiments on supermarket shelves, and also from their farm shop in Hahndorf where you can pick your own strawberries during the strawberry season from November to April.
Keep your eyes out for T-Rex as you test your putting abilities at South Australia’s largest 18-hole mini golf course, Barossa Bowland. Let the kids be entertained across the interactive course as they find the next dinosaur while you enjoy a Barossa red from the relaxing outdoor area, overlooking the course. If golf is not your game this Tanunda-epicentre also has a 12-lane bowling centre complete with auto scoring and bumpers to ensure all abilities can play along. Package deals are available for both activities and include a delicious menu of dinosaur inspired delicacies for a fun day out.
Waikerie Water and Nature Play Park
The Waikerie Water and Nature Play Park near the town’s riverfront is the ideal place to take the kids when holidaying in the Riverland. A combination of water and sand play is on offer and there is nature-themed adventure equipment for all ages. Climb into a six-metre-high tepee, or experience the 40-metre double flying fox with your children. There are six water play areas, a climbing wall, and a new inclusive play piece has been installed. The park features plenty of shade and picnic seating, and there are barbecues and toilets nearby. Entry is free.
Mintaro Maze is just the place to burn off some of the kids’ energy before you head further afield to visit the striking 19th century mansion Martindale Hall. Open to the public for tours, Martindale Hall is a Georgian style, Italianate-influenced sandstone mansion which has significant heritage value in South Australia. Built in 1879-1880 for Edmund Bowman Junior at a cost of £30,000 it has 32 rooms and boasts a large cellar of seven rooms. Step back in time to the days of gracious living on a large pastoral estate late in the 1800s to early 1900s, when a rumoured 14 servants looked after the needs of its two wealthy pastoralist owners.
Umoona Opal Mine & Museum
A fascinating look through Coober Pedy’s mining heyday with an underground tour of an original 1920s opal mine. Learn about the story of opals in the underground cinema, including how the mineral is formed and processed, and the trials of living and working up to 30 metres deep under the earth’s surface. Admire one of the Southern Hemisphere’s widest ranges of rough and cut local and Australian opal treasures, including curios and jewellery, in the gift shop. Tours are run three times daily, seven days a week.
Emu Bay Lavender Farm
This working lavender farm in Emu Bay is well worth a visit whether you’re a fan of the fragrant and calming herb or simply on the lookout for tea and scones. The Emu Bay Lavender Farm is open year-round, offering tours, breakfast and lunches. The oversized lavender scones are a favourite, enjoyed before browsing the handmade lavender oils and skincare products available for purchase. The farm, owned by a fifth-generation Kangaroo Island family, runs over 20 hectares, growing 7500 lavender plants of 12 different varieties. The best time to visit is spring and summer when the lavender is in bloom. Interestingly, the farm hand-harvests and strips about 8000 bunches of lavender a year and distils around eight kilograms of essential oil, which goes into its products.
Explore Sinkholes & Caves
Hidden away on a sheep property south of Mount Gambier, Kilsby Sinkhole has been rated among the world’s best dive spots due to the exceptional water clarity inside the 65-metre-deep chasm. The nearby Little Blue Lake is a popular swimming hole with a floating pontoon for easy access, while Ewens Ponds closer to the coast is a snorkeller’s paradise – permits are required here. If you’d rather stay dry, head to SA’s only World Heritage site, Naracoorte Caves National Park, to experience the adrenalin of adventure caving.
Australian Coastal Safaris
Join one of the best-known adventure tours around the base of Eyre Peninsula, run by passionate local hosts and guides Mandy and David Doudle. The team share some of the best of this beautiful part of SA with tours ranging from seafood tastings to winter whale watching, fishing charters and hand-feeding kangaroos. Visitors can create their own itineraries, incorporating experiences such as heli-fishing, surfing, sandboarding or a seafood masterclass.
This information was first published in SALIFE FOOD+WINE+TRAVEL 2021
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