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The best family friendly trips and activities in South Australia

  1. Redwing Farm stay

    You’d need a heart of steel to resist the charms of Menindie the smart donkey, Godfrey the gentle Friesian, Pig Pig the rescued runt porker and your other animal hosts at this working farm on the Yorke Peninsula.

    You’re encouraged to get up close and personal with them in the picture perfect surrounds of the 1850s homestead, which offers two accommodation options – Redwing Shearer's Quarters, an 1860 stone cottage decked out in Hamptons-industrial style; and Redwing Barn, a fully renovated rustic barn.

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    Redwing Farm

  2. Adelaide Planetarium

    See 5000 stars (not including those in your children’s eyes) projected onto the spectacular eight-metre domed ceiling, while a live “tour guide” transports you on a journey through the southern hemisphere’s skies.

    The Planetarium is open to the public on the first and third Saturday of each month.

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    Adelaide Planetarium

  3. Adelaide and Monarto Zoos

    At 1000 hectares, Monarto Zoo is one of the world’s largest open range zoos and it’s located just 45 minutes’ drive from Adelaide’s city centre. Hop on the Zu-loop shuffle for a safari-style tour of the park where you’ll see

    500 animals from 48 species, including lions, cheetah, southern white rhinos, chimpanzee and Australia’s largest herd of giraffe. To see these exotic creatures roaming in open vistas in an environment that closely mimics their wild cousins, is a real treat.

    Right in the heart of the city, Adelaide Zoo’s superstars are Wang Wang and Fu Ni, Australia’s only giant pandas. They share a beautifully tended eight hectares with 3000 more animals from all over the world and you can get to know the pair better with a behind-the-scenes tour.

    For your little adventurer, the Adelaide Zoo Nature Playground with aerial walkways, creeks (complete with tadpoles) and climbing structures will stretch your children’s imagination for hours. Parents can sit back and enjoy lunch in the café overlooking the playground.

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    Zoo SA

  4. The Big Rocking Horse and The Toy Factory

    This delightfully eccentric attraction in Gumeracha is sure to delight the kids and adults alike. This must surely be the world’s only site shared by an 18.3m high, 25 tonne steel rocking horse, a working toy factory producing traditional wooden treasures, and a wildlife park with emus, wallabies, and kangaroos to boot!

    It’s whimsical and it works, and better yet, even if you do sample every paid activity you won’t spend more than $10 a head. Not a shred of plastic tat in sight, and just 40 minutes drive from Adelaide.

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    The Toy Factory

  5. Mega Adventure

    The extreme action at West Beach’s Mega Adventure might polarise your family – those with a head for heights and a thirst for thrills will leave their reticent relatives on the ground to marvel at their exploits. Part of the appeal is daring each other to try the variety of white-knuckle pursuits offered by the 20-metre-high SkyMate, which include bouncing, plunging, balancing, rowing an airborne boat and leaping into an aerial Esky. There’s a splendid, endless ocean vista to be had from the SkyWalk – the only activity that doesn’t require a harness.

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    Mega Adventure

  6. Victor Harbor Cockle Train

    Being aboard this lovely old steam engine puffing its way along the Fleurieu Peninsula’s picturesque coastline feels as if you’re in a classic children’s story. The Cockle Train, named for the cockles once transported along this route by a horse-drawn train, takes 30 minutes to travel between Goolwa and Victor Harbor, along Australia’s oldest steel railed railway dating back to 1887.

    The stretch after Port Elliot, when the train climbs to the top of the coastal cliffs, is particularly stunning and provides a perfect, unobstructed view of the Southern Ocean, in winter the home of southern right whales.

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    Steam Heritage Railway

  7. Strawberry picking at Beerenberg

    Plump, juicy, sweet strawberries straight from the patch – nothing tastes better, and a session of picking at the Beerenberg Family Farm in Hahndorf allows you to indulge summer’s most delicious fruit in the open air. Picking season, from November to April, is a South Australian institution and draws families from all over the country eager to feast on the big new berries. You can pick and eat as much as you like from their patches.

    Just weigh your full containers at the farm shop and pay $9.95 per kilogram. It’s hard to think of any other activity that simultaneously entertains, exercises and feeds the whole family, and in such inviting surroundings.

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    Beerenberg Family Farm

  8. Hahndorf Farm Barn

    From milking a cow to holding a python, animal encounters at this Adelaide Hills country farm run the gamut of super-cute to exotic. Rolling countryside, adorable animals, tractor rides – and just so you remember which country you’re in, some emus, kangaroos, camels and scaly reptiles – ensure that Hahndorf is a farm that will keep all members of the family entertained.

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    Hahndorf Farm Barn

  9. St Kilda Playground

    The kids will discover endless ways to let off steam and stretch their imaginations on the creative play equipment at this award-winning playground in Salisbury, 45 minutes north of Adelaide. Ships, castle turrets and drawbridges, a giant wave slide, volcano slide and maze are among the constructions your small adventurers will climb, swing, spin and play on for hours on end.

    Toilet, barbecue and picnic facilities as well as ample parking mean parents’ creature comforts are looked after, and best of all – it’s free.

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    St Kilda Playground

  10. Monash Adventure Park

    Reasons why families flock to this huge Riverland playground include a flying fox, wave bridge, slippery dip, mini basketball, crazy leaning towers and a rope bridge. There’s a paddleboat kiosk, and free electric barbecues and picnic facilities so you can make a day of it. Another tasty slice of added value to an otherwise free experience: the chocolate factory opposite.

    Watching the kids play becomes so much more pleasant if you’re nibbling on a cream-centred treat. And if they’re reluctant to leave the park, there’s your ready-made bribery.

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    Monash Adventure Park

  11. The Beachouse

    A day will fly by in this beachside Glenelg entertainment complex boasting all the big-ticket items kids love: water, inflatables and fairground rides. The fun encompasses dodgems, bumper boat, rocket train, carousel, mini-golf, water slides, play castle and arcade games.

    With enough splashy excitement for hot days but also abundant undercover activities, this place and its team of ever-smiling staff do all the work for you. Parents note: the café serves a decent cup of freshly ground coffee, as well as tasty meals. Entry is free, and you pay for the rides by loading up a $2 card with credits.

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    The Beachouse

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