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10 ‘Must-Do’ Attractions in South Australia for the Kids and the Kid in You
The beauty about South Australia is that there’s plenty for grown-ups – wine, food, and the indulgent things in life. We know how to plan our wine trails and restaurant visits, but what do we do with the kids? Heaps! And they’re all within easy access of vineyards, shops, restaurants, etc – places which we want to go to.
Dolphin Cruises and Watery Fun in Glenelg
Messing about on the water is always a hit with kids, and the pretty seaside town of Glenelg, just a 15 minute tram ride from Adelaide, offers lots of distractions for the young, very young and not so young. Get a rush on a high speed, adrenaline pumping ride along the Glenelg coast with Helava Jet, South Australia’s first jet boat and one of the world’s fastest, biggest and safest. Completely enclosed, it reaches speeds of up to 75km/hour, and runs on turbo-charged diesel engines which spit out enough water to fill a swimming pool in a minute! A one-metre height restriction applies. For something a little more gentle, cruise along on Temptation, a beautiful sailing catamaran, then swim or cruise with wild dolphins off Glenelg, where lives over 1000 common and bottle-nosed dolphins. Or take the twilight cruise, watching the sunset and lights of the city and have the dolphins for company.
KI is a big island and offers more than you can take in on a day trip. Here, let the kids commune with Mother Nature at her best with 19 national and conservation parks breathtaking scenery, beaches, water activities, food trails and most of all, wildlife. Walk among a breeding colony of 600 Australian sea lions at Seal Bay, watch fur seals loll and play at Admiral’s Arch, feed pelicans at Kingscote Wharf, and come face to face with giant cuttlefish, seahorses, little penguins and denizens of KI’s underwater world at the KI Marine Centre. Older kids can try sandboarding down the razorback dunes at Little Sahara, or hop aboard the Island Explorer – a rigid inflatable boat normally used by the police and military – and zip along the coast for a different view of the island. Grown ups can also explore the wineries and food artisans on the island, including cheese from Island Pure Sheep Dairy, and honey from Clifford’s Honey Farm.
Recently reopened after upgrading works the new and improved Sanctuary, in the Adelaide Hills, offers a truly unique wildlife encounter. See rare Australian animals such as potoroos, quolls, pademelons and bettongs and go on the guided dawn walks and sunset walks for a magical experience.
Hahndorf Farm Barn
Every child likes animals, so don’t miss the Hahndorf Farm Barn in Adelaide Hills, situated in the pretty historical German town of Hahndorf, just 30 minutes away. Milk a cow, shear a sheep, groom a bull, feed baby farm creatures and peek at the worm farm.
Horse Drawn Tram and Penguin Walks at Victor Harbor
The delightful horse drawn tram is the highlight at Victor Harbor just over an hour from the city. One of the only year round horse drawn tram services in the world, it takes you across the causeway to Granite Island where kids can stretch their legs on the many walking trails or get face-to-face with sharks, rays and plenty of colourful fish at the ‘Below Decks’ Open Sea Shark Aquarium. At night, stay up for the guided Penguin Walk at dusk and see the cute fairy penguins potter about.
The Cockle Train
While you’re at Victor Harbor, take the Cockle Train to the charming seaside town of Goolwa. This short steam train ride brings you past superb coastal scenery. Port Elliot is also a good stop off point where the kids can taken in the spectacular cliff top walk, or visit the beautiful beach at Horseshoe Bay.
Bring the kids to the SA Museum in the city and marvel at the enormous skeletons of whales and dinosaurs, the extensive displays of animals, birds and fish of the world and a very interesting Ancient Egypt section.
Bring the kids to the farms to pick their own strawberries. Pick strawberries at Agon Berry Farm in the Fleurieu Peninsula during their strawberry season between November and April; or at the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm in Adelaide Hills from October to May.
The Big Rocking Horse
Come climb the world’s largest rocking horse at The Toy Factory in the Adelaide Hills, and receive a certificate to commemorate your feat! There’s also a huge collection of superb handmade wooden toys to see and buy.
Visit the Chocolate Factory
Which child doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Head to Haigh’s Chocolates Australia’s best – south of the city and join the free 30-minute tour of their famous factory, including an interesting display of the making of chocolate from cocoa beans. Alternatively, take a self-guided tour of Melba’s Chocolate Factory in the Adelaide Hills and see the coating room, toffee room, and sugar tabletting room.
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