Kidding around in the Riverland.
Most parents would agree that any family holiday needs to ensure that the kids are well catered for. Fortunately, a River Time holiday in SA’s beautiful Riverland has so much to keep the kids entertained; you’ll wonder if there’s enough time to pack in everything. The good news is that most kid-friendly activities can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The Riverland is an aquatic playground where fun times can be had both in and out of the water. Apart from the mighty Murray, Lake Bonney in Barmera is nature’s water park with safe swimming, fishing, sailing, windsurfing and plenty of shade and lawned areas to enjoy a day on the lakefront.
Whether you’re camping, staying in one of the many holiday parks, or in any of the diverse range of accommodation options throughout the Riverland, each day brings a huge choice of experiences.
If you’re caravanning or ‘glamping,’ Berri Riverside Holiday Park, Big4 Renmark Riverside Holiday Park, Discovery Park on Lake Bonney, and the Waikerie Holiday Park all offer kids activities including adventure and aquatic parks, swimming pools, sporting facilities and loads more.
Fishing is always a favourite River Time activity with plentiful catches of great-eating callop and yabbies year round. You might also be lucky enough to land a Murray Cod: be aware though that catch and release regulations are in place. Some species (Carp and Redfin), are noxious and can’t be returned to the river, while some are fully protected. Closed seasons, size, and bag limits apply for freshwater angling. Visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing or phone 1800 065 522 if you’re unsure of any regulations.
A great way to see the river is to get the kids into a canoe or kayak and paddle the Murray and its tributaries and backwater lagoons and experience the serenity while spotting the abundant bird and wildlife.
If the kids love nature, there are a range of walks and treks throughout the region that will have them exploring all sorts of terrain — from riverfront and wetlands boardwalks to clifftop trails to well-worn paths and tracks in the many National Parks, Conservation Parks and Game Reserves.
For a full day of swinging, sliding, climbing, spinning and much more, the kids will be rapt with the Riverland’s excellent range of adventure playgrounds. Monash Playground is probably the best known and the most iconic, but there are other challenging options worth discovering. Such places include the Rail to River Adventure Park on the riverfront at Morgan, the Waikerie Riverfront Playground, the Loxton Pioneer Playground, and the Barmera Playspace on the shores of Lake Bonney. Inclement weather options are available at Funky Monkey in Renmark and the Loxton Club Indoor Playground.
Older kids aren’t forgotten either with cool skate parks options available in Barmera, Loxton, Waikerie and Renmark.
For more sedate entertainment, take the kids to The Village in Loxton where TV, internet, and hand-held games are non-existent. Let them experience a day in the life of a working pioneer village exploring the 45-period buildings and exhibits. Other less strenuous offerings include mini golf (and great pizzas) at Bella Lavender Estate, horse riding at Benson Park in Waikerie, and taking in a movie at the Chaffey Theatre in Renmark. Try historic cruising on the PS Industry, visiting Rocky’s Hall of Fame and Pioneer Museum in Barmera, and the Irrigation and Steam museum in Cobdogla featuring the impressive Humphrey Pump.
Naturally, all this kid-like activity needs to be fuelled, and the Riverland is awash with food and drink options to satisfy the whole family. Kids menus are available at most pubs and clubs, but there are always takeaway options available as well.
Bella Lavender Estate do pizzas to die for as does Loxton Pizza Bar, while Here’s Your Beer Burger Bar (HYBBB) in Loxton and HYBBB Locky’s Place in Moorook has impressive burgers in a retro family setting. Lookout too for Lefty’s Greek Street Eats mobile food van in various Riverland locations serving up some of the tastiest Greek takeaways.
And of course, to keep the kids healthy, roadside fruit and vegetable stalls are bursting with sun-ripened produce. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a trip the Nippy’s Waikerie Packing Shed Kiosk for factory direct juices and flavoured milk.
The best way for you and the kids to decide where to go and what to see and do is to grab our Visitor Guide and plan your Riverland stay. Pick up a copy at a Visitor Information Centre.