Fun family adventures on a shoestring budget

Fancy a little getaway but don’t want to break the bank? We’ve put together a few options for a family escape on a budget, and you won’t have to travel too far from Adelaide to do it.


Just about every activity listed here is free, or is a small cost– so read on for some shoestring inspiration.


Farmers Markets

The Fleurieu Peninsula is blessed in terms of its local produce, and at our farmers markets you can find delicious jams and relishes, fresh bread, traditional cured and smoked meats, rich cheeses and a whole lot more.

Fresh seafood? Check. Fresh fruit? Check. Organically grown pheasants and quail? Check and check!

Willunga and Victor Harbor both have an excellent farmers markets that you must check out, the former even winning an SA Tourism award in 2019.

Willunga Farmers Market local produce

Willunga Farmers Markets. Image courtesy of Karen Walker Photography


Jetty Fishing

Fishing will keep the kids entertained for a little while at least – longer if they’re biting, or if the child in question is a diehard fisherman.

There are jetties dotted all over the Fleurieu coast that are great to drop a line at, and Port Noarlunga jetty in particular is a popular spot. Rapid Bay and Second Valley jetties are also a great option.

Port Noarlunga jetty South Australia

Port Noarlunga Jetty. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone

Hike up the Bluff

‘The Bluff’, or Rosetta Head as it is technically known, is a headland in Encounter Bay near Victor Harbor with an elevation of 97m.

Follow the 800m trail to the top and see stunning views of the coast and surrounding countryside – it’s a short enough trip that it’s doable for the whole family.

And of course, it’s free!


Hike the Bluff view Encounter Bay

The Bluff. Image courtesy of Jesse Ehlers

Port Noarlunga Adventure Playground

The Port Noarlunga Jubilee Park Adventure Playground is one of the best in the state and will keep the kids entertained for hours. (And it’s free – woohoo.)

Some of the highlights include Geronimo the giant giraffe, a climbing net, wooden fortress, wheelchair friendly carousel and water pump play feature.

There’s also a toddler area for the younger kids!

And plenty of seating for mum and dad, plus nearby shops for all your snack and lunch needs.


Wilfred Taylor Reserve

The Wilfred Taylor Reserve is another great park to explore.

This relatively new nature playspace in the City of Onkaparinga has a whole bunch of activities for the kids.

You can also bring your dog, though it must be kept on-leash when not on the obstacle course (yes, there’s a dog obstacle course).

There are sheltered barbecue areas, train rides on every second and fourth Sunday of the month for a minimal cost, and a lovely walking trail along Christie Creek.


Granite Island Kaiki walk

Follow the trail on Granite Island near Victor Harbor and take in the stunning ocean views.

Discover the wildlife, geology and history of the island as you follow this family friendly trail. You might even spot a Southern Right Whale during the winter months. The trail is just 3.3km return from the start of the causeway.


Granite Island Trail Victor Harbor

The Causeway. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission

bike ride the Encounter Bikeway

The Encounter Bikeway is an on-road shared trail linking the four coastal towns in the Victor Harbor and Goolwa area.

Starting from the Bluff and finishing at the Wharf in Goolwa; it’s also sealed the whole way!

In total it’s 31.5km, so you may want to just do part of it if the kids aren’t big enough for a long ride.

And while it is called the ‘Bikeway’, you can walk or run if you’d prefer.


Family cycling along the Encounter bikeway

Waitpinga Cliffs. Image courtesy of Tourism Australia


The Dunes Mini Golf Park in Victor Harbor will cost you $8.50 for under 12s, $9.00 for students and $9.50 for adults, so it’s not only an affordable activity but great fun too!

It has a unique Victor Harbor theme and will be a challenging course for the whole family.

There’s nothing like a little family competition, right?


Header image: Port Willunga Beach. Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission.