Do you live in the same state as you did when you were growing up? I was born in Adelaide and have lived in South Australia my entire life, growing up in country South Australia, including Port Augusta and Yorketown on the Yorke Peninsula. I returned to Adelaide in 1985 to study and have stayed here ever since. I have never really been tempted to live anywhere else.
I have traveled interstate and overseas many times over my life. I adore travel and all the expansion of mind, senses, heart and self that it brings. I love nothing better than a family road trip. Partly it is being in close proximity to your family with no distraction and hours and hours to talk and connect. Partly it is because the going somewhere is part of the journey, you see all the little towns and in between countryside on your travels. In a plane you get into a metal thing, which ranges from mildly to fairly uncomfortable depending on how long you are in it, who you sit with and what the weather conditions are like, and then, you are there.
I love the going part of going away, the planning and the thinking and the getting somewhere new to explore, but every time I hit the ground at home I kiss it. On some trips, like the one where Mum and I flew all the way home from Florence without her passport due to being robbed, I literally kissed the Adelaide turf when we touched down!
Do you feel that way about your home state?
I adore lots places in Australia and really could live in quite a few, but there are just far too many things to love about South Australia to make me move.
These include (but are not limited to):
– Family and friends are here. I am a real family person and am not sure I want distance to separate us.
– The seasons, especially the Autumn which is particularly spectacular.
– The close proximity of everything. We can walk to the “mountains” from our house, drive to the beach in 30 minutes and the city in 10 minutes, yet we have kookaburras and koalas in our street and even an Echidna wondered in once!
– The community, you don’t usually go anywhere in Adelaide without finding someone you know or someone who knows someone you know.
– The food and wine. We have the best wine and some of the best food producers in the world.
– The arts and creative community – just awe inspiring.
-The wide open spaces, empty beaches and natural beauty.
There are endless possibilities for what to do with your family in South Australia. There are the stunning Adelaide Hills, The Barossa Valley and the beaches. There is a strong cultural, market and arts scene and plenty of amazing places to eat. We are the kind of family who prefer our activities together to be outside in nature, and which involve some physical time and some quiet soaking up the beauty time.
The all new Voices of 2015 Put Yourself On The Map Challenge aims to champion, publish and reward new and established online creatives as they show us around their town. Whether your platform is a blog, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Pinterest – you can join in! The team at Kidspot would love to see your work and get your unique view of Australia.
20 finalists will have the opportunity to create a post to be published on Kidspot, receive a writer’s fee of $200 and go in the running to win a $3000 Flight Centre voucher.
As part of the Kidspot Voices of 2015 #ShareAustralia competition, here are just 3 of my top outdoor family friendly things to do in South Australia if you are looking for ideas.
1) Morialta Conservation Park
Morialta Conservation Park is located 10km north east of the Adelaide CBD, which is basically in our backyard. It is one of Adelaide’s most popular family walking and picnic spots. I take my regular run/walk through the bottom of the park. Wednesday 15 July 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the proclamation of Morialta Falls as a National Pleasure Resort. To celebrate this milestone a series of exciting community events including a BioBlitz, community picnic and historical images exhibition will be held throughout 2015.
You can read more here.
One of the most spectacular parts of this walk is when you come up through the bottom of the park from the road, through the rugged ridges, gully scenery and seasonal waterfalls that make up Morialta Conservation Park. The three waterfalls along Fourth Creek are popular features of the park and are linked by an extensive network of walking trails which vary in difficulty. The views from the rock climbing zone also provide opportunities to admire Morialta Gorge and the nearby Adelaide plains.
The first two falls are the grandest, each cascading over sheer quartzite cliffs after rain. To see the falls at their best, visit the park during spring or winter when the water flow is strongest. The rest of the time it is still beautiful, and less crowded, but you will not find the waterfall running.
There is a huge range of wildlife including regular koalas and kangaroos at dusk. The rock pools and creeks provide habitat for small reptiles, frogs and birds. Watch out for honeyeaters and thornbills among the woodlands that cover the hills. If you are a family with a 4 legged friend, you can walk your dog from the Morialta picnic area, along the Morialta Falls Road to the Morialta Falls car park, provided it remains under your control on a lead.
The park is open to vehicle traffic from 8.30am to 15 minutes before sunset.
Gates are closed on Christmas Day.
Walkers can access the park from sunrise to sunset.
It is recommended for family meanders on a Sunday afternoon, picnics and gatherings in the park at the bottom where there is also a playground. It is also a great way to stay fit with a multitude of hiking tracks ranging from easy to difficult.
2) Yorke Peninsula
When I was 9 and my sister was 4, my parents decided a country life with a large block and chooks and a dog, was the life for us. It was a wonderful place to grow up. We lived in a 100 year old limestone house which used to be the rectory for the local church. My parents were teachers at the local area school and we had some fabulous times as part of the local community, despite the teething problems of being the new kids in a small country town for a bit.
We also have a beach shack still in the area, which is my heart place and we still spend lots of lovely family time there. It is full of pelicans and crabs and peace. It is not really a swimming beach, but that keeps it nice and quiet and my boys will swim anywhere! Yorke Peninsula is full of options for families and being only 2.5 hours away from Adelaide, is easy to get to but far enough away to feel like you have escaped the city.
Whether you want to fish, dive, snorkel, surf, swim, soak up the sun, ski, windsurf, sail board, kayak, reef walk or just paddle in the shallows, there’s a delightful piece of Yorke Peninsula’s beautiful coastline that will be perfect for you and your family.
3) Local Adelaide Beaches
The beach offers most of us something, and it is part of the Aussie lifestyle. Whether it is calm and still, or wild and tumbling, just being near the sea is good for your wellbeing. There are endless free activites for families at the beach, and Adelaide beaches offer some of the most beautiful, yet unspoiled and uncrowded beaches in Australia. Some of the beaches you are likely to visit if you are in Adelaide include Henley, Grange, Semaphore and West Beach – which are our favourites. We are less keen on the ever popular Glenelg, it is popular, but has been over developed in our opinion, and not the best family friendly beach.
You will find these beautiful beaches along a short stretch just 20 minutes out of the CBD. There are often markets and events on if you want something more active to do but sand castles, beach cricket, a walk on the jetty and a dip in the sea are all free and fabulous. There are also plenty of places to get great fish and chips, or a more formal meal in Henley Square, or Semaphore.
Even though it is an hour’s drive from Adelaide, I am also going to include the beach at Normanville in this one which is actually on the Fleurieu Peninsula, because I think it is one of the best drives in South Australia from Adelaide, like a little Great Ocean Road, and the beach is divine. It is an easy day trip. The beach is perfect for families and there are great local shops, cafes and an amazing bakery. It is worth a weekend stay as you can take a potter to Yankalilla which is just up the road,and wander across to Victor Harbour which has a brilliant Whale Centre and lots to do. Every winter South Australia enjoys the return of Southern Right whales to its shores. The first arrivals in Encounter Bay are usually expected in mid-May, and are eagerly awaited by whale watchers who hope to catch a glimpse of the huge beasts from atop the cliffs and headlands of the area’s stunning coastline.
Happy days! What is your favourite place to visit in South Australia?