7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

Trav­el­ling around SA these school hol­i­days? Check out these nation­al parks to keep the fam­i­ly entertained.

If you’re tak­ing the fam­i­ly out to vis­it dif­fer­ent parts of South Aus­tralia these sum­mer school hol­i­days, make a stop at a nation­al park to con­nect and immerse your­self in nature with one of these activities.

Here are 7 ideas to get you out and enjoy­ing nature in South Aus­tralia this hol­i­day break:

1. Explore the Nara­coorte Caves – Lime­stone Coast

If you’re look­ing for adven­ture, play space, nature and his­to­ry, then look no fur­ther than Nara­coorte Caves on the Lime­stone Coast.

The school hol­i­days are the per­fect time to spend a few days explor­ing South Aus­trali­a’s only World Her­itage site.

There’s some­thing for every­one to enjoy, whether it’s a tour of the famous Vic­to­ria Fos­sil Cave, a vis­it to the Bat Obser­va­tion Cen­tre or a hike on one of the site’s many walk­ing trails.

You don’t even need to head under­ground to have a fan­tas­tic expe­ri­ence – although the caves are a con­stant 17 degrees all year round, so per­fect for all weath­er – with the ful­ly acces­si­ble award-win­ning Roof Top Loop Walk a great way to get a bird’s eye view.

There’s also oth­er acces­si­ble trails, a nature play­ground and a café onsite.

Unsure how to plan your per­fect Nara­coorte Caves vis­it? Check out this sto­ry: Your guide to the per­fect Nara­coorte Caves experience.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

2. Bush­walk in Lin­coln Nation­al Park – Eyre Peninsula

Take a walk to check out the incred­i­ble views in Lin­coln Nation­al Park. Locat­ed on the Eyre Penin­su­la, just 13km south-west of Port Lin­coln, this park is filled with stun­ning beach­es and per­fect for all sorts of activ­i­ties like beach­comb­ing, snorkelling and camping.

Take the fam­i­ly on a 2.7 km walk from Stam­ford Hill to Sur­fleet Cove – it’ll take about an hour to complete.

This easy coastal walk along Stam­ford Beach will go past gran­ite head­lands framed by the sea, where you’ll be able to see Boston Island in the distance.

Lin­coln Nation­al Park has abun­dant native wildlife. Keep an eye out for west­ern grey kan­ga­roos and emus, and in warmer weath­er you might see Rosen­berg goan­nas and oth­er rep­tiles. Dol­phins, seals and sea lions can often be spot­ted just off the coast.

Top tip: Keen to explore Lin­coln Nation­al Park a lit­tle fur­ther? Here are ranger Elly’s top tips for the park.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

3. Camp in Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park – Flinders Ranges

If you’re vis­it­ing the Flinders Ranges these school hol­i­days, make sure you stop into the icon­ic Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park, about 450 km north of Adelaide.

Packed with a rich his­to­ry and offer­ing plen­ty of things to do, this scenic park deserves a few days and nights for you to real­ly immerse your­self and get the most out of your visit.

There are 10 camp­grounds spread out across the park, each offer­ing dif­fer­ent facil­i­ties. You’ll have stun­ning moun­tain views from almost all the camp­grounds, and no doubt, a few vis­its from the wildlife in the park. 

Before you vis­it, down­load the Dis­cov­er the Flinders Ranges’ free mobile app (iOS/Android). The app includes nar­rat­ed dri­ving and walk­ing tours, guides to geol­o­gy, birdlife and wild­flow­ers, and a host of oth­er infor­ma­tion and spe­cial offers. The app is pro­duced by the Friends of Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park.

There’s so much to see in the Flinders Ranges, so if you have time, why not vis­it some oth­er parks in the region too? We’ve col­lat­ed a list of 6 nation­al parks to vis­it in the region to help you plan the per­fect itinerary.

Top tip: Make sure you don’t miss out on stay­ing at this pop­u­lar park. You can book your camp­site up to 12 months in advance online.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

4. Kayak at Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park – Mur­ray River

Head out on the water and go kayak­ing at Mur­ray Riv­er Nation­al Park in the River­land – it’s a great way for the whole fam­i­ly to explore the park.

Katara­p­ko Creek and Buly­ong Island both have beau­ti­ful scenery and lots of peace­ful lit­tle creeks and back­wa­ters that are great to dis­cov­er. Make sure you pack a pic­nic lunch and don’t for­get your life jack­et and fish­ing rod.

Look out for water­birds like egrets, spoon­bills, cor­morants and darters, and birds like red-rumped par­rots, crim­son rosel­las, and brown tree creep­ers in the veg­e­ta­tion on shore.

It’s also a great spot for a bit of fish­ing, but be aware of the sea­son­al fish­ing clo­sure for Mur­ray cod. This takes place dur­ing their breed­ing sea­son, between 1 August and 31 December.

Top tip: Dur­ing times of high water check con­di­tions and clo­sures before you go. To get an insight into kayak­ing on the Mur­ray check out our blog. If you’re new to kayak­ing, read our blog, 8 kayak­ing tips for begin­ners before you head out.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

5. Take a tour of Seal Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park – Kan­ga­roo Island

No trip to KI is com­plete with­out a vis­it to Seal Bay. Locat­ed an hour from Pen­neshaw, you can go into the heart of an Aus­tralian sea lion colony where expe­ri­enced guides will teach you about these endan­gered animals.

Or if you pre­fer, you can set your own pace on the wheel­chair-acces­si­ble 900 metre (return) board­walk that mean­ders through the dunes to a num­ber of view­ing platforms.

Take note of the inter­pre­tive signs along the way where you’ll learn about the habits and behav­iour of the sea lions, such as hunt­ing, rest­ing and reproduction.

Top tip: Select a tour that suits you and your fam­i­ly and book online before you go.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

6. Spot wild­flow­ers in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park – Yorke Peninsula

Good rain­fall and cold tem­per­a­tures over win­ter can lead to spec­tac­u­lar wild­flower dis­plays in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park.

Locat­ed on the south-west­ern tip of the Yorke Penin­su­la, about 300 km from Ade­laide, Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park is jam-packed with activ­i­ties that’ll please the whole family. 

The park has an exten­sive choice of walk­ing trails, vary­ing from a 30-minute short stroll to a four hour hike. Chat to the fam­i­ly and select a hike that suits every­one, and along the way keep an eye out for the stun­ning colours radi­at­ing from the wildflowers. 

Read our sto­ry to find out more about the 6 wild­flow­ers you can see in Dhil­ba Guu­ran­da-Innes Nation­al Park this spring.

Top tip: Make sure you’re well pre­pared and have these 8 things with you when you’re hik­ing.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

7. Moun­tain bik­ing at Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park – Fleurieu Peninsula

If your fam­i­ly is the adven­tur­ous type, give moun­tain bik­ing a go at Onka­paringa Riv­er Nation­al Park at the gate­way to the Fleurieu Penin­su­la. Locat­ed with­in an hour’s dri­ve of Adelaide’s CBD, you’ll only need a few hours to expe­ri­ence this hid­den gem.

Jump on your bike and feel the wind in your hair on the shared-use trails in this park. There are a few moun­tain bik­ing trails in the park to suit a vari­ety of abilities.

If you’re after a short option, the Punch­bowl Look­out Trail is the one for you, and best of all it’ll take you to the one of the best views in the park.

Or if you’re look­ing for a chal­lenge, take on the Gorge Link Trail. You’ll cross the riv­er and descend down into the gorge before head­ing back up – a true moun­tain bik­ing experience. 

Check out the trails map to find one that you’d like to try out.

Top tip: Before you go, here are some handy tips for moun­tain bik­ing in nation­al parks.

7 things to do in South Australia’s regional national parks these school holidays

Look­ing for oth­er ways to keep the kids enter­tained these school hol­i­days. Adelaide’s nation­al parks have it all – check out our sto­ry for inspi­ra­tion: 5 things to do in Adelaide’s nation­al parks these school hol­i­days.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living