22nd September 2021
Of course the Murray River is one big playground for families, but we also know that sometimes, our kids just want to unzip that life-jacket off and run around, swing, slide and climb. That’s why a stay along South Australia’s Murray River is perfect for families any time of the year.
With our range of holiday rentals spanning all the way from Morgan in the Riverland, down to Wellington in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong – there are a huge range of playgrounds for them to experience and explore.
One of our favourites is in Morgan, with the newly upgraded paddlesteamer replica right along the riverfront. Here, kids can climb aboard via stairs, rope ladder or a climbing wall to become the captain and spend time ‘sailing’ their own way down the mighty Murray. For those smaller kidlets, this same playground reserve even has a nearby kids train playground as well – making it great for all ages.
Here on the Morgan riverfront, there’s also more slides, swings, naughts and crosses and a fire pole, plus some nature play elements and sandpit – so be prepared to spend an hour or two here with the kids (and there’s some local shops and pubs to grab a family-friendly lunch from, or a BBQ and benches here for your own picnic if you’d prefer).
See more on this great little spot via the Kids in Adelaide website here, and book a holiday house for the whole family in Morgan here.
Just across the river from Morgan is also the beautiful little town of Cadell. There’s a cute little riverfront playground here as well which offers up some magnificent views to the river cliffs, and worth a peek if you have time. While you’re in Cadell, there’s also a riverfront family-friendly winery – Caudo Vineyard that’s ideal for all ages too (in case you’re looking for a meal you don’t have to cook yourself, and some damn fine sangria too).
Further down river at Blanchetown there are some beautiful little riverside reserve playgrounds on South Street and the riverfront reserve on the northern side of the Bridge. Or in the neighbouring town of Swan Reach, spend some time at Len White Reserve on the recently updated playground space – this also has plenty of space to pull up the boat and spend a day in and out of the water too.
Mannum and Bowhill are also great riverside towns for a family escape. The small holiday township of Bowhill has just upgraded its playground alongside the much-loved (family-friendly) Bowhill General Store. Bowhill also has some great family holiday rentals too, some which have space for 2-3 families to stay and play.
If you want even more to do, then historic township of Mannum is perfect for families. If you have a riverboat then you’ll likely spend a lot of your time on the water. But even if you don’t, your family can spend time exploring the historic main street and its cafes (including a lolly shop!) or spending time in the interactive museum where kids can press buttons, talk through brass tubes, spin the giant mock paddlesteamer wheel down the river and more.
In and around Mannum families will also love the local playgrounds. There is a newly upgraded play space along the riverfront at Mary Ann Reserve, or a playground at the Mannum showgrounds. This is also home to a large oval, dog park, skate park, cricket nets and small basketball court – making is a great spot for older kids to run around (just make sure you pack the scooters and bikes!).
If your kids love nature walks, then add a trip to the Mannum Waterfalls to the list – or even just catch the free ferry across the river a few times (the little ones will love it!). There’s also a bird hide at Herman Gass Reserve, walking/cycling paths along the Murray Coorong Trail – and about 15 minutes up the road, a cool new little nature playspace at the Palmer oval.
Another favourite place for exploring playgrounds is in Murray Bridge. The local Council has just invested in major upgrades to many of the local riverside playgrounds, including an epic climbing and ninja playround at Long Island Reserve (which sits along the existing nature play space here).
This is a great spot for big and little kids with shared swings, 3-storey climbing challenges, ninja obstacles for those keen gymnasts and more. For the little explorers, there’s even a sandpit with a digger, balancing logs, musical instruments and more. You could easily spend an hour or two here with the family.
But it’s not just this one that the kids will love in Murray Bridge. There are also great playgrounds at Sturt Reserve, Thiele Reserve and Avoca Dell Reserve – all along the beautiful riverfront (so parents can still soak up their holiday views while the kids run out of some energy).
Explore our picture-perfect family-friendly holiday homes in Murray Bridge here.
Further down the river towards Wellington and Tailem Bend there are also some beautiful spots for families to explore.
If you’ve got bigger kids, it’s definitely worth a trip to The Bend Motorsport Park to go karting on their world-class track (this is like a playground for BIG kids). However, if it’s the little ones you need to entertain, then you should add a trip to the Tailem Bend playground in. Here you can meet some of the characters from Mem Fox’s famed ‘Where’s the Green Sheep’ book, climb on board and steer a historic train carriage, or play on the other three sets of various playground equipment set out across a large fenced reserve area.
We love this family-friendly precinct because it has something for all ages to explore, the extra colour of the painted sheep statues (that the kids can even climb on and ride); PLUS it’s across the road from the award-winning Tailem Bend Bakery and Little Local Co (so parents can grab refreshments while kids explore the play equipment).
Nearby here is also Wellington’s Pangarinda Botanic Garden. Kids will love this spot for its short walking tails and colourful native flowers – and right now (spring) is the best time to visit!
Check out our beautiful riverside accommodation at Wellington, just nearby Tailem Bend.
Other great playgrounds and places to explore for kids (for those keen for some extra exploring) include the Karoonda space themed playground, Monarto Safari Park, and the Monash playground.
Whatever your family holiday style is, book it now with River Shack Rentals.