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TOP 10 FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia has all the ingredients for a memorable family holiday – a spectacular coastline, authentic outback adventures, untouched wilderness, an abundance of native wildlife and plenty of activities at affordable prices. We’ve put together a few suggestions in a whistle-stop tour of family activities in Adelaide and beyond:


Top for many people will be to cuddle a koala - although not only koala bears, but giant pandas too. Or try Big Duck Boat Tours, swim with dolphins, go wildlife spotting on Kangaroo Island, or swim with sea lions. How about hunting for fossils and caves on the Limestone Coast, maybe hire a Murray River houseboat, cycle across the State, or go out bush in the Flinders Ranges.


Cleland Wildlife Park is home to 130 species of Australian wildlife, and is just 20 minutes from Adelaide. The park is home to over 1,800 animals and almost 300 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish in over eight hectares of botanic surroundings. Located right on the edge of the city, this is also home to Wang Wang and Funi – the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere. Other popular attractions include Seal Bay, Australian Rainforest Wetlands walk-through aviary and the environmental education centre.


The Big Duck Boat Tours, based in Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula, explores inaccessible areas of coastline and beaches in a 7.3 metre expedition-style rigid inflatable boat. Guests can spot seals, dolphins, seabirds and whales (in season) in their natural environment. Tours run for 30 minutes or an hour, departing from the Granite Island Causeway.


Swim with dolphins just 20 minutes from the city centre of Adelaide, as Temptation Sailing offers various dolphin trips. Operating in Glenelg, one of Adelaide's most popular beaches, guests are invited to board the 17-metre catamaran where they can watch the playful dolphins from the deck, or dive in and swim with these friendly, intelligent mammals.


Try wildlife spotting on Kangaroo Island – Australia's answer to the Galapagos. Kangaroo Island is a wildlife spotters' paradise and one of the best places on the continent to see the widest range of native animals in their natural habitat - including kangaroos, wallabies, penguins, fur seals, sea lions, goanna, koalas and echidna, not to mention a wide variety of birds. Kangaroo Island is easily accessible from Adelaide via plane or ferry.


For something particulalrly unusual, how about swimming with sea lions on Baird Bay. The Eyre Peninsula is the perfect location for pristine nature and aquatic adventures. Here visitors can participate in four-hour excursions to swim with friendly, yet wild sea lions through Baird Bay Charters who also offer accommodation at their Ocean Eco Apartments.


The fossils and caves in the Naracoorte Caves National Park cover 305 hectares, and boast 26 caves. They are UNESCO World Heritage Listed – the only listing in South Australia. The caves have an extensive fossil record with some dating back over half a million years. Here visitors can watch rare southern bent-wing bats from the high-tech bat centre, and learn about giant prehistoric animals in the Wonambi Fossil Centre.


Renting a Murray River houseboat is a truly Australian experience, providing the ideal opportunity for relaxing or sharing time with family and friends. Houseboats come with well-equipped kitchens, spacious cabins, en suite bathrooms, sundecks and even spas. All that is required is a current driver's licence.


Cycling tracks, trails and tours are available across South Australia, and there is something for everyone depending on age and fitness. Trails range from the epic 900kms Mawson Trail which stretches from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges, to the more modest 25 kms Clare Valley Reisling Trail - where cyclists can cycle through the rolling-countryside tasting the finest produce the region has to offer en route.


Finally, don’t forget to Go Bush in the Flinders Ranges – a comfortable day's drive from Adelaide (480kms). Families can enjoy bush camping, trekking, cycling and wildlife spotting. There are also sheep shearing demonstrations at Rawnsley Park Station, as well as scenic flights over the magnificent Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound, the stunning rock amphitheatre considered to be one of South Australia's iconic natural wonders.


Find out more from the tourist board -   www.australia.com

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