Keep the kids busy in the Coorong

‘Are we there yet?’ ………’Are we there yet?’

Seriously? Any parent who has been on a family road trip would be familiar with this annoying noise from the back seat of the car. 

Ahhh…the joys of the family road trip.  So to help you out on your next trip through the Coorong, we’ve put together our pick of awesome playgrounds and reserves (and other things) so that the kids can run off some energy. You…are…welcome.

Tailem Bend Playground

Where else can the kids clamber all over a real 1913 steam train?  In the playground of a railway town, of course!  It’s fully fenced, near public toilets and the Tailem Bend Railway Station (also worth a visit), and best of all, there is a bakery right across the street.

While you’re in town, make sure you get a photo of the kids with Cosi’s rhino sculpture (‘Rhino Park’ on the Princes Highway).  Then follow the road down to the Jervois ferry and let the kids run amok at Dickson’s Reserve on the river – there’s lots of green grass, ducks to feed, a barbeque and shelter and public toilets.

61 Railway Terrace | Tailem Bend

Meningie Lions Jubilee Park

Only recently built, this playground is in a large park located right on Lake Albert, in the heart of the Coorong.  It’s right in the centre of the town, close to public toilets and food shops, and loaded with things to do.  There are lots of walking paths, endless swathes of well-kept lawn, birds to feed (and plenty of photo ops), a jetty and water to splash in. 

This is a beautiful spot to stop and stretch the legs, and the views are magnificent.  If you’re have bikes with you, then it’s worth spending a half day riding the bike paths around the lake. There are BBQ facilities in the park, or pack a picnic and stop somewhere along the lake.

49 Princes Highway | Meningie

Sturt Reserve Playground – Murray Bridge

This is an epic playground on the banks of the Murray River, and best of all, it’s fully undercover and fenced, so the kids are good to go, rain, hail or shine!

Located in the middle of Sturt Reserve, the family can spend hours here, enjoying a BBQ lunch or picnic, or dining at one of the nearby cafes. Take a walk along the river path under the historic bridges, or jump on a paddle cruise up the river.  If the kids have skateboards or scooters, there is a skate/bike ramp, and lots of bike paths that follow the river.  Plenty of parks to belt a soccer ball around too. And don’t forget to pay a visit to the Murray Bridge Bunyip.

Sturt Reserve Road | Murray Bridge

Water, water, everywhere

The Coorong is brimming with water activities, so if you’re here in summer, the options are endless.  Anywhere on the river is good for a swim, paddle, or ripping around behind a boat. On the lakes, you can’t beat jetty jumping into Lake Albert at Meningie.  Or hire some kayaks and challenge the kids to a race. 

If you’re in Tintinara, the kids will love Lake Indawarra.  They can swim in the lake (complete with island and pontoon), play disc golf and go nuts in the playground. There is a nearby campground and toilets, so definitely a great place to set up camp.

If swimming pools are more your thing, then visit the Murray Bridge Swimming Centre and Water Park, or the Coonalpyn War Memorial swimming pool.

Winter Fun

Visiting in Winter?  A great idea – you won’t get crowded!  There’s so much on offer in the Coorong for the kids (and grown ups) in Winter.  Our favourite is a bonfire on the beach or riverbank – get out the marshmallows, find some sticks, and toast away.  Make sure you bring the fun stuff – cricket bats, balls, footy, frisbee, sand buckets and fishing rods and the kids will never want to leave.

Ever tried geocaching?  Think of it like a giant outdoor treasure hunt, using GPS.  It’s a great family activity, where you hike around following clues to find hidden containers called geocaches.  Too much?  Then kick back in a kayak, go cycling, teach the kids to fish, or just head to the Wellington Pub to enjoy a meal while the kids run amok on the riverbank all afternoon.

The Coorong is perfect for families because there’s plenty to do to avoid cranky children. Oh happy days!  And, our last tip is to pack plenty of spare clothes in the boot, no matter the time of year.  No matter the weather or temperature, Coorong kids tend to end up wet and muddy! As kids should.

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