BBQ Buoys is the super fun, floating, family-friendly experience you get when a BBQ, boat and party meet on the Torrens! Located right in the heart of Adelaide, on Pinky Flat across from the Festival Centre, you can hire one of these safe, round, shaded boats and enjoy a couple of hours seeing Adelaide in a whole new way! We recently jumped onboard to see what all the excitement is about and the 5 kids and 4 adults all LOVED it! You can BBQ your own food, or just BYO snacks for a brilliant day out. If you don’t want to organise your own food, the BBQ Buoys team can supply a grazing board or BBQ packs for bookings with minimum 10 people. BBQ Buoys operate boats for 2-10 people, Fridays to Sundays from 12-8pm, with some additional times in peak periods, so check them out yourself soon!

What a wonderful morning we had recently with our two lucky families! We had 5 kids aged 2-6 years old, along with 4 adults on the Large Buoy, which fits up to 10 people. There was plenty of room for all of us and all our gear and food – plus the supplied esky for our cold beverages! There are 2 buoy sizes catering for 2 to 10 people and the BBQ Buoys team will help choose the one most suitable for your group of family or friends.

The staff are super friendly and helpful – yes, we had to be rescued, eek! (Totally our fault – our driving skills were a bit lacking…) But the staff came & helped us out with no drama whatsoever and were just so eay to deal with all the way through from booking, getting setup up and finishing the session.

Seriously, name me a parent who doesn’t long for good organisation so that they can just turn up and enjoy themselves? BBQ Buoys have everything covered for you – you simply book the number of people, include a drinks package if wanted and decide if you want to BBQ or not – then just turn up with your food! (Or if your booking has at least 10 people, get the team to supply your food!) They supply the utensils, cups, plates etc and you just BYO food. Not keen to cook onboard? Easy – just BYO snacks and enjoy the experience!

The Things We LOVED about BBQ Buoys for families:

  • It’s very safe. I know families, especially those with young kids may worry about taking their kids on boats, but the seat backs are high enough to keep everyone INside the boat. BBQ Buoys are well designed to ensure a safe ride, all kids wore properly fitted life jackets, and even the highly mobile twin toddlers were safe and secure onboard. For safety, children must wear supplied life jackets and require a ratio of 1 adult to 3 kids onboard 🙂
  • It is great FUN and wonderful way to see your own city from a very different side. Our families loved looking at all the flowers and bird life along the way, waving to passengers on the Popeye going past, getting a closer look at the rowers, seeing the weir, fountain, sculptures and more all from up close on the water.
  • The BBQ Buoy boats are very stable. As much as the older kids wanted some waves to bob up and down on, we found that the BBQ Buoys are very stable in the water. Passenger movement, changes in direction and even passing boats had very little effect on the movement of the boats and not a drop of wine was spilt!
  • It’s easy to drive the boat, with a simple outboard motor and 30seconds instruction, you’ll be cruising away in the time it takes your kids to say ‘Aye aye Captain’!
  • We had a 2 hour booking and with the kids that was perfect, allowing us time to get all the way from the weir to the Zoo and back without rushing – plus we had plenty of time to enjoy cooking the BBQ and tackle some delicious juice and wine too!

A few other BBQ Buoys tips:
For a cool experience you can hire a BBQ Buoy for a birthday party from 6 years and over (The birthday child and ALL guests must be aged 6 years old or over on the date of the party). All drivers of the BBQ Buoy must be aged 21 years or over and present a car driver’s licence before boarding. Want to hang out with your mates withOUT the kids (yeah, us too sometimes!) and we will definitely be back onboard soon for a great afternoon to share with our friends sans kids. Prices start from $170 for 1-2 people with options to add their ‘flexi’ option which is always a great idea just in case anything comes up. Check out all the booking options here.

If you’ve ever wondered what those round boats down on Torrens were, or ever considered BBQ Buoys but didn’t think it’d work with the kids, then now you know. And now you know how safe and FUN it is for all the family you should definitely give BBQ Buoys a go – but book early as they get very busy!

What: BBQ Buoys – where BBQ, meets boat, meets FUN!
When: Fridays to Sundays, plus additional days and times in summer, school and public holidays – see website for availability.
Where: On the River Torren from Pinky Flat – immediately across the road from the Next Generation gym on War Memorial Drive, just downstream from the new Torrens footbridge. There are a few car parks immediately next to the Torrens footbridge, otherwise there is easy and free parking along War Memorial Drive to the west (across Montefiore Road), and paid parking across the footbridge at the Casino.

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