To the rest of Australia, beautiful beaches probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think about South Australia BUT we know something they don’t know. When it comes to blue water, white sand, rockpools, reefs and gentle waves – S.A’s got the goods.

Not all beaches are the same when it comes to family friendly though. They’ve got to have gentle waves, no strong sweeps or currents, they have to be easy to get to, …….

Please remember to keep a close eye on your kids at the beach, swim between the flags where possible and always slip, slop, slap and wrap.

Below are our top picks for family friendly beaches in Adelaide and greater South Australia.

  1. Port Noarlunga
  2. Brighton Beach
  3. Semaphore Beach
  4. Flahertys Beach, Yorke Peninsula
  5. Moana Beach
  6. Second Valley
  7. Penguin Point, Yorke Peninsula
  8. Port WIllunga
  9. Silver Sands/Sellicks Beach
  10. Henley Beach

Port Noarlunga

This would have to be one of Adelaide’s most iconic beaches – are you even from Adelaide if you didn’t go to Port Noarlunga for Aquatics in primary school?
It is a lovely sheltered beach with a jetty for walks and hardly any rough waves because the beach is so protected by the reef. Speaking of the reef – make sure you pack your snorkelling gear and take the kids for a snorkel over the Little Reef or if they are a bit older and confident swimmers you could take them out to the main reef.
You could easily spend a day here with a kiosk and plenty of eateries close by in the Port Noarlunga township.

Brighton Beach

Another iconic metropolitan beach!
The Brighton Jetty has featured in many a viral Insta post but the sand and water is where it’s at for families here. Grab a coffee or some hot chips from one of the many cafes along Jetty Road and watch the sunset go down over the horizon while the kids play in the shallows.
You can also walk along the Coastal Trail for miles and let the kids ride ahead on their bikes. The only downside to this beachside spot? Parking. Be prepared to need to do a few laps of the streets to find a park, but we promise it it will be worth it!


It’s not just the beach we love at Semaphore, it’s the whole foreshore precinct! Head to the Kite Festival over Easter each year, or head down there any weekend and enjoy the beach, jetty, train rides, playground and kiosk – it’s certainly easy to spend a full day here, especially when the weather is nice!

Flahertys Beach, Yorke Peninsula

There is a reason Flahertys Beach on Yorke Peninsula has won about a million awards for being the best beach in South Australia. (Or even Australia? Dunno, let’s just say Best Beach In The World.)
I mean, just LOOK AT THAT WATER!
This beach is on Yorke Peninsula and is perfect for kids to swim, splash and explore and perfect for you to get a ton of Insta-worthy shots!

Moana Beach

Another beach where you can drive your car on if wish, but honestly the ‘non car’ end is bit nicer and calmer for kids. The tides often leave little pools for kids to play in and the water is mostly calm – if there are waves, they are usually perfect learner waves for little groms learning to surf. Head north along Moana Beach to find some rockpools often teeming with crabs and sea life! There is plenty of parking and the Deep Blue Cafe or Dukes Cafe are right there to grab hot chips, coffees and treats.

Second Valley

This is one of those beaches that feels a bit magical, like it is something out of a movie or favourite storybook. Many families head here on holidays but being on the Fleurieu Peninsula, it is also an easy day trip from Adelaide. Perfect for water play and swimming in summer and playing on the sand and exploring the rocks in winter. If you have older kids, this is also a popular kayaking or stand up paddle boarding spot – in fact many of the photos you see on Instagram and tourism websites of Second Valley are shots from out on the water looking back to the shore!

Penguin Point, Yorke Peninsula

We love this little beach, found in Marion Bay on the southern end of Yorke Peninsula. The water stays shallow for a long way out so it’s perfect for letting little kids splash in the shallows. There are also caves to explore and sea creatures to find. Pack a picnic and make a day of it next time you are over on Yorkes on a hot day!

Port Willunga

Port Willunga Beach is a firm favourite with the Kids In Adelaide team – where else can you play and relax in caves, explore the old jetty ruins AND grab fish & chips from one of the best beachside kiosks in Adelaide? Say no more – Port Willunga is an iconic South Australian spot and is a must do during any trips to the Fleurieu in summer (or anytime really!).

Silver Sands, Sellicks Beach

Just around the corner from Port Willunga you will find Silver Sands at Sellicks Beach. Drive on the beach, setup for the day, enjoy the shallows and join in one of the many games of beach crickets with other families! Hot tip: This gets BUSY on public holidays over summer, we would personally wait for a quieter day to go.

Henley Beach

It would be remiss of us to not include Henley Beach in this list! Who hasn’t done the Jetty to Jetty walks from Henley Beach pre-kids on a fitness kick? And now that you have kids, you can just enjoy the beach without working up too much of a sweat. If sand isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the views of the beach from the water play area in Henley Square. Of course it goes without saying that there are plenty of eateries along this stretch to grab a meal or cool treat while the kids frolic!

You might also be interested in

  • OK yes we are all original Adelaide Hills girls so we MAY be just a little bit bias BUT if you haven’t been up the hill for a while we definitely think you should put it on the “to do” list.

  • What's more appealing than keeping the kids busy, happy and active these holidays!?  When it's all FREE!! If you're like most parents in Adelaide, you will get half way through these school holidays and be struggling to work out how to keep the little minions occupied until they go back to school. If you're like me, you want to do it without spending a fortune. I love hanging out with my kids, don't get me wrong, but sometimes a few ideas on what we could do go a long way, and a few free ideas are even better.  So, here are a few ideas to get you through the next week with our Top 10 Free things to do with kids in Adelaide:

  • If your kids are anything like ours, one of their favourite things to do is slip, slop, slap and wrap and head down to the beach for the day. It’s even better when you find a beach that has some awesome rock pools to explore. The team at Kids in Adelaide have searched high and low (and under a few rocks) to find some of the best rock pools in South Austraila for you to explore this summer. Of course it goes without saying, always make sure your kids are super careful around rockpools (the best way to do this is carefully walking around the rockpools rather than running or jumping) as the rocks can be slippery and sharp. A pair of old sneakers or water shoes come in handy! Also remember rockpools are home to a bunch of different critters so let’s keep their homes safe by making sure all rocks that are turned over are put back, leave all rocks and shells where you found them. Take only your rubbish and a whole bunch of photos home with you. Here’s some of our favourites…. happy exploring!