Victor Harbor is an iconic seaside town less than an hour out of Adelaide. The weather is always a little cooler in Victor, which makes it the IDEAL place to visit with the kids during the searing heat of Adelaide summers. The beaches are great, with Middleton, Carrikalinga, Goolwa and Port Elliot a short drive away and great for body boarding, surfing and swimming. There’s delicious bakeries and family friendly cafes and restaurants to enjoy a meal and this area also has some of our favourite playgrounds.

If you’re planning a trip to Victor be sure to put a few of these on your ‘to do’ list.

Victor Harbor Playgrounds

GT Fisher Playground

We have to admit, the GT Fisher Playground (or the Train Playground) on the foreshore has been a favourite for what feels like decades (because it has been decades….that is how old we are!). Renovated a couple of years ago to transform this iconic spot into a fantastic nature playground, incorporating the old train still, it works so well as a destination spot to tuck into some lunch during your Victor day trip.

We love the fully fenced section for the little kids, whilst having a more open area (plus lots of grass to kick the footy) for the older ones. A beautiful spot with all the facilities you need!

For all the info on one of our faves, click here.

Victor Harbor Youth Park

If your kids are a bit old for the new GT Fisher Playground at Victor, or you need a spot where kids can play on equipment and also have a skate and shoot some hoops this is a great spot right on the foreshore. This area is suited more to older kids. The playground equipment (called the Teenranger) includes two circular climbing frames, flying fox and lots of things to balance on and hang from. The skate park is best for kids who are confident on their wheels, although when the bowl is quiet smaller kids will enjoy it too.

 This spot is great for the bigger kids and is well worth a read here.

Muwerang-Kent Reserve

You know what we love about Kent Reserve? It is solid. Not spectacular, but solid. Heaps of equipment for all ages, nothing flash but lots of good stuff for a range of ages. Then you add in some really good facilities like BBQs and toilets, then throw in the proximity to the beach (like 5 metres away) and you have yourself a great alternative to the usually busy foreshore area. Keep this one in the back of your mind if you are looking for a big quiet spot, close to the heart of Victor, to take the kids for a BBQ dinner and a play on the sand.

Check out our visit here.

starfish playground victor harbor

Soldiers Memorial Playground

Picture this, you are at the foreshore, just been to Granite Island and want a little playground to rest but GT Fisher is cranking and crowds….meh. Literally 100m in the other direction is the Soldiers Memorial Playground, one of the little KiA crew’s favourites down that way. Some great climbing equipment for the under 10s is what you will find here, plus easy access to the beach and great views of Granite Island and The Bluff. Check out our write up here!

 

Goolwa Nature Play Space

Goolwa! Only about 10 minutes down the road from Victor and if you can tear yourself away from the fabulous Sunday markets, then the kids will thank you if you get to their new(ish) nature playground. The Bristow Smith Reserve is headlined by a 10 metre long wooden boat, which your nautically inclined kids will be all over. Speaking of being all over, be wary this one is right on the waters edge and is not fenced, but the views of the mighty Murray will bring back memories of watching Storm Boy as a kid. If your kids haven’t seen it, get them onto some classic SA movie history.

Check out our visit to this great playground here

starfish playground victor harbor

Commodore Reserve, Pt Elliot

Need to work off one of Port Elliot Bakeries ‘Donut of the Month’? Why not pop down to Horseshoe Bay and check out a family spot with it all! Commodore Reserve has a cool little playground, which overlooks the beautiful Horseshoe Bay (close to our heart this one…we did nippers here many, many years ago!). Nearby walks along the coastal tracks make this a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, especially during whale season. If you are keen for a bit of whale spotting, check out all the info here.

A fantastic spot and although the playground is only a small one, the location, beach and trails (oh and bakery) make this really good for the whole fam. All the playground info here.

starfish playground victor harbor

Starfish Park

Flying fox, sandpits, climbing rope towers and so much more! No wonder this is so popular over at Hayborough (just that little suburb near the Aldi as you come into Victor), but it also has some fab facilities to host a kids party or Sunday family BBQ with a huge grassed area to boot. 

Keen to know more about our visit? Click here!

Victor Harbor Beaches

The beaches along the coast at Victor are beautiful but some spots are waaaay better than others (looking at you foreshore seaweed mountains). Make sure you’re aware of the tidal movement if you’re out in a kayak as there can be some rips that pull you out. There are very few waves as Granite Island tends to block these, which makes it a lovely place for children to play in the water, fly kites and build castles and forts.

Middleton and Port Elliot are close by if you have kids who are interested in body-boarding or surfing, plus these are the nicest beaches by far when it comes to the sandy beaches you think of back in town.  The waves here are great for those learning to surf as the waves aren’t too large and the water is shallow quite a long way out. Please be aware that the tidal pull here is extremely strong. Even though the water looks very shallow it can drag children out very, very quickly and sweep their feet from under them. It is very important you keep a close eye on your children.

As you head along the coast past the Bluff, the beaches can get rather rough as the full force of the Southern Ocean pounds the coast, but the views and the walk are sensational.

We included the fab Victor Heritage Trail along the Bluff and the coast in our bushwalking feature….check it out here.

Family Friendly Eats in Victor Harbor

Pt Elliot Bakery

A South Australian icon and you can’t go to Victor without getting a pie, pasty or sausage roll from there! There are often line ups so that pretty much explains just how awesome this place is. I’ve always figured that the energy and kilojoules it takes lining up balances it all out!

Qahwa Coffee Roasters and Espresso Bar

A brilliant kid-friendly cafe in Victor Harbor. Located along the foreshore, nestled between the tennis club, beach volleyball courts and tennis courts, the cafe is right next to the foreshore bike/walking path and beach.

Click here for more info

Family Friendly Things to Do and See in Victor Harbor

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

SA Whale Centre

The South Australian Whale Centre is South Australia’s largest marine focused interpretative centre.

Visitors can experience the natural wonders of the deep, explore the world heritage listed railway building, and gain further knowledge about Victor Harbor and South Australia’s marine treasures. The centre provides whale sighting information, education and research support services through a range of mediums. The centre brings together a unique collection of historic treasures, marine, cultural, and aboriginal heritage to deliver an inspiring and enjoyable experience for every visitor.

They also have their very own 3D theatrette which is included in the price of entry. Make sure you check out their website and Facebook Page for exciting new exhibits and talks!

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Horsedrawn Tram

The horsedrawn tram is an iconic feature of Victor Harbor! The clydesdale horses pull the swaying tram across the bridge to Granite Island and back again. Kids LOVE going on the tram, or even just watching the horses being fed and groomed. The beautiful horses are magnificent, and the olden-days tram is a nice change of pace for kids

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Oceanic Victor

Swim with HUGE tuna at Oceanic Victor! What a thrill!
We recently had the chance to visit this truly unique experience and it was such an exciting day.
After a very short boat ride (5 mins max) from Granite Island you’re fitted out with a nice thick warm wetsuit, snorkel gear and gloves and straight into the water to swim with the “Ferraris of the ocean” the Southern Bluefin Tuna!

Click here to read about our experience

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

The Bluff

The Bluff is a long bike ride, walk or scoot along the coast, with a steep track to the top for awesome views. Or you can take the car and enjoy it too! It’s a great spot to look back towards Victor Harbor and examine further down the coast.

image credit @pilgrimwa (IG)

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Girdlers Family Amusements

Located at the end of the causeway in Victor Harbor, Girdlers Family Amusements in on-site throughout the School Holidays,
and most long weekends and public holidays. Ride the ferris wheel and other thrill rides, dodgem cars, inflatable balls and play sideshow games. There are food trucks where you can grab a good fish and chips and delicious strawberries and cream!

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Cockle Train

The Cockle Train is truly a unique rail journey. Starting at the Riverside town of Goolwa, where the mighty Murray River meets the rails. This section of railway track from Goolwa to Port Elliot was the first iron railway in Australia and was opened in 1854, and you can travel on it! the next section of track from Port Elliot to Victor Harbour is full of stunning views. On one side are the hills overlooking the bay! The other side is the Southern Ocean with its lovely white beaches and playful surf awaiting you to take the plunge or even just a toe. At Victor Harbour one can wander through the streets or ride the horse drawn tram on the causeway to Granite Island. This journey can be taken from both directions.

Granite Island

Granite Island is a short walk (or horsedrawn tram ride!) across the bridge from the main part of Victor Harbor. There are steep stairs and dusty walking paths that kids love exploring as they wander around the island. Be aware that prams can go across to the island but the walk around it is not suitable for young children (unless carried) or prams. Older children love it though and it’s not a long hike. Sensible shoes are recommended.

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Urimbirra Wildlife Park

The Urimbirra Wildlife Park is around 5 minutes drive out of Victor Harbor. There is lots the kids will love, and it’s a great place to go if you have had enough of the beach! There are koalas, birds, lizards, snakes (gah!), wombats and also farm yard animals. It’s worth packing a picnic and spending the day in the park. Guaranteed winner with the kids!

Discover Victor Harbour - SA Whale Centre - Kids in Adelaide

Seal Island Boat Tours

This is huge on our bucket list and everyone we have spoken too has just loved this!
With a range of tours of varying times (and speeds!) the boat tours leaving the Causeway (Fancy word for jetty on Granite Island) are a definitely something to fit into your trip if you can.

Where to stay in Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor Holiday, Caravan and Cabin Park

If you’re after a truly family friendly accommodation option we cannot recommend Victor Harbor Cabin and Holiday Park more. We’ve stayed a few times now and our kids L-O-V-E it! You almost don’t need to organise any other activities because it’s ALL right there at the park.
Swimming pool, jumping pillow, playground, onsite food truck, bike hire, pedal karts, games room. School holidays are a special treat when they’ll also bring our the giant inflatable waterslide, giant inflatable maze, FREE holiday activities, movie nights and more.

There plenty of cabins available at a range of prices as well as powered and unpowered sites, and even ensuite sites!

Take a look at their website and book online at www.victorharborholiday.com.au

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  • What a hidden little gem this is! I'm sure regulars to Victor Harbor will tell us they've been visiting this park for ages but it's a new one for us! Kent Reserve is found on Franklin Parade, on the foreshore half way between Encounter Bay and Victor Harbor town. It's a beautiful big green, shady and fairly quiet spot away from the busier playgrounds in Victor. There is PLENTY of room for picnics with lots of tables and seats and BBQ facilities. The kids can kick a ball and run around and there are lots of beautiful big shady trees (the playground itself isn't shaded, but there are plenty of spots to escape the sun on a hot day) There are toilets too! There is also a small basketball court and a seperate section with adult gym equipment. There's nothing wow factor about the playground equipment but definitely enough there to keep kids busy. There's swings, monkey bars, climbing nets, rockers, a slide and a cool spinning frame that was the favourite BUT BE WARNED it's bark chips!! Gah! Shoes are needed, unless your kids have concrete feet. Here's a tip......pop up the road to Yilki Store at Encounter Bay…

  • The Victor Harbor Farmers Market showcases regional produce from across the Fleurieu Peninsula. The market operates every Saturday 8.00 am - 12.30 pm in the Grosvenor Gardens just opposite the traffic lights in Victor Harbor. Entry is free. There are over 32 vendor stalls with delicious local produce. Special markets will include Guest Chefs with tastings of fine cuisine using VH Farmers Market produce. Plus, an Activities Program including face painters, animal creche, tastings and the best musicians on the South Coast. Locally produced gourmet pies, tempting dips and chutneys, locally caught fish and seafood, organic vegetables, seasonal fruit, the regions honey, mushrooms, fresh flowers, Fleurieu Regional wines, choice meat, breads and biscuits. Visitors to the market can enjoy a great coffee, taste wine, and enjoy breakfasts or brunch made on site from the best regional produce. For more information and special market events visit their website or Facebook page

  • Swim with HUGE tuna at Oceanic Victor! What a thrill!We recently had the chance to visit this truly unique experience and it was such an exciting day.After a very short boat ride (5 mins max) from Granite Island you're fitted out with a nice thick warm wetsuit, snorkel gear and gloves and straight into the water to swim with the "Ferraris of the ocean" the Southern Bluefin Tuna! The guides are marine biologists and I was really impressed with their knowledge and willingness to answer EVERY question my daughter threw at them "What's the biggest tuna?" "How do seastars swim?""How many bones does a tuna have?" ????If you don't want to swim there are other opportunities to stay aboard and feed the fish, venture below the water in the under water viewing platform. You'll even get chance to hold a shark! Miss 6 was a bit nervous to start with but the guides were so great making her laugh and feel comfortable she was in the water in no time. She LOVED it! (Mum and Dad did too) It's a really great family memory and a chance to do something you won't find anywhere else in Australia. www.oceanicvictor.com.au