Ahhh summer in South Australia. The perfect time to pack up the car & head to one of our many beautiful beaches, lakes or springs for a swim. We have dived in (see what I did there?) to find the best spots to cool off. No matter the age or swimming level of your kids there is sure to be somewhere in the list below that is perfect for your family. There are beaches that are perfect for boogie boards, rockpools to discover our marine life, secret natural plunge pools, lagoons, jetty enclosures & more. Some are our metro Adelaide beaches, some are in regional SA & some are very well kept secrets!
Tag us in your photos of these watery havens – also don’t forget to slip, slop, slap, check water levels & currents before entering the water & ALWAYS supervise kids around water.
Little Blue Lake
Swim in the cool water of a volcanic sinkhole on the Limestone Coast! There are stairs for safe access, plus a floating pontoon. This spot is lots of fun, however only recommended for competent swimmers as the lake is 25m deep at its shallowest point!
Image: @travelling_millennials (IG)
Edithburgh Tidal Pool
Head to the southern Yorke Peninsula to swim in South Australia’s only purpose built tidal pool. It’s around a metre in depth, possibly a bit deeper when the tide comes in over the wall. The perfect spot for the whole family to swim!
Image: @beckjrodgers IG
Naracoorte Swimming Lake
It’s HUGE! The Naracoorte Swimming Lake is located in the state’s South East around 3.5 hours drive from Adelaide.
This is a man made lake with a concrete floor and walls and chlorinated water. There are shallow sections for littlies and deeper sections up to 2m for swimming. You’ll also find a diving pontoon and enclosed and shaded kids area – the perfect spot for toddlers to splash safely.
LOVE HEART EYES! You’ll find this beauty at the back of the Naracoorate Holiday Park, however you don’t have to be staying there to use it!
Granites – Streaky Bay
You’ll find this gorgeous rock lagoon a short drive out of Streaky Bay on the Westall Way Loop Drive. Perfect for snorkelling or a bit of rock fishing, the kids will love splashing about. There is also a great surf break “out back” if you have competent surfers in the family!
Point Turton ‘Swimming Centre’
Not to be confused with the more easily found (also epic) Pt Turton Jetty and pontoons the ‘swimming centre’ can be found a couple of km’s further around the coast to the North East. Bring your goggles and snorkel. Best at high tide (but fun for little kids and for rock rambling and exploring at low tide) this place is a gem. You will need to drive on a short dusty dirt road, however you won’t need a four wheel drive. Of course Pt Turton is also famous for Flaherty’s Beach….. but every man and his dog knows that one is a ripper, but yawn, we want you to learn something new PLUS some days? We like our beaches with out cars on them. Boom, we just gave you three top spots in one town. Bloody hell we love Yorkes.
Image: Pt Turton Caravan Park FB Page.
Part of the Coward Springs Camping Ground, the water for the “natural spa” flows from the bore then into the wetland. Relax & listen to the birdlife! Day visitors are welcome for $2 person – you’ll find this spot 236kms out of Coober Pedy on the Oodnadatta Track.
Shell Beach Rockpool, Innes National Park
If you have older kids that are ok with the walk fom the carpark & are confident enough to clamber over some rocks, then Shell Beach at Innes National Park is well worth the reward! Laze the day away in the water & see how many varieties of sea creatures you can find in the rockpools. It’s a great place to cool off & explore.
Pool of Siloam
Not far from Robe, is Beachport on the Limestone Coast. And there you will find the Pool Of Siloam, which is apparently seven times saltier then the sea – so it’s lovely & buoyant. There are also picnic tables, changerooms & an outdoor shower. The salty water is said to help with arthritis and rheumatism! We wonder if it’s wondrous properties will also help kids to not fight with each other & sleep through the night too? Asking for a friend….
Image: @sezzy_anna (IG)
We could write about Yorke’s beaches all day. Here’s one requiring a (scenic ripper) dirt road drive that’s closer than Innes National Park and nope it’s also no where near Berry Bay (so don’t mistake it for that banger, kinda looks same same but it’s not.) This one will take some finding and a decent dirt road drive (don’t panic your 4WD’s are not needed here any more than at your city soccer games). She’s dusty and she’s worth it. Find Wattle Point Wind Farm. Now find Troubridge Light House (no, not the island) now keep going, keep going. Stop. Good luck, that’s all you are getting. You’ll often have this beach to yourself, but not in January, in January it’s a school reunion for all of the legends that went to YAS. IYKYK. Did I just write that, who even am I? Prepare for stairs, dolphins, crystal clear water and little dumping waves that you can ride just far enough.
Bristow Smith Reserve, Goolwa
This little swimming inlet in Goolwa is perfect on a hot day – it’s right next to the Bristow Smith Reserve Nature Playground, so the kids can bounce to & from the playground to cooling off in the water all day. Keep an eye out for pelicans, boats & windsurfers!
Roxby Pools & Splashpad
25m Outdoor Pool, indoor heated pool and a zero depth play area with interactive water features and a permanent fence separating it from the Outdoor Pool.
Opening hours and entry fees at www.roxbydowns.sa.gov.au
‘Wateroo’ swimming enclosure & pontoons at Wallaroo
This is a great addition to the Wallaroo foreshore on the Copper Coast. Wateroo is a FREE outdoor swimming enclosure built by the District Council of the Copper Coast accessible 7 days a week, 24 hours a day all year round, although the pontoons are taken out for winter. It’s sandy and safe, there are no waves here and we thought you might prefer it over the often more publicised Moonta Bay, because honestly? We do. PS it’s a short drive from Wallaroo’s iconic North Beach sand expanses if you’d rather park up with your car on the sand.
This beauty is around 80km from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The water sparkles, the sand is smooth, the views are stunning & the rockpools are plentiful. There’s a reason it was once named South Australia’s Top Beach by the Lonely Planet Guide!
Millicent Swimming Lake
Here’s what the Wattle Range Council website has to say about this one:
Located on Park Terrace, Millicent, this unique aquatic facility provides a family-friendly environment for all skill levels with an enclosed toddler area, shallow beach, and deeper water, while the pontoon provides opportunities for more experienced swimmers. The area includes BBQ’s, a playground, shaded areas, beach volleyball court, car parking, and a privately owned kiosk. Council has recently upgraded the changerooms at the Millicent Swimming Lake and hot showers are available for $1 per 2 minutes. The showers are equipped with doors and contain a small seating area. Patrons are asked to bring $1 coins for use in the hot showers.
Public Opening Times
The Swimming Lake is open 24 hours per day. However, the toilet facilities are locked each evening to prevent vandalism.
Please note that there are no lifeguards on duty at the Millicent Swimming Lake. The entire area is also declared a Dry Zone, so no alcohol is to be consumed at the site or on the surrounding parklands. No dogs are permitted in this area.
Witjira National Park Hot Springs
Floating around in 37 degree water? Um, YES PLEASE! Head to Dalhousie Springs, part of the Witjira National Park, on the Western side of the Simpson Desert. Cool off in summer or warm up in winter. This one is for true adventurers, as it involves some dirt tracks, red dirt & a lot of roughing it. But a dip in these hot springs will be worth it, trust us!
Streaky Bay Jetty Pool
A shark-proof swimming enclosure forms the Streaky Bay Jetty Pool, which means the family can enjoy the ocean without nightmares of Jaws! Wander the jetty, swim & splash in the water, then grab an ice cream to eat on the shore. If you haven’t had a family holiday to Streaky Bay yet, put it on your list!
You’ve seen it on Instagram, so why not take a day trip to Second Valley for some picture perfect family memories on the beach? The water is usually calm, making it perfect for kids swimming or some snorkelling, however there are a lot of reefs & rocks to explore too. One part of Second Valley is only accessible by boat or kayak, making it extra special & secluded.
Image: @an.aussie.explores (IG)
Port Noarlunga Reef
This one definitely isn’t a secret but it’s such a winner! To the left of the jetty is “little reef” which is perfect for learner snorkellers. At the end of the jetty is the big reef which is amazing to explore up close. If you have littlies they can play in the rockpools to the right of the jetty & find some marine life. The reef means it’s a pretty protected, calm beach most of the time, making it the perfect family day out.
Cockatoo Lake Recreation Reserve
We love a dip in and a water ski / kneeboard around this beautiful lake in our states South East. Take your inflatables and float the day away, enjoy a lake side BBQ and free camping. Try your luck for some yabbies…… The lake depth is dependant on rainfall. Find it via Grubbed Road, Keppoch.
Penguin Point, Yorke Peninsula
Penguin Point is a great little sheltered beach about a 5 minute walk from the town of Marion Bay (maybe 10 mins with the kids…). It doesn’t get too deep, so it’s perfect for littlies to play in the water. Keep an eye out for all sorts of birdlife here. (Fun fact: When I was a kid, I cut my knee on a rock at Penguin Point & still have a tiny scar. Not related to this feature, but I’ll do anything for sympathy.)
Ok not a secret, we all know that you can dunk yourself in this beauty, but did you know it has an oversized inflatable trampoline pontoon? Way less bunyips in this lake than the river according to Jacki’s kids.
Please note that the pontoon is only accessible to Discovery Park guests.
Find it at Barmera in our states Riverland.
Hallett Cove Tidal Pool -Perhaps?
So this one has been “in concept” for what seems like forever. So watch this space. But if it does ever get built, we will be first in line for a dip in a brand spanking new tidal pool down south at Hallett Cove. Imagine doing the Marion Coastal Trail then cooling off for a dip here? WE ARE IN!