Summer School Holidays in SA: 5 unmissable destinations

Get ready to enjoy a family summer holiday with a difference. Unforgettable South Australia is packed with some of Australia’s best summer adventures, from exotic wildlife encounters to inner-city beaches and underground hotels to the best school holiday activities. You’ll even find deals where the kids can stay for free. Find experiences guaranteed to deliver a memorable family getaway with our list of best places to enjoy summer school holidays SA style. 


Close up of a male lion's face who is staring at the camera.
Stop by the Adelaide Zoo to see the lions. Image credit: Adrian Mann.

Famous for its rich heritage and markets, Adelaide is also an idyllic holiday destination with lively inner-city beaches, family-friendly restaurants and an abundance of outdoor and wildlife adventures. Start your trip with a day at Glenelg Beach, where you can meet some of the friendly local dolphins that frolic in the waves.

The Adelaide Zoo is another iconic Adelaide attraction. Australia’s second oldest zoo, this institution is home to over 2,500 animals with experiences that include lion, tiger and monkey encounters as well as keeper talks. Adelaide is also packed with family-friendly bars and restaurants. Check out Doughballs Pizza in Glenelg for some great pizza. 

Need somewhere to stay?

Adelaide is packed with family-friendly accommodation to suit every taste and budget. Explore your options close to the heart of the city and near the relaxing inner-city beaches. 

Coober Pedy

A man with a flashlight taking a tour of an underground opal mine
Take an underground tour at the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum. Phot from South Australia Tourism Commission and Elliot Grafton.

Known as Australia’s historic Opal Capital, this outback town is also well known for being a memorable holiday destination with an ‘underground town’. Designed to shelter from the heat of the day, the cool subterranean dwellings also contain a rich legacy of opal mining history. Explore the Coober Pedy Experience, where you can also enjoy comfortable rooms as part. 

For an insight into the town’s vibrant past, take a wander through Tom’s working opal mine and Opal Museum where mine displays and underground tunnels will open your eyes to a fascinating past. Umoona Opal Mine also has daily underground tours and free entry to the museum. Replenish at one of the family-friendly diners such as the Outback Bar and Grill

Related: Five regional destinations to visit this summer

Need somewhere to stay?

The family-friendly Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience is fun accommodation with hallways and tunnels filled with opal seams and history. Take a free tour of the Revival Fellowship underground church and explore the tunnels underneath.

Mt Gambier

Portrait shot of a man coming out of the crystal clear blue water onto a dock. Rock and tress in the background.
Little Blue Lake, Mount Gambier. Image from South Australian Tourism Commission & Declan Hartley-Brown

Situated on the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier is a South Australian gem and home to some of Australia’s most beautiful attractions. Beyond the heritage-lined shops in the heart of town, you’ll find plenty of geographical wonders to walk around and swim in – such as stunning Blue Lake, Little Blue Lake and Umpherston Sinkhole

Take some time to smell the roses in the historic Cave Garden, where you can walk the viewing platforms and see the original source of water used by early settlers. There are also plenty of great places to eat with the family, such as Sorrentos Cafe, Blue Lake Bar and Bistro and the Barn Steakhouse – a local establishment that pairs local wines with locally sourced steaks.

Need Somewhere to stay?

Perfect for families and for exploring the area once the school terms have finished, Comfort Inn The Lakes is located on the edge of the Crater Lakes with spectacular views and easy access to the famous Blue Lake, Valley Lakes Precinct, Riddoch Art Gallery and the Engelbrecht Cave Tour.


Lake Bonney, SA at night time with beautiful stars and milky way present. Old tress scatter through the river, with a person on the land looking up at the sky.
Be sure to stop by Lake Bonney at night to see the incredible stars. Image from Mark Bondarenko.

Home to the sparkling Lake Bonney, there’s a reason Barmera is called the ‘Jewel of the Riverland’. Take some time out with the family to kayak around its waterways and enjoy an aquatic adventure that includes swimming, windsurfing or water skiing. There are plenty of walks to enjoy by the waterside as well. 

The town is also rich with history – explore some of the country music heritage at Rocky’s Hall of Fame and Pioneers Museum. Opened by Slim Dusty in 1995, this museum houses an impressive collection of memorabilia. For a fascinating excursion into the past, visit the living time capsule that is Loxton Historical Village, before enjoying a meal at the Overland Corner Hotel

Need somewhere to stay?

For some warm country hospitality, Comfort Inn & Suites Riverland has got you sorted. Conveniently located near restaurants, historic homesteads, inviting pubs and much more.

Victor Harbor

Edge of a cliff face with red and orange marking on it. Water in the foreground and pink and purple sunset in the background
Granite Island. Image by Trent John Martin

Situated on the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, the seaside town of Victor Harbor is home to unique wildlife, stunning coastal scenery and spectacular panoramic walks. Take it all in on a walk – or a horse-drawn carriage ride – across the causeway to Granite Island Recreation Park, where you can spot dolphins and penguins and enjoy a walk on the easy-going Kaiki Trail

Only five minutes from town, the Urimbirra Wildlife Park is another wildlife haven, home to over 400 animals. Enjoy a huge range of animal experiences, from patting kangaroos to feeding emus – those that are brave enough can even try snake handling. Unwind afterwards at one of the many family-friendly restaurants near the water, including Nino’s Italian and Loco Mexican

Need somewhere to stay?

Comfort Inn Victor Harbor is the perfect base to enjoy the surrounding surrounded beaches, islands, galleries and restaurants.

Travelling with kids under 12?

Join Choice Privileges today for the Lowest Price Guaranteed when you book direct with Choice Hotels, as well as 4c/Litre off petrol at United Petroleum.*

Plus, Kids Under 12 Stay Free at family friendly Choice Hotels when you Book Direct.* (**T&Cs apply).

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