Running out of ideas these school holidays?

Tuesday, 19th Apr 2016 by John Pedler
Categories: Family

Yep, there’s only a week and a half to go, and all too soon they’ll be somebody else’s problem.

But in the meantime, here are a few short trips and local attractions that might keep the kids - and you - entertained.

Gladstone Gaol, spend a night in the slammer
Gladstone Gaol
Prison is always an option. If you live in the Mid North/Clare Valley, Gladstone Gaol is just down the road, but it’s not that far from Adelaide either.

The Gaol operated between 1881 and 1975, and in its heyday it was one of the largest rural prisons in the country.

It’s also been an internment centre, holding German and Italian Nationals during World War 2, and a movie set for the filming of the Aussie flick, Stir - and it’s just the spot to lock up the kids.

That’s right, cells are available for holiday rental. That should set them straight!

For the full blog click here.

Fort Glanville, the Russians are coming!
Fort Glanville

I think kids still like forts, even if they’re not virtual…the forts that is!

Once upon a time Adelaideans were concerned about Russian invasion, so the authorities planned the construction of three coastal forts.

Fort Largs and Fort Glanville were completed, and still stand today, but Fort Glenelg never quite got up.

There’s no public access to Fort Largs but Fort Glanville is open every Tuesday, and on the third Sunday of the month from September to May.

It never saw any actual combat, but it somehow survived its time as a scout camp and a caravan park.

Thanks to the good work of volunteers it has been incredibly well preserved. Tuesday is tour day and visitors are shown through all the nooks, crannies and tunnels.   

Or you might want to wait until the third Sunday when they fire the cannons. That’s a lot of fun.

For the full blog, click here.

Horseshoe Top-End Station - 4wd action
Horseshoe Top-End
With a very early start this could be a day trip, but it makes a much more relaxing overnighter. 

Horseshoe Top-End is a working sheep station and owners, Jim and Teresa Connell, have opened up several 4wd tracks on their property on a user-pays basis.

With a high clearance 4wd, you and the clan can enjoy an off-road adventure in the heart of the southern Flinders Ranges.

The station is only 330kms north of Adelaide but it's 100% outback. The air is clear, the views are sensational and the kangaroos are prolific. 

There’s a house available for rental and there are also several secluded camping areas.

I’ve only recently returned from a trip to Horseshoe, and you can find the full blog, complete with video, here.

Kayaking with dolphins off Garden Island
Kayaking with dolphins
I’ve been banging on about this for years, and for good reason.

The bottom reaches of the Port River run through a major industrial area, which makes this whole experience particularly remarkable.

In the shadows of the Torrens Island Power Station, the clear waters off Garden Island are home to a significant pod of dolphins that seem to enjoy nothing more than a hearty frolic…and possibly loads of fish.

You can launch your own kayaks from the Garden Island boat ramp. Alternatively, Adventure Kayaking SA will deliver kayaks to the ramp, or you can join one of their organised tours.

Across the way is a channel through the wilderness of the mangroves, and around the corner are the great rusting hulks of ships that were discarded many moons ago.

For the blog and video, click here.

RAA members receive 10% saving on pre-purchased tickets for tours. For more information, click here.    

Martindale Hall/Mintaro Maze
Martindale Hall
The Clare Valley makes for the perfect daytrip, or overnighter, and while the wineries are a major drawcard, the valley has many other gems on offer.

There’s no way the kids will remember – or have even heard of – the 1970s Australian movie, Picnic at Hanging Rock, so any connection between Appleyard College and Martindale Hall will be lost on them.

But this a big old house with lots of rooms to explore.

The Hall is a 32-room Georgian-style mansion that dates back to the late-1800s.

The Mortlock family were the last owners before the house was bequeathed to Adelaide University, and it contains many of the weird and wonderful artefacts they collected from around the world.

Just down the road, Mintaro Maze is made up of over 800 neatly clipped conifers. Visitors are provided with a list of puzzles to solve, but according to owners, Mick and Sharon Morris, grownups have more fun with these than kids, who’d rather perfect the art of getting lost. 
Mintaro Maze

Cleland Wildlife Park Night Walk
Night time is all action in the Australian bush. When the day creatures doze off, it’s time for nocturnals like bettongs, possums and bats to take over.

Wandering through Cleland guided only by torchlight – and guides – is an exhilarating experience.

The unearthly snarling of the Tassie devils and the eerie cry of the curlew add to the atmosphere. In the background are the twinkling lights of the city…where the schools and desks and books are.

For the full blog, click here

RAA Members a discount on Day Entry to Cleland. For more information, click here

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