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South Adelaide Summer

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Cafes | Playgrounds | School Holidays
by Teagan Cox (subscribe)
A word-loving writer getting immersed in Adelaide's world of books.
Published November 20th 2017
South Adelaide Summer

CC0 Creative Commons / Pixabay

Lately, the weather's been treating us to a taste of summer, and it's delicious. Warm sunny days are inviting us all to get outside and enjoy everything the southern suburbs have to offer. To help you out and keep you busy this summer I've put together this list of fun and fabulous places to enjoy during the warm summer months.

On the following pages, you can find information about the amazing local beaches, parks, and hiking spots. Or, if food and drink is more your thing, bars, wineries, and cafes.

This list was created in November 2017 and will be updated!


Possibly the most popular South Australian beach, Glenelg is a must visit location for locals and visitors alike. For visitors to Adelaide staying in the city, this beach is just a tram ride away. Adelaide's tram travels to the very end of the Jetty Road strip, beach in sight.

Glenelg is a great all-around beach with something for every family member. Kids want to visit the beach, but you're sick of sand? Glenelg has ample grassed area for sand-free picnicking while you watch the late summer sunset.

glenelg beach sunset
Sunset at Glenelg Beach (source: Australian Tourism)

Glenelg is by far the most cosmopolitan of all South Australian beaches. Jetty Road is lined with food establishments to tickle anybody's fancy, from Goodlife Pizzas to small cafes, The Beach Burrito Company, sushi, seafood and steak (among much more). You'll be sure to find something for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

If it happens to get too hot for you down on the beach, don't worry. Last year Australia's first GU Film House opened on Jetty Road, just a short walk from the beach (and tram). It's a beautiful cinema with great films, food, and drinks. Parking here is also very easy. Another option to cool off is by visiting The Beachhouse, a fun venue featuring waterslides, arcade games, bumper cars, and mini golf.


For large families sick of hauling picnic and beach gear from the car to the sand, Aldinga Beach is a great place to visit. The beautiful clear waters are also perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Aldinga Beach is one of the Onkaparinga beaches that permits vehicles. During peak season, from December to March, beach visitors must have a vehicle pass. Residents can obtain a beach pass for free from any Onkaparinga Council office or library. Visitors, or residents without a pass, can pay a $6 fee to access the beach.

For more information about visiting Aldinga Beach take a look at this WeekendNotes.

Port Noarlunga

Another popular diving beach, Port Noarlunga features a beautiful reef and aquatic reserve. Another well regarded aspect of Port Noarlunga Beach is the long jetty where locals and visitors are often seen fishing.

Port Noarlunga Shore
Port Noarlunga Views (source: Onkaparinga City Council)

Out of the water, the beach is lined with stunning red sandstone cliffs. On the cliff top of the Esplanade, a small park overlooks the Esplanade, and is complete with free exercise equipment . A short walk from the shore there are many food and drink venues, including take away fish and chips that can be brought back to the beach or park.


Moana is another Onkaparinga Beach that allows driving with beach passes. For people with pooches, a section of the beach is also marked as a dog exercise area . The dog beach isn't only for summer however, it's free year round.

Moana is a great safe summer beach for families, with the Moana Surf Life Saving Club often seen patrolling. The waves washing in at Moana are perfect for kids who enjoy boogie boarding, or just those who love the sound of the water.


Jubilee Adventure Playground, Port Noarlunga
Saltfleet Street

Located near the Onkaparinga River and just off of Saltfleet Street is Jubilee Park. It's a wonderful and well-known spot for locals; the playground was built by the community itself. Those who live nearby but don't frequent the park are probably familiar with the large giraffe standing guard since 2016.

Playground Castle
Jubilee Castle (source: Onkaparinga City Council)

It's a perfect park to visit in summer with sheltered seating and tables and a fully fenced wooden fort. For older kids who aren't so keen on play equipment, Jubilee Park also features grass area perfect for kicking a football or playing some Christmas Cricket.

Other features include:
- Public Toilets
- Car Parking
- Picnic Tables
- Walking & Cycling Tracks

Steamroller Park, Stirling
2 Mount Barker Road

South-east of the city is the beautiful suburb of Stirling. It's a beautiful area full of leafy green trees which provide ample shade from the summer sun.

Steamroller Park has received its name from the large steamroller play equipment perfect for climbing kids. In addition to the steamroller, the park also features tunnels, rock climbing walls, fireman's poles, bridges, slides, and more. For younger ones, half of the park is a dedicated toddler play area. All play equipment is enclosed in a fenced area.

See more about Steamroller Park here.

Other features include:
- Picnic/BBQ area
- Wheelchair access
- Carparking
- Public Toilets

Market Square Reserve, Old Noarlunga
Market Crescent

An often underappreciated park, Market Square Reserve in Old Noarlunga is a beautiful location for picnics or play. The square is a large open grassy area that's perfect for kids and family sport, but the park has many other features.

River Views
River View from the Park (source: Onkaparinga Council)

Although the play equipment is not covered, there are some shaded picnic tables for eating on sunny days. The park extends toward the river, which provides a beautiful view for a couple's picnic. A BBQ is also available for the more adventurous picnickers.

Other features include:
- Fountain
- Rose garden
- River view
- Beautiful native trees and birdlife
- Toilets
- Carpark

Walking & Hiking

Sturt River Linear Park

This trail is perfect for all types of people looking for a pleasant walk. The Sturt River trail is designed to be walked in full, from South Road to Anzac Highway which takes around 2 hours, or in smaller sections for those wanting a shorter walk.

Sturt Trail
Pram Friendly Trail (source: Onkaparinga City Council)

Sturt River Linear Park is a shared use bitumen trail and is accessible for prams, wheelchairs and bicycles. Dogs are also permitted. The trail winds past the Sturt River, historic sites, and playgrounds. It's a picturesque, educational and fun trail for people of all ages and abilities.

Noarlunga Downs Wetland Trail

The Noarlunga Downs Wetland Trail is a short easy walk, taking only around 30 minutes return. With flat terrain and a main car park entrance onto the boardwalk, it's also a good walk for those with prams or wheelchairs.

Opened in 2016, the wetlands were rehabilitated by SA Water and now feature nice views and art pieces by Aboriginal artist Paul Herzich.

For a slight, y longer walk the trail can be walked in a loop by returning along River Road, where all access points are located. The trail can be accessed by a dirt car park at the west end of the boardwalk, the main car park, or a dirt road at the western end of the trail.

O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park

O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park is a great place for people seeking all kinds of activity, particularly dog walkers and horse riders. Please note that there are no formally maintained trails in this particular park, but there are many tracks to follow making for a good hike to an ocean view at the top.

The main entrance to the park is via Majors Road at Seaview Downs, but pedestrians are also able to access the park through Davenport Street, Ridgefield Avenue, Greenfield Road, and Fowler Street.

Cyclers, walkers, and horse-riders are all permitted on the trails here. For walkers and hikers with dogs, this park is a good option, with leashed dogs permitted. It is also a good trail for BMX riders with many slopes to explore.

The O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park is typically open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Be aware moving into fire danger season however that there is the possibility the park will be closed on days of extreme fire danger.

Waterfall Hike

For more avid hikers hoping to glimpse some koalas, the Waterfall Hike in Belair National Park is the pick for you. It's a long hike, around 3 hours, and quite steep, so not for the faint of heart. The beautiful landscape rewards the effort though.

There is a dedicated walking trail to follow which winds through Echo Tunnel and leads to two waterfalls that flow after heavy rainfall. Be mindful at the falls as lookouts are not fenced.


Sunset Bar, Glenelg

Not really a surprise, the Marina Sunset Bar is located on Glenelg's Marina, providing visitors with some beautiful views of the shore. As the name also implies, the sunsets here are great. With the main view out the back of the bar make sure you get here before the sun starts to get down to enjoy the best view.

Beer and Sunset at the Sunset Bar
Drink to the Sunset at the Bar (Source: Sunset Bar Facebook Page)

As the weather warms up the cocktails on offer at the Sunset Bar are sure to cool you down. All of the drinks are decidedly summery; like the "Luscious Lychee", a pineapple, lychee and coconut drink, or the "Eden's Nectar", a vanilla, passionfruit and citrus concoction. There is also, of course, the famous Snickers, a cocktail that's just like drinking a Snickers through a straw.

Also available at the Sunset Bar are pub fare foods like chips, wedges, and pizza, as well as beer, wine, and sangria.

The Warradale, Warradale
234 Diagonal Road

The Warradale Hotel has come a long way. The restaurant offers delicious food, and there are two bars to choose from – the Garden Bar and the Tavern Bar.

For cosy couples and groups, the Garden Bar offers booths that seat up to 15 people, surrounded by plant life. The island bar has 32 beers, 100 wines and a range of spirits and cocktails on offer as well as food, so there's certainly something for everyone.

Warradale at Night
The Warradale Bar at Night (source: The Warradale Facebook Page)

The Tavern Bar also offers a place to eat and drink, accompanied by a huge variety of sporting events on TV. As cricket season heats up this summer you can catch the matches with a beer in the cool Tavern Bar.

TGI Fridays, Marion (Oaklands Park)
205/297 Diagonal Road

TGI Fridays serve up big meals and big cocktails. Located at Marion shopping centre it's a good place for a cocktail on a warm afternoon. Open until 9 or 10 every night it's also a good place for an after-work drink or pre-movie beer.

Happy Hour @ TGI
Cocktails at TGI Fridays (Source: TGI Fridays Facebook Page)

They offer up some interesting speciality drinks like the "Pink Punk Cosmo" a sweet drink poured over a glass of fairy floss. Or try an ultimate version of their classic cocktails for an extra kick.


Gemtree Wines, McLaren Flat
167 Elliott Road

Open every day from 10am to 5pm, Gemtree Wines is a beautiful location to be enjoyed at any time of the day.

All of the wines available at Gemtree are certified organic and sustainable. Platters are available to be shared over a bottle, comprised of produce from across the local region.

Platters and wine can be enjoyed on the deck that overlooks the vineyards all the way to the sea, or at one of the picnic tables on the large lawn.

For a closer look at Gemtree check out this WeekendNotes.

Angove, McLaren Vale
117 Chalk Hill Road

Angove cellar door is a beautiful open space welcoming in any season, but the warm summer sun can be enjoyed from the air conditioning indoors or the shaded patio tables. Open from 11am-5pm every day it's a nice place to visit for tastings or a light afternoon tea.

Inside Angove
Keep Cool Indoors at Angove (Source: Angove Facebook Page)

The range of wines at Angove is impressive, making it the perfect place for larger groups with varied tastes. Tastings of wines from sweet whites to rich reds, as well as ports, are available. Once you've chosen your favourite purchase a local platter and enjoy the vineyard view.

Coriole, McLaren Vale
Chaffeys Road

Coriole at McLaren Vale features a restaurant and cellar door. With a seasonal menu available at the restaurant between Thursday and Monday, it's a wonderful place to enjoy a special summer lunch.

Like many other McLaren Vale wineries Coriole boasts a beautiful view, but the old farmhouse and gardens that Coriole calls home are just as beautiful as the panorama.

In addition to their interesting selection of wines, Coriole also sells their own olive oils, verjuice, and vinegar.

Read more about Coriole here.


Becks Bakehouse, Port Noarlunga
25 Clark Street

Becks Bakehouse is certainly a local favourite. You can often find local tradies and beachgoers enjoying a pie or sandwich on the warmer days!

Located a short walk from Port Noarlunga beach, this bakery is a must visit. Becks sells a wide range of pastries and sweets, as well as delicious fresh sandwiches, wraps, and rolls. With a dedicated coffee area you won't miss out on a great cup of coffee either.

dogs allowed bakery
Get your Dog Spotting Goggles Ready (Source: Becks Bakehouse Facebook Page)

Recently renovated, Becks is now better than ever. The outside area has been transformed into a rustic spacious seating area complete with shade and rooftop f, ns. For dog-spotters there's always usually a pooch or two chilling out there.

Maxwell's Grocery, Aldinga
11A Old Coach Road

Maxwell's is a small café located on Old Coach Road at Aldinga. Although the menu is small it is clear that great pride is taken when it comes to the quality of food (and coffee) at this little place.

Open at 8am, the "Brekkie Roll" is a great start to the day or even afternoon! For the non-meat-eaters Maxwell's also offers up a delicious Veggie Burger featuring mushroom and halloumi (yum). Coffee is always great and there's often smoothies or juices available during the warmer weather.

Summer Coffee
Summer Coffee at Maxwell's (Source: Maxwell's Facebook Page)

The owner takes care to pick up all ingredients from the produce market each week, ensuring that your burger is the best in town. If you want to take the freshness home you can also pick up some fresh fruit and veg produce from Maxwell's.

Mockingbird Lounge, Glenelg South
63A Broadway

Mockingbird Lounge is a café with heart and soul. A converted home, each room is lined with bookshelves from fiction to fact for you to browse and buy. What makes Mockingbird Lounge extra special in summer is the small garden. Sitting at any of the tables beneath the shade and among the greenery will make you feel like you're visiting one of your very best friends.

second hand bookstore and coffee
Buy a Book with your Coffee (Source: Mockingbird Lounge Facebook Page)

It's clear from the entrance all the way to the book club room off of the garden that owner Stacey Young believes in local. The small menu is comprised of home cooked goods served on cute china, and locally made art, jewellery, candles, and giftware also line the hallway of Mockingbird Lounge.

Food, coffee, tea or wine can be enjoyed in the garden from Monday to Friday 9am-5pm or Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. Many groups and activities are also open for participation, see their Facebook or website for details.
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Why? Enjoy summer!
Where: Southern Suburbs of Adelaide
Your Comment
Wow, for a 'new' writer, Teagan, you've done an exemplary job! Well done - a well-deserved award!
by Elaine (score: 3|7440) 995 days ago
Nice guide to a beautiful city, well done!
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1415) 995 days ago
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