Frugal Fun in Goolwa SA

Goolwa Fun PlacesGoolwa Fun Places

Are you staying in Goolwa and want to treat your kids to some frugal fun? A full day out packed with learning, adventure, and some good old-fashioned play?  Or perhaps you’re just a big kid at heart yourself? We have chosen two activities we think is not only to some serious fun but they won’t break the bank either. Pack a picnic or throw some snags in the eski and you’re on your way to a cheap but very cheerful day out.

Start out at the…


Goolwa Animal Farm is a family-owned business which opened its doors in December 2013. It is distinguishable from other wildlife parks due to the tranquil location, friendly and engaging owners (Alan & Caroline) who are constantly interacting with the guests and not afraid to get their hands dirty! Also, the fact that you can interact with most of the animals (even pat an emu if you are game! – I was not!).  There are tractor rides and a huge playground!

The Location

The Farm is located in the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula countryside next to the Goolwa Airport on Airport Road. It is jour minutes’ drive from Goolwa town centre, 17 minutes from Victor Harbor and 70 minutes from Adelaide. (MAP)

Goolwa Fun Places

The Animals


Guests are welcome to step into the pens of chickens, lambs, rabbits and guinea pigs and give them a pat or perhaps even feed the lambs a bottle. The animals are all friendly, inquisitive and some of them cuddly.  Some not so cuddly ones like the emus and goats, come up and say hello through the fence and I was quite happy with that!

You will also find Ducks, Geese, Alpacas, Turkeys, Pigs(you may want to hold your nose while visiting them!), a Peacock and even a Python. Now that’s a lot of animals to keep the littlies busy for a while!

Goolwa Fun Places

See if you can spot the ‘free range’ Peacock (Hint – he is usually hanging with his best friends, the ducks)

Goolwa Fun Places


The Trailer and Pony Rides

When you hear a bell ringing, you will know it is time to head to the paddock for a jaunt around the paddock in a tractor towed the trailer for some Kangaroo spotting! The pony rides are also a hit. The Ponies are small and gentle enough for first-time riders to feel comfortable.

Goolwa Fun Places

An experience to be had!

The Playground and the Musical Garden

Goolwa Fun Places

The big playground is full of natural materials for running and jumping, balancing and chalk drawing. The playground enclosure also features a safe baby play area and shaded picnic tables to enjoy a bite to eat or a cold/hot drink. The Musical Garden was a great addition and delightful side track. Cricket balls and pipes have been cleverly repurposed to create music as you enjoy the lovely gardens. The kids will love it.

Goolwa Fun Places

There are many musical instruments to get creative with.

Goolwa Animal Farm is an ideal setting to bring the family, hold a birthday party or to visit for a school excursion. Wander around the peaceful grounds, say hello to the wildlife, feed, and pat the farm animals, play on the playground and maybe take a pony or train ride (or both!). Smell the country air, relax and enjoy some time together. It is a wonderful day out for everyone!

Goolwa Fun Places

Who can resist a fluffy bunny or 12?

Something many guests may not realise when visiting the farm is that ‘The Goolwa Animal Farm’ is instrumental in saving animals that might not otherwise survive. What a special place it is. The care and nurture Alan and Caroline display towards their animals and guests are evident in many small details, it is clearly a labour of love. They have a simple mission statement – to develop a family-friendly haven where young and old can safely relax and enjoy some quality time together – which certainly sums up my family visit to the Goolwa Animal Farm.

Phone: 0451 502 859


Opening times/prices and upcoming special dates:

WINTER SCHOOL HOLIDAYS (Sat 6/7/19 to Sunday 21/7/19) – Open daily, except if severe weather conditions. Ring 0451502858/9 or see Facebook for details on the day.

Open All Weekends, School and Public Holidays

Open 10 am – 4 pm all school, public holidays and weekends except in severe weather conditions and when temp forecast is 35 degrees or over. See Facebook for closure updates.

Last admissions to the farm are at 3 pm as the farm closes at 4 pm.

During School Term Times:

Open 10am – 4pm Sat & Sun only *

Weekday visits for schools and coach parties are available by prior arrangement during term times

* Heat Closures – we close when the temp forecast is 35C and over. See Facebook for any weather closure updates.


  • Adult $10
  • Child $8
  • Senior/Student $8
  • Under 2’s Free

Then it is off to the next adventure at …


There is a fabulous playground in Goolwa which, it seems, is more popular with adults than children (from what I have heard ?). Named ‘The Nature Playspace’, the playground opened to much anticipation and excitement, in early December 2015.

It features a HUGE wooden boat to play in, which, if you know anything about Goolwa, is very much in keeping with the local culture.

Goolwa Fun Places

Photo: flickr/robdownunder

There are a slippery dip and all manner of swings and a huge sandpit too. There are also tunnels to play in and a water play area which features a fountain and a small creek.

You will also find a sandy beach at a shallow part of the river, great for swimming and paddling. But here’s my favorite bit – and, I suspect why so many other grownups love the place – the musical instruments and artwork. Really, they’ve thought of everything.


There is a carved tree on the periphery of the playground which you can’t miss. It is an incredible piece of artwork and was created by two Alexandrina Council employees.  They donated over 120 hours of their own time to the piece which adds further local flavor to this fabulous project.

If you have a dog you would like to bring along, there is a large grassed area surrounding the playground for your fur kid to run around on too!

Finally, for those who have worked up an appetite (and bought their eski along), there are several barbeques and picnic tables for anyone who wants to use them, a great way to spend a few hours with the family and it is free!


Where: Bristow Smith Reserve, Goolwa South Australia (MAP)

Cost: Free

So, there you have it… Whether you’re a local to Goolwa, a day visitor or you’re spending some time holidaying there, this is just one of many frugal yet fun ideas that the kids will thank you for.

If you are looking for pet-friendly accommodation in Goolwa, we have two properties available (and others just 5 or 10 minutes away in Middleton and Pt Elliot):

22 Colman Rd Goolwa South

6 Eaton Rd Goolwa Beach


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