Best family beaches in Adelaide

Take the guesswork out of which beaches to visit on your trip to South Australia with our top picks for the best family beaches in Adelaide.

Anyone who grew up in South of Adelaide will tell you, that once the mercury starts rising, it’s time to hit one of the awesome beaches surrounding Adelaide.

The locals know all the best spots for a fun day out, but if you’re visiting from elsewhere, you probably don’t know where to catch a few waves and cool off.

Act like an ‘in the know’ local and visit the best beaches by using our insider’s guide to the best family beaches in Adelaide.

Our quick guide to getting around Adelaide should help you out as well!

Christies Beach

Christies Beach is the closest on our best family beaches in Adelaide list. Located in the aptly named suburb of ‘Christies Beach’. Around 35 minutes drive from the CBD.

Christies Beach is a lovely pine tree-lined stretch of waterfront, with clean white sand and sparkling blue water.

Image of a pine tree along a coastal beach
Pine Tree Lined Christies Beach

Across the road from the beach is Rotary Park. A lovely grassed picnic area, with BBQ facilities, public toilets and covered shade areas to escape the Australian sun.

Christies Beach is a favoured spot for a relaxing family day out and some fun in the water for all ages.

If you fancy a bite to eat, a short walk up Beach Road has got you covered.  You’ll find Bakeries, Fish and Chips shops, Chinese Restaurants, Cafes and many other food options available.

Port Noarlunga Beach

Just over the bluff from Christies Beach, you’ll reach the beautiful suburb of Port Noarlunga. Around 37 minutes drive from the CBD.

Port Noarlunga Beach has something for all ages.

Kids can play on the beautiful white sandy beaches, snorkel around the jetty pylons and small reef area just metres from the beach. Youngster can swim with confidence in the calm waters created by the protection offered by the reef.

Older children and adults can head to the end of the jetty for some fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving in the deeper water. Access steps located on the end of the jetty will allow you to snorkel safely on the inside of the reef and view numerous fish species and marine life.

Image of a jetty featuring a reef
Port Noarlunga Jetty And Reef

Take short walk to the foreshore or into the neighborhood for a great selection of food options.

Don’t forget to stick around for a beautiful sunset over the jetty from the bluff and snap a few photos.

Image of a beach and jetty in the distance
Port Noarlunga Beach And Jetty

Southport Beach

A few minutes up the road from Port Noarlunga Beach, you’ll arrive at Southport Beach in the suburb of Port Noarlunga South. Around 38 minutes drive from the CBD.

Southport Beach is giant spike of sand jutting out from the mainland. Cut in half by the meandering Onkaparinga river and shadowed by beautiful red and ochre sandstone cliffs.

You have two options at Southport beach.

Head to the top of the bluff and descend the stairs to the river mouth.

The ocean near the river mouth is a popular spot for surfers and body boarding due to its larger waves.

Older children will enjoy swimming in the river mouth or getting out and swimming in the bigger surf.

Younger children can enjoy splashing about in the shallow areas of the river mouth, playing in the rock pool’s or exploring the beach.

Image of stairs descending to the below beach and river mouth
Southport Beach Stairs To The Mouth Of The Onkaparinga River

The second option is to head down from the bluff to the footbridge crossing the river.

The river is slower and more shallow here.

Younger children can play in the shallow river near the footbridge, splash around in the rock pools and river, get muddy or play in the sand by the river’s edge.

Image of a boy standing by a river
Ronin Enjoying A Splash Around In The Onkaparinga River

Kayaking is a popular past time on the river. Kayak hire is available at certain times of the year. Check availability.

There are no real food options at Southport, head back to Port Noarlunga if you need a bite to eat or pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach.

Image showing a river cutting through sandstone cliffs
View Of The Onkaparinga River
Image of a beach from the sand dunes
View Of Southport Beach From The Sand Dunes

Moana Beach

Located in the seaside suburb of Moana, Moana Beach is the furthest of our best family beaches in Adelaide. Around a 40 minutes drive from the CBD.

Moana Beach boasts pristine white sand nestled between the ocean and sand dunes. Separated by Pedler creek, which runs through the centre of the Moana Sands Conservation Park.

The beach is wide, with plenty of space for children to play, build sand castles and run around.

The water remains shallow for a great distance, with no sudden drop offs to deeper water.

Minimal waves make it the ideal beach for toddlers and small children.

Image of Moana Beach In South Australia
Shallow Water Perfect For Children

Moana is one of the few beaches in South Australia that allows driving/parking on the beach.

Cars can enter the beach via a ramp on the south side of the beach, near the surf lifesaving clubhouse.

Vehicle access is allowed between 5.30am and 12am.

A 10 km/h speed limit applies for beach driving.

December to March when the weather forecast is above 25°C, beach access may be monitored.

During these times, vehicle access will cost a fee of $6 AU.

For food, head across the street to the Deep Blue Cafe, you can’t miss its riot of colours.

Image of Moana Beach In South Australia
Park On The Beach And Enjoy A Day In The Sun At Moana Beach


All the beaches listed have public toilets, car parks and beach showers for washing away sand.

Surf lifesaving clubs are also located on the foreshore. Swim between the red and yellow flags designating the lifesaver patrolled areas.

Staying The Night

Moana Beach and Christies Beach both have excellent tourist parks located right on the foreshore.

Spend the day enjoying the sunshine, then spend night relaxing and enjoy the beautiful sunset over the beach.

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