Adelaide Riverbank Precinct | 15 Highlights for Families to Visit

Adelaide Riverbank and Festival Plaza Creative Trail

The Adelaide Riverbank Precinct stretches from Gilberton through Bonython park and Bowden in the north west and is home to some of Adelaide’s most iconic buildings and recreational spaces. Adelaide is such a compact city, so you can easily wander the length of North Terrace and visit quite a few of these places along the way.

The area includes some of our favourite Play & Go places to visit along the Riverbank Precinct:

  1. First Creek Wetland
  2. Adelaide Botanic Gardens
  3. Botanic Park
  4. Adelaide Zoo
  5. Art Gallery of South Australia
  6. South Australian Museum
  7. Migration Museum
  8. The Anzac Centenary Memorial Garden Walk
  9. Government House
  10. Parliament House
  11. Festival Theatre
  12. Festival Plaza Creative Trail
  13. Adelaide Riverbank – Popeye Boat Ride
  14. Adelaide Gaol
  15. Bonython Park

1.)  If you want to spend a day exploring the Riverbank precinct, you may want to start in the East at the First Creek Wetland. This is a fantastic place for kids to jump over rocks, climb big stones and explore. Read our review here.

2.) Meander through the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It is the ideal place for a picnic and for the kids to run around. Make sure you checkout the amazing Bicentennial Conservatory full of rainforest plants, the hothouse and the water features. Read our review here.


3.) Walk across Plane Tree Drive and let the kids climb over the giant Moreton Bay Fig Tree roots in Botanic Park. Another great place to meet with friends and family and have a picnic.

Botanic Park Grounds

4.) Across Botanic Park, on Plane Tree Drive is the Adelaide Zoo, home to many rare and endangered animals including the lazy but lovable Pandas! Make sure you allow some time for the kids to play at the Adelaide Zoo’s nature playground. Read our review of the Adelaide zoo here. and also our review of the nature playground.

Adelaide Zoo Nature's Playground1 (11)


5.) If your kids love art and history then they will love the fantastic range of art and artifacts at the magnificent Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace. The Studio at the Art Gallery is a great place for families with free art and craft which changes with the exhibitions happening. START is a regular kids program on the first Sunday of each month. Find out more here.

Art Gallery

6.) Jump next door to the South Australian Museum. Kids will love the discovery centre where they can get hands-on and look through microscopes, open drawers and learn about insects, rocks and minerals and other artefacts. Kids love getting up close to the life-size animal display, the colourful rocks and mineral section and make sure you find the giant squid, visible over all levels of the museum.

SA Museum

7.) Walk around the corner down Kintore Avenue and stop in at the Migration Museum on your way and find out about South Australia’s colourful heritage. Read our review here.

Migration Museum2

8.) The Anzac Centenary Memorial Garden Walk along Kintore Avenue was opened in 2016. This 280 metre grand promenade showcases a huge black granite wall along which each 1,020 vertical marker stands for 100 Australian servicemen and women who have died at war. The wall features images, while pavers are embossed with the names of the places they fought. Through the fence you can see the grounds of Government House.

ANZAC Memorial walk granite wall


9.) If you walk to the corner of North Terrace and King William you can find Government House. The garden is open to the public for tours on specific dates in March and November.

10.) Opposite is Parliament House. Free guided tours are available at 10am and 2pm on week days and sittings of both houses are open to members of the public.

11.) The iconic Adelaide Festival Theatre area is currently undergoing a revamp and the theatre itself will be closed for five months from 23 July 2017 to 26 December 2017. Other Adelaide Festival Centre venues, including Dunstan Playhouse, Space Theatre, Artspace Gallery and Her Majesty’s Theatre at Grote Street will remain open during this time. Make sure you find out what’s on and see a great show! Something on Saturday is a great program for families – this year it’s on between April to August 2017. Find out more here.

Adelaide Festival Centre

12.) The Adelaide Festival Plaza is also undergoing a redevelopment. Make sure to check pedestrian maps HERE for access to the theatres. While you are wandering, check out the Festival Plaza Creative Trail. There are currently 6 art installations dotted along the plaza. Look for Particle Play at the Adelaide Railway Station, the viewfinder located near the Dunstan Playhouse and the electric spinning candy canes. These are interactive art installations that the kids will love.

13.) From this point on, it is a simple walk down to the riverbank where you can enjoy a leisurely cruise along the River Torrens on the Popeye boat. Read our review here.

Popeye Boat Ride

14.) Fancy a bit of spooky history? Visit the old Adelaide Gaol and hear fascinating stories about life behind bars. Read more here.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

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