Exploring Glenelg, including The Beachouse & Giant Ferris Wheel | Review

A day out in Glenelg, South Australia

by Carla Caruso

There’s no need to travel interstate for amusement fun – this bayside suburb has it in spades.

South Australia’s favourite palindrome is definitely G-L-E-N-E-L-G.

While I spent a lot of weekends there as a youngster, since having kids, it’s sometimes fallen off my radar … But not this summer!

With the school holidays stretching before us endlessly, I fell back on this old favourite for a day’s adventure with the kids. And it was like the suburb had been waiting for us patiently, like a Bubble O’ Bill or Funny Feet ice cream in the servo’s freezer 😉

Parking at Glenelg can be a bit nightmarish at times, with mostly paid or time-limited parks. So, we chose to park in a side street a bit further away and walk along the beach to Jetty Road. You could avoid this by catching a tram to Glenelg which is also a fun thing to do with kids. 

First up, we’d nabbed a 100-minutes ‘power hour’ deal at The Beachouse for the kids, with their cousins. This gave them unlimited access to the entertainment complex’s heated waterslides, dodgem cars, bumper boats, historic carousel, train, mini golf, and many of the arcade games. (The only things that weren’t included were the play castle and lunch).

beachouse dodgem cars glenelg

beachouse glenelg carousel

glenelg mini golf beachouse

The kids had a ball, but the day wasn’t over yet.

Next on the list, we’d booked tickets online to the Giant Ferris Wheel. The ultra-white observation wheel often towers over Moseley Square in Summer. 

I’m not really a fan of heights but even I enjoyed having a seagull’s view of Glenelg Beach, Moseley Square and all the way down Jetty Road. Each gondola seats up to six people and there’s also one accessible gondola. The ginormous wheel spins daily from 9.30am to 10pm.

glenelg giant ferris wheel



Up in the air, we got a good view of The Moseley Beach Club. The club exudes a European vibe with its stripey umbrellas and table service right on the sand. I thought it could be a good dinner option if children were welcome. So, after we’d disembarked from the ferris wheel – and the kids had had a play at the Glenelg Foreshore Playspace – we strolled over to check it out.

The beach club is family-friendly – even including a kids’ zone – but there weren’t any available spots out of the sun the afternoon we were there. (Walk-ins can only use the picnic tables or beanbags without any extra fees). So, instead we dined at its indoor sister location nearby, The Moseley Bar & Kitchen, indulging in fried barramundi wings, Szechuan salt squid, and more.

Glenelg, we promise not to leave it so long between visits again! 

What we like about it

• Glenelg is SA’s mini version of Queensland, right on our doorstep.
• You can choose to spend a lot or a little while there. There are so many kids’ entertainment options, including the free ones like the beach and playgrounds. 

Things to consider

• If heading to The Beachouse, make sure to pack your kids’ swimming attire for the bumper boats and waterslides.
• Children who aren’t used to heights might find the giant wheel a tad scary.
• Glenelg can get a little hectic during the school hols or on public holidays, so be prepared.
• Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap – the glare from the water can burn.

Coffee and food options nearby

We enjoyed lunching at The Beachouse and dining at The Moseley Bar & Kitchen, but Glenelg has many options along Jetty Road, at Marina Pier, and more. There’s also plenty of ice cream and cafe options too. 


Review by Carla Caruso

Click here for all the Best Playgrounds for Toddlers

See our Top Parks & Playgrounds Around Adelaide

For more information on Glenelg visit the City of Holdfast Bay website.

What:    A day’s outing in Glenelg

When:   Anytime – although, the suburb particularly shines during summer!

Where:  Glenelg, south of Adelaide

Who:     Fun-loving, beach-dwelling families

All photos by Carla Caruso for Play & Go Adelaide 

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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