Willunga, South Australia (or ‘travel fun for the whole family’)


What is family fun? For my kids it’s usually child centred activities—of course—or something outdoorsy. For my partner it usually involves a beach with waves (I’m totally outnumbered… a beach without waves is NOT fun apparently. There goes MY trip to Bora Bora). For me… I love an adventure. Put me in the car, or on a plane and take me somewhere new, preferably with some history.

We were recently in South Australia and visited the picturesque little town of Willunga. Gorgeous place. Convenient to the McLaren Vale vineyards, neat little streets with lovely old sandstone buildings, a bustling weekend market… some great cafes and restaurants. What’s not fun about this place kids?????

I picked up a fabulous little flyer called the Willunga Walk and set about motivating the troops.

“Here’s the town map. And here are the numbered buildings with the historical background of each… Isn’t this exciting. Let’s go!”

To their credit, the kids tried. They started at the 19th century, heritage listed courthouse/police station which is now the Slate Museum (“How exciting! A slate museum kids!!!!!!”) They ambled past the Bush Inn and Atkinson’s Bakery, an excellent example of a 19th century shop.

They picked up speed around the Oddfellows Lodge Hall and Willunga House, which was built in the 1850s.

By the time they got to The Attached Cottages (1850s home of the nuns teaching at the school) they were pretty much sprinting… to keep up with my other half (the one who has a PhD and is apparently well educated.)

While the boys were more than happy to humour me, and point out each building and read aloud it’s history, The Other Foot was pretty much over it as soon as the words “Slate Museum” were uttered, and bolting for the car.

He needed a surf and a beer to recover.

Not everyone in the family will like the same activities. But there needs to be some compromise. I’m fortunate that The Other Foot and I actually travel extremely well together. He mightn’t like your average heritage listed walk, but he does appreciate the history of an old pub, which is another one of my favourite travel activities.

After he’d recovered from the Willunga Walk, we returned into town and ate at the fabulous Russell’s Pizza, a quaint 1800s stone cottage and shed, with wood ovens and stone fire pits and a great chalkboard wall to keep the kids entertained. Add to that some excellent house wine… and the whole family is happy.