For curious minded-travelers, the state of South Australia offers uniquely authentic Australian experiences based on its engaging wildlife encounters, accessible outback, and a spectacular coastline. Kangaroo Island is one of the state’s best destinations for gourmet experiences, wildlife enthusiasts, and nature lovers. South Australia is also home to one of Australia’s primary wine-producing areas, the Barossa Valley, and features magnificent landscapes such as the Flinders Ranges and the Eyre Peninsula.
Surrounded by rolling hills to the east and gorgeous beaches to the west, the state capital of Adelaide is full of small-town charm and big-city benefits with its lively gourmet culture and a packed calendar of events and festivals.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Widely accepted as Australia’s best boutique city, Adelaide is friendly, contemporary, and vibrant. It is surrounded by rolling hills, beautiful beaches, and world-renowned wine regions with more than 200 cellar doors within an hour’s drive of the city. and wine scene. The city center, surrounded by parklands, is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, cafés, and restaurants. It’s known as a 20-minute city because you can get to beaches and hills within a 20-minute drive, or if you’re on foot, the city’s attractions are within walking distance.
Adelaide’s restaurants and cafés are among the best in the country; while a new breed of renovated pubs, small bars, and regions with pop-up eateries have added a new dimension to the city’s food and wine scene. It is a vibrant capital that boasts an endless calendar of festivals and events and is named one of the Great Wine Capitals of the world and the gateway to 18 wine regions.
Offering diverse landscapes and environments, from stunning beaches and coastal scenery to forests, desert dunes, and farmland, Kangaroo Island is one of Australia’s top destinations for wildlife and nature seekers. It’s the perfect place to see kangaroos, sea lions, koalas, echidnas, little penguins, and more, all in their natural habitat. With more than one-third of the island under protection as parks, this is a place where you can explore a vast wilderness that has been unchanged for thousands of years.
Just over one hour’s drive north-east of Adelaide, the Barossa is known as the wine capital of Australia. Visitors to this region can enjoy the rural landscape and heritage towns and villages. Home to more than 80 cellar doors, the Barossa offers plenty of ways to taste and learn about the area’s popular wines. The regional food served in the many local cafés and world-class restaurants is an interesting blend of old and new.
Located just a two-hour drive north of Adelaide and a perfect stop-off en route to the Flinders Ranges, the Clare Valley is one of Australia’s prettiest wine regions, with a landscape combining native bushland and well-kept vineyards.
A five-hour drive north of Adelaide, this is one of the oldest landscapes on earth and captures the very essence of the Australian Outback. The Flinders Ranges features sharply rising ridges and peaks, tree-lined gorges, creeks, and red soil. The focal point of the Flinders Ranges National Park is Wilpena Pound, a huge natural amphitheater.
There are many ways to explore this extraordinary place, including scenic flights and escorted 4WD safaris into hidden gorges lined with river red gums and featuring examples of Aboriginal rock art. Bushwalking tracks inside Wilpena Pound and around the ridges of its massive rim are well marked and make the landscape easy to explore on foot.
The Outback is Australia’s legendary remote countryside, with vast, dramatic landscapes and skies, and unique towns and people. It’s a region of outstanding natural attractions and a unique Indigenous culture over 45,000 years old and is easily reached from Adelaide.
The frontier town of Coober Pedy is the largest producer of opals in the world and one of the Outback’s most popular attractions. It’s also famous for its underground homes, hotels, and churches. Coober Pedy can be accessed by air, coach, and car. It is a popular stop on the Explorers Way driving route between Adelaide and Alice Springs and a potential extension to The Ghan rail journey.
South Australia has three Outback tracks: the Birdsville, Strzelecki, and Oodnadatta tracks. The Birdsville Track links Marree in South Australia with Birdsville in Queensland. The Strzelecki Track, close to Australia’s famous Dog Fence, runs from Lyndhurst to Innamincka. The Oodnadatta Track runs from Marree to Marla via William Creek, one of South Australia’s smallest towns, with a population of 10.
The Eyre Peninsula stretches 620 miles from Whyalla in the east to the West Australian border. The landscape ranges from a beautiful coastline and dramatic Bunda Cliffs at Head of Bight to vast desert plains and a hinterland of golden grain. Four-wheel drive (4WD) touring is a popular way to experience close encounters with kangaroos, emus, wombats, soaring eagles, and rare native species in the wilderness areas of the Gawler Ranges, famous for rugged rock formations, red soil and distinctive crevices, etched deep into the land.
Port Lincoln is a booming fishing and aquaculture hub. From sailing to swimming with sea lions and diving with great white sharks, Port Lincoln has something for everyone. The Eyre Peninsula is renowned for its seafood smorgasbord, with shellfish, oysters, abalone, and more on offer. The Eyre Peninsula can be accessed by a scenic 8-hour drive from Adelaide or by a short flight from Adelaide to Port Lincoln.
Discover rolling hills, orchards, farms, and vineyards, all bounded by picturesque beaches and rugged coastline, just 45-minutes south of Adelaide. Sip world-class wines, hike through forests, surf, swim, and spot Southern Right whales in winter. The Fleurieu Peninsula combines food, wine, arts, and coastal adventures. The secluded beaches, friendly seaside towns, and art studios make the region an ideal day-trip or overnight destination.
The region’s food is championed by a band of passionate chefs who are dedicated to promoting the range of fresh, local ingredients. The McLaren Vale wine region is home to award-winning wines and the d’‘Arenberg Cube — a building like a giant Rubik’s Cube with the optical illusion of floating in a vineyard.
THE MURRAY RIVER
The Murray River is an ever-changing landscape of ochre-colored cliffs, wetlands, and floodplain forests. Wide channels lined with cliffs, willows, and gum trees give way to wetlands and waterways that are perfect for exploring on a cruise, a backwater expedition, or four-wheel drive touring by land. Take a luxury houseboat holiday, paddle a canoe, water ski, or just relax and be immersed in nature along Australia’s greatest waterway the Murray River.
Explore the wetlands, wildlife, and water activities that embrace this amazing river system. Closer to the river’s mouth, experience Australia’s largest inland paddle steamer, the PS. Murray Princess, Monarto’s 25,000-acre open range zoo and the Murray River’s tallest cliffs at Big Bend.
THE LIMESTONE COAST
The Limestone Coast is located approx. 2 1/2 hours south-east of Adelaide and is home to some of the most stunning coastline in the whole country. It is easily accessible on the Southern Ocean Drive Touring Route and forms a good chunk of the journey from Adelaide to Melbourne. A hugely popular self-drive route, Adelaide to Melbourne is one of Australia’s most compelling journeys, offering spectacular rural and coastal driving. Within the Limestone region, you can find beautiful seaside towns, rugged cliffs, the Coonawarra wine region, and the world-heritage listed Naracoorte Caves.
Visit the Limestone Coast’s lakes, rivers, and water-filled caves. The jewel in the crown is the Blue Lake, at almost 250 feet deep, this mysterious lake changes color throughout the year. From the succulent seafood harvested from the clear, cold waters of the Southern Ocean to the nation’s most unforgettable Wagyu beef experience at Mayura Station, the Limestone Coast is a gastronomic adventure. Great accommodation can be found in the towns of Robe and Mount Gambier.