South Australia’s rich heritage and spectacular natural attractions are great reasons enough to pack up your bags and stay here for a few days. Home to the City of churches, some of the best red wines in Australia and idyllic and picturesque beaches – what’s not to love?
1. Adelaide. Spend your day picnicking in the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens, or strolling down to the River Torrens to watch the paddleboats and cyclists along the river’s edge. Bring the kids to Adelaide Zoo, home to over 1000 native animals.
2. Barossa Valley. Known as Adelaide’s wine capital, this is where you get away from the fast paced city life and enjoy wandering around vineyards, cellars and cosy lanes with quaint shops filled with delicacies and fine art.
3. Port Augusta. The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens here offers beautiful walks while the Outback Centre closer to the city offers plenty of historical displays.
4. Fleurieu Peninsula. Enjoy bushwalking in the national parks, or head to the coastline to see penguins at Granite Island or whales at Encounter Bay. The diving is incredible, with shipwrecks lining the coast.
5. Heysen Trail. Starting at Cape Jervis near Kangaroo Island, and ending in the Flinders Ranges, some 1200 kilometres away. Heysen Trail is one of South Australia’s most well-known walking trails. Experience the breath-taking Fleurieu coastline, plantations of the Kuitpo forest, the heights of Mount Lofty and the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, and then on to magnificent gorges in the Flinders desert.
6. Flinders Ranges. Remote, diverse, and awe-inspiring are just some of the words to describe the Flinders Ranges. Start at Wadlata Outback Centre, where the best historical attractions are plenty. Check out Hawker, not far from Wilpena Pound, which has plenty of wildlife and amazing scenery.
7. Coober Pedy. Known for its ancient yet colourful opals, Coober Pedy has unique shops and art galleries that should not be missed. Its underground mines are also popular for tourists.
8. Kangaroo Island. Australia’s third largest island has plenty of kangaroos, even penguins, seals, koalas and many more. There are lighthouses dotting the island as well numerous walking trails that will take you through the uninhabited Flinders Chase National Park. Murray Lagoon is also worth visiting for its prolific birdlife.
9. Yorke Peninsula. With wildlife and scenic national parks in every direction, Yorke Peninsula is the perfect spot for camping. Visit Samphire Coast if you want to go bird watching.
10. Innes National Park. Visit Inneston Village which will take you back in time, or hop over Chinaman’s Hat Island to enjoy some more bushwalking and birdlife.
11. Gawler Ranges. The national park is located approximately six hours drive north west from Adelaide. With magnificent ranges and vegetation, there is plenty of opportunity for photography, touring by 4WD, and bush camping.
12. Adelaide Hills. Its rolling hills, picturesque scenery and peaceful villages make it a classic favourite for artists. Less than half an hour away, you can visit Lobethal, which offers great weekend markets and a costume museum, and Hahndorf, known for its German foods and famous Farm Barn. Not far away at Beerenberg you can also indulge in some strawberry picking.
13. Mount Crawford Forest. With plenty of winding roads leading you to campgrounds and bushwalking tracks, the Mount Crawford Forest is perfect for a getaway for horse riders, cycling enthusiasts, and picnic lovers. One of the most popular past times is gem fossicking, with gold, opals and diamonds some of the hidden treasures.
14. Mount Gambier. Located over 400 kilometres south from Adelaide, Mount Gambier is known for its brilliant blue lake. The best time to visit is between November and March when the water is bluer than usual.
15. Birdsville Track. As an Aussie icon, you can best attempt to roam the track from Birdsville, Queensland to Marree in South Australia by 4WD, or by travelling in sections along Sturts Stony Desert and Mungeranie Gap. Get a glimpse of the sand hills, coolibah creeks and old homesteads as you explore the track.
16. Clare Valley. With a rural flavour, Clare Valley is home to the main heritage towns of Burra and Kapunda. Snowtown offers fantastic art galleries, unique pubs and cosy cafes.
17. Hahndorf. Being Australia’s oldest German village, Hahndorf is steeped in history and brimming with exciting attractions. Make sure you visit the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm, Hahndorf Farm Barn, especially fun for the kids, and German Model Train Land.
18. Naracoorte Caves National Park. Not far from Coonawarra and Mount Gambier, Naracoorte Caves boasts of breath-taking caves including large fossils that will take you back in time. They are the only world heritage listed attraction in South Australia, and for a good reason.
19. McLaren Vale. Wine connoisseurs will have a field day exploring more than forty wineries here. But more than just a wine country, it is the gateway to the Fleurieu Peninsula, where you can experience taking a flight in a bi-plane, surfing, and swimming.
20. Coorong National Park. Located south from Adelaide, this river town is home to the Pelican Point, where you can do some serious bird watching. If you are after incredible views, then Jacks Point is the place to be with an observatory and walking track.