Dreaming of a South Australian adventure?
This incredible state has so much to offer! With twelve regions to explore – including the otherworldly Flinders Range & Outback region, to the leafy green Adelaide Hills – there’s a whole lot of Instagram fodder to be found. Experience striking Outback vistas, lush bushland and pristine coastline, taste internationally acclaimed food and wine, find indoor and outdoor attractions galore, and discover an extraordinary town where people live in “dugout” homes inside of caves! No matter your tastes, you’re bound to find South Australia to be an incredible destination.
Alligator Gorge, Flinders Ranges – Image by Renae Schulz
At the time of writing, regional travel is permitted within South Australia and borders are open to travellers from NT, QLD, TAS and WA without restrictions. Whether you’re a South Australian looking to explore your own backyard, or you’re interstate and ready to start travel planning your next socially-distanced #holidayherethisyear, you’ll find South Australia to be a real treat.
With so much to see and do, we’ve only scratched the surface of this amazing state – head to southaustralia.com for even more. Don’t forget: when you’re ready to book, get in touch with an ATAS-accredited travel agent!
Want to know more? This is the third entry in our destination-focused series on exploring our Great Southern Land – check out our recent spotlights on Perth and Hobart for more Aussie travel tips!
Adelaide and surrounds
South Australia’s state capital Adelaide was ranked the tenth most liveable city in the world by The Economist and for good reason. Check out the City of Adelaide’s Instagram for some serious gems. Bayside suburb Glenelg is a gem in its own right, beloved for its gorgeous beach, picturesque heritage buildings, iconic trams and laid-back lifestyle, and foodies won’t want to miss the Adelaide Central Market, which has been a beloved hub of food culture for South Australia for almost 150 years. With over 70 traders, it’s a perfect place to pick up picnic goodies to enjoy in the Adelaide Botanic Garden, a 51-hectare relaxing oasis at the north-east corner of the Adelaide city centre.
Glenelg Beach, Adelaide – Image by South Australian Tourism Commission
Rundle Mall is fantastic for a spot of boutique shopping and a selfie with the iconic Mall’s Balls; while Chinatown with its iconic red gates is an absolute taste sensation. The South Australia Museum and Adelaide Zoo (with its adorable pandas!) are both entertaining and educational, and the Adelaide Gaol is like a trip through time into a dark, but fascinating past.
If you’re looking for a completely different view of Adelaide, there’s more than a few interesting options: the city vistas from the 2KW bar and restaurant are quite extraordinary, but for a bit of adventure there’s the Adelaide Oval Roofclimb, and for a LOT of adventure there’s rather a surprising number of skydiving operators – take your pick!
2K.W. Bar and Restaurant, Adelaide – Image by Jonathan Van de Knapp
Finally, for both convenience and local expertise that can’t be beat, the eye-catching Ecocaddy rickshaw-like hybrid pedicabs are a common sight, having delivered over 250,000 rides! Enjoy the sights of Adelaide with these zero-emission people-powered guided tour services, ranging from 60 to 150 minutes long. From the coffee cruise to historic Adelaide, street art to the kids’ cruise, every exciting Adelaide experience is made even better by the passion and knowledge of your guides. Hop on board!
The verdant Adelaide Hills are a delight for the senses, with plenty for foodies, wine-lovers, nature-lovers and lovers more generally – it’s a very romantic spot! Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens are a must-see at any time of the year; the cute little village of Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, still visible in its streetscape (and German pubs and bakeries) that will make you feel like you’ve stepped off a plane in Europe; and you’ll find incredible wine and gourmet fare at the Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard. Finally, if you’re a fan of Fromage, don’t miss the award-winning artisan cheeses of Woodside Cheese Wrights – a perfect accompaniment to that bottle of wine that you picked up!
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, a 40minute drive outside Adelaide – Image by South Australian Tourism Commission
Finally, South Australia is internationally renowned for the Barossa Valley region, less than an hour from Adelaide. This is one of the world’s great wine-growing regions – and with over 80 cellar doors, you could easily spend a week wining, dining and enjoying the romance in the air, with picturesque wineries like Hentley Farm offering a treat for all your senses. We’re hungry just thinking about everything there is for foodies in the Barossa!
But that’s not the only reason to love this amazing region: heritage and music buffs will love the 1877 Hill & Son Organ Experience Tour, take to the sky and cross one off your bucket list with Barossa Valley Ballooning or Barossa Balloon Adventures, and try your hand at making DIY beauty products full of natural goodness at Vasse Virgin. Make sure you have a few days of your SA holiday dedicated to exploring the Barossa – you’ll leave with a satisfied appetite and joyful heart.
Hentley Farm – Image by Barossa Grape & Wine Association
Like we keep saying, you’re really spoiled for choice in South Australia but this is really only the tip of the iceberg. Once you’ve got a taste of everything SA has to offer, you’ll find yourself in a travel-planning rabbit hole! That said, here are some of our favourite spots to whet your appetite for this amazing state.
The second most populated city in SA is located in the heart of the Limestone Coast, and you’ll find Instagrammable views of the magical colour-changing Blue Lake, as well as underground waterways and sinkholes, beautifully lush and striking gardens, and literally, hundreds of caves – one of which (Naracoorte) is UNESCO World Heritage-listed and an absolute must for budding palaeontologists. Mount Gambier is mother nature at its finest!
Located in the Eyre Peninsula, this gorgeous beachside town is home to the Coffin Bay Oyster – yum! From sandboarding down otherworldly sand dunes, meandering down the coastline or trying your hand at watersports, Coffin Bay makes for a perfect family-friendly holiday getaway.
A guide to SA would be remiss not to mention the Flinders Ranges and Outback SA, a true-blue Aussie treasure. As Tourism WA puts it, “Driving through the Flinders Ranges and Outback, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were navigating the unexplored face of Mars.”
The Flinders Ranges National Park is considered some of Australia’s most fantastic and iconic landscapes in all its rugged splendour, and taking a dip in the natural spa at the desert oasis of Coward Springs is a perfect way to relax mid-walkabout. The unique dugouts of Coober Pedy are a definite must-see, and the aptly-named Painted Desert in its colourful glory makes for the outback experience of your dreams.
Flinders Bush Retreats in the Flinders Ranges – Image by Brooke Saward
Want to know more? You’ll find ideas galore and sample itineraries at the Tourism SA website. Get in touch with an ATAS-accredited travel agent to make your dream South Australia holiday a reality: fuss-free, fun and just perfect for you.
Looking for more travel tips and insight from ATAS? Check out our traveller’s guide to SA and Adelaide, cross the SA-NSW border and take a break in Broken Hill, and get philosophical with 4 reasons why we love to travel.