South Australia: A State of Contrasts
South Australia is perhaps the country’s most diverse state. Soak up the coastal atmosphere on the Fleurieu Peninsula, delve into mining history in the Copper Coast’s small towns, dig for opals in the outback or stroll amongst the seals on Kangaroo Island.
The heart of South Australia is Adelaide, a laidback yet cosmopolitan capital city, showcasing the state’s best wines and fine dining experiences, only a short distance from a series of beaches and picturesque valleys.
Holiday rentals abound across South Australia, from self-contained Adelaide apartments to rustic ranches nestled in mountain ranges. All you have to do is ask yourself: do you fancy a beach break, city escape or outback adventure?
Adelaide provides visitors with an introduction to South Australia’s past and present-day culture. Walk along Port Adelaide’s streets, lined with examples of colonial architecture, or stay active as you discover Adelaide’s many parks, gardens and paved trails meandering along River Torrens.
Make sure to hit up Adelaide’s numerous family-friendly beaches and spend the day lounging on the golden sand. In the evenings, relax with a glass of South Australian wine and a gourmet meal made from local ingredients at one of the city’s many high-end restaurants.
Coastal Getaways in South Australia
Beach bums and water sport fanatics will have their pick of waterfront destinations in South Australia. The Fleurieu Peninsula is a hub for water sports of all kinds, from snorkelling to sailing to fishing. Adrenaline junkies can take in the coast’s scenic beauty from up high by going for a skydive over the Peninsula.
Meanwhile, the Limestone Coast is a favourite SA destination for road trips. Stop the motor and go for coastal hikes to find your very own secluded, untouched beach. While on the Limestone Coast, travellers can visit World-Heritage Listed caves, including underwater limestone caves at Piccaninnie Ponds.
South Australia Wine Culture
Travellers could come to South Australia solely for the wine regions, but it would take weeks or months to visit the wineries and vineyards across the state. Barossa Valley is the best known wine region on an international scale, where you can sample award-winning Riesling or Shiraz.
Alternately, get some exercise as you taste Riesling in the Clare Valley, just a short distance from Barossa. Pedal along the Riesling Trail, leading you past some of the state’s finest cellar doors.
Another option is to head to the Murray River’s Riverland, home to well-established wineries, with its own food and wine trail for self-guided or group tours. The Limestone Coast and Fleurieu Peninsula both offer their own take on viniculture, as well.
Wildlife lovers from all walks of life have an abundance of options in South Australia. Kangaroo Island is one of Australia’s most prominent destinations for observing animals in their natural habitat. Not only will you see wild kangaroos and koalas going about their business, but you can join a wildlife tour or stroll along the sands of Seal Bay to get close to wild seals.
During migration season, South Australia visitors can also do some whale watching. Start off at the South Australia Whale Centre in Victor Harbor to learn all about these marine mammals. Whale watching tours depart from many towns, including Victor Harbor. You may also spot seals and dolphins on your tour.
Exploring the Outback: Flinders Ranges and Beyond
Beyond the coastline, South Australia’s outback beckons. The Flinders Ranges offer rugged scenery that is over 450 million years old, consisting of mountains, deserts and lunar-like craters that stretch on for kilometres. Scenic flights let you see these majestic landscapes at a whole new level.
Feeling lucky? Search for opals at Coober Pedy. Looking to stretch your legs? Go hiking or bushwalking around parts of Wilpena Pound. To get a better grasp of the area’s immensity, drive along a portion of the Oodnadatta Track, a 620 km road following the old Ghan railway from Adelaide to Darwin.
This journey will take you past Lake Eyre, an enormous salt lake, and sites related to the region’s mining history, spread far and few between, with endless desert views most of the way, no matter which direction you look.
Getting around South Australia
Adelaide’s international airport makes it straightforward to get to South Australia from many cities across Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East. Once you have landed in Adelaide, you can board a connecting flight to one of the state’s regional airports, rent a car or catch a bus or train to reach your final destination.