Visiting South Australia will take you into some of Australia’s best regions, from the “most livable city” of Adelaide, to Kangaroo Island, Fleureau Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide itself is a city of amazing architecture and an elegant history, while just outside you will find the beautiful Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley, where the countryside is alive with wineries, farmland and villages. Further out you can explore Spencer Gulf at the Eyre Peninsula, the Flinders Ranges - the largest mountain range in South Australia, and Fleurieu Peninsula - a fisherman’s haven.
No matter where you go in South Australia, you will find an abundance of sights worth your time
Adelaide is the fifth largest city in Australia, located on the Torrens River between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. It was founded in 1836 and designed by Colonel William Light. Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and is known as the “city of churches”, with an array of churches dating back more than 150 years. While in Adelaide, take time to admire the grand buildings along North Terrace, visit the historic beachside suburb of Glenelg or walk along the popular shopping and dining strip - Rundle Street. Explore the Adelaide Zoo, the Art Gallery of South Australia, South Australian Museum, Port Adelaide Lighthouse, Glenelg Museum & Historic Tram, Gawler Museum and the South Australian Maritime Museum. If you prefer nature, at Cleland Conservation Park you will come face to face with plenty of Australian native fauna; Belair National Park has good bushwalking trails; while a visit to Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary is a must.
A short distance from Adelaide is the popular and well known Adelaide Hills region. Just outside the city you will find Mount Lofty Summit which provides visitors with spectacular views of the city, the plains and the surrounding areas from a peak of 710 metres. Nearby, the Heysen Trail will take you to see the gushing waterfalls of Waterfall Gully or wander through the native bushland to Cleland National Park. The Adelaide Hills is known as an area for romance and small towns and villages, like Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement Hahndorf are always popular for travellers. Founded in 1888, Stirling is one of the most beautiful towns in the Adelaide Hills and has colourful tree lined streets and affluent architecture. Traditionally a farming area, Mount Barker is located on the plains surrounding the Mount Barker Summit and is where you will find the popular Linear Trail, which starts at Keith Stephenson Park and continues 3km to the Laratinga Wetlands.
In the northern end of the Adelaide Hills region, you can visit the Gorge Wildlife Park at Cudlee Creek, The Giant Rocking Horse & Toy Factory, Guneracha, and The National Motor Museum in Birdwood.
While in the centre, you won’t want to miss Cleland Wildlife Park, Warrawong Sanctuary and Laratinga Wetlands, while in the south you will find attractions like Jupiter Creek Gold Diggings, Callington’s Mining History.
The Barossa Valley region is where you will find to some of Australia’s finest wineries, cuisine and scenic drives. It is one of the best wine producing regions in Australia and is filled with townships and wineries, friendly locals, history and culture. There are more than 13,000 hectares of vineyards and it is home to some of the oldest continuously producing vineyards in the world.
The township of Tanunda is in the heart of the region and was born from its German Lutheran Heritage and is still dotted with rustic German buildings today. The town of Nuriootpa is Barossa's largest township, while Gawler is a popular tourist destination and was the first country town in South Australia. The township of Lyndoch is one of the oldest towns in South Australia and here you will find handcrafted arts and crafts, a lavender farm and buildings from the mid-1800's.
Kapunda is the birthplace of copper mining and was the first town in Australia to have an open cut mine, while Williamstown is located on the Southern Gateway of the Valley and is home to the world-famous Whispering Wall - the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir. The wall draws tourists from around the world due to its acoustics – you can stand at one end and whisper sweet nothings to your loved one standing at the other end – and hear each other clearly.
Flinders Ranges region is a world of ancient artefacts, harsh landscape, magnificent mountains and an abundance of wildlife. It is the largest mountain range in South Australia, stretching for more than 430 kilometres from Port Pirie in the south, via Alligator Gorge and Wilpena Pound, to Mount Hopeless and Lake Callobanna in the north.
The Flinders Ranges host an abundance of flora and fauna in its national parks, conservation parks and mountains and the land is thick with gum trees, pine, mallee and black oak, while the long distance routes provide the perfect holiday for passionate walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Enjoy a scenic flight over the region or walk around Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre, check out the views from St Mary’s Peak, fossik for opals or visit the Painted Desert, Moon Plain and the Breakaways at Coober Pedy or spend a few days 4WDing across the Simpson Desert. Visit Port Augusta via Horrock’s Pass and Pichi Richi and see Arkaroo Rock, which dates back 5,000 years. You also won’t want to miss the Yourambulla Caves Aboriginal Site, with its Aboriginal galleries.
Fleurieu Peninsula is located south of Adelaide and has something for everyone, with more than 250 kilometres of coastline condensed with hills and valleys, lakes and national parks. Victor Harbour is a popular seaside town overlooking Encounter Bay. If you love good wine and food, McLaren Vale is one of the best places to visit with wineries dating back more than 100 years.
The Southern Lakes, the mouth of the Murray River and Coorong are great destinations, as well as Langhorne Creek, Mt Compass and Strathalbyn. At the tip of the peninsula is Cape Jervis, the gateway to Kangaroo Island, and a fantastic place to visit with bushland, native flora and fauna, and the Backstairs Passage – the strait that lies between the Cape and the eastern end of Kangaroo Island.
Australia’s third largest island, Kangaroo Island sits at the entrance of Gulf St Vincent and has a history dating back thousands of years. Visited by tens of thousands of travellers each year, you will find soaring cliffs, thick green forests, stunning white beaches, and magnificent sand dunes, along with an abundance of wildlife and lavender farms.
Kingscote was South Australia’s first official European settlement and is the largest town on the island. Here you will find a colony of the smallest penguins in the world – the little penguin. The town of Penneshaw is located on the eastern tip of the Dudley Peninsula, and attractions nearby include Antechamber Bay, Brown Beach, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and American Beach and the Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. Visit Parndana at the heart of the island and American River on the north coast, while Emu Bay is a popular destination for holiday makers with its 4 kilometre beach. Other places of interest include D'Estrees Bay, Murray Lagoon, Seal Bay and Vivonne Bay.