Top 21 South Australia Hotspots
Typical South Australian Scenery

Typical South Australian Scenery
1. Adelaide

There is always something happening in this spacious city. With parks and gardens surrounding the CBD, you can picnic in the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens, or stroll down to the River Torrens to watch the paddleboats and cyclists along the rivers edge. Not far away is the South Australian Museum. Adelaide Zoo is great for families, with over 1000 native animals to spot. The beach is also close by, with Brighton the perfect choice for a getaway.

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. Make sure you visit Lyndoch Lavender Farm which is well known throughout the area, as well as the Barossa Historical Museum and the famous Penfolds Barossa Valley Winery. Take a few days out to relax and do nothing (except sample the wines and great food) or hike in one of the national parks for incredible scenery. Barossa Valley is a must do experience.

3. Port Augusta

Known as the South Australian crossroad, you can travel across the Nullarbor from here, north to Alice Springs, south to Adelaide or east to New South Wales. There is so much to do here. The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens offers beautiful walks and the Outback Centre closer to the city offers plenty of historical displays. This is the perfect base for travel in any direction to see the outback at its best.

4. Fleurieu Peninsula

Known for its wines, beaches and fishing, this is the ultimate holiday destination, and great for all the family. 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, and it is just as enjoyable to soak up the sun on the mainland at one of the many camping grounds dotting the coast. Stay for a week or a few days, and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of South Australia's most beautiful peninsula.

5. Heysen Trail

This is one of South Australia's most well known walking trails, starting at Cape Jervis near Kangaroo Island, and ending in the Flinders Ranges, some 1200 kilometres away. Not for the fainthearted, you might prefer to start small and enjoy one of the two hour walks along the way. If you have the time, this is the ultimate walk for those who want to see South Australia in all its diversity. Experience the breathtaking 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

Accessible via Port Augusta, this region is remote, diverse and breathtaking. With so much to see you will need at least a few days set aside to enjoy the ranges and their natural beauty. Start at Wadlata Outback Centre, displaying the history and best attractions to visit in the area. Head to Quorn, not far from the lovely Warren Gorge and also the Kanyaka Ruins. One of the best towns to visit is Hawker, not far from Wilpena Pound which has plenty of wildlife and amazing scenery.

7. Coober Pedy

Known for its colourful opals, Coober Pedy is a unique and attractive place to visit, with its famous underground accommodation to escape the heat. The unique shops and art galleries have to be seen to be believed, and you can't miss the underground mines. One of the most popular is the Old Timer's Mine which is one of the oldest and also displays some of the opals that were first discovered in the early 1900's.

8. Kangaroo Island

Australia's third largest island is only two hours from Adelaide and accessible via Cape Jarvis on the ferry. Not surprisingly you will find plenty of kangaroos on the island, plus penguins, seals, koalas and many more. There are lighthouses dotting the island as well a numerous walking trails that will take you through the uninhabited Flinders Chase National Park. At Kelly Hill you can visit the underground cave systems, and Kingscote is where you can best see the cute penguins at play. Murray Lagoon is also worth visiting for its prolific birdlife. Visit for the day or stay at one of the many campgrounds.

9. Yorke Peninsula

With wildlife in every direction and scenic national parks make you feel like you are the only person around. There are a number of fantastic walking trails such as the Standsbury Coastal Trail, Edithburgh, Port Vincent trails. Visit the lighthouse at Cape Spencer and on to the Samphire Coast which is popular for bird watching. There are a number of camping grounds to choose located close to pristine white beaches and lookouts.

10. Innes National Park

This is the perfect place to visit to get away from the city and get back to nature. With a great camping ground in the park, you can base yourself here for as long as you like and enjoy the carpet of wildflowers and walking trails which wind around the coastline. Visit Inneston Village which will take you back in time, or hop over Chinaman's Hat island to enjoy some more bushwalking and birdlife. The endless coastlines and abundant wildlife will keep you coming back.

11. Gawler Ranges

With magnificent ranges and vegetation, there is so much to see and do here. The national park is located approximately six hours drive north west from Adelaide. There are a number of incredible bushwalks to enjoy the wilderness known for its wildflowers and salt lakes. Lake Gairder is one of the most visited, with rare vegetation full of colour, so make sure you bring your camera. Pildappa Rock and Mount Wudinna are also well known attractions located on the tourist trail. Stay for a few days in one of the beautiful camping grounds, or nearby at Minnipa.

12. Adelaide Hills

This is often an artists retreat, with the rolling hills and peaceful country life a nice change from the fast pace of the city. 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. Set some time aside to drive through this area and if possible stay a few nights to take in the picturesque scenery and peaceful villages.

13. Mount Crawford Forest

Close to an hour from Adelaide, the Mount Crawford Forest is perfect for a getaway, with plenty of winding roads leading you to campgrounds and bushwalking tracks. One of the most popular past times is gem fossicking, with gold, opals and diamonds some of the hidden treasures. Horse riding and cycling enthusiasts will love this area, but its just as popular for locals and tourists with a number of excellent picnic spots.

14. Mount Gambier

Known for its brilliant blue lake, Mount Gambier is one of South Australia's most beautiful attractions. Located over 400 kilometres south from Adelaide, it is a great drive, and the best time to visit is between November and March when the water is bluer than usual. There are also a number of other lakes to visit, such as Little Blue Lake and Valley Lake, and another well known natural attraction is Cave Gardens. Climb Centenary Tower for the best view of the city and surrounding country. Head to the Mount Gambier Tourist Centre to take part in interactive displays and learn more about the region.

15. Birdsville Track

The Birdsville Track is an Aussie icon. From Birdsville, Queensland to Marree in South Australia, you can best attempt the track by 4WD, or travel in sections to enjoy scenery such as Sturts Stony Desert, Mungeranie Gap as well as sand hills, coolibah creeks and old homesteads scattered along the way. Marree is an excellent base to visit the surrounding area and experience a portion of the famous track.

16. Murray River

The Murray River has to be experienced. Stretching into South Australia via Renmark, it is fantastic for a day trip or a holiday destination with so much to see and do. Dotted along the river system are parks and picnic grounds to relax and enjoy the scenery and wildlife or relax for a spot of fishing. An easy drive from Adelaide, visit Murray Bridge and enjoy a local cruise on the MV Expedition or PS Murray Princess, or head to Mannum for some shopping. If you love bird watching head past Waikerie to Gluepot Reserve.

17. Clare Valley

With a rural flavour, visit the main heritage towns of Burra and Kapunda for some country experiences. This is the ideal getaway retreat with plenty of local attractions for the whole family. For cute farm animals visit Geralka Rural Farm located near Spalding. Burra and Snowtown are home to a number of fantastic art galleries, unique pubs and cosy cafes. Spend a day or two visiting each town and enjoying the local shops and attractions.

18. Hahndorf

You can't visit South Australia without visiting Hahndorf, steeped in history and brimming with exciting attractions. Being Australia's oldest German village, you are guaranteed authentic German foods, beers and wines. Located close to Adelaide Hills, this is a fantastic base to explore the surrounding regions. Make sure you visit the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm, Hahndorf Farm Barn, especially fun for the kids, and German Model Train Land.

19. Naracoorte Caves National Park

Located south, not far from Coonawarra and Mount Gambier, Naracoorte Caves are worth visiting, with breathtaking 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. Take a guided tour or visit the Wonambi Fossil Centre. This is the home of the Southern Bentwing bat. Stay for a while in the campgrounds available or make use of the picnic grounds.

20. McLaren Vale

There is only one main reason to visit McLaren Vale, and that is for the wine. It is also a pretty town with a lot of history. A short drive from Adelaide, this township boasts over forty wineries, with plenty of vineyards to wander around and of course enjoy a sample or two of the premier wines available. Include this town on your driving itinerary, or better still stay for a few nights and enjoy the scenery and the produce.

21. Coorong National Park

Choosing car hire Adelaide and driving south, Coorong National Park is just past Murray Bridge. This river town is also a great base to visit the park. Head to Pelican Point for some serious bird watching, or Long Point for some fishing. If you are after incredible views then Jacks Point is the place to be with an observatory and walking track. Camping is permitted here with permits available from nearby Salt Creek or Meningie. As it is close enough to the city for a day trip, make sure you include this natural attraction on your itinerary.

Jenny Brewer






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