South Australia has it all - a blend of city life, rugged Outback, and idyllic coastline and a huge range of fantastic wildlife. Read on to discover the diverse beauty of this vibrant Aussie state through a range of activities that will suit all everyone.
There are few better ways to discover all the contrasting beauty of Australia than road tripping the Explorer’s Way. This entire self-drive route can take two weeks or more and heads north from Adelaide, crossing the entire continent to Darwin. As well as uncovering all the classic highlights – South Australia’s wine valleys, Coober Pedy, and Flinders Region, to name a few – you will also visit lesser known locations such as Mount Remarkable National Park, Woomera Rocket Range Museum, and the mesmerising Painted Desert.
Once crossing into the Northern Territory the route takes in Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and the outback oasis of Alice Springs in Central Australia before traversing further north to Katherine Gorge and finally Darwin in the ‘Top End’.
If you don’t have that much time then try out a few unique experiences closer to the coastline.
Go wild in the Gawler Range, home to some of South Australia’s most astonishing scenery and also a good place to spot wildlife: 140 bird species can be found here, plus possums, wombats, and wallabies. Get to know this remote region with some wild camping – with a comfortable twist. Try the beautiful Kangaluna Camp for an unforgettable barefoot luxury experience and unbeatable star-gazing.
Visit Kangaroo Island and get up close to a colony of sea lions at Seal Bay, sample great local food, swim from crystalline beaches, sandboard down Little Sahara dunes, the small island is worth visiting for a few days to experience as much as possible.
Go underground in Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy is a place like no other. Most of the world’s opals are mined in this bumpy and dusty terrain, and half of the population live underground because of the heat. This is one of the most isolated (and fascinating) towns in South Australia.
Head to South Australia’s Coonawarra vineyard region and walk the Coonawarra Wineries Trail, to combine some great walking with incredible wine. The trail is a 5km stroll that takes you between five different wineries in the area, where you can stop off and sample the fruits of their labour while admiring the magnificent scenery. The walk takes around three hours, but if you’ve a whole day to spare, savour the experience with a lunch break or picnic (a basket full of goodies can be pre-ordered from Coonawarra Store) along the way.
Meet the locals at Outback pubs. Nothing beats cracking open a cool beer on a warm day, which is why the sweltering South Australian Outback is home to a number of top quality traditional watering holes such as Prairie Hotel serving native food such as kangaroo mettwurst.
Brave shark-diving in The Neptune Islands, off the coast of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, famous for great white sharks. A few companies in the area run cage diving experiences, where you can come eye-to-eye with these magnificent creatures.
Experience the Flinders Ranges through the eyes of Aboriginals. The Flinders Range is 540 million years old and the largest mountain range in South Australia. One of the best ways to discover this scenery is a tour with an Aboriginal guide unearthing the ancient stories and artwork of the region along the way.
Eat your way through the Seafood Frontier a road trip that heads west from Adelaide all the way to the state’s border. Rake for crabs at Marion Bay, head out on a fishing charter to experience seafood foraging first-hand, and chow down on fresh prawns, squid, and oysters every single day.
While it’s tempting to head into the Outback, don’t ignore the Fleurieu Peninsula – just a 45-minute drive from Adelaide – a haven of blue waters, quiet beaches, cliff scenery, and fresh local produce to eat and drink. Visit the cellar doors of McLaren Vale to sip on the region’s famous wines, try some surfing, or go whale watching at Victor Harbour.