The sprawling wilderness, stunning coastline, and stark desert great thing about South Australia have captured the imagination of artists and adventurers for hundreds of years . The capital , Adelaide, sits on the brink of of these natural wonders, boasting an active agenda of festivals and things to try to to . But this sparsely populated state features a trove of other tourist attractions.
Quaint country villages steeped in European charm, emerald hills, and cobalt crater lakes are a number of the highest inland sites. Along the coast, you’ll bask on beautiful beaches; picnic in secluded coves; or commune with wildlife on Kangaroo Island, one among the country’s much-loved tourist gems.
South Australia is additionally a haven for foodies. The state’s wild seas and picturesque pastoral land, fed by the mighty Murray , produce a bounty of fresh produce—from citrus fruits and hand-made cheeses to a number of the country’s best seafood.
Further afield, within the west and northwest, the arid wilderness meets the pink-tinged peaks of the Flinders Ranges, the opal mines of Coober Pedy, vast deserts crossed by famous 4WD tracks, and therefore the legendary Nullarbor Plain . Find the simplest places to go to during this diverse Aussie state with our list of the highest attractions in South Australia .
1. Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island off the Fleurieu Peninsula is that the third largest island in Australia and one among the country’s top natural jewels. This beautiful island may be a must-do on your South Australia itinerary.
Sparkling cerulean seas, pristine beaches, rugged coastal scenery, fascinating rock formations, caves, and close-up encounters with charismatic wildlife are the prime attractions. Besides its namesake marsupial, you’ll see koalas, seals, penguins, sea lions, and a diversity of birds in their natural habitat. Scuba divers frequently spot sea dragons within the crystal-clear temperate waters, and lots of wrecks lie sunken offshore.
In Flinders Chase park , the wind-sculpted boulders of the Remarkable Rocks and therefore the eroded curve of Admiral’s Arch are striking geographical features. The island is additionally known for its bounty of fresh produce including fresh seafood, free-range eggs, and Ligurian honey. to urge here, you’ll fly direct to the island from Adelaide, or hop aboard a ferry from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Adelaide, the capital of South Australia , is Australia’s fifth-largest city and one among its most charming. Parks and gardens punctuate the town , and venerable 19th-century buildings stand proud amid the burgeoning high-rises within the city centre .
Popular Adelaide attractions include the cultural precinct of North Terrace with its museums, galleries, and punctiliously preserved historic gems; the Adelaide Central Market, a shopping institution; and therefore the impressive line-up of performances and events at the Adelaide Festival Centre.
If you’ve got time during your visit, attempt to catch a match or AFL game at Adelaide Oval, which has played host to a good range of Aussie sports since the late 1800s.
For a change of scenery, hop aboard the tram to Glenelg from Victoria Square to swim, sail, and take in the seaside ambiance, or venture into the gorgeous bush-covered hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges (Adelaide Hills).
3. Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley, about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, may be a favorite excursion from the capital. blessed fertile soils, this verdant valley is one among Australia’s oldest grape-growing regions and a haven for foodies, who are lured by the high-quality fresh produce and artisan foods. German and English immigrants originally settled the valley, and their history and culture are still palpable today within the historic buildings, heritage trails, museums, and European-style cuisine.
In addition to all or any the historic attractions, the region offers many other diversions. you’ll patronize the favored farmer’s markets, attend cookery schools, feast at the fabulous restaurants, relax at the day spas, and browse the various gift shops and art galleries.
4. Clare Valley
Along with the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley is another famous Australian grape-growing region, about 136 kilometers north of Adelaide. Picturesque pastoral landscapes provide an ideal setting for romantic weekend retreats, and therefore the region is understood for its flourishing gourmet food culture. Polish, English, and Irish immigrants originally settled the valley, and their culture and customs are still evident within the charming heritage towns and historic bluestone buildings.
In the main town of Clare, named after County Clare in Ireland, you’ll explore the region’s history within the town’s museum, housed during a mid-19th century courthouse, or visit nearby Sevenhill, named for its rolling countryside like the hills around Rome. From here, you’ll take the scenic drive to shine Hills River Valley, explore the region’s history within the Polish Church Museum, or bike the old railway route.
From 1845 to 1877 copper mining brought prosperity to the world around Burra, which has preserved its rich history in mine buildings, stone dwellings, and museums along Burra’s Heritage Passport Trail. The English-style heritage town of Mintaro is home to Martindale Hall, a Neoclassical mansion that’s now a hotel.
Popular things to try to to within the Clare Valley include exploring the gorgeous Skilly Hills; dining at the superb cafés and restaurants; and browsing the local markets, gift shops, and art galleries. annually in May, foodies flocks here for the annual Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend, a celebration of the region’s abundant fresh produce.
5. Flinders Ranges
Named for famous explorer Flinders , the Flinders Ranges are a delight for nature lovers, photographers, and artists. within the shifting light of day, the arid landscapes provide a striking play of colors—from pale pink and gold to burnt orange. Despite the dry conditions, the world is home to a surprising abundance of wildlife (emus, yellow-footed rock wallabies, and flocks of brilliantly colored parrots inhabit the region).
The mountains run from north to south through the eastern a part of South Australia , stretching northward for 400 kilometers into the scorched Outback. In Flinders Ranges park , the foremost scenic area of the region, an upscale growth of vegetation cloaks the sheltered valleys, and wildflowers carpet the parched earth in spring. Top attractions here include the natural amphitheater of Wilpena Pound with St. Mary’s Peak at its highest point, Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock, fossils, and a part of the long-distance Heysen Trail named for the famous German-born Australian artist, Hans Heysen.
6. Fleurieu Peninsula
The picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula, a spur of land projecting southwest from the Mount Lofty Ranges, may be a playground for several activities like fishing, boating, bushwalking, whale watching, surfing, and swimming—just to call a couple of . Top tourist attractions include the gorgeous scenery, wildlife reserves, and superb beaches just like the sheltered sandy inlets in Gulf St. Vincent. Victor Harbor is one among the foremost popular beach resorts on the peninsula. Connected by an extended causeway, Granite Island, protects it from the turbulent Southern Ocean and may be a haven for kangaroos and penguins.
On the narrow channel at the outlet of Lake Alexandrina, into which the Murray flows, the rapidly growing resort of Goolwa was referred to as the New Orleans of Australia in its heyday due to the various paddle steamers plying the river. Off Goolwa, Hindmarsh Island may be a favorite haunt of birdwatchers.
Other popular stops on the peninsula include the surfing hotspot of Port Elliot and therefore the vine-draped hills of McLaren Vale, a major grape-growing region. From Cape Jervis, at the tip of the peninsula, tourists can hop aboard a ferry service to Kangaroo Island.
7. Eyre Peninsula
Rimmed by a rugged and ravishing coastline of cliffs and sheltered beaches, the triangular-shaped Eyre Peninsula is one among Australia’s least crowded coastal stretches, and one among its most beautiful. it’s located east of the good Australian Bight, and cage diving with great white sharks scores ad on the list of tourist adventures. you’ll also snorkel with giant cuttlefish near Whyalla, or swim with balletic sea lions at Baird Bay. Whale watching is another popular activity from May through October when southern right whales migrate along the good Australian Bight Marine Park.
Coffin Bay is understood for its superb seafood and stunning park . Occupying the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula , Lincoln park offers spectacular scenery with rugged cliffs and abundant birds, while Port Lincoln is becoming an increasingly popular resort . Its fishing fleet, the most important in Australia, produces a number of the country’s best seafood.
Inland, you’ll explore the bushland and wildlife of the Gawler Ranges or venture into the outback across the legendary Nullarbor Plain for a significant 4WD adventure through the scorched desert.
Australia’s longest river, the mighty Murray flows from its source within the New South Wales Alps to the Southern Ocean in South Australia . Sandstone cliffs and tall eucalyptus trees fringe the river, and its wetlands are important habitats for several water birds. Once home to the Ngarrindjeri and Nganguraku people, today the river irrigates a huge citrus-growing industry and agricultural region and provides a wealth of water-based activities, from fishing, boating, water-skiing, and swimming to gliding along on a paddle-wheeler .
Peppered with colorful gardens and fragrant roses, the riverside town of Renmark lies at the purpose where the states of South Australia , New South Wales, and Victoria meet and is home to large plantations of citrus fruits. From here, you’ll tour the Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum, organize a river cruise, or hire a houseboat.
Another popular place to go to is Loxton, the “garden city” of the Riverland region, with galleries and historical sites. Here, on the banks of the river, the Historical Village takes visitors back in time with its faithfully recreated late-19th century buildings and artifacts. Northwest of Loxton, the small town of Waikerie may be a popular spot for gliding and offers a reasonably cliff-top walk.
9. Mount Gambier
Along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier is an extinct volcano with four beautiful crater lakes, also as sinkholes and gardens. A curious phenomenon occurs on the Blue Lake annually in November, when the colour of the lake transforms from dull gray to an excellent cobalt blue. A scenic drive with spectacular views runs round the crater.
While you’re within the area, stop by the Umpherston Sinkhole. Created when the roof of a cave collapsed, this popular tourist attraction was transformed into a gorgeous “sunken garden” by James Umpherston within the 1880s. Ferns, hot pink hydrangeas, and calla lilies flourish within the gardens, and plush plants cascade over the lip of the sinkhole, imbuing the space with a magical feel. within the evenings, lights illuminate the gardens, and friendly possums congregate here trying to find a meal.
South of Mount Gambier, you’ll explore South Australia’s only World Heritage Site, Naracoorte Caves, with fascinating fossils, colonies of bats, and haunting subterranean scenery. Other attractions on the Limestone Coast include the bird-rich lagoons and coastal dunes of the Coorong, a sequence of lagoons and salt lakes between Lake Alexandrina and therefore the sea; the grape-growing region of Coonawarra; pretty Beachport, a former whaling station; and therefore the historic beach resort of Robe.
10. Innes park , Yorke Peninsula
Sitting at the tip of the spectacular Yorke Peninsula, a few three-hour drive from Adelaide, remote Innes park is an under-rated and refreshingly uncrowded raw slice of nature. If you check out a South Australia map, the Yorke Peninsula is that the boot-shaped claw of land jutting bent the west of Adelaide, and it makes an exquisite weekend getaway from the capital.
Rugged seascapes, wildlife, and windswept white-sand beaches lapped by dazzling blue seas are the prime attractions. you’ll explore the park on hiking trails or by car, stopping at the empty beaches along the way. Popular things to try to to include surfing the remote breaks, camping, boating, fishing off the ravishing beaches, and skin diving the various wrecks scattered along this tempestuous stretch of coast. to find out more about the region’s fascinating shipwreck history, visit the rusted hull of the Ethel, and follow the maritime interpretive trail along the coast.
Wildlife is abundant. Emus and kangaroos are among the most frequently spotted animals in the park, and you might also spot southern right whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions off the coast. The park is also home to more than 150 species of birds, including ospreys, malleefowl, and hooded plovers.
11. Coober Pedy
The opal mining town of Coober Pedy lies in the heart of the South Australian outback. The name of the town comes from an Aboriginal phrase meaning “white fellows in a hole,” since most of the inhabitants live in underground dwellings (dugouts) to escape the fierce heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter.
In 1911, gold miners found valuable white opals here. Since then, opal mining has converted the desolate countryside around Coober Pedy into a lunar-like landscape. You can still try your luck looking for these pearlescent beauties after obtaining a prospecting permit from the Mines Department in Coober Pedy. The Old Timers Mine and Museum display exhibit on the history of prospecting for precious stones. Sightseers can also tour underground homes and the subterranean Catacomb Church.