When you’ve got the distractions of the Australian east coast; the Great Barrier Reef; international cities like Melbourne and Sydney; the Outback of the Northern Territory and its centrepiece Uluru; the wilderness of Tasmania; and the incredible beaches of the west coast, it’s easy to leave South Australia off a travel itinerary that’s probably already very full.
However, to miss out on South Australia would be a mistake: there’s so much to see and do in Australia’s southern mainland state. For Aussies thinking of a staycation and international visitors alike, here is a rundown of some of the things that will make you want to head south:
The state capital of South Australia doesn’t receive much press attention, but don’t let that fool you: Adelaide is one of Lonely Planet’s destinations of 2014 and for good reason. If the city used to be quiet and a tad dull, it’s now been infused with the multiculturalism that defines many Australian cities, and a great live music scene sets the soundtrack to the new wave of international restaurants and bars popping up all over town. A trip to Adelaide might well change your mind about the city; not for no reason is real estate SA is a burgeoning business!
South Australian wines are some of the best in the world. Just outside Adelaide, the vineyards of Adelaide Hills produce some excellent wine and it is a beautiful place to visit for some tastings, or even just to admire the countryside. Further afield, there are more well-known names like the Barossa Valley, amongst many other wine regions within the state.
One of the state’s main draws, Kangaroo Island is a wildlife haven, home to kangaroos (naturally), seals, echidnas, countless bird species and dolphins. This is a great place to get away from it all, as it’s still a low-key, slow-paced destination, despite its popularity with tourists.
These stunning mountains offer some of the best walking terrain in South Australia, with red craggy rocks, ancient cave paintings, river red gum trees, and expanses of barren desert. As well as hiking trips, there are also self-drive 4WD adventures and scenic flights available as alternative ways to experience this incredible landscape.
Any foodie will make Eyre Peninsula their first stop on a visit to South Australia. The specialities here are the tuna, oysters and whiting, but the other big pull of this peninsula is the sea life that doesn’t end up on your dinner plate: southern right whales, great white sharks, and sea lions are all prevalent in these waters, making it a wonderful location for marine wildlife enthusiasts. There’s also excellent surfing to be had along the coastline.