In South Australia, it is very easy to tailor your journey according to your interests and passions. Whether it be Nature & Wildlife, Culinary, Aboriginal, Coastal, Outback or City life, South Australia offers authentic travel experiences for the most discerning traveler.
Explore Adelaide Central Market
Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Adelaide Central Market, the largest undercover produce market in the Southern Hemisphere. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, the markets sell a colorful and enticing array of fresh, local produce. Load up on organic fruit and vegetables, premium meat and poultry, locally fished and farmed seafood, gourmet cheeses and bakery products. Snack along the way on sweets and nuts or enjoy the bustle with coffee or brunch at a stylish café. Watch guest chefs give cooking demonstrations, sign up for a cooking class or learn about the market’s history and different cultural influences on a guided tour.
Sometimes referred to as the 'cultural boulevard', North Terrace is the leafy home of Adelaide's grandest treasure houses. It's a heartland of art, history and knowledge - and also people. The Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum houses the world's largest collection of Aboriginal antiquities. Just next door you will find the Art Gallery of South Australia, home to the most comprehensive collection of Australian colonial art.
Gay and Lesbian Travel
South Australia is home to a thriving, passionate gay and lesbian community, a host of gay and lesbian friendly tourism experiences and the annual lesbian and gay cultural festival, the Feast Festival.
Feast, one of the three major gay and lesbian festivals in Australia, features a program of theatre, cabaret, comedy, film, forums, literature, dance, visual arts, tourism, sporting and community events. Whilst Feast Festival is an annual event, Feast activities are organized all year round, with events happening every month.
The most popular Adelaide's pubs, clubs and bars hangouts for the local gay and lesbian set include:
The long-running Mars Bar in Gouger Street, Adelaide
Icons on Henley in Torrensville
Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Currie Street, Adelaide
Wheatsheaf Hotel in Thebarton
Exeter Hotel in coastal Semaphore
A vacation to Australia is not complete unless you have visited Kangaroo Island, otherwise known as ‘Australia’s Galapagos’. Kangaroo Island is known as a one stop shop for travelers wishing to experience “authentic Australia”, as it encompasses so many of the experiences North Americans associate with an Australian vacation. Hang out with the wildlife, seals, sea lions, koalas, wallabies, bandicoots and platypus just to name a few. The desert dunes, beaches, forest and farmland are just a short flight from Adelaide or ferry ride from Cape Jervis on the South Australian coast. Watch penguins make their nightly pilgrimage to shore, buy milk, cheese, wine and Ligurian honey fresh from local farmers and see fur seals frolic on the rocks and a colony of Australian sea lions at Seal Bay. The island is only a half hour flight from the gateway, Adelaide, being extremely accessible for the often time poor North American traveler.
South Australia is already a leader in the field of ecologically sustainable tourism development, with around 15% of the nation’s Eco Certified tourism operators based here. Kangaroo Island is the premier eco tourism destination. Our 76 Eco Certified tourism experiences include: Baird Bay Eco Tours; Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary; Banrock Station Wine and Wetland Centre; Granite Island off the Fleurieu Peninsula coast & Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve.
Swim with Sea Lions and Dolphins – Baird Bay on the Eyre Peninsula
Swimming is believing at stunning Baird Bay, one of few places in the world where you can swim with two very remarkable species of mammals - dolphins and Australian sea lions. Vacationers cruise aboard the 12-metre vessel Investigator or the six-meter vessel Jaguar for a fully supervised tour conducted in safe sheltered waters. Baird Bay, sitting on the Eyre Peninsula, offers accommodation ranging from up market resort style eco villas, holiday shacks and a budget camping ground. Port Lincoln (at the bottom of Eyre Peninsula) also gives visitors the opportunity to go cage diving with Great White Sharks and diving with tuna and cuttlefish.
Find it all on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia
Dive or snorkel dramatic shipwrecks and marine life, visit famous vineyards or hit the surf in this coastal playground, just an hour’s drive south of Adelaide. Stay in cute coastal hamlets Port Noarlunga and Victor Harbor or the historic river town of Goolwa. Take a dip in perfect Horseshoe Bay, windsurf at Sellicks Beach or dive at Rapid Bay. See ancient forests and visit local wineries. Walk across spectacular headlands and get up close to native wildlife. No wonder they say this coat hanger-shaped strip has it all.
Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Take a scenic flight and see the monumental splendor of the rock basin of Wilpena Pound roll out beneath you, then explore the legendary waterholes of the Flinders Ranges. See Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock and explore the area’s pastoral history at Wilpena Pound Station. Afterwards, head to a friendly pub and taste-test some of the area’s famous bush tucker while swapping stories with the locals.
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary
Arkaroola 129 miles north east of Wilpena in the northern Flinders Ranges, and like its neighbor, offers motel comfort and experienced guides and pilots to show off their slice of the Outback. This 61,000-hectare wildlife sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges features fascinating geological formations, aboriginal sites, hot springs, rare wildlife, historic mining areas and vast plains. In particular, Arkaroola’s awesome four wheel drive Ridgetop Tour is justifiably world-famous. Like everywhere in the South Australian Outback, the night skies above Arkaroola blaze with stars and planets and a great highlight of a stay here is to explore them through the largest privately owned telescope in Australia.
The frontier and quirky outback town of Coober Pedy produces 80% of the world’s opal and is surrounded by hundreds of open mine shafts and heaps of excavated earth that reminds visitors of lunar craters. Much of the town’s accommodation, like many of its homes, business and churches, is built underground to avoid the extreme desert climate. Tours of the town include visits to underground dwellings, and there are tours of the opal fields. Here you can buy the best opals in the world, often direct from the miners who found them beneath the desert. More opals can be found if you are driving south in the eclectic town of Andamooka, not far from Roxby Downs.
Cruises & Charters
South Australia's coastline runs for 2300 miles, with Adelaide's metropolitan beaches alone stretching unbroken for more than 19 miles. There are wonderful opportunities for boating along the coastline in regions such as Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and Limestone Coast.
Kangaroo Island Sailing
Kangaroo Island Sailing offers luxury sailing adventures to Australia's wildlife wonderland, Kangaroo Island, or along the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula - all aboard the magnificent Lady Eugenie, a 21-metre classic ketch. The Kangaroo Island Three Day Adventure has it all - two nights on board the majestic Lady Eugenie in your private queen size state room with ensuite, anchoring at secluded spots off the coast of Kangaroo Island, close encounters with amazing wildlife, delicious fresh local produce cooked by an on board chef, sunsets over water and more.
Cruise on a 55-foot catamaran and swim with wild dolphins. Temptation Sailing departs from Glenelg in Adelaide.
Australia’s great river finishes its run to the sea in South Australia. You can cruise on a paddlewheeler, in a dinghy with a guide, on a kayak tour or your own-home-on-the-water – a houseboat. The Murray Expedition operates 2, 3& 5-night eco cruises on a boutique passenger vessel or the PS Murray Princess (Australia's largest inland paddle wheeler) operate 3, 4 or 7 nights cruises.
Granite Island Nature Park
Visitors are able to join a whale watching cruise between June and October, or dolphin, seal and Granite Island cruises between October and June. Granite Island is near Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Spirit of the Coorong
Cruise the waters of the Coorong and walk across the dunes of Younghusband Peninsula. Cruises depart from the historic port of Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island.
See the work of generations of artists who have been inspired by South Australia - its landscapes and towns, its people and their lives and its ideals and ideas. Painters, sculptors, weavers, photographers, musicians, writers - you'll find their work in galleries, museums, studios and arts centers (and wineries, visitor centers and public spaces) all over South Australia.
Art Gallery of South Australia
The major art museum is the Art Gallery of SA on North Terrace. It is home to one of Australia's finest art collections, housed in one of Adelaide's most beautiful historic buildings and has been an important cultural focus since its establishment in 1881, only forty-five years after the first European settlers arrived. The gallery has the most comprehensive collection of Australian colonial art (including the much-loved Australian Impressionists), and fine examples of Western Desert dot paintings, Rodin sculptures, British art, Islamic Art, with a collection of Southeast Asian trade ceramics from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Adelaide Festival Centre
Adelaide Festival Centre has an ever-growing art collection, displayed throughout the foyers and grounds of the center, with special exhibitions held in the ArtSpace. The performing Arts Collection is based there and its treasures are shown in the main box office.
JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design
You can watch artists in action at the JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in the West End. Its four studios specialize in glass, ceramics, furniture and metal design, and its three gallery spaces show works by established and emerging Australian craft designer and makers. The shop is perfect for unique gifts.
Kangaroo Island's shoreline is dotted with some of Australia's most beautiful and secluded beaches; long stretches of golden and often completely deserted sand. Vivonne Bay, on the South Coast, was recently named Australia's best beach while beaches like Emu Bay, Stokes Bay and Snelling Beach on the North Coast of the Island are the safest for swimming.
Kelly Hill Conservation Park
At Kelly Hill Conservation Park an underground labyrinth of limestone caves and sinkholes contain ornate formations of stalagmites, stalactites and helictites. Visitors are also able to experience the Little Sahara sand dunes on the island. Visitors can walk through the dunes, and marvel at the unique sand landscape or take a sandboard to the top of the razor back ridges and race down. Diving is also a popular activity on the island and the area is well known for its rare Leafy Sea Dragons – for further information please consult the Diving section under the heading of Special Interests.
Diving with Marine Life
Kangaroo Island offers some of the best temperate water diving in Australia. The underwater life is vivid and the unpolluted waters teem with fish including the rare Leafy Sea Dragon. Located at the base of the Eyre Peninsula, Port Lincoln is famous for its tuna fishing and Great White Sharks. Diving tours to see the sharks can be organized through Calypso Star Charters, Rodney Fox Shark Experience or Adventure Bay Charters. Visitors are also able to swim with tuna and Australian sea lions with Adventure Bay Charters outside of Port Lincoln. The annual migration of hundreds of thousands of Australian Giant Cuttlefish, Sepia apama, onto the reef areas around Black Point and Point Lowly, north of Whyalla, is recognized as one of the most significant and spectacular natural events in Australian marine waters, if not the world, and is rapidly gaining International recognition. Whyalla Eco Tours can take visitors out to see the unique creatures that frequent the area from May to August in order to breed.
Shipwrecks and Cave Diving
More than 700 shipwrecks dot South Australia's coastline and with approximately 200 of these sites located and identified, there's a huge choice of wreck dives. South Australia's Limestone Coast is home to some of the finest freshwater sinkhole and cave diving in the world. The caves are riddled with holes and caverns; most of these filled with crystal clear water and attract enthusiastic cave divers from all over the world. There are some 140 known sinkholes within the area, the most popular being Piccaninnie ponds, Ewens ponds, The Shaft, Kilsby's Sinkhole and Tank Cave. The Tank cave at over 4 miles long is the longest most spectacular water filled caves in Australia, while Piccaninnie ponds is considered one of the world's premier cave-diving experiences. Please remember permits are required to cave dive in some areas and due care must be taken at all times.
Aboriginal people have lived in Australia for at least 45,000 years. Rock carvings found in the north of South Australia are older by 16,000 years than the Neanderthal carvings in Europe. Before Europeans arrived, the part of the continent that is now South Australia was home to more than 10,000 people living in more than 50 different language groups.
South Austalian Museum
The South Australian Museum in Adelaide provides an ideal opportunity to learn about the history of Aboriginals. The Museum's Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery houses the world's most extensive collection of Aboriginal artifacts. It is possible to do a tour with an aboriginal guide. At Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in the center of Adelaide, visitors can view exhibitions, didgeridoo performances and experience indigenous storytelling. Established in 1989, Tandanya is Australia's first and oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts center that promotes Indigenous culture through arts, performance, film and education. Speak with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and watch their inspiring didgeridoo performances. There are always new exhibitions, which significantly capture Indigenous culture from past to present, and provide visions for the future.
In the northern Flinders Ranges, the Adnyamathanha people at Iga Warta welcome visitors to share in their lifestyle and knowledge of the land. Visit rock art sites more than 80,000 years old on the Red Gorge Tour. Nestled in the grandeur and picturesque northern Flinders Ranges, Iga Warta is considered a richly rewarding cultural and eco-tourism experience. Iga Warta tours invite you on evocative and compelling journeys into the social and cultural heritage, taking you back to first European contact during the early 19th century through to the current era. Approximately six hours drive north of Adelaide, Iga Warta provides a range of facilities and experiences, including cultural tours and accommodation. Enjoy some bush tucker on an overnight camping tour, where you’ll view the breathtaking sunset on Lake Frome, before learning about the countless stars at night.
The self-drive Aboriginal Dreaming Trail, part of the Explorer's Way in the Flinders Ranges, gives an insight into the formation of the Flinders Ranges as told by the local Aboriginal people.
Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park
Visit Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park on Australia’s largest river, The Murray, to discover one of the most significant archaeological sites in Australia. Visit the birthplace of the "Black Duck Dreaming" on the banks of the mighty River, journey through the ancestral home of the Nganguraku People, or follow a path where bare feet trod in ancient times and marvel at the story of rock art. Many Murray River cruises, including those aboard the MV Expedition or the PS Murray Princess, include a stop at this significant site.
The Coorong National Park
The Coorong National Park is of spiritual significance to the Ngarrindjeri people, and has many archaeological sites confirming Aboriginal occupation. At Camp Coorong and The Coorong Wilderness Lodge, visitors can learn about the local Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri people, through tasting bush foods, hearing Dreamtime storytelling, kayaking, bushwalking and bird watching. The Flinders Ranges and Outback regions were the traditional home of many Aboriginal tribes including the Adnyamathanhas. At Iga Warta, tourists can take a tour to learn about the history and culture of the Adnyamathanha people.
South Australia hosts more than 500 festivals every year. The following is a list of some of the major events suitable for international visitors.
Tour Down Under - January
International cycling action takes place every January with Adelaide hosting the first ever UCI ProTour event outside of Europe - the Tour Down Under. This colorful event attracts the cream of Australian and European professional cyclists to compete in a series of grueling road races through Adelaide and various country regions of South Australia. Before one of the race stages, recreational cyclists can join in the action and cycle the same route as the professionals.
Adelaide Fringe Festival - February to March
Adelaide Fringe Festival is an arts festival held annually in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. The event is Australia's largest arts event and the second-largest fringe festival in the world. Typically the Adelaide Fringe is dominated by comedy and visual arts performances, although music, cabaret, dance and theatre also have numerous performances.
Adelaide Festival of the Arts - February to May
The Adelaide Festival of Arts ranks alongside Edinburgh and Avignon as one of the world’s leading arts festivals. Held in every ‘even’ year, it embraces a potent mix of contemporary and classical artistic expression and performance.
Food & Wine Festivals
When South Australia’s wine regions celebrate, they do it in style, providing magnificent showcases for the State’s abundance of world-class wine and food:
The Barossa Vintage Festival in April
The Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend
McLaren Vale Sea and Vines Festival in June
The Barossa Valley Gourmet Weekend in August
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
South Australia has myriad of trails designed to show off our native wildlife and flora. Many are in national parks and regional areas, passing vineyards, historic towns and spectacular landscapes. Trails SA promotes an extensive range of over 300 walking, hiking, cycling and riding trails.
The Riesling Trail
Traversing the picturesque Clare Valley wine region, the Riesling Trail runs for 16 miles along the old Riverton to Spalding railway line between the towns of Clare and Auburn. This is an easy walk with plenty of accommodation options in the nearby towns. Cycling is a great way to travel along the trail and bike hire is available in the area.
Tour Down Under, Cycling
South Australia is fast becoming a premier destination for serious and recreational cyclists. The first ever UCI ProTour event outside of Europe and Australia’s premier international cycling race, the Tour Down Under is held in Adelaide each January attracting the world’s cycling superstars to Adelaide to race in five stages. Recreational cyclists can ride one of the stages in the Challenge Tour before the official teams hit the road.
Mawson Trail, Cycling
With almost 560 miles of back tracks, forest tracks and single track, the Mawson Trail is Australia's premier off road cycling trail. It will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery in South Australia - Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Clare Valley and Flinders Range. Starting at the Adelaide Festival Centre in the heart of the city, and travelling to the town of Blinman in the Flinders Ranges, the Mawson Trail takes mountain-bikers through South Australia’s remote rural and regional areas.
Heysen Trail, Walking
The Heysen Trail, named after the late Sir Hans Heysen, one of Australia's most celebrated artists, covers 746 miles from Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges to Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is one of the world's longest continuous trails and one of its greatest long distance walks. Generally, it takes about 60 walking days to complete the Trail, however much enjoyable walking can be had without completing the whole Trail.
The Adelaide Wildlife Trail
The Adelaide Wildlife Trail includes the much-loved Cleland Wildlife Park is situated in bushland a mere 7 miles from Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills. Wander freely amongst kangaroos, wallabies, emus and waterbirds, join a feed run, cuddle koalas and discover nocturnal animals on a night walk. Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, also in the Adelaide Hills is a sanctuary for native plants, rare and endangered animals. At Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, you can enjoy a self-guided walk between 9am and sunset all year round, or take a guided nocturnal tour to see bilbies, brush-tailed bettongs, Tamar wallabies and the elusive platypus.
The focal point of The Flinder Ranges and certainly South Australia’s best-known natural landmark is Wilpena Pound, an amphitheatre of mammoth proportions. Well-signed bushwalking tracks inside Wilpena Pound and around the ridges of its massive rim make exploration easier. And there are thrilling scenic flights over the Pound and surrounding ranges, as well as fully escorted four wheel drive safaris into hidden gorges adorned with rare and sacred Aboriginal rock art and lined with stunning River Red Gums. Just outside the Pound, both Wilpena Pound Resort and Rawnsley Park Station offer comfortable accommodation, dining, a caravan park and camping ground; ideal bases from which to explore the surrounding Outback.
Many of the key tourism experiences in South Australia such as Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges and Baird Bay are ideal family destinations. In addition to these attractions, the following list provides suggestions of other family activities:
Cleland Wildlife Park
Cleland Wildlife Park, Adelaide Hills Just 25 minutes from Adelaide by car, Cleland Wildlife Park offers the opportunity to wander freely amongst kangaroos, wallabies, emus and waterbirds and view dingos, Tasmanian devils, wombats, koalas and reptiles. Koalas can be held and it is possible to feed the kangaroos.
Another stop for any animal lover is the Adelaide Zoo by the River Torrens, in the heart of the city. Adelaide Zoo's combination of contemporary enclosures, heritage buildings and sensitive landscaping are an insight into modern conservation as well as homes to native and exotic species.
In Glenelg, Adelaide’s most popular beach destination, you'll find the Beach House fun park and the Rodney Fox Shark Museum. From Holdfast Shores, the family can jump on board a 17-metre catamaran as part of a Temptation cruise where you can go on a dolphin swim or dolphin watch cruise.
Take a sandboard and climb to the top of the razorback ridges at Little Sahara sand dunes, Kangaroo Island, and enjoy a thrilling ride to the bottom. To get the adrenalin pumping, try kayaking or Yamaha all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) through the bush land trails with KI Outdoor Action on Kangaroo Island.
Victor Harbor (50 miles/1.5 hours from Adelaide) Granite Island is a small island just off the coast near Victor Harbor. It is possible to see the colony of 2000 little (fairy) penguins and to take an excursion on a horse drawn tram service that has been operating since 1895. Whale watching tours are also available in season (around July to September).
Murray River Houseboats on the Murray River are ideal for families and exist in many sizes from 2 berth to 12 berth with well-equipped kitchens, spacious cabins, en suite bathrooms, spas and sundecks. Visitors need a current driver's licence to drive a houseboat. There are many houseboats available for hire from river towns such as Mannum, Murray Bridge and Renmark.
Swim with Australian sea-lions and bottlenose dolphins in the sheltered waters of Baird Bay or Port Lincoln on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Nothing can prepare you for the marvelous feeling of swimming with these gentle and curious creatures. The sea-lions will approach and encourage you to play with them, diving beneath and around you - sometimes even favoring you with a friendly touch! The experienced operators and animal lovers at Baird Bay Charters and Ocean Eco Tours or Adventure Bay Charters take you there.
South Australia is the centre of Australia's wine industry producing some of the world's finest wine, such as the famous Penfold's Grange. The state produces 50 per cent of total national production, and 70 per cent of international exports.
Of the 17 wine regions within South Australia, the following are the best known:
Barossa - Olives, grapes, apples, pears & Chickens
The Barossa, wine capital of Australia, is just an hour's drive north of Adelaide. This is a place where your clients can get a real taste for the finer things in life. The Barossa is a relaxed and friendly place, where visitors can share a drink with the people who actually make the region's world-class wines.
Cellar Door Experiences
The area boasts more than 60 wineries, ranging from quaint boutique cellar doors, to large international companies. The Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, built on the banks of historic Jacob’s Creek, features local produce tastings, cellar door sales, a restaurant, and a gallery dedicated to viticulture, winemaking and the history of one of Australia’s most successful wine brands. Visitors to the Penfolds Cellar Door can become a part of the famous winemaking team with the Penfolds Make Your Own Blend tour. An interactive and fun wine experience for anyone who has wanted to try their hand at winemaking.
Following a walking tour of the winery and wine cellars, you are invited to the Winemakers’ Laboratory for a structured tasting through a range of Penfolds wines. After this introduction to wine styles and varietals, it’s time to test your skills and make you own wine, then take the wine home, in a personalized bottle.The Wolf Blass Visitor Centre is another famous attraction. Mr Blass began making wine in a tin shed near Nuriootpa in 1966. The striking contemporary Wolf Blass Visitor Centre has a tasting room, and a private cellar room offering ‘tasting flights’ of the premium labels. And you can still see the tin shed.
Barossa food reflects the region's strong traditions and rich heritage, while demonstrating modern innovation and a passion for quality. Self-sufficient and hard working, the Barossa's early settlers brought their food traditions with them, instilling the region's cuisine with a strong German influence. Preserving, smoking and baking were a part of their everyday life, and remain an important element in modern Barossa cuisine. The Barossa is internationally recognized for the local produce grown, and handmade delicacies including breads, wursts, jams and chutneys. We would recommend your clients experience Barossa’s thriving and distinctive regional food culture through the Butcher, Baker, Winemaker Trail.
One of Australia’s favorite cooks and writers, Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop sells her delicious products. There are seasonal items you can’t buy anywhere else, regular cooking demonstrations and there’s always good coffee. Make a picnic and enjoy it by the lake. Another favorite with the locals is the Barossa Farmer’s Market. Organically grown fruit and vegetables, gourmet produce, music, good eating and good prices. A trip to the Farmer’s Market wouldn’t be complete without one of their famous bacon and egg sandwiches, perhaps one of the best breakfast dishes in the country. The Barossa Farmer’s Market meets in the old Vintner’s Shed near Angaston each Saturday morning.
The rolling patchwork of vines, orchards and bushland, the gullies of the ranges, the spires of the churches. By helicopter or hot air balloon, bird’s eye views of the Barossa show its beauty as well as its history. Visit the top of Mengler Hill for the best view of the Barossa's patchwork of vineyards and read its history in the roads, villages and spires. Enjoy the sculpture park too.
Getting to the Barossa
The Barossa is approximately 44 miles north east of Adelaide and easily accessible by road in just over an hour; 90 minutes from Adelaide Airport. From the city, you can take the scenic route via the Adelaide Hills, which is a gorgeous drive in any season and makes the trip about two hours, plus stops and detours.
There’s a daily bus service between Adelaide and the Barossa. Many coach and tour operators run tours to and within the region – from funky mini-bus tours, to utterly premium personalized tours. For private charters there is a light-plane airport at Parafield, just 45 minutes south of the Barossa in metropolitan Adelaide.
Clare Valley - wine
Clare Valley is a place where 'wine and food' means people. It's a region with a warm rustic flavor - and a world-beating wine-list. Aptly named after the region’s most recognized wine style, the runs between the townships of Auburn and Clare. The Valley is regarded as the home of Australian Riesling, revealing a style that is perfect to drink now or with bottle age. It’s a cool-climate region that can also produce full body reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.Its oldest vines are at Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley.The vineyard was founded by the Jesuits in 1848 to make altar wine, and every winemaker has been a member of the order. Today, 75% of their production is quality table wine.The old railway line is a fantastic way to see the Clare Valley and links many of the regions boutique wineries and townships. The 16-mile trail is suitable for walking and cycling for users of all ages and experience. Here you can watch master vignerons at work in 150-year old cellars and enjoy festivals among the vines. There are about 40 cellar doors and a number have good dining.
Coonawarra - wine
There are 25 cellar doors along the 10 mile Coonawarra strip: that’s one every 1/2 a mile. The strip is now the most expensive vineyard real estate in Australia. Coonawarra is about four hours south east of Adelaide and is known by wine lovers for its luscious reds and for the rare terra rossa soil in which its vines grow. With a climate similar to Bordeaux in France, Coonawarra produces most of Australia’s great Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as outstanding Shiraz. Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir are also grown. Close-by is the historic township of Penola, the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, Tantanoola Caves and Mount Gambier’s mysterious Blue Lake.
McLaren Vale - olive oil, almonds, yabbies, trout & venison
McLaren Vale is set between the hills of the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent. Because the climate of the area varies significantly between the hills and the sea, McLaren Vale produces a diverse range of wine styles. In addition to its sweeping rows of vines, the region is a rich tapestry of orchards, almond groves, lush pastures and restored settlers’ cottages.
The township of McLaren Vale enjoys a special charm created by its blend of artists and craftspeople, chefs and restaurateurs specializing in fine local cuisine, makers of olive oil and, of course, cheese makers and winemakers. Discover the art of matching cheese and wine with a unique self-guided tour from Blessed Cheese. Collect cheeses, accompaniments and tasting notes at this local shop, and then visit selected wineries to pair the cheese with a particular wine. McLaren Vale is 45 minutes south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Adelaide Central Market
The Adelaide Central Market, buzzing with sounds, colors and wondrous smells is truly the destination for food lovers. The Market is the largest undercover market in the Southern Hemisphere. Offering not only fresh fruit and vegetables, you will also find one of the largest ranges of meat and fish along with the gourmet specialties introduced by the waves of immigrants and their families who call Adelaide home. A sensory and interactive Gourmet walking tour with local food expert, Mark Gleeson, is available through the Adelaide Central Market. Mark's knowledge of the local food industry is extensive. Visit Stallholders, taste many foods and experience the exciting buzz of the market.
Adelaide Hills - Grapes, Olives, Olive Oil, Herbs and Vegetables
While the Barossa is usually considered the birthplace of South Australia’s reputation for fine wine, it was in the Adelaide Hills, just 20 minutes from the city, where wine was first grown and made. The first Hills vintage was produced in 1841, and by the 1860s more than 200 vineyards were operating. Today the Adelaide Hills is acknowledged as a premier cool climate wine region of Australia, with more than 180 grape growers, 35 labels and 26 cellar doors. Wine aside, the Hills offer a beautiful travel experience, with cherry and apple orchards clinging to steep slopes, historic towns and villages, pastures studded with red gum trees, and market gardens set in deep valleys.
Penfold’s Magill Estate
Take a one-hour tour of this historic and famous Penfold’s Magill Estate which includes the cellars that have housed Australia’s most famous wine, Grange, since the 1950s. A tutored wine tasting of Penfolds' premium wines is included and there's also a super-special Grange tour if you really want to treat yourself. With over five hectares, Magill Estate vineyard produces Shiraz of very high quality for Penfolds only genuine single vineyard wine.
Island Produce - cheese, olive oil, chickens, honey, lobsters and marron
Kangaroo Island produces a range of delicious produce such as honey from the world's only pure Ligurian Bees, marron - a delicious fresh water crayfish, exceptional local seafood and fabulous sheep's milk cheeses. Kangaroo Island is South Australia's newest wine region with more than 20 growers and more than 200 hectares (500 acres) of vines. Tasting is available at the Island's cellar doors, restaurants, the Kangaroo Island Wine Centre at Penneshaw or Ozone Cellars in Kingscote.
South Australia has more than 300 national parks, which offer a wide range of experiences and recreational opportunities. Most parks charge vehicle entry fees and some require day passes. Camping permits are required for all parks that have camping facilities. Parks passes (including the Desert Parks Pass required for Outback parks) can be purchased from National Parks and Wildlife SA offices.
Seal Bay Conservation Park
The most famous attraction on Kangaroo Island located on the south coast and is the permanent home to a colony of approximately 500 rare Australian Sea-lions. They loll about on the sands and in the dunes, nurture their young and recover from days at sea. Visitors are able to join a tour with a park guide and walk among them, gaze at the young from the boardwalks and have a close encounter with these extraordinary giants of the sea.
Flinders Chase National Park
In Flinders Chase National Park the rugged coastline is spectacular, and acacias, banksias and tea-trees grow right down to secluded beaches. The coast provides a haven for many fur seals, sea lions, sea eagles, osprey and numerous other species of wildlife. The undisturbed forest and grassland is home to kangaroos, wallabies, brush tailed possums, echidnas, goannas and the elusive platypus. Koalas are also very abundant on the Island, and it is one of the few places in Australia that visitors can see them in the wild.
The impressive Remarkable Rocks form what appears to be a cluster of precariously balanced granite boulders high above the crashing waves of the Southern Ocean. Their curious, tortured shapes have been carved over thousands of years by wind, rain and sea spray. Their apparent color changes during the day, so not surprisingly, these are one of the Island's most photographed natural features. Admirals Arch is naturally sculptured too, and under its suspended cliff face, New Zealand fur seals frolic in the waters or rest on the rocks.
The Gawler Ranges
The Gawler Ranges at the top of the Eyre Peninsula are a spectacular wilderness area of unspoiled beauty. Vast domes of volcanic rock display a vivid array of color against the pure white of the many salt lakes in the area, including Lake Gairdner. The Ranges are renowned for their display of wildflowers in the spring, and some 140 species of birds have been recorded including the Emu, Wedge-Tailed Eagle, Major Mitchell Cockatoo and the Singing Honey Eater. Also found in the Ranges are the Red and Western Grey Kangaroo, Euro, Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat, Pygmy Possum and Hopping Mouse.
Go Birdwatching at the Coorong National Park
The Coorong is a 90 mile long network of lagoons, wetlands and sand dunes fronting the Southern Ocean. It is where the Murray River meets the ocean and as one of the most important waterbird habitats in Australia, the park is ideal for birdwatching. 99 miles from Adelaide, the Coorong can be reached car, coach or by cruise tour from the river port of Goolwa, 51 miles south of Adelaide. Many visitors tour along the Coorong when they travel via the coast from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Naracoorte Caves National Park
This extraordinary place is one of Australia's fourteen World Heritage Areas. The park was inscribed on the World Heritage List for the extensive fossil deposits found within the caves that have revealed so much about Australia's marsupial heritage. Professional guides lead tours to several of the key sites. One special cave is home to the threatened Southern Bentwing Bat whose inaccessible world can be viewed via infrared technology in the Bat Observation Centre; the nightly exit of thousands of bats is a spectacular sight. Also at the park, the Wonambi Fossil Centre is a re-created scene of Naracoorte Caves as it may have looked 200,000 years ago, and featuring life-size models of the 'megafauna' in a simulated habitat of the era.
Admire the elegant colonial architecture and browse museums and libraries along North Terrace. Shop up a storm at Rundle Mall or sample the fresh produce from Adelaide Central Market. Embrace the alfresco ambience of Rundle Street in the East End or explore the exotic, bustling food halls of Chinatown. Swim with dolphins in vibrant Glenelg and fish from the jetty in Henley. Bike ride in Elder Park and row past rose gardens in Rymill Park. Picnic in sprawling Botanic Park, where the international music festival WOMADelaide is held. Explore the museums, markets and historic harbor of Port Adelaide or see heritage buildings and colorful summer sideshows in family-friendly Semaphore. Browse the world's largest collection of Aboriginal antiquities at the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery or do a cultural tour of Adelaide Botanic Gardens with a local Kaurna guide.
Drive to the Adelaide Hills, where the picturesque farmlands and charming villages have inspired many generations of artists. Stay in Bavarian-inspired chalets and browse the bakeries, craft shops and galleries of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German village. Visit The Cedars, once the gracious old home and studio of famous landscape artists Sir Hans Heysen. Sample jams, pickles, chutneys, mustards, marinades and sauces at the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm. Or buy fresh-fruit and vegetables from a roadside stall. Then hit the markets of Lobethal, a fairytale town which celebrates Christmas with meters and meters of colorful lights.
Visit world-famous vineyards such as Yalumba, Seppelts, Penfolds and Two Hands and sample quality, local produce on the Butcher, Baker, WineMaker Trail. In the nearby heritage town of Gawler, you’ll find stone churches, galleries and museums set against rolling hills and manicured vineyards. Take a tour of historic wineries and boutique breweries. See artisans at work in one of the many studios or buy some of the region’s famous handicrafts. Of course, nothing beats a long lunch under the gum trees with a bottle of one of the region’s flagship wines, Barossa Shiraz or Eden Valley Riesling.
Walk or cycle the 25-kilometre Riesling Trail between vineyards and restaurants, past green hills, churches and classic stone buildings. Taste sacramental wine made by Jesuit priests at the cellar door in Sevenhill. Drive the Heartland Heritage Trail to lovingly restored heritage towns such as Burra, Kapunda and Mintaro, where you can tour the stately Georgian mansion of Martindale Hall. Learn about the region’s pastoral history with a stay at Bungaree Station in Clare. Explore the Aboriginal history of Two Wells or see old steam trains in Gawler, South Australia’s oldest country town. Explore the restaurants, cafes and pubs of the gourmet haven of Auburn. Buy country produce from the colorful markets in Sevenhill or take a cooking course at Thorn Park.
Swim with sea lions at Baird Bay and snorkel with giant cuttlefish near Whyalla. For a real adrenalin rush, go cage diving with a Great White shark south of Port Lincoln. Spot Southern Right whales in the Great Australian Bight Marine Park between May and October and sea lions on the rocks at Point Labatt Conservation Park all year round. Visit the natural salt lakes of Lake Newland Conservation Park, a haven for hundreds of wetland birds. Visit an oyster farm in Cowell, fish from Ceduna and Coffin Bay or join a deep sea fishing charter from Whyalla. Head inland for the colorful volcanic rock, shimmering salt lakes, wildflowers and native wildlife of Gawler Ranges. Four wheel drive further into the Nullarbor Plain - the vast, treeless plain that fascinates anyone with an explorer's spirit.
Dive or snorkel with leafy sea dragons from the jetty at Rapid Bay. Swim through the sunken engine room and turrets of the ex-HMAS Hobart in a dive off Yankalilla Bay. Watch migrating whales and waddling little penguins in Victor Harbor. Swim and boogie board from Horseshoe Bay in Port Elliot, where you can also bike ride or walk the top of the cliffs. From Goolwa, you can chug down the Murray River or canoe past wetland birds in the Coorong’s shimmering, shallow lagoons. Walk on the white sand of Goolwa, Cape Jervis, Christies and Middleton Beach, where you’ll also find great fishing and surf breaks. Visit wineries, almond orchards and art and craft galleries in the McLaren Vale wine region.
Flinders Ranges and Outback
Stay in the outback town of Hawker and spend your days exploring the rugged, majestic Flinders Ranges. Walk to the rim of Wilpena Pound, a huge natural amphitheater, or soar over it on a scenic flight. Hike to the top of Parachilna Gorge on part of the Heysen Trail. See fossils in ancient sea beds at Brachina Gorge and Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock. Explore the area’s pastoral past at Wilpena Pound Station. Deeper in the desert, you can fossick for opals in the quirky underground town of Coober Pedy or in the frontier town of Andamooka. Four wheel drive the Oodnadatta Track along a traditional Aboriginal trading route and the old Ghan railway to salty Lake Eyre. Or take the Strzelecki Track past awesome desert landscapes and scenic wetlands such as Coongie Lakes and Dalhousie Springs. Keep in mind this is remote country so a four wheel drive and thorough preparation is essential.
See pink pelicans wheeling through the sky at Reeves Point and sea lions lying on the rocks at Cape du Couedic. Seal Bay is home to a colony of Australian sea lions that can be observed from a boardwalk or up close with a ranger. Watch packs and pairs of little penguins make their nightly pilgrimage to the shore in Penneshaw or from Kingscote Wharf. Fish from the historic jetty at Emu Bay or join a fishing tour from American River. Load up on fresh produce - from Ligurian honey to free range chickens and eggs - and wine produced by 30 growers from Cape Willoughby to Kingscote. Stay in a restored lighthouse keeper’s cottage at isolated Cape Willoughby on Dudley Peninsula. Swim on secret beaches at Stokes Bay and surf at Vivonne Bay. Dive through shipwrecks and with leafy sea dragons from American Beach. Take a scenic drive to the underground caves of Kelly Hill Conservation Park and the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park.
In March 2008, James and Hayley Baillie opened the first Australian luxury lodge on the Southwest coast of the island, Southern Ocean Lodge. This world-class wilderness lodge provides visitors with yet another reason to include Kangaroo Island in their Australian itinerary. Southern Ocean Lodge, which sits on the south west coast at Hanson Bay and adjoins two national parks, offers stunning ocean views and features 21 luxurious suites, a modern spa, customized tours and activities and locally sourced gourmet food and wine.
Marvel at the Blue Lake of Mount Gambier, which in November changes from steel-grey to a brilliant turquoise blue. Discover the fossil deposits and spectacular scenery of the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, where you can view a bat cave under infra-red. Get up close to hundreds of wetland birds and learn about Aboriginal history as you canoe or sail along the lagoons and waterways of the Coorong. Snorkel and cave-dive in the spring-fed limestone ponds of Ewens Ponds Conservation Park, or in the crystal-clear water of Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park. Walk down Australia’s longest jetty and float in the salty Pool of Siloam in the pretty port of Beachport. You can fish, dive, windsurf and sail from the picturesque crayfishing town of Kingston and holiday haven of Robe.
Hire a slow-moving houseboat from Mannum or Renmark. Or take in the sandstone cliffs, giant red gums and weeping willows on a luxury cruiser or historic paddlesteamer. Stop for a picnic at Sturt Reserve at Murray Bridge or a pub meal in Tailem Bend or Swan Reach. Go water-skiing, jet-skiing, canoeing and sailing at Lake Bonney, near Barmera. In Murray River National Park, you can stay in Berri or Lyrup and canoe through the bird-filled backwaters of Loch Luna, Chowilla/Ral and Katarapko Creek. Cycle along the scenic East Front Road and follow the Rail and River Walk from Murray Bridge. Four wheel drive and spot endangered malee fowl in Ngarkat Conservation Park. Visit the Loxton Historical Village, peek into the past at Morgan Wharf or see the birthplace of the Black Duck Dreaming with a Nganguraku Aboriginal guide.
Adelaide is home to more restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia and presents a relaxed and high-quality food and wine experience where fine dining, café culture and great pubs and bars mingle together. With over 700 restaurants, every cuisine you can think of is on offer, from Argentinean and Greek, to Thai and Vietnamese. You'll find entire streets devoted to dining. The most famous eat streets in downtown Adelaide are Rundle Street, Gouger Street and Hutt Street. There are also fantastic restaurants in nearby North Adelaide (4 minute drive), including Melbourne Street and O’Connell Street.
High End Dining
In terms of high end dining in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills, famous restaurants include The Auge, Chiati Classico, The Manse, Red Ochre Grill, Magill Estate Restaurant, Appellation (Barossa), Windy Point (Adelaide Hills), The Lane (Adelaide Hills) and the Bridgewater Mill (Adelaide Hills).
The Prairie Hotel – Sunsets, Saddles and Shiraz
The award-winning Prairie Hotel is an Outback oasis located in the Flinders Ranges. Licensed in 1876, it’s one of few buildings in Parachilna (population seven and lying between the Flinders Ranges and Lake Torrens). Today it’s owned by Jane and Ross Fargher, who have built a national reputation for exceptional hospitality and cuisine. The restaurant speciality is ‘feral food’, everything from kangaroo, emu and camel to native limes and bush tomatoes.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday, from 9:00am to 5:30pm. Some shops are open Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Shops in Adelaide city center are open until 9:00pm on Friday night, and until 9:00pm in the suburbs on Thursday. Bank and currency exchange hours are generally from 9:00am until 4:00pm Monday to Thursday, and 9:00 am until 5:00 pm on Friday. Automatic teller machines are widely available in city areas and large regional towns, but not in the Outback.
Rundle Mall is the centre of shopping in the city and contains a variety of boutiques, department stores, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Visitors can purchase some fine South Australian products such as Haigh's Chocolates (Australia's oldest chocolate manufacturer), R.M. Williams legendary outback clothing (including hats, boots and Drizabone coats), Jurlique skin care products, handmade glass products at the JamFactory and skin and body care essentials from Jurlique, Janesce and Out of Eden and opal jewellery.A city of natural beauty and simple elegance, Adelaide, appeals to many overseas visitors because of its relaxed cosmopolitan lifestyle.