Many airlines fly to Australia and prices vary considerably, so it pays to shop around for a flight. Consider the length of the flight and any mandatory stopovers.
Adelaide Airport is conveniently located just over 4 miles from the city centre. The new Adelaide Airport terminal provides international, domestic and general aviation services in one location. Passengers who arrive and depart in Adelaide will be able to view the Adelaide Hills and surrounding areas from the glass sided aerobridges, a first of its kind in Australia.
All of Australia’s international airports have regular public transport such as bus, train and taxi connections and private transfers with the city centres. Shuttle buses are also available and provide transfers to accommodation.
South Australian Visitor & Travel Centre runs an information and booking centre there open for every domestic and international flight arrival, 365 days of the year. The average taxi fare from the city centre to the airport is AUD$17 (including a AUD$2 airport taxi levy). Skylink Shuttle operates between the airport, city and Interstate Rail Terminal (Keswick). The cost is $7.50 one way and you can call Skylink on (08) 8332 0528.
Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates.
Medicine brought into Australia for personal use is subject to controls and must be declared on your arrival. It is recommended you bring a prescription or letter from your doctor outlining your medical condition and the medicine you are carrying.
The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.
Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In up market restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to ten per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice. It is not custom to bargain in Australia.
International air travel
Qantas, Air New Zealand, V-Australia United Airlines and Delta (from July 2009) all operate direct flights to Australia from the US with connections on to South Australia. Also, Air New Zealand offer non-stop flights from Auckland, NZ to Adelaide.You can also fly to Australia via Tahiti with Air Tahiti Nui and via Fiji with Air Pacific.
Domestic air travel
Qantas Airways, Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Tiger Airways operate frequent services to Adelaide from Australia’s cities. Regional airlines flying to Adelaide include QantasLink and REX (Regional Express).
Intrastate Air Services
Within South Australia, Regional Express (REX airlines) offers daily services to the regional centers of:
Kangaroo Island (Kingscote)
Port Lincoln (Eyre Peninsula)
Ceduna (Eyre Peninsula)
Whyalla (Eyre Peninsula)
Carry on luggage limit per person:
2 pieces that combined do not weigh over 15lbs
1 piece that does not weigh over 33lbs
All interstate trains arrive at and depart from Adelaide Parklands Rail Terminal, which is 2 miles west of the city centre. Local taxis and shuttle bus services meet every train. Great Southern Railway operates the following interstate train services.
The Ghan between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin
The Indian Pacific between Sydney, Adelaide and Perth
The Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide
The Ghan runs between Darwin and Adelaide via Alice Springs with connections to Sydney and Melbourne. The train takes its name from the Afghans who used camels to transport supplies from Adelaide to Alice Springs back in the 1860's. The 1851 mile journey from Darwin takes 47 hours but can be broken into a number of sectors. It is possible to board or depart the train in Katherine, Alice Springs, Manguri (for Coober Pedy) and Port Augusta. For those wishing to visit Coober Pedy it is better to sell this as a southbound trip from either Alice Springs or Darwin.
Coober Pedy Stopovers on The Ghan
Guests on The Ghan are able to break their journey with a stopover in Coober Pedy by disembarking at Manguri siding and then connecting with the next train. Manguri is a railway siding with no facilities approximately 31 miles from Coober Pedy. The minimum time for a stopover in Coober Pedy is 2 days before re-boarding the next train and need to be arranged prior to departure with GSR.
Transfers from Manguri to Coober Pedy
GSR does not provide or book transfer services between Manguri and Coober Pedy.
Transfers between Coober Pedy and Manguri are operated by Peter Rowe of Desert Diversity Tours. The transfer time will vary depending on road conditions, but is generally about 40 minutes. All bookings are subject to availability and need to be confirmed with Desert Diversity Tours
The Indian Pacific
This train spans the continent between Sydney and Perth via Adelaide. It is one of the world's longest train journeys, covering a distance of 2704 miles. Sydney to Adelaide takes 24 hours via the picturesque Blue Mountains, the outback town of Broken Hill and the mid-north of South Australia.
The train from Adelaide to Perth takes 36 hours crossing the flat plains of the Nullarbor desert to the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie and then on to Perth. The train can be boarded in South Australia in Adelaide, Port Augusta (for those wishing to visit the Flinders Ranges or the Eyre Peninsula), or Port Pirie For those wishing to use the stop at Port Augusta, for timetable reasons it is better to do this on the westbound train.
Adelaide provides an excellent opportunity to break the trip into two by stopping to visit areas such as Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges. The train can be reboarded several days later and there is no cost to break the journey in this manner.
This service runs between Melbourne and Adelaide. The Adelaide to Melbourne service is during the day, while the Melbourne to Adelaide service is overnight. Sleeping cabins or aircraft style seats are available on the 481 mile journey, which takes 11 hours.
All interstate and regional coaches arrive and depart from the Central Bus Station at 101-111 Franklin St, Adelaide. McCafferty's Express Coaches, Greyhound Pioneer and Firefly Express have connections to Adelaide from major Australian cities. There are a number of companies, such as Premier Stateliner, that provide links within South Australia.
Greyhound/McCafferty's offer a number of travel passes.
Coach or Mini Bus Touring
There are a number of companies operating extended tours between other cities and Adelaide and these are ideal if your clients wish to see some sights along the way. Operators include:
Nullarbor Traveller is a similar company operating trips between Adelaide and Darwin along the Nullarbor. Tour participants can swim with sea lions and dolphins at Baird Bay on the Eyre Peninsula and see whales at the Head of Bight in the right season.
Adventure Tours also operators tours in and to/from South Australia. They cover Adelaide to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road and the Adelaide to Alice Springs/Darwin routes. Kangaroo Island is also available. The emphasis is on adventurous touring that is mainly nature-based.
AAT Kings visits South Australia on many of its South East Australian tours, including Premium Escorted Tours and Camping Tours. Routes include Sydney to Sydney via Canberra, Melbourne, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and Barossa, Sydney to Alice Springs or Darwin via Adelaide and Flinders Ranges.
APT also operates many tours that include South Australia, including a range of fully escorted tours and independent packages – garden theme tours available.
Kangaroo Island SeaLink operates a passenger and vehicle ferry between Cape Jervis and Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island), as well as coaches on the island itself. They have a number of different day tours that can be added together to make great packages to the island.
Groovy Grape Getaways offers backpacker style touring between Adelaide and Melbourne as well as Adelaide to Alice Springs. They also offer tours to the famous wine region of The Barossa, ex Adelaide.
Coach and mini bus touring in and around Adelaide is available through Premier Stateliner, Adelaide Sightseeing, and Grayline. Tours in mini buses are available through Prime Mini Tours.
Because of its location, it is easy to use Adelaide as a starting or finishing point for self-drive itineraries to and from other Australian cities. You will find all the major car rental companies in Adelaide city, Adelaide Airport and in some regional centers.
Some of the most popular routes include the Explorer's Way from Darwin via Alice Springs, Melbourne to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road, and the Nullarbor route from Perth. Visitors should learn and observe Australia's road rules, such as keeping to speed limits, wearing seatbelts, not drinking alcohol before or while driving, and keeping to the left hand side of the road.
Explorer’s Way – (Approximately 2000 km/1240 miles)
The Explorer’s Way follows the route of John McDouall Stuart, one of Australia’s most famous explorers. Following the Stuart Highway, the drive starts in Adelaide and winds its way through the South Australian Outback, through the frontier mining town of Coober Pedy, into the Red Centre ending in tropical Darwin in the north.
Adelaide to Melbourne - Great Southern Touring (Approx. 620 miles)
This coastal journey takes visitors from Adelaide to Melbourne via the spectacular Great Ocean Road, Limestone Coast and Fleurieu Peninsula. It is easy driving and offers a range of accommodation, good dining, wine tasting and seaside experiences. Allow at least 3 full days to complete this journey, but preferably 4 or 5.
Perth to Adelaide via the Nullarbor Plain – (Approx 3500 kilometres/ 2175 miles)
This trip takes you from Adelaide via the west coast of Australia along the Nullarbor Plain, the amazing coastline of the Eyre Peninsula and the beautiful wine region of the Clare Valley. Surf at some of Australia’s most famous surf spots, swim with sea-lions, watch whales, taste fine wines and cross one of the country’s most austere deserts, the Nullarbor Plain.
Kangaroo Island Self Drive
Renting a vehicle and exploring Kangaroo Island is a popular choice for many travelers. You can visit attractions at your own pace and explore places of interests that may not be included in a standard tour. However, you must be extremely careful when driving on the island, keep to the speed limits (especially on unsealed roads) and avoid driving at night.
Vehicles can be hired once you arrive on Kangaroo Island or some car rental companies will allow their vehicles to be taken from the mainland onto the island but additional charges may be incurred.
Driving in the Outback
South Australia has the three most famous Outback tracks in Australia, the Birdsville, Strzelecki and Oodnadatta tracks. The Birdsville Track (which was formerly a stock route), links Marree in South Australia with Birdsville in Queensland. The Strzelecki, close to Australia's famous Dog Fence, runs from Lyndhurst to Innamincka. On the Oodnadatta Track, which runs from Maree to Marla, is William Creek, South Australia's smallest town.
Particular care must be taken in the Outback as it is vast and there are often long distances between towns and facilities. Your clients must prepare carefully for all travel in the Outback and observe some simple rules, such as using appropriate maps, checking road conditions, carrying extra supplies of food and water, informing a responsible person of their intended itinerary and avoiding driving at dawn and dusk.
Importantly, if they encounter difficulties, they should not leave their vehicle and wait for help to arrive. Your local South Australian Tourism Commission office can supply a booklet called 'Driving Safely in the South Australian Outback'.
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a visa to enter Australia. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Consulate.
Customs and Quarantine
Australia’s customs laws prevent you from bringing drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. Some common items such as fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers are also prohibited. There is no limit on currency but you will need to declare amounts over $10,000.
Working Holiday/Student Visa
Under Australia’s working holiday program, visitor’s aged 18-30 (from eligible countries) can supplement their travel funds through temporary employment.
Seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are reversed compared to those in the Northern Hemisphere, therefore when it is winter in North America it is summer in Australia. The seasons however are milder than in North America and winter is very short.
Summer: December - February
Autumn: March - May
Winter: June - August
Spring: September - November
Australia has three distinct climate zones ranging from the tropics in the north (where they have a 'wet' season and a 'dry' season), to the deserts in the center, and the coastal areas in the south. There are also different climate zones within the state of South Australia. The coastal areas of South Australia enjoy a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm dry summers.
The center and northern parts of the state experience greater extremes of temperature with warmer days and evenings in the summer and temperate days but cold evenings in the winter. Average maximum summer temperatures range from 77F to 84F in the south to 100F inland. Summer minimums range from 57F to 64F. Average maximum winter temperatures range from 59F to 64F degrees, with minimums ranging from 41F to 48F.
South Australia's outback occupies approximately 75% of the state. Visitors to the outback should be aware that it is very hot for more than half the year (October to April) and rainfall is uncertain. The desert areas vary in different parts of the state. In the north the outback becomes red as it nears the Northern Territory border, in the north-east it is stony with some tropical vegetation in Innamincka and in the west there is grey sandy desert with sparse vegetation. For information on outback driving routes such as the Explorer Way's and the Nullarbor consult the self-drive section.