10 tourist attractions and destinations in southern Australia
South Australia has so much to offer, here are just a few of the highlights. The capital Adelaide, the world Famous Barossa Valley, the unique town of Coober Pedy and Kangaroo Island, plus much more …
There is always something happening in this spacious city. With parks and gardens surrounding the CBD, you can picnic in the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens, or stroll down to the River Torrens to watch the paddle boats and cyclists along the rivers edge. Not far away is the South Australian Museum. Adelaide Zoo is great for families, with over 1000 native animals to spot. The beach is also close by, with Brighton the perfect choice for a getaway, or Glenelg featuring the Rodney Fox Shark Museum.
2. Barossa Valley
Known as Adelaide’s wine capital, this is where you get away from the fast paced city life and enjoy wandering around vineyards, cellars and cosy lanes with quaint shops filled with delicacies and fine art. Make sure you visit Lyndoch Lavender Farm which is well known throughout the area, as well as the Barossa Historical Museum and the famous Penfolds Barossa Valley Winery. Take a few days out to relax and do nothing (except sample the wines and great food) or hike in one of the national parks for incredible scenery. Barossa Valley is a must do experience.
3. Port Augusta
Known as the South Australian crossroad, you can travel across the Nullarbor from here, north to Alice Springs, south to Adelaide or east to New South Wales. There is so much to do here. The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens offers beautiful walks and the Outback Centre closer to the city offers plenty of historical displays. This is the perfect base for travel in any direction to see the outback at its best.
4. Fleurieu Peninsula
Known for its wines, beaches and fishing, this is the ultimate holiday destination, and great for all the family. Enjoy bushwalking in the national parks, or head to the coastline to see penguins at Granite Island or whales at Encounter Bay. The diving is incredible, with shipwrecks lining the coast, and it is just as enjoyable to soak up the sun on the mainland at one of the many camping grounds dotting the coast. Stay for a week or a few days, and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of South Australia’s most beautiful peninsula.
5. Heysen Trail
This is one of South Australia’s most well known walking trails, starting at Cape Jervis near Kangaroo Island, and ending in the Flinders Ranges, some 1200 kilometres away. Not for the fainthearted, you might prefer to start small and enjoy one of the two hour walks along the way. If you have the time, this is the ultimate walk for those who want to see South Australia in all its diversity. Experience the breathtaking Fleurieu coastline, plantations of the Kuitpo forest, the heights of Mount Lofty and the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, and then on to magnificent gorges in the Flinders desert.
6. Flinders Ranges
Accessible via Port Augusta, this region is remote, diverse and breathtaking. With so much to see you will need at least a few days set aside to enjoy the ranges and their natural beauty. Start at Wadlata Outback Centre, displaying the history and best attractions to visit in the area. Head to Quorn, not far from the lovely Warren Gorge and also the Kanyaka Ruins. One of the best towns to visit is Hawker, not far from Wilpena Pound which has plenty of wildlife and amazing scenery.
7. Coober Pedy
Known for its colourful opals, Coober Pedy is a unique and attractive place to visit, with its famousunderground accommodation to escape the heat. The unique shops and art galleries have to be seen to be believed, and you can’t miss the underground mines. One of the most popular is the Old Timer’s Mine which is one of the oldest and also displays some of the opals that were first discovered in the early 1900’s.
8. Kangaroo Island
Australia’s third largest island is only two hours from Adelaide and accessible via Cape Jarvis on the ferry. Not surprisingly you will find plenty of kangaroos on the island, plus penguins, seals, koalas and many more. There are lighthouses dotting the island as well a numerous walking trails that will take you through the uninhabited Flinders Chase National Park. At Kelly Hill you can visit the underground cave systems, and Kingscote is where you can best see the cute penguins at play. Murray Lagoon is also worth visiting for its prolific birdlife. Visit for the day or stay at one of the many campgrounds.
With wildlife in every direction and scenic national parks make you feel like you are the only person around. There are a number of fantastic walking trails such as the Standsbury Coastal Trail, Edithburgh, Port Vincent trails. Visit the lighthouse at Cape Spencer and on to the Samphire Coast which is popular for bird watching. There are a number of camping grounds to choose located close to pristine white beaches and lookouts.
10. Innes National Park
This is the perfect place to visit to get away from the city and get back to nature. With a great camping ground in the park, you can base yourself here for as long as you like and enjoy the carpet of wildflowers and walking trails which wind around the coastline. Visit Inneston Village which will take you back in time, or hop over Chinaman’s Hat island to enjoy some more bushwalking and birdlife. The endless coastlines and abundant wildlife will keep you coming back.