Arts / Wish You Were Here

South Australian holiday destinations that will make you feel like you’re in another world

Naiko Retreat

If you're looking for your next vacation spot, I'm very happy to say that Australia has more than a few.

South Australia in particular is rich in dusty outback, pristine waterways and unspoilt wine country. If you're looking for a getaway or holiday destinations in South Australia, here are our top picks.

And, if you're looking for more local spots, take a look at our guides to NSW holiday destinations and Western Australian holiday destinations.

 

Kangaroo Island

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

Kangaroo Island is a little island but it has over 500km of pristine coastline. The water is blue, the bushland is thick and the wildlife is plentiful. If you love beaches, then you'll know that Kangaroo Island is home to the unbelievable Vivonne Bay among other natural wonders. You can get to Kangaroo Island in 30 minutes by plane from Adelaide or take a 45 minute ferry ride from Cape Jervis - which is 2 hours south of Adelaide by car.

This beautiful piece of Australia was unfortunately devastated by the 2019/20 bushfires, so it would certainly appreciate your tourism. There's plenty of natural beauty to explore, some tourist attractions and some great food and wine.

 

Adelaide

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

Of course, many of us have already made the trip to explore Adelaide. But if you haven't yet, here's why you should put this destination on your list. It's a vibrant city with plenty of older heritage buildings to satisfy your culture fix. Adelaide has beaches too, so you'll be able to relax by the sea if that's more your thing. A hub for the arts, there are more than a few museums and galleries. The Dolphin Sanctuary is perfect for animal lovers. And if you visit in February or March, you'll get to experience the Adelaide Festival where the city truly comes alive.

Of course, just slightly out from Adelaide is the Adelaide Hills which is another of South Australia's fabulous wine regions. Adelaide makes a great base to explore it all.

 

The Barossa Valley

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

Hello wine country. The Barossa is an internationally recognised wine region. It’s here you'll find the famous Penfold's winery. It's the perfect place for a couple's escape, but there's still plenty to enjoy here for the whole family like cycling and kayaking. A foodie's delight, make sure you come hungry.

 

The Clare Valley

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

If you want unspoiled rolling hills and a country-style escape, The Clare Valley is for you. This region is full of charming cottage-style accomodation and bed and breakfasts. It's a wine region, so there's plenty of wine tastings and loads of great food experiences. And then of course, there's the Instagram-famous Pink Lake. Whether you want a picture for Instagram or not, this place is absolutely worth visiting. It's a true natural wonder.

 

Eyre Peninsula

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

If you've been hanging out for an island escape somewhere tropical, I've very pleased to let you know that you have all the blue water and white sand you need on the Australian mainland. Introducing South Australia's Eyre Peninsula. Here you'll find activities like swimming safaris, snorkelling and fishing.

It's home to some truly amazing beaches like Almonta Beach and Fishery Bay which both look like places that belong to the Maldives rather than Australia. There's plenty of accomodation right on the water in the main town of Port Lincoln and plenty of fresh seafood to enjoy.

Absolutely do not miss the pink Lake Macdonelle while you're there!

 

Coober Pedy

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

For a more unique escape, look to Coober Pedy. A town at the centre of South Australia, this place offers a view into the red outback of Australia. It's a historic mining town that famously mines for opals. If you've ever wanted to take a tour of a mine, this is the place to go.

The really interesting part of this town is that more than half of the town's residents live underground to escape the intense heat of the summer. There are even churches and restaurants that have been built underground too.

 

Flinders Ranges

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

If you're looking for red earth and mountains then you'll love exploring the iconic Flinders Ranges. This place is all about exploring the natural beauty of Australia with towering ancient cliffs, dusty paths and deep craters. There's the Aboriginal Dreaming Trail which can self explore or with a guide.  Even through it's still a five to seven hour drive, Coober Pedy is one of the closest towns, Flinder's Ranges is a great stop to add onto a longer trip around the region.

Due to the distance, many people choose to explore by the air and if you do, absolutely do not miss the Wilpena Pound. It's a huge natural amphitheatre created through millions of years of erosion.

 

Limestone Coast

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

The main town of Robe is only a three and half hour drive from Adelaide. But it's more than easy proximity that makes this location an ideal vacation spot. If you want natural wonder, the Limestone Coast has loads. Mount Gambier stunning Blue Lake, the Kilsby Sinkhole, the Umpherston sinkhole or the Naracoerte caves to name just a few.

This is a place to swim in the ocean and explore some of the best natural scenery Australia has to offer. And, yes there are a few wineries in the area too to appease the foodies.

 

Yorke Peninsula

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

If the Limestone coast is too far, then the Yorke Peninsula could be a good bet. At just 2 hours from Adelaide, this is a great region for a weekend away, but there's plenty to keep you entertained for longer. There's museums, golfing and galleries - and of course plenty of sparkling beaches. If you love scenic walks there's the Cape Spencer Lighthouse walk and the Cape West Lookout. A personal favourite, take the time to visit the Moonta Bay Jetty. You won't regret it.

 

Fleurieu Peninsula

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

The Fleurieu Peninsula is the best place to make the ferry crossing to Kangaroo Island. But this place is a destination in its own right. Think white cliffs and turquoise water. If you've been hanging out for a Silician getaway, this is the next best thing - minus the 30-hour plane ride of course. It's a popular whale watching region and a great place for water sports. Accomodation-wise, you'll find lovely heritage-style hotels or more modern Airbnbs.

 

Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by South Australia (@southaustralia) on

This area is a photographers dream - but even if you're not a pro, do bring a camera. You'll get amazing views of the unspoiled night sky and beautiful vistas of azure waters. This end of the Murray River is rich in Aboriginal history and the river itself is 130 million years old. This is a place to soak up the beauty of the natural landscape rather pack your day with things to do. It's perfect for some r&r as you overlook the water.

 

Stay inspired, follow us.


Image: South Australia tourism