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Artists and adventurers have been drawn to South Australia for centuries. The state capital of South Australia, Adelaide, is located on the edge of a vast wilderness, with a breathtaking coastline, and a harsh desert beauty that inspires everyone who visits.
The city is peppered with parks and gardens, and the wide, tree-lined streets of this vibrant capital are adorned with stately 19th-century structures. However, there are numerous additional tourist attractions in this thinly populated state.
You may enjoy the coastline’s stunning beaches, have a picnic in a quiet cove, or visit one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations, Kangaroo Island, where you can get up and personalize with the local fauna.
15 Amazing Places to Visit in South Australia
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in South Australia, you’ll want to add these destinations to your list. There is something for everyone in this beautiful state, from beaches to wine country to national parks. Here are a few of the most excellent places to visit in South Australia.
The state’s untamed oceans and scenic pastoral lands, which are nourished by the powerful Murray River, yield an abundance of fresh produce, including citrus fruits, grapes, hand-made cheeses, and some of the greatest seafood in the nation.
Further out, in the west and northwest, the dry wilderness meets the Flinders Ranges’ pink-tinged peaks, the Coober Pedy opal mining, enormous deserts traversed by well-known 4WD routes, and the fabled Nullarbor Plain.
Our list of South Australia’s top attractions will help you discover the places to visit in South Australia.
You can read also: 20 Fun Places to Visit in Melbourne
1. Adelaide Botanic Garden
The Adelaide Botanical Garden, which opened its doors in 1855, is home to numerous themed botanical wonders. Among the amazing collections are native Australian species, a Mediterranean garden, and medicinal plants. Concerned about saving water? The garden has a wetland that will eventually store enough water to irrigate the entire property.
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a world-renowned garden, with over 240 years of history. It is a registered museum and has five hectares of botanical gardens which contain a diverse range of plant species, including those of the Australian rainforest.
The Garden has a wide range of activities available to visitors, including walking, picnicking, and bird watching. To visit the Santos Exhibition hall of Financial Botany, set aside a little time. Learn more almost the noteworthy portion that plants play in existence here.
Other attractions of the plant incorporate the Bicentennial Center, the palm house, Australia’s most seasoned road of Moreton Cove fig trees, and the dazzling night-flowering Amazonica water lilies.
2. Clare Valley
The Clare Valley, located about 136 kilometres north of Adelaide, is another well-known Australian grape-growing region in addition to the Barossa Valley. Beautiful pastoral settings are ideal for secluded weekend getaways, and the area is well-known for its thriving gourmet culinary scene.
The valley was initially colonized by Polish, English, and Irish immigrants, and their culture and traditions can still be seen in the attractive heritage villages and old bluestone structures.
Discovering the stunning Skilly Hills, dining at top-notch cafes and restaurants, and perusing neighbourhood markets, gift stores, and art galleries are all popular activities in the Clare Valley.
3. The Eyre Peninsula
Additionally, you may swim with balletic sea lions in Baird Bay or go snorkelling with enormous cuttlefish close to Whyalla. Another popular activity is whale viewing during the months of May and October when southern right whales migrate through the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.
The outstanding seafood and gorgeous national park in Coffin Bay are well renowned. Lincoln National Park, which is located at the southernmost point of the Eyre Peninsula and offers breathtaking landscapes with craggy cliffs and an abundance of birdlife, as well as Port Lincoln, a growingly popular vacation destination.
The best seafood in Australia is produced by its fishing fleet, which is Australia’s largest. You can go inland and enjoy the Gawler Ranges’ fauna and animals, or you can cross the fabled Nullarbor Plain for a challenging 4WD adventure over the scorching desert.
4. Murray River
The powerful Murray River is Australia’s longest river. It originates in the New South Wales Alps and empties into South Australia’s Southern Ocean. The river’s wetlands serve as significant homes for many water birds, and it is bordered by sandstone cliffs and tall eucalyptus trees.
The largest river in Australia is breathtakingly gorgeous, and the country around it is so fertile that it is frequently referred to as the “food bowl of Australia. Houseboat excursions are a common method to see the Murray River. The Murray River flows through three states before finally emptying into the Southern Ocean near Coorong, South Australia.
A colourful garden and fragrant rose bushes adorn the riverfront town of Renmark on the border between South Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. It also contains sizable citrus fruit orchards. From here, you can plan a river trip, rent a houseboat, or visit the Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum.
The river rises as a little spring in the Australian Alps and meanders over 2,500 kilometres through five very different environments before emptying into the Southern Ocean.
There are many interesting villages along the road to experience the contrasts in regional culture throughout the three states, and the river and its surroundings are ideal for both exploring and relaxing.
5. Mount Gambier
The Limestone Coast is home to Mount Gambier, an extinct volcano with four crater lakes, sinkholes, and gardens. Each November, a peculiar natural occurrence takes place on Blue Lake. The lake’s colour changes from drab grey to a vivid cobalt blue. A picturesque road circles the crater and offers breathtaking views.
6. Umpherston Sinkhole
Visit the Umpherston Sinkhole while you’re nearby. This well-liked tourist destination was made possible when a cave’s roof collapsed, and James Umpherston converted it into a lovely “sunken garden” in the 1880s.
Ferns, bright pink hydrangeas, and calla lilies grow abundantly in the gardens, and luxuriant vegetation cascades over the sinkhole’s rim, giving the area a magnificent atmosphere. The gardens are lit up in the night, and possums that are amiable gather there in search of food.
7. Yorke Peninsula’s Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park
Innes National Park is a remote, unspoiled area of the country that is pleasantly unpopulated. It is about a three-hour journey from Adelaide and is located at the tip of the magnificent Yorke Peninsula. The Yorke Peninsula is the boot-shaped peninsula of land that protrudes to the west of Adelaide on a map of South Australia, and it is a good weekend retreat from the city.
The main draws are the untamed seascapes, the wildlife, and the wind-whipped white-sand beaches that are caressed by brilliant blue oceans. You can drive around the park or hike through it while stopping at the deserted beaches.
Popular Things at Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park include diving the numerous wrecks strewn along this choppy length of the coast, camping, boating, fishing off the gorgeous beaches, and surfing the lonely breaks. Visit the rusty hull of the Ethel and take the marine interpretive route down the coast to learn more about the region’s unique shipwreck history.
8. Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy, a town known for its opal mining, is located in the middle of the outback of South Australia. The word for “white people in a hole” in an Aboriginal saying is where the town gets its name.
The majority of the population lives in underground dwellings (dugouts) to avoid the intense summer heat and the bitterly harsh winters, hence the name is apt. Considering how hot it is in South Australia in December and January, this is surely not one of the best things to do.
Searching for opals? After getting prospecting permission from the Coober Pedy Mines Department, you can still try your luck searching for these iridescent gems.
There are exhibits about the history of precious stone prospecting at the Old Timers Mine & Museum. Visitors can also explore underneath residences and the Catacomb Church.
9. The Oodnadatta Track
If you’re looking for an adventure-filled road trip through South Australia, look no further than the 620-kilometre Oodnadatta track. This historic route follows the path of the old Ghan Railway and cuts through the heart of the state, offering breathtaking views of the rust-red desert, otherworldly moonscapes, and weather-beaten outposts along the way. The wide open spaces will make you feel exhilarated and free, making this one of the most unique things to do in South Australia.
The Oodnadatta Track in South Australia is a must-do for any outback adventurer. Highlights include the quirky town of William Creek with its movie-set-like appearance, and the chance to soak in artesian springs and camp by remote waterholes. You can also drive by Lake Eyre South and the largest cattle station in the world.
The Oodnadatta Track begins at Marree in South Australia and travels northwest through the sleepy outback town of Oodnadatta before turning around and returning to the Stuart Highway at Marla. A 4WD vehicle is strongly advised. This is one of the best things to do in South Australia during the cooler winter months.
10. Adelaide Oval
More than just a sports venue, Adelaide oval is a treasured piece of the city’s past. Afl, cycling, hockey, lacrosse, archery, and tennis are just a few of the more than 16 sports that have been played here since the first test cricket match was played here in 1884. Here, you can also attend a musical performance.
To make the most of a trip to this historic site, schedule a tour. Both the Moreton Bay fig trees and the historic scoreboard are over a century old. Better still, if you have time, attend an AFL game or cricket match here, or purchase tickets for a particular occasion.
Are you a fan of cricket? Visit the Bradman Museum to see relics from Australia’s most illustrious cricketer. If you’re seeking unique things to do in Adelaide, this is a great option.
11. Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges
Take the up close and personal (and less crowded) route and walk across the Pound if Wangara Lookout near the old Homestead doesn’t provide a good enough perspective, a sighting from atop St. Mary’s Peak is too difficult, or a flight over the Pound is too pricey.
The Heysen route, which is also a part of the Bridle Gap trail, crosses Wilpena Pound and ascends its southwest edge for breathtaking views of the Pound’s opposite side and the tiers of hills beyond.
Following a visit to the Pound, consider staying a little longer to explore Sacred Canyon, Mt. Ohlsson Bagge, St. Mary’s Peak, the Cazneaux Tree, and many other popular attractions.
12. Troubridge Island
Approximately 2000 kilometres separate Troubridge Island from the tropics. On a clear day, however, you might mistakenly believe you were held up on a desolate tropical island. Fortunately, a Troubridge Island escape allows you to stay on this tiny island, which is otherwise empty save for the cormorants and little penguins who use it as a breeding place AND anybody else you bring to share the seclusion!
An excellent option for a deserted tropical island is snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the island, catching a few fish for the barbecue, exploring the beaches, and resting in a rebuilt lighthouse keeper’s cottage approximately 6 km offshore from Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula.
13. Kangaroo Island
The third largest of Australia’s 8222 islands is not just famous for its oddly formed, wind and sand-blasted granite Rocks. The top 10 environmentally friendly beaches in Australia, if not the entire world, frequently include Vivonne Bay.
One of the many reasons foodies flock to this area is that it has the purest strain of Ligurian bees in the world due to its relative seclusion. Also, approach close to the permanent seal colony if you enjoy the smell of fish! Return to Flinders Chase National Park, though, to discover why these rocks ROCK!
14. The Heysen Trail
The 1200 km Heysen Trail, one of Australia’s Great Walks, is a fantastic way to experience the best of South Australia. You can also use the route map as a reference and pick a few portions in places like the Barossa Valley, Mount Lofty Ranges, the Mid North, and Flinders Ranges to see the highlights on foot if you don’t have the time to complete the entire trip.
On this walk, there is something for everyone! The walk is named after renowned artist Sir Hans Heysen, whose creations highlight the magnificence and diversity of South Australia. It begins at Parachilna Gorge and ends in the seaside community of Jervis Bay on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
15. Coorong National Park
After visiting the Murray River, you absolutely must explore the Coorong National Park. It’s a favoured vacation destination for both locals and visitors due to its beautiful beaches, a profusion of bird life, excellent fishing opportunities, boating opportunities, and bushwalking opportunities, as well as its close proximity to Adelaide.
It is especially worth visiting between September and November for the wader migration when up to 100,000 wader birds of dozens of species migrate to the Coorong wetlands to feed. The area’s vegetation and fauna are stunning.
There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife on the Eyre Peninsula. If you’re interested in getting up close and personal with some of nature’s most impressive creatures, you can go cage diving with great white sharks or swimming with sea lions.