Travelling down south in the land down under? We've listed some of the best places to visit and things to do in the beautiful (and unjustly underrated) state of South Australia.
It makes sense to start with the state's glorious capital, right? The 'City of Churches' is a vivacious metropolis with a burgeoning small-bar scene, enviable festival calendar and world-class art, museums and music. It offers an atmosphere of European-influenced charm with some of the most beautiful architecture and nature in Australia.
While you're there, we recommend you:
1. Wine and dine in Adelaide's laneways - check out Adelaide's after-dark epicentre, Peel Street, full of hip bars and eateries like Clever Little Tailor, La Moka and Hains & Co. Our personal favourite is La Buvette Drinkery around the corner, which serves French apéritifs with a side of escargot.
You could also partake in a Wine Masterclass while you're there to become a true wine connoisseur. The class is complete with delicious cheese tasting plates - yes please! 🧀🍷
2. Stroll along North Terrace - Adelaide's tree-lined North Terrace boulevard houses the city's most important cultural institutions, including:
- Art Gallery of South Australia - houses over 38,000 works spanning Australian, European, North American and Asian art.
South Australian Museum - features exhibitions on Australia's natural and cultural heritage.
Botanic Gardens - home to thousands of species of roses and three impressive glasshouses, including the exquisite 1877-built Palm House.
Adelaide Zoo - get up close and personal with native Australian wildlife including sea lions, kangaroos and koalas 🐨
Adelaide Oval - you can tour the ground's inner sanctum and visit the Bradman Collection - a private collection of memorabilia from Australia’s greatest cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.
3. Sample farm-fresh food at the Central Market - with over 250 stalls full of delicious produce, there's something to tickle everyone's taste buds. Think artisan cheeses, smoked meats and ultra fresh fruit, veg and seafood. You're salivating, aren't ya?
Learn the history and evolution of the markets while tasting the best local gourmet offerings on this Market Adventure Tour.
4. Go shopping on Rundle Street - this area is undergoing a retail renaissance with fashion boutiques including Australian designers Gorman, Zimmermann and M.J. Bale attracting the city’s most stylish.
5. Cool off at the Exeter Hotel - widely considered Adelaide's best pub, this legendary boozer attracts an eclectic brew of postwork, punk and uni drinkers. Original music plays nightly, including indie, electronica and acoustic.
6. Have a weekend getaway to the Adelaide Hills - the hills are alive... with the smell of grapes. Just a short drive from Adelaide, the hills make for a relaxing retreat from the city.
Check out our Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Hideaway Day Tour. The tour takes you to the Mt Lofty lookout, Woodside's Cheese Cellar, Melba's Chocolate Factory, Beerenberg Strawberry Farm, three wineries in Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf - Australia's oldest German town.
7. Wind down at the beach - just a 25 minute tram ride from Rundle Mall, Glenelg is a bustling beachside neighbourhood with heritage hotels, alfresco cafés and a white sandy beach. We also recommend visiting Semaphore, 14km south of Adelaide, where you can walk along the esplanade, tuck into fish and chips and swim in its sheltered waters.
As its name suggests, Kangaroo Island is filled with kangas aplenty. There ain't a better place in Australia to snuggle up to a diverse range of native wildlife, some of which aren't found anywhere else in the world!
Not to mention, the scenery on the island is second to none. Over one-third of the island is protected by conservation areas and breathtaking national parks. Just 13km (8 miles) off the coast of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is well worth adding to your Aussie bucket list.
Be sure to:
1. Visit Flinders Chase National Park - on the western side of the island, this national park is truly stunning. Check out:
- Remarkable Rocks - a seaside collection of giant, strangely-shaped, orange-lichen-covered granite boulders.
- Admirals Arch - a distinctive rock bridge which attracts basking New Zealand fur seals.
In the park, you're also likely to stumble upon large goannas, rare tammar wallabies, a unique subspecies of echidna and the Kangaroo Island kangaroo. If you're lucky, you might spot some adorable platypus swimming in the streams.
2. Feast on delicious produce - Kangaroo Island is known for its freshly caught seafood, cheeses and wines. It's also believed to be the world's largest remaining pure strain of sought-after Ligurian honey bees, which produce an exquisitely sweet honey. Be sure to sample this local delight and drink craft beer at Clifford's Honey Farm. And for lunch, head to the Oyster Farm Shop in American River.
We recommend delighting your senses on a Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Trail Tour to enjoy the amazing produce and wine this region has to offer.
3. Spot wildlife at the conservation parks - although Kangaroo Island is a 'natural zoo', filled with native animals and birds all over the island, there are special wildlife sanctuaries well worth visiting. We recommend:
- Hansen Bay Wildlife Sanctuary - on the south-west coast, you'll find koalas galore, resting in eucalyptus trees
- Kelly Hill Conservation Park - spot Kangaroo Island kangaroos and tammar wallabies
- Lathami Conservation Park - you'll find several species of rare birds, including the glossy black cockatoo, which lives nowhere else in the world.
Why not quad bike on a Sunset Kangaroo Safari? This action-packed tour guarantees you'll see many a kanga while exploring the beautiful island at dusk.
4. Sunbathe with rare sea lions - the Seal Bay Conservation Park on the south coast of the island is the only place in the world where you can walk among endangered Australian sea lions. You could see the seals relaxing on the sand, giant bulls fighting each other or baby sea lions playing just a few metres away from you.
5. Slide down the dunes in Little Sahara - Little Sahara is a 2km squared patch of sand dunes that are equally as stunning as they are adrenaline pumping. You can hire a sand board or toboggan and fly down the dunes in style. Located in Vivonne Bay on the south coast of the island, this is a Kangaroo Island must-do!
Located on the scenic Eyre Peninsula 7 hours' drive away from Adelaide, Port Lincoln is the perfect destination for water babies of all kinds. But if you're more of a land lover, fear not! There are beautiful national parks, several historical and cultural attractions and delicious seafood that impresses even the fussiest of culinary enthusiasts.
While you're there:
1. Go cage diving with Great White Sharks - brave enough to be submerged under water with the ocean's scariest predators? Check out our 3 day Great White Adventure below.
2. Swim with Australian sea lions - Port Lincoln is one of the few places in Australia where you can swim alongside gorgeous sea lions.
You can combine cage diving and sea lion swimmin' on this 3 Day Great White Adventure. The tour also includes ocean floor diving, a Neptune island tour, shark research talk and all meals and accomodation!
3. Taste fresh oysters - learn about the harvesting of world-famous Coffin Bay Oysters and slurp a bunch of 'em while you're at it.
4. Marvel at the national parks - relish giant sand dunes, rugged bushland and deserted beaches. Visit the red earth and stunning granite peaks of the Gawler Ranges, retreat to the peaceful, wide open spaces of the Nullarbor or relax on the pure-white shores in Coffin Bay National Park and Lincoln National Park.
One of Australia's finest wine regions, the Barossa Valley is a South Australia must-see! Revel the picturesque landscape, delectable culinary offerings and, of course, some of the best wine grapes in the country.
Check out the best activities and tours in the Barossa. I mean, wine not?
1. Indulge your taste buds with a Jacob's Creek Vineyard Tour, including wine tasting and a delicious two-course lunch. Experience the best of what the Barossa and South Australia has to offer, from local produce and genuine heritage to stunning views over the Barossa ranges.
2. Learn some new culinary skills with expert chefs at a Jacob's Creek Cooking Class. You'll enjoy a hearty feast of fresh produce from the kitchen garden accompanied by Jacob Creek wine. Just try not to get too distracted by the view while you're cooking...
3. Enjoy fresh produce from the Barossa Farmers Market - held in the Vintners Sheds near Angaston every Saturday, wander through an eclectic mix of over 30 food and craft stalls. You'll find the freshest local produce available, including piping hot pastries, fresh cuts of meat and poultry and its famously refreshing ice cream that makes for a tasty way to cool down on hot days.
4. Explore the region on a Southern Barossa Valley Chateau Tour. You'll visit five historic cellar doors, taste world-class wines, enjoy a restaurant lunch and learn about the local history and culture.
And that's a wrap!
For more suggestions of things to do in South Australia, check out our Leezair catalogue or feel free to shoot us a message.
Happy planning, adventurers!
The Leezair team x