Top 15 Things to Do In South Australia

The Best of South Australia

The South Australian Vistas, Vineyards, and Wildlife Adventures You Must Experience

Imagine stepping into a time capsule, where the old-world charm meets modern-day delights – welcome to South Australia!

From the bustling city life of Adelaide to the tranquil vineyards of the Barossa Valley, the ethereal beauty of Kangaroo Island to the historic charm of Port Adelaide, there’s an array of unforgettable experiences awaiting you.

Things to do in South Australia include exploring the stunning Barossa Valley for its world-class wineries and picturesque landscapes. Also, visiting Adelaide, the vibrant capital city, offers cultural experiences and beautiful beaches.

As we venture further into the diverse offerings of South Australia, you’ll find yourself intrigued, yearning for more details, and ready to pack your bags for your next adventure.

So, shall we begin?

  • Marvel at Aboriginal art and European culture clashing during Adelaide’s world-renowned music, arts, and food festivals
  • Roam through rows of history-rich Barossa Valley vineyards dotted with cellar doors and farm-to-table dining
  • Luxuriate amid coastal cliffs and beaches on secluded Kangaroo Island teeming with native wildlife like wallabies
  • Explore underground homes carved from desert earth and abandoned mines spotlighting gems near Coober Pedy
  • Feast on succulent seafood sourced straight from the ocean at local markets in marina towns like Port Lincoln

South Australia’s best

South Australia is renowned for its world-class wineries, particularly in regions like the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. It’s also famous for its vibrant capital city, Adelaide, often called the “Festival City” due to its numerous arts and cultural events.

Things to do in South Australia

South Australia offers a variety of activities, from wine tasting in its famous vineyards and exploring the natural beauty of the Flinders Ranges, to enjoying the beaches and wildlife on Kangaroo Island. The state’s capital, Adelaide, also offers a rich mix of cultural activities, museums, and galleries.

Beautiful South Australia

Kangaroo Island is often cited as one of the most beautiful places in South Australia. It offers stunning landscapes, from pristine beaches and clear waters to rugged cliffs and dense forests. The island is also a sanctuary for wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species.

1. Exploring Adelaide’s Vibrant Festivals

When you’re in Adelaide, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the city’s spectacular array of vibrant festivals that celebrate everything from music and arts to culture, and more.

Known as the “Festival City,” Adelaide hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, drawing visitors from all over the world. Among the most notable is the Adelaide Fringe, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest open-access arts festival, where the city comes alive with performances ranging from theater and comedy to music and visual arts.

The Adelaide Fringe Festival, the world’s second-largest, treats you to immersive art experiences and cultural fusion in festivals. This diverse celebration offers a range of performances and events that’ll leave you amazed.

Other significant events include the Adelaide Festival, celebrated for its world-class arts programming, and WOMADelaide, an internationally renowned festival celebrating music, arts, and dance from around the globe. These festivals transform Adelaide into a hub of creative activity, offering immersive experiences in music, art, food, and culture. Exploring Adelaide’s festivals provides not only entertainment but also a deeper appreciation for the diversity and creativity that thrive in this dynamic Australian city.

Finally, the Tarnanthi Festival offers a unique insight into indigenous art and culture.

2. Discovering Kangaroo Island’s Wonders

Next on your South Australian adventure, prepare to be enthralled by the natural wonders and diverse wildlife of Kangaroo Island, home to the stunning Flinders Chase National Park.

Kangaroo Island, located off the coast of South Australia, is a natural wonderland known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and pristine beaches. The island offers a unique escape into nature, where visitors can encounter native animals like kangaroos, koalas, and a variety of bird species in their natural habitats. The Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park are just a few of the geological wonders that draw nature enthusiasts to the island.

Brace yourself for wildlife encounters that are as exciting as they’re educational. From the iconic Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks, the coastal landscapes will leave you in awe.

In addition to its natural attractions, Kangaroo Island is also celebrated for its local produce and culinary experiences, with a range of food and wine options that showcase the region’s quality and diversity. The island’s mix of rugged coastlines, untouched wilderness, and local hospitality makes it an ideal destination for those seeking an authentic Australian wildlife experience and a peaceful retreat.

Don’t miss out on a scenic flight over these breathtaking coastlines, a freedom lover’s dream. The thrill-seekers can experience aerobatic adventures with Adelaide Biplanes, taking exhilaration to new heights.

If tranquility is more your style, paddle through the natural wonderland of Canoe the Coorong.

End the day with a luxurious stay at Sequoia Suites, enjoying hi-tech features and stunning views.

3. Indulging in Barossa Valley’s Wine Region

Venture into the heart of South Australia’s wine country, the Barossa Valley, and you’ll find yourself immersed in an intoxicating world of vineyards, wineries, and distinctive culinary experiences.

The Barossa Valley in South Australia is renowned as one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious wine-producing regions. Famed for its rich, full-bodied Shiraz, the Valley is home to some of the world’s oldest vineyards, with a winemaking history dating back to the 1840s. Visitors can explore numerous wineries and cellar doors, ranging from internationally acclaimed brands to boutique family-owned estates, each offering unique wine tasting experiences.

The valley offers unparalleled wine tasting experiences, with a myriad of wineries waiting for you to uncover their unique vintages. You’ll also find culinary delights at every turn, from authentic Italian dishes at Casa Carboni to fresh farm produce at Hutton Vale.

Beyond its viticultural excellence, the Barossa Valley is also celebrated for its gourmet food culture, with a plethora of fine dining restaurants, local artisan producers, and farmers’ markets showcasing the region’s fresh and diverse produce. The picturesque landscapes of rolling hills and vineyards, combined with the region’s rich heritage and welcoming community, make the Barossa Valley a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts and foodies alike.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Barossa Valley Sculpture Park, where art and nature meet in perfect harmony. Your journey won’t be complete without a visit to the historic town of Burra, rich in mining heritage.

4. Stepping Back in Time in Hahndorf

Leaving the vineyards of Barossa Valley behind, you’ll find a different kind of charm as you step into Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. Instantly transported to a Bavarian village, you’ll be greeted by quaint streets, heritage buildings, and bustling markets.

Hahndorf, nestled in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, is a charming and historic town renowned for its German heritage. As Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf offers a unique cultural experience with its picturesque streets lined with traditional Fachwerk buildings. Visitors can explore a variety of shops, galleries, and eateries, many of which showcase German-style architecture and serve traditional German cuisine, including sausages, pretzels, and pastries.

The historical architecture in Hahndorf is a sight to behold, with buildings dating back to the 19th century. Each structure reflects the town’s rich history, creating a unique atmosphere that transports you back in time.

The town is also known for its local artisan produce and wineries, reflecting the rich agricultural tradition of the region. Hahndorf’s blend of cultural heritage, culinary delights, and scenic beauty makes it a popular destination for tourists seeking a taste of European charm in Australia, offering an immersive experience in history, culture, and gastronomy.

While exploring Hahndorf, be sure to indulge in authentic German cuisine at local cafes and restaurants. These establishments offer a taste of Bavaria in the heart of South Australia, providing a truly immersive cultural experience.

Don’t miss out on the local artisan crafts and fresh produce available at the markets. These offerings provide a glimpse into the region’s thriving creative and agricultural scene, allowing visitors to support local businesses and take home unique souvenirs.

For history buffs, heritage walks and museums are a must-visit in Hahndorf. These activities provide a deeper understanding of the town’s past, offering insights into the lives of its early settlers and the challenges they faced.

5. Uncovering Adelaide’s Cultural Scene

Dive headfirst into Adelaide’s thriving cultural scene, where art galleries, museums, and gourmet restaurants along North Terrace offer a rich tapestry of experiences.

Adelaide’s cultural scene is vibrant and diverse, reflecting the city’s status as a hub for arts and creativity in Australia. Known for its numerous festivals, Adelaide hosts a range of events throughout the year, such as the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe, and WOMADelaide, showcasing everything from visual and performing arts to music and literature. These events draw artists and audiences from around the world, creating a lively and dynamic atmosphere in the city.

Beyond festivals, Adelaide boasts a rich array of cultural institutions, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, each offering a variety of artistic and educational experiences. The city’s cultural precincts, such as the North Terrace and the vibrant West End, are home to numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues, making Adelaide a captivating destination for those interested in exploring the arts, history, and culture.

Next, venture into the State Library – a treasure trove of history and knowledge.

Indulge your senses at the Adelaide Central Market, where you can savor multicultural cuisine and fresh local produce.

Finally, take in a live music performance at the Adelaide Festival Centre, a hub for cultural events.

6. Adventures in Flinders Ranges National Park

After soaking up the vibrant culture of Adelaide, you’ll find a stark contrast in the rugged beauty of Flinders Ranges National Park, where adventures abound in its vast wilderness.

Flinders Ranges National Park, located in South Australia, known for its ancient landscapes, rugged mountain ranges, and rich Aboriginal history. This natural sanctuary offers a stunning array of geological formations, including the iconic Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheater of mountains. Visitors to the park can explore a variety of hiking trails that range from easy walks to challenging hikes, each providing a unique perspective of the park’s dramatic scenery and diverse wildlife.

The park’s diverse landscapes are ripe for exploration, with 4WD adventures leading you through iconic natural formations like Admirals Arch and Remarkable Rocks. As you navigate the terrain, keep an eye out for unique wildlife encounters.

The park is also steeped in cultural significance, with numerous Aboriginal art sites offering insights into the region’s Indigenous heritage. The combination of spectacular natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and deep cultural roots makes Flinders Ranges National Park a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and those seeking to connect with Australia’s ancient landscape and history.

Come nightfall, pitch a tent under the starry skies and immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the park. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, Flinders Ranges National Park offers an irresistible call to freedom.

7. Relaxing at Glenelg Beach

Switch gears from the wild adventures of Flinders Ranges and embrace the serene pleasures of Glenelg Beach, where you can spend a blissful day sunbathing, swimming, or strolling along the picturesque shoreline.

Glenelg Beach, located in the historic seaside suburb of Glenelg in Adelaide, South Australia, is a popular destination known for its sandy shores, clear waters, and lively atmosphere. This family-friendly beach offers a range of activities, from swimming and sunbathing to beach volleyball and sailing. The bustling Jetty Road, just a short walk from the beach, is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, making it a perfect spot for dining and shopping.

As one of South Australia’s premier beach destinations, Glenelg offers a plethora of beach activities to keep you entertained. Indulge your taste buds with beachfront dining at one of the many seaside cafes, where fresh seafood and refreshing cocktails are the order of the day.

The Glenelg area also features attractions such as the Beachouse, an amusement complex ideal for families, and the Glenelg Tram, which provides a scenic and convenient route from the city center to the beach. Glenelg Beach’s combination of recreational activities, dining options, and accessibility makes it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists seeking a relaxing and enjoyable beach experience.

Don’t forget a leisurely tram ride from the city, offering scenic views that’ll leave you awestruck. Feel free to explore the quaint shops on Jetty Road.

And as the day winds down, why not unwind with a picnic while soaking up the stunning coastal views?

8. Hiking in Innes National Park

Innes National Park, located at the tip of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, is a stunning natural reserve known for its rugged coastal scenery, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife. The park offers a perfect escape into nature, with opportunities for activities such as hiking, fishing, and surfing. Visitors can explore the park’s diverse landscapes, from the dramatic cliffs and secluded coves to the historic lighthouses and shipwrecks that dot the coastline.

Stepping into the wild beauty of Innes National Park, you’ll find a paradise for hiking enthusiasts with a range of trails revealing diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and fascinating historical sites.

Don’t miss the Investigator Trail, where historical landmarks like the old lighthouse offer panoramic coastal views.

For marine life, hike to Dolphin Beach or West Cape.

Gym Beach Hike is your ticket to view shipwrecks and relics along the shoreline.

If you’re intrigued by Aboriginal culture, the Bush Tucker Trail is for you. It’s not just a hike, but an educational journey into how the indigenous people used plants and resources traditionally.

The park is also home to a variety of native wildlife, including emus, kangaroos, and a myriad of bird species, making it a fantastic destination for wildlife watching. The clear waters and sheltered bays provide excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities, allowing visitors to discover the vibrant marine life. Innes National Park’s blend of natural beauty, historical interest, and recreational activities make it a cherished destination for those seeking to experience the rugged and unspoiled beauty of South Australia’s coastline.

Free your spirit and surrender to the allure of Innes National Park’s hiking trails.

9. Experiencing the Unique Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy, located in northern South Australia, is a unique and fascinating town known as the “Opal Capital of the World.” This remote town is famous for its opal mining industry and distinctive underground residences, known as “dugouts,” which provide respite from the extreme desert temperatures. Visitors to Coober Pedy can explore the opal mines, visit underground homes, churches, and museums, and learn about the history and process of opal mining.

Here, you’ll get a taste of opal mining, the town’s lifeblood. Wander through the labyrinthine tunnels, and discover hidden underground churches, a testament to the residents’ resilience.

But it’s not just about what’s below the surface. At night, play a round of golf on a course devoid of greenery, or marvel at the ‘Tree of Life’, a sculpture crafted from scrap metal.

The landscape around Coober Pedy, characterized by its moon-like appearance with mounds of earth from opal mining, adds to the town’s allure. Additionally, the town’s multicultural community, formed by decades of opal mining attracting people from all over the world, contributes to its unique character. Coober Pedy’s blend of cultural history, mining heritage, and distinctive lifestyle makes it a must-visit destination for those interested in experiencing one of Australia’s most unusual and intriguing towns.

10. Feasting on Seafood in Port Lincoln

Next on your itinerary, prepare your palate for a gastronomic journey in Port Lincoln, the seafood capital of Australia, where you’ll feast on the freshest and most delicious seafood.

Port Lincoln, situated on the Lower Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and status as the seafood capital of Australia. This vibrant coastal town offers a variety of unique experiences, particularly for seafood enthusiasts, with opportunities to indulge in fresh local produce like tuna, kingfish, and oysters. The town is also a gateway to some of the best aquatic adventures in Australia, including shark cage diving and swimming with sea lions and dolphins, providing thrilling encounters with marine life.

From casual fish and chips by the sea to fine dining experiences that highlight local seafood recipes, every meal is a treat.

Dive deeper into your culinary adventure by joining a seafood safari. You’ll learn about the local fishing industry, sample seafood straight from the source, and pick up a few seafood cooking techniques.

Surrounded by pristine beaches and scenic national parks, Port Lincoln is a haven for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and beachcombing. The town’s bustling marina, vibrant arts scene, and array of dining options reflecting the local seafood industry add to its charm, making Port Lincoln a compelling destination for travelers seeking a blend of culinary delights, wildlife encounters, and natural beauty.

Don’t miss the local markets—get some of the best catch to prepare your own seafood feast. Discover the joy of cooking fresh seafood with a local cooking class. It’s a seafood lover’s dream!

11. Visiting the Historic Port Elliot

After savoring the flavors of Port Lincoln, you’ll find yourself drawn to the historic charm of Port Elliot, a coastal town that offers a rich tapestry of heritage-listed buildings, scenic views, and fascinating maritime history.

Port Elliot, located on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, is a charming coastal town known for its stunning beaches, historic architecture, and relaxed atmosphere. This picturesque town is a favorite destination for those looking to enjoy scenic coastal walks, beautiful sandy beaches like Horseshoe Bay, and excellent whale watching opportunities during migration season.

Stroll down the quaint Main Street, admiring the heritage buildings. Don’t miss the iconic Port Elliot Railway Station, where you can hop on the historic Cockle Train for a scenic coastal journey.

For a deeper dive into the town’s maritime past, follow the Port Elliot Maritime Heritage Trail, weaving stories of shipwrecks and seafaring adventures.

For the best coastal attractions, unwind at Horseshoe Bay or take the Encounter Bikeway and Coastal Cliff Walk, offering breathtaking views.

The town’s historic center offers a glimpse into its rich past, with well-preserved colonial buildings, quaint cafes, and boutique shops. Port Elliot’s blend of natural beauty, heritage, and laid-back coastal lifestyle makes it an ideal spot for a peaceful getaway, offering visitors a chance to unwind and enjoy the slower pace of life by the sea.

12. Exploring the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier

The Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, South Australia, is a natural phenomenon and one of the region’s most famous attractions. Located in a dormant volcanic crater, the lake is renowned for its strikingly vibrant blue color, which dramatically changes shades during different times of the year, particularly in summer. This unique and picturesque lake provides a stunning backdrop for walking trails around the crater rim, offering spectacular views and photo opportunities.

But don’t stop there; the surrounding volcanic landscape exploration offers even more. Take a hike, explore caves, and let the spellbinding scenery captivate you. Don’t miss the Umpherston Sinkhole, a sunken garden with a fascinating past.

Besides its visual appeal, the Blue Lake is also the main source of water for the town of Mount Gambier. The area around the lake features informative displays about its volcanic origins and the history of the area, making a visit both a scenic and educational experience. The Blue Lake’s combination of natural beauty and geological significance makes it a must-visit destination for those traveling in South Australia.

13. Enjoying the Scenery of Fleurieu Peninsula

Leaving the volcanic landscapes of Mount Gambier behind, you’ll find another gem in South Australia—the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, a haven of panoramic coastline views, charming towns, and world-class wines.

The Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia is a diverse and scenic region known for its picturesque landscapes, ranging from stunning beaches to rolling vineyards. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and food and wine lovers, offering a wide range of activities like surfing, fishing, hiking, and whale watching along the rugged coastline. The region is also celebrated for its thriving wine industry, with several renowned wine-producing areas, including McLaren Vale, famous for its Shiraz and other varietals.

Your eyes will feast on the breathtaking scenery as you take scenic drives along the coast, spotting kangaroos and absorbing the natural beauty of this paradise. There’s a sense of freedom in the air as you embark on coastal walks, your path lit by the golden hues of the setting sun.

Don’t forget to visit McLaren Vale, where you can indulge in wine tasting sessions and revel in the picturesque vineyards.

Apart from its natural beauty and culinary delights, the Fleurieu Peninsula is rich in culture and history, with charming historic towns, local art galleries, and vibrant markets showcasing the work of local artisans. The Peninsula’s mix of beautiful landscapes, gourmet food and wine, and cultural attractions make it an ideal destination for a relaxing and indulgent getaway in South Australia.

14. Wildlife Spotting on Yorke Peninsula

As you venture into the rugged beauty of Yorke Peninsula, you’ll find a wealth of opportunities to spot kangaroos, echidnas, and a plethora of birdlife in their natural habitat, making it a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

The Yorke Peninsula in South Australia is a region known for its unspoiled beaches, historic towns, and excellent fishing spots. This picturesque peninsula, with its rugged coastline and clear waters, is a popular destination for beachgoers, surfers, and anglers. Visitors can explore a variety of coastal towns, each with its unique charm, offering local seafood, heritage sites, and a glimpse into the peninsula’s rich agricultural and mining history.

Go on a guided tour for a chance to see rare species like the Western Whipbird and Tammar Wallaby.

Coastal birdwatching is fantastic here, with trails leading you to secluded beaches where sea lions and dolphins frolic.

For a unique experience, don’t miss nocturnal wildlife encounters. When the sun sets, the peninsula comes alive with creatures of the night.

The Yorke Peninsula also boasts numerous walking trails, including the Walk the Yorke, which provides a fantastic opportunity to experience the region’s natural beauty. Its numerous national parks and conservation areas are ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering camping, hiking, and wildlife watching. The peninsula’s combination of natural attractions, recreational activities, and laid-back lifestyle makes it a perfect destination for a relaxing and adventurous holiday in South Australia.

Combine this with a visit to Wills Creek Vineyard for a blend of wildlife spotting and wine tasting, capturing the essence of Yorke Peninsula’s allure.

15. Taking in the Views From Mount Lofty

Beyond the wildlife adventures of Yorke Peninsula, you’ll be entranced by the panoramic views awaiting at Mount Lofty, where Adelaide’s city skyline and coastal landscapes unfurl beneath your gaze.

Mount Lofty, located in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, is a popular destination known for its panoramic views of Adelaide and its surrounding areas. As the highest point in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, it attracts visitors who come to enjoy the spectacular scenery, especially from the Mount Lofty Summit, which offers a sweeping vista of the city and coastline.

A scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills leads you to the summit, offering photography opportunities that’ll make your Instagram followers green with envy. The hiking trails allow for a leisurely exploration of the surrounding natural beauty. As you stroll, each turn reveals a new breathtaking vista.

The Mount Lofty area is also home to the Cleland Wildlife Park, where visitors can interact with native Australian animals, and the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, showcasing a diverse range of cool-climate plants. The combination of natural beauty, recreational activities, and proximity to Adelaide makes Mount Lofty a favored destination for both locals and tourists looking for an escape into nature and some of the best views in South Australia.

And don’t forget to stop by the Mount Lofty Summit Cafe. There, you can relax and unwind, sipping a coffee while soaking in the splendid views.

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