South Australia

South Australia's internationally acclaimed wines are reason enough to visit this sourthern state, but they're just the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy world-famous festivals, art galleries and museums; drift down the Muray River on a paddle-cruise; watch sea-lions at play on Kangaroo Island; relax in the tranquility of the Mt Lofty and Flinders Ranges; or head north from Adelaide into the heart of Australia's mysterious outback.


South Australia is located centrally in Australia and is renowned for its wine grown in the Barossa, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island, one of the world's greatest natural habitats, is a short Flight, or ferry trip south from Adelaide. Visitors to the island delight in being able to see native animals and an extraordinary variety of plants and trees.

In the state's north, the Flinders Ranges present extraordinary scenery, wildflowers aplenty and many opportunities to drive and walk through this popular region. The ancient Outback lies beyond with unique frontier towns like th opal-mining centre of Coober Pedy where visitors can search for their own opals.

Taste Australia's renowned wine

The Murray River reaches its prime in South Australia, with spectacular cliffs, abundant birds and good fishing. Visitor often choose a houseboat holiday floating on the Murray.

The capital of South Australia is Adelaide, an elegant, spacious city abounding with restaurants and cafes, bounded by a green ribbon of parklands. Adelaide hosts one of the world's oldest arts festivals every even numbered year, in February-March when the weather is warm and sunny with blue skies and temperature in the mid to high 20oC. The festival features the best of international and Australian dance, music, visual arts and outdoor events in a glittering display of contemporary and traditional cultural activities.

The state's food and wine cannot be missed. The Barossa produces some of the world's finest wines, and the small cafes lining Adelaide's Rundle Street serve an eclectic selection of dishes. The Coonawarra district also produces quality wines, while resturants across the state incorporate the freshest produce to create delicious cuisine. Other important food and wine districts include McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and the south-east. Tasting Australia, a biennial food and wine event, has become one of Australia's premier festivals.

South Australia's bed-and-breakfast accommodation ranges from simple to luxurious. From traditional home-style and country homes, through to self-contained units, visitors have a variety of options. The tranquillity of the Adelaide Hills is the backdrop for many charming B&B outlets, as are the vineyards of the Barossa Valley. For something different, Kangaroo Island has a number of B&Bs, as does the rugged terrain of the Flinders Ranges.

Fast Facts

  • About one million people live in Adelaide
  • Adelaide Airport is six km south-west of the city
  • Buses and trains operate between the city and suburbs and a tram operates between the city and the beachside suburb of Glenelg.
  • Free inner-city and city-loop buses operate Monday and Saturday.
  • The Adelaide Explorer Bus follows a 50-kilometre circuit, stopping at major attractions.
  • The climate is warm and temperature. Adelaide has a short, mild winter and long dry summers. Most rain falls in winter. Average temperatures : summer 28oC max, 17oC min; winter 16oC max, 8oC min. Water temperatures: summer 18oC, winter 15oC.

Do Not Miss

  • Catch a tram from the heart of Adelaide to the seaside town of Glenelg.
  • Sink your teeth into a famous South Australian pie floater from the Piecart in Adelaide.
  • Tempt your taste buds at Adelaide's Central Market with the freshest of the local produce.
  • Experience the Australian desert landscape from the comfort of a rail journey. Take the Ghan from Aelaide to Alice Springs.
  • Ever sat in the middle of grapewines to listen to your favourite singer? You can in Australia at the annual Barossa Under The Stars.
  • Come within metres of a colony of sealions basking in the sun on Kangaroo Island, also known for its pristine beaches, towering cliffs and ultramarine seas.


The Famous Barossa Valley  

Adelaide is a graceful city whose people make the most of the good life. The city is laid out in a grid pattern, so it's easy to orientate yourself. Light's Vision is the perfect spot to survey the city. From there stroll south and visit the attractions on North Terrace.

The Mount Lofty Ranges
The rim of hills along the city's eastern border, the Adelaide Hills, are also known as the Mt Lofty Ranges. The Mt Lofty Lookout provides splendid views over parklands to the city. Near Mt Lofty is the Cleland Conservative Park, an open-range wildlife park. Don't miss the colourful Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, one of the richest picnic race meetings, that attracts the finest Australian and New Zealand Horses.

Hahndorf, 29 km south-east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofy Ranges, is an historic town that retains the atmosphere of its original German settlers, with German restaurants and crafts centres.

Enjoy a lovely scenic drive along the River Torrens. Attactions to visit on the way include The Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha, the National Motor Museum at Birdwood and Melba's Chocolate Factory at Woodside.

The Famous Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley, 70 km north-east of Adelaide, is the most famous of the state's wine-producing regions, with about 48 wineries and cellar-door ourlets. This picturesque region was first settled by German migrants more than 100 years ago and many buildings, shops and restaurants reflect the European heritage. The two-week Music Festival held in October features a wide range of international and interstate musicians.

The South
Victor Harbour is 80 km south from Adelaide. It is historic whaling port, with restaurants, craft shops and good accommodation as well as such attractions as a horse drwan tram, the Whale Centre and Penguin Centre. Spectacular cliffs and views of the Southern Ocean include Granite Island, which is connected to the mainland by a causeway and is home to a colony of fairy penguins.

The Majestic North
Clare Valley is about two hours' drive north of Adelaide, a premium wine-growing region featuring villages with architecture dating back to the 1840s, carefully preserved and now used for restaurants and guesthouses. The wineries surrounding the area vary from small innovative boutique-style to the famous brand leader. Handicraft shops are abundant and are well worth taking the time to explore.

The Flinders Ranges are 250 km north of Adelaide. These spectacular mountains, which stretch for about 400 km into the OutBack, are noted for their rich colours, majestic peaks, wilderness areas, prolific wildlife, historic ruins and Aboriginal rock paintings. Bushwalks are provided in the national park areas. Camp overnight on one of the four-wheel-drive tours depart from Adelaide.

see the sea-lions at Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island lies 113 km south-west of Adelaide. This resort island of beautiful bush, national parks and abundant wildelife, includes a permanent breeding colony of sea-lions. Access is by vehicle ferry from Cape Jervis, the nearest point on the mainland (one hour), or passenger ferry from Cape Jervis (half an hour), or plane from Adelaide (30 minutes). Day and extended tours are available. The range of accommodation includes motels, self-contained cottages, bed-and-breakfast and farmstays.


The Murray Princess
Cruise Down The Murray
The River Murray is about 3 hours' drive east of Adelaide, and is accessible either by freeway or national highway. Houseboats are availabe for hire from a number of towns along the river. The Murray Princess is the argest paddle-ship built in the southern hemisphere, and offers luxury cruises down the river. The Proud Mary offers two to five day eco-cruises where the emphasis is on exploring nature. The interesting towns lining the river are home to a number of orchards. The Riverland district produces grapes, and has a growing reputation for high-quality wines.

Historic South-East

The south-east region is situated in the southernmost corner of South Australia, about halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide. Access to the area is available via the Princes Highway, which joins up with the Great Ocean Road. Highlights of the area include the World heritage listed naracoorte Caves, the famous Coonawarra wine region and Mount Gambier's mysterious Blue Lake. The south-east is a diverse and enticing landscape, which comes with a lifestyle to match.


Mount Gambier's mysterious Blue Lake

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