South Australia is a bit of a hidden gem for Kiwis who have traditionally visited the eastern gateways on their holidays to Australia. In fact, a direct flight to Adelaide from Auckland is only 50 minutes longer than flying to Melbourne, and it’s well worth the extra time in the air. Known as the ‘20 minute city’, Adelaide is the gateway to all there is to see and do in South Australia. It is both cultural and cool, and its superb shopping, beaches, history and restaurants are not to be missed.
It seems like all roads lead to wine and food in South Australia. From Adelaide there are nine distinct wine regions within 90 minutes drive, none more famous than the Barossa wine region located less than an hour drive from the CBD.
Another popular region just 1 hour from Adelaide is the majestic Murray River. Take an escorted river cruise on an historic paddlewheeler or, if you feel like creating your own adventure, get a group of friends together and captain your own luxury houseboat as you cruise the Murray River.
Whatever you choose to do on your holiday, South Australia boasts an outstanding variety of places to see and experiences to enjoy. You’ll find vast landscapes, dazzling uncrowded beaches, varied wildlife and friendly locals who always have time for a chat. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a few bottles of local wine, stock up on local produce and pack your cossie because in South Australia you’ve got all the elements of a perfect holiday!
Known as the ‘20 minute city’, Adelaide is the gateway to all there is to see and do in South Australia. It is both cultural and cool, and its superb shopping, beaches, history and restaurants are not to be missed.
Foodies love the sights, tastes and smells of the Adelaide Central Market. Regarded as the ‘pantry of the city’, it’s the perfect place to stop and pick up supplies for your stay.
Shopaholics feel right at home on Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s shopping heart. At the end of the day you can soak up the atmosphere in one of more than 700 restaurants along Adelaide’s eat streets – try Gouger St, Rundle St or Hutt St.
Take a wander down North Terrace, regarded as Adelaide’s cultural boulevard and home to the city’s grandest treasure houses. It’s a heartland of art, history, knowledge and people. You’ll fi nd the State’s Art Gallery, SA Museum (home to the largest collection of Aboriginal artifacts in Australia), Library and Botanic Gardens, which are all free to visit.
From the city centre it’s just a 20 minute tram ride to the beachside suburb of Glenelg. This seaside playground is always buzzing with people enjoying the sand, sea, foreshore parks, cafés and local entertainment. Stroll along the jetty, browse through the hundreds of shops and dine at sidewalk cafes along Jetty Road.
In the Adelaide Hills, a stop at the German village of Hahndorf is recommended. Lined with jacaranda trees, the main street’s quaint and historic stone buildings are filled with art and craft galleries, cellar doors, antique shops, German bakeries, chocolate shops, pubs, cafés and a fantastic cheese cellar.
The heart of the nation’s wine industry is just under an hours’ drive from Adelaide. Rich in history and bursting with the nation’s most renowned names in wine, the Barossa consists of two major sub regions – the Barossa floor and Eden Valley, each producing richly textured and generous styles of wine. Many of the big names are based here including Peter Lehmann Wines, Rockford, Jacobs Creek and Penfolds.
Kangaroo Island is one of the most unique, unspoilt places in Australia. It is a pristine wilderness offering protection to large populations of native Australian animals. Traverse the 155km length and you’ll fi nd soaring cliffs, dense forest, towering sand dunes, wetlands and massive white beaches with clear waters. Delight your taste buds with the fine gourmet foods produced on the island.
The mighty Murray River carves its way some 650 kilometres through South Australia before it enters the Southern Ocean at Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With more than 40 national parks located along the river, the region is rich in wildlife with many species of birds, fish and native animals. There are still a few paddle streamers on the water and they’re a great way to absorb the landscape and history of this region.
The rugged mountain ranges, deep gorges and varied wildlife of the Flinders Ranges create a photogenic landscape, but the area is also prized for its ancient Aboriginal rock art and fossils. Venture further into the Outback and discovering the more out of the way gems – the deep Outback is home to vast salt pans, natural thermal springs and desert trails where you’ll encounter varied wildlife and interesting locals.
Venture to South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, only forty five minutes south of Adelaide, and experience an off-road 4WD beer tour with ‘Off-Piste’. Gain a behind-the-scenes look into various boutique breweries, complete with lunch. A labour of love, discover award-winning hand crafted beers, all served with a backdrop of back-country vistas and stunning coastline. For a different experience, embark on a 4WD food tour.
It’s as barren as little lost Outback towns come, but Coober Pedy is quite possibly one of the most fascinating townships in Australia. Notably, because over half of the residents live underground. Also known as the sun-baked opal mining capital of the world. Discover the opal mines that have caused both fortune and hardship, and take a glimpse at the underground Serbian Orthodox church.
Adelaide Hills is just a short 20 minute drive from Adelaide’s city centre. With its many interlinking villages and excellent cellar door restaurants, you can spend the day exploring and tasting the region’s fresh produce and vibrant wines. This cool climate wine growing area specialises in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
The Clare Valley offers a taste of authentic country life at the foot of the Flinders Ranges and Outback. It’s well known as a picturesque wine region, with more than 30 cellar door outlets and a reputation for sensational Rieslings. Sevenhill Cellars is the oldest in the region, opened by monks in 1851 to make sacramental wine. They produce premium red, white and fortified wines.
McLaren Vale boasts 70 boutique wineries within 45 minutes drive of the city. Renowned as a boutique wine region where “the vines meet the sea”, McLaren Vale is best known for its vineyard restaurants and coastal lifestyle. It’s also a region of outstanding fresh produce, including its famous almond groves – all of which can be tasted at Saturday’s Willunga Farmers Market.