South Australia is home to a stunning coastline, unique aquatic experiences, abundant native wildlife, award-winning food and wine, a rich Aboriginal heritage and culture, and eclectic festivals and events all year round.
South Australia has more than 3500km (2175 miles) of coastline, allowing once-in-a-lifetime encounters with marine life. Many of these experiences are unique – and indeed exclusive to the state.
Create the holiday of a lifetime by incorporating a trip to Australia's wine capital, the Barossa; the magnificent Flinders Ranges; or the breathtaking Eyre Peninsula, to swim with sea lions or cage dive with great white sharks.
Adelaide and Glenelg Beach
Adelaide is set between the rolling Adelaide Hills to the east and a gorgeous, 30km (19 miles) stretch of unbroken beaches to the west. Swim with wild dolphins just 20 minutes from the city centre. This easy access is part of what makes South Australia so special.
Vibrant and exciting, with a relaxed undertone and friendly locals, the city rewards those who look deeper below the surface. It is heaving with excellent restaurants stocking the best South Australian wine; a great mix of cafés, boutique bars and lively nightlife; and festivals and events.
The popular beaches of Glenelg, Henley and Grange are easy to get to on public transport, and a big hit with visitors and locals alike.
Glenelg Beach is Adelaide's most popular beach, offering a great vibe and buzzing atmosphere and just a short tram ride from the city centre, making it ideal for a day trip. For a unique experience, head out with Temptation Sailing to swim with wild dolphins – so close to the city, but feels a million miles away.
The white sands of Glenelg beach are ideal for lounging or playing volleyball, and the warm waters are a perfect for swimming. There is also a huge range of retail shops, cafés, restaurants, bars, and a family fun park, The BeacHouse to keep the kids entertained.
The Fleurieu Peninsula offers an exciting range of experiences just a one hour drive south of Adelaide. The region produces excellent food and wine, and there are several places from which to enjoy both these delights, with great views to boot.
The McLaren Vale wine region overlooks the sea and the cooling sea breezes are particularly good for producing Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, amongst many other varietals. The coastal towns of Goolwa, Port Elliot and Victor Harbor are popular seaside towns – and for good reason.
- Create ‘your own wine blend’ at d’Arenberg cellar door, taking in views over the beach at Port Willunga with a superb meal at the Star of Greece
- Enjoy fish and chips on the beach from the Flying Fish Café at Port Elliot
- Canoe the Coorong or take the more leisurely option with Spirit of the Coorong
- Join a wildlife cruise with Big Duck Boat Tours to see sea lions, dolphins and whales (June to September)
- Swim with Bluefin tuna just off Granite Island with Oceanic Victor
The Eyre Peninsula is Australia’s seafood frontier and well known for its fresh oysters, tuna, lobster and abalone – plus wildlife encounters and unrivalled aquatic experiences including shark cage diving and swimming with sea lions or dolphins. Tours operate out of Port Lincoln, a 50 minute flight from Adelaide.
Also, as the gateway to the Nullarbor – the treeless plain that stretches more than 720km (447 miles) to the Western Australia border – see migrating southern right whales and their calves in the coastal waters off Head of Bight (May to October).
- Join a Calypso Star Charters combo tour for a full day swimming with sea lions and shark cage diving or head out to sea with Adventure Bay Charters. Dive into the crystal clear waters of Baird Bay for a sea lion swimming session or set off on a great white shark expedition with Rodney Fox.
- Go on the ultimate whale watch with Chinta Tours and watch Southern Right and Humpback whales in some of South Australia’s most beautiful coastal surrounds.
Kangaroo Island, renowned for its prolific native wildlife, is the jewel in South Australia's crown. With stunning seaside rock formations, secluded beaches and untouched bush land, the island is one of the best places to see Australian wildlife in the wild. Enjoy the unique experience of walking on a beach among a colony of endangered Australian sea lions. More than a third of the island is protected national park, so easy to spot kangaroos, koalas, wallabies and perhaps even the elusive echidna.
Kangaroo Island is a 30 minute flight from Adelaide to Kingscote, or a 90 minute drive from Adelaide to Cape Jervis, and a 45 minute ferry ride to Penneshaw.
- Take a guided tour to walk on the beach at Seal Bay among a colony of wild Australian sea lions
- Visit the iconic Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch in Flinders Chase National Park
- Spot koalas, echidnas, kangaroos and wallabies in their natural habitats
- Go quad-biking, sandboarding or tobogganing with KI Outdoor Action
- Explore secluded beaches like Hanson Bay or Stokes Bay
- Stay in luxury at Southern Ocean Lodge
- Watch or swim with dolphins with Kangaroo Island Marine Adventures.
- Walk along the coast and follow the Kangaroo island Wilderness Trail
Adelaide and Glenelg Beach
- Fleurieu Peninsula
- d’Arenberg Cellar Door
- Star of Greece, Port Willunga
- Flying Fish Café, Port Elliot
- Canoe the Coorong, Spirit of the Coorong; or Big Duck Boat Tours