A road trip along South Australia’s south coast and Kangaroo Island offers something for everyone, from wine to wildlife.
Stunning cliff faces, roaring waves and spectacular beaches are just some of the highlights of the Southern Ocean Drive. Not to mention the Coonawarra, Naracoorte Caves and the wildlife of Kangaroo Island.
- Day 1 – via Mount Gambier to Robe
- Day 2 – Robe to Coonawarra (1 hour, 45 minutes)
- Day 3 – Coonawarra to Victor Harbor (3 hours, 30 minutes)
- Day 4 and 5 – Victor Harbor to Kangaroo Island (50 minute drive, 45 minute ferry)
- Day 6 – Kangaroo Island to Adelaide via McLaren Vale (45 minute ferry, 2 hour drive)
- Day 7 – Adelaide
Day 1 – via Mount Gambier to Robe
Travel to the Limestone Coast of South Australia, stopping in Mount Gambier, which is built on the site of an extinct volcano. Mount Gambier is home to the Blue Lake which mysteriously changes colour to a vivid blue each November for a few months. Continue along the coast where Beachport and Robe are tranquil lobster fishing towns with stunning beaches and rugged coastline, perfect for an overnight stay.
- Piccaninnie Ponds, this spectacular underwater world is a divers dream.
- Blue Lake with its brilliant turquoise colour in summer.
- Umpherston Sinkhole, also known as the sunken gardens.
- Stop at Mayura Station for a Great Wagyu Beef experience.
- Bowman Scenic Drive for impressive coastal scenery.
- Pool of Siloam, a salt lake seven times saltier than the sea.
Day 2 – Robe to Coonawarra
Continue towards the historic town of Penola and the world-famous Coonawarra, renowned for fine red wines and more than 20 cellar doors. Visit the impressive World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, with caves full of delicate calcite formations and a 350 000 year-old fossil bed. Overnight in the Coonawarra region.
- Explore the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves National Park.
- Walk through the historic town of Penola.
- Visit one of the many cellar doors in the Coonawarra wine region.
Day 3 – Coonawarra to Victor Harbor
Three-hours on, cross the Murray River on a car ferry – a short trip that offers a charming introduction to the river landscape – and travel to the historic town of Strathalbyn on the Fleurieu Peninsula. From Strathalbyn, head towards the coast, visiting the heritage river port of Goolwa and the popular seaside town of Victor Harbor. Join a river cruise that heads to the mouth of the Murray River and into the Coorong or cruise with Big Duck Tours to see the local wildlife. Overnight in Victor Harbor or any other coastal town.
- Discover the Coorong National Park.
- Stop for a wine tasting at a Langhorne Creek cellar door.
- Explore the historic Goolwa Wharf Precinct.
- Go on an ocean adventure with Big Duck Tours.
- Spirit of the Coorong offers cruises to the Murray River.
- Learn how to surf at Middleton or Port Elliot.
Day Four and Five
Day 4 and 5 – Victor Harbor to Kangaroo Island
Drive to Cape Jervis in the morning to catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island and known for its abundance of wildlife. Drive to Seal Bay to encounter sea lions. Visit Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch in Flinders Chase National Park. Discover secluded beaches and try local products such as honey, sheep’s milk cheese and eucalyptus oil. There is a large range of accommodation in Kingscote, American River and Penneshaw.
- Walk amongst the seals at Seal Bay Conservation Park.
- Flinders Chase National Park offers wildlife and coastal scenery.
- Remarkable Rock and Admirals Arch, impressive rock formations.
- Raptor Domain, home to many orphaned birds of prey.
- Little Sahara, an area of spectacular white sand dunes.
- Visit local producers and taste their honey, wine, gin and cheese.
Day 6 – Kangaroo Island to Adelaide via McLaren Vale
Transfer from Penneshaw to Cape Jervis on the morning ferry. Drive to McLaren Vale, one of the most picturesque wine regions in Australia. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life on the Fleurieu Peninsula by combining food, wine, arts and coastal adventures. The secluded beaches, friendly seaside towns and art studios make the region an ideal day-trip or overnight destination. At the end of the day stay in McLaren Vale or drive to Adelaide (a 45 minute drive).
- Fleurieu Peninsula Art Trail self-drive route.
- Visit d’Arenberg winery and blend your own wine.
- At Wirra Wirra Winery experiences range from tours to tastings in the historic cellars.
- Explore beautiful local beaches like Port Willunga and Port Noarlunga.
Day 7 – Adelaide
Enjoy a day in Adelaide. The city centre, surrounded by parklands, is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, cafés and restaurants. It is known as a 20-minute city because its shape and lack of congestion means getting to beaches and hills in a 20-minute drive, or if on foot, the city’s attractions are within walking distance. Adelaide’s restaurants and cafés are among the best in the country; while a new breed of renovated pubs, small bars and pop-up eateries have added a new dimension to the city’s food and wine scene.
- Cruise with Temptation Sailing to swim with wild dolphins.
- Explore Glenelg beach and Jetty Road.
- Visit the South Australian Museum’s Aboriginal Cultures Gallery.
- Wander through the Adelaide Central Market.
- Wine lovers can take a tour of Penfolds Magill Estate, home of Grange, Australia’s most famous wine.
- Cuddle a koala at Cleland Wildlife Park in the Adelaide Hills.