In part two of our epic Road Trip Australia series, we cross the border from Victoria, into the breathtaking arenas of South Australia.
One of Australia’s most refined states, this is where gourmet lovers come to wine and dine in the lingering sunshine that melts onto the soft mountain ranges, awesome outback, and dramatic coastline.
However, it’s not all stuffed olives and sparkling wine, this is a state with a true wild side, where some of Australia’s most active wildlife comes to play amongst the meadows, and dramatic seascapes of the Southern Ocean.
As a road trip destination, South Australia has an incredible number of offerings, so join us now, as we cruise through the state in search of six of South Australia’s most prized destinations.
Grab a South Australia ‘Six Pack’!
If you need any more information about touring South Australia, throw us a comment or two below, or check out the South Australia pages of our website. But first up, let’s get to grips with Australia’s mighty mellow, South Australia.
1. Sand-boarding at Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island
First stop on our road trip through South Australia, is the Sahara. Not the great big whopping sands of northern Africa, but the lesser known Little Sahara, on Kangaroo Island. The dunes cover two square kilometres, and if you arrive early enough you’ll be greeted by a smattering of curious footprints from the local wildlife.
But you don’t come here for the footprints, you come for the sandboarding! Grab a sandboard or toboggan from nearby Vivonne Bay, and hurl yourself over the ledge and down the rolling white dunes, then schlep your way back up and do it again (and again, and again!)
Dust yourself down, this is just the first of a ‘six pack’ of South Australian adventures!
2. Swim with sea lions!
Cruise over to the Eyre Peninsula, for the chance to swim with a quartet of incredible marine life: dolphins, sea lions, tuna and great white sharks all inhabit the waters off South Australia, and with a little luck, you can get up close to them all!
We especially like the local sea lions, otherwise know as the ‘puppy dogs of the sea’ in Port Lincoln or Baird Bay. Drop into the water and watch these cheeky characters swirl, loop and somersault around you!
3. Hiking in Flinders Ranges
No visit to South Australia is complete without a visit to the characterful Flinders Ranges, a vast expanse of rumpled hills that appear to soak up the summer sun like a sponge.
After you’ve done hiking for the day, head to the Prairie Hotel for a feast of untold quirkiness. Get stuck into a kangaroo kofta wrap, or share a ‘feral antipasto’, featuring red gum-smoked camel and kangaroo, roo mettwurst, emu paté, goats cheese, and chargrilled vegetables. Thirsty for more?
4. Cycling through Barossa Valley
Park your motor on the side of the road, as the Barossa Valley is not the place to find yourself behind the wheel — this is one of the world’s premier wine regions, and features some of Australia’s most accessible vineyards.
One of the more fun ways to explore, is by a Harley Davidson powered trike, on the Barossa Trike Tour, where local boy, Tony Tscharke acts as your personal chauffeur, offering in-helmet commentary and tailor made tours.
5. Shark Cage Diving
For the perfect pick-me-up after the laid back Barossa Valley, head back to the Eyre Peninsular, and Port Lincoln where you can come face to face with the ocean’s ultimate predator, the Great White Shark.
This is a special place, not least because it was the location for most of the classic film, Jaws, but it’s an eco-friendly operation. Rather than ‘baiting’ the sharks to come close, this particularly operator plays music to attract the sharks (the most successful band is ACDC!) Round off your underwater adventures with a swim with the giant blue-fin tuna that carve up the ocean.
6. Spot Aussie wildlife!
Cap off your road trip with some classic wildlife spotting! Kangaroo Island is the roughly the same size as Manhattan, and is positively crawling in wildlife. From the rare sea lions, and little penguins that bumble around the beaches, to the amazing birdlife that soars through the sky.
Offshore, expect to witness migrating humpback and southern right whales, while scuba divers enjoy over 50 shipwrecks playing host to abundant sealife. Missing someone? Don’t worry, there are plenty of koalas on the island, too!
Sadly, that’s it for South Australia, one of the country’s most infusing regions. Next stop? We’re heading west, to the wide open plains of Western Australia. Look out for it soon, right here on the STA Travel Blog!