The southern portion of Australia has plenty of things to offer for all types of tourists. But let’s be honest, Adelaide has got to be one of the top destinations in this region. Both locals and tourists can’t get enough of Adelaide’s charm, from world-class accommodations to picturesque destinations, this city has it all. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself from exploring other amazing cities and towns beyond Adelaide. Regardless as to whether you’re planning for a long trip or just a quick weekend getaway, South Australia has tons of hidden gems that you have to include in your itineraries such as breathtaking landscapes, touristy spots, unforgettable restaurants, wildlife experience, cultural activities, and more.
#1 Victor Harbor
Victor Harbor is a favorite destination not just by tourists but even by locals as well. Aside from being near Adelaide, this town has a ton of fun activities that everyone in the family will surely enjoy. Experience the spectacular view at the Fleurieu Peninsula coastline and relax at one of the top-rated accomodations in the region. Looking for accommodation near Victor Harbor? Find nearby options by viewing our Victor Harbor Serviced Apartments.
To arrive at this beautiful destination, you simply have to ride the Cockle Train between Victor Harbor and Port Elliott. If you decide to visit during the winter, then there’s a likelihood that you get to see the Southern Right whale.
For more animal adventures, you need to go to the Victor in-sea aquarium, which is near Granite Island, for a chance to swim with a Southern Bluefin Tuna. But if that’s not your cup of tea, then you can just appreciate their beauty at the underwater observatory. For those who haven’t seen penguins up close or are just obsessed with these cute animals, might as well book a tour at the Little Penguins.
Last but not the least, learn more about the history of Victor Harbor and its important structures, then you must take the 3km self-guided walk around town.
#2 Coober Pedy
Although Coober Pedy is widely known as being a great place to stopover on the way to Uluru and Alice Springs this town has a lot of unexpected wonders that you have to see for yourself. From Adelaide, it’ll take you roughly 8 hours and 40 minutes. Looking for accommodation near Adelaide? Find nearby options by viewing our Adelaide Serviced Apartments.
If you didn’t think underground towns were a thing, then think again. Most of the residents here in Coober Pedy have underground homes to escape the intense Australian heat. This type of living has allowed them to enjoy a temperature of only 23-25 degrees throughout the year. Don’t miss out on seeing this unique neighborhood wherein you can also visit the only art gallery and church in South Australia that’s underground. You also have to experience this uncommon way of living by checking in at one of the underground hotels or places that accommodate backpackers. Old Timers Mine is another great must-see destination because it houses the world’s largest opal display.
To fully enjoy Coober Pedy and its wonders, be sure to visit between April to October only because the other months of the year can be too hot and humid due to its desert climate.
Ever heard of a color-changing lake? Lake Bumbunga is South Australia’s popular pink lake that changes its hue to white and blue depending on its salinity. Back in the early 1900s, it used to be a salt mine wherein the three pans were harvested for three decades. Its name literally translates to rainwater lake. Another nearby must-see spot is the Lochiel which is a small settlement around the boundary of the Hummocks Ranges
Lake Bumbunga, on the other hand, is home to the infamous Loch Eel Monster which is a sculpture made from rubber tires. It has been a popular tourist attraction since the 70s. South Australia is also widely known for its exquisite wines. Sip your favorite red, white, or rose at the Clare Valley.
Lastly, take lots of pictures at the Snowtown Wind Farm. It’s located at the Hummocks and Barunga ranges and it’s also the largest wind farm in South Australia.
Want to extend your vacation? Roughly 2 hours away is Onkaparinga where you can taste some of the best wines in the country. Have a tour at their breathtaking vineyards, picturesque beaches, and more. Looking for accommodation near Onkaparinga? Find nearby options by viewing our Onkaparinga Serviced Apartments.
#4 Mt. Gambier
If you’re going on a road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, Mt. Gambier is the perfect place to stopover. But before you begin your journey to Mt. Gambier, be sure to maximize your stay in Adelaide. Looking for accommodation near Adelaide? Find nearby options by viewing our Adelaide Serviced Apartments From there, it will approximately take you 4 hours and 48 minutes to arrive at the amazing city of Mt. Gambier.
Mt. Gambier is popular for its picturesque blue lakes. Check out the Blue Lake which is a volcanic crater lake that provides water to the town. Its stunning blue hue is typically the most vivid between November and late February. After that period, the lake becomes more greyish as the temperature gets cooler. Have a stroll at its 3.5km track and don’t forget to stop over at some of its viewing platforms. You can also go to the Little Blue Lake which features steps that lead to a pontoon and the water’s edge.
If you’re still up for some more adventure, you can’t miss out on the Umpherston Sinkhole. This natural formation is a product of a collapsed limestone cave. Take the stairs that lead toward a flower-lined sinkhole to see the beauty of this area yourself.
Naracoorte Caves National Park houses 26 small and medium-sized caves. It’s considered as one of the World Heritage sites in South Australia. An hour away from it is the breathtaking
Engelbrecht Cave wherein you can book a tour to have a better understanding of its history.
Beachport is the place to go swimming, fishing, or just strolling at the jetty which is 772 meters long. For surfing enthusiasts and professional surfers, go to Beachport Surf Beach.
Want to experience a different kind of swim? The Pool of Siloam, which is located on the Bowman Scenic Drive, has a salinity which is seven times more than the sea. But don’t stop there because just nearby are the picturesque Penguin Island and Martin Lighthouse.
Take unforgettable snapshots at the Woakwine Cutting, which is said to be the country’s largest engineering feat. A channel was cut through the rock back in 1957 to cause the swamp to drain toward Lake George. If you want to discover more facts about this area’s history, then pay a visit to the Old Wood and Grain Store Museum.
For those who have to experience South Australia’s wonderful sunset, then you have to check out Cape Dombey Obelisk. Be sure to arrive a bit earlier so you can have a nice stroll at its coastal trail during the golden hour.
Adelaide to Beachport is only approximately 4 hours and 7 minutes long. Looking for accommodation near Adelaide? Find nearby options by viewing our Adelaide Serviced Apartments.
Although Kimba is not the typical go-to destination for every person visiting Australia, It’s still a great location to stop and stretch your legs after traveling on the road for quite some time, especially for those tourists who have driven to the top of the Eyre Peninsula. Make sure to snap some nice photos at its halfway sign since it’s technically a half-way point between Perth and Sydney.
Kimba is also the home of the country’s big galah and impressive outdoor art installations. There’s even a lovely 30-meter tall grain silo sherbet-covered mural that you have to take pictures at. Follow the silo art trail to see more amazing pieces of artwork. Moreover, don’t forget to check out Edward John Eyre Sculptures. It’s a unique artwork that pays homage to the very first person who crossed the continent as well as the indigenous men who assisted him in his journey by providing bush skills.
Looking for accommodation near Kimba? Find nearby options by viewing our Kimba Serviced Apartments.
#7 Border Village
To get to Border Village, you have to travel 13 hours from Adelaide. Although that might seem too distant, this amazing place is definitely worth the drive. Looking for accommodation near Adelaide? Find nearby options by viewing our Adelaide Serviced Apartments.
Eucla and Border Village are the perfect stopovers for those who are travelling along Nullarbor and into West Australia. For golf enthusiasts, you have to play at the Nullarbor Links golf course within which the Hole 6: Border Kangaroo Hole can also be found.
If you’re a foreign tourist, it’s definitely a must that you take a selfie with The Big Kangaroo and its jar of Vegemite. Tourists who choose to visit between May and November are lucky enough to get a chance to see the Southern Right whales in the Bight. However, the best month of the year to catch a glimpse of these lovely creatures is June. This is because Bight’s calm and subtle waves create the perfect temporary habitat for nursing whales and their calves.
Can’t get enough of South Australia’s scenic views? Go to the Head of Bight Whale Watching Centre at any time of the year to see the astonishing limestone Bunda Cliffs, that is 90 metres tall, alongside the mesmerizing blue water of the Bight.
Eucla, on the other hand, is such a charming historic place. It was established back in 1877 and was the overland telegraph repeater station. Although the Old Eucla Telegraph Station is gradually being covered by the shifting sand dunes, you’ll still be able to see its historic walls.
#8 Streaky Bay
Streaky Bay is 7 hours and 25 minutes from Adelaide. Looking for accommodation near Adelaide? Find nearby options by viewing our Adelaide Serviced Apartments.
There are tons of jaw-dropping views and interesting activities at Streaky Bay. Take a look at the endangered New Zealand fur sea lions at a viewing platform which can be found by taking The Point Labatt Sea Lion Scenic Drive. Through a pair of binoculars, you’ll be able to appreciate their simple way of living from 50 metres above.
Photographers and Instagrammers alike will surely love the gigantic pink granite inselbergs at Murphy Haystacks. Don’t forget to spot the wind-eroded rock forms which look extra stunning at sunset.
Finally, you have to stop over at the Whistling Rocks and Blowholes by taking the e Cape Bauer Loop Coastal Scenic Drive. Here, you can get up close and personal with sea eagles, southern ospreys, or peregrine falcons as they typically fly above the area. You have to take a nice stroll along the boardwalk and notice the sound of the blowholes with each wave the comes in.
Whyalla is the largest city in South Australia and is located on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula. Although not many people consider it as a go-to spot for vacations, Whyalla certainly has something for everybody. This city is well-known for the annual cuttlefish congregate where these giant sea creatures visit the shallow areas of the beach to mate and lay their eggs. If you’re into diving or snorkeling, then Stony Point is the place to be.
Here, you can find accomodations that suit your budget and your lifestyle. Steelworks tour is another unique experience you shouldn’t miss. Learn the process of producing steel at OneSteel, which is a company that has been operating for a century. People who are into history will have a great time learning about how the people of WII South Australia defended themselves during. Hummock Hill Lookout is also a great site to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city and bay. Don’t forget to take pictures at important town landmarks such as HMAS Whyalla and WWII Bathurst Class Corvette. Learn about the history of Whyalla’s shipbuilding by joining the guided ship tours and visiting the maritime museum.
Need a vacation from your vacation? Why not go to another out of the way spot in South Australia to extend your trip? Clare is a lovely town which is home to top-quality wines, scenic trails, and a whole lot more. Looking for accommodation near Clare? Find nearby options by viewing our Clare Serviced Apartments.