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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!
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.
South Australia is home to several well-known wine regions, including the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley; cultivating a good grape is something they do extremely well down here. Better still, these regions are all a 90 minute drive from Adelaide.
As well as a decent tipple, the South Australians are well respected for their excellent food. Locally sought produce is an important aspect of their famed food scene, with Adelaide’s premier bars, restaurants and eateries all putting an emphasis on produce that’s made by artisans in the region. The Adelaide Central Market in the CBD is a must, if not for the gooey cheese stalls, then definitely the molten fountain of chocolate. Market Shed on Holland is a superb organic market open on Sundays, and the Willunga Farmers Market open every Saturday is equally fabulous.
The tour operates from Adelaide in a luxury air-conditioned Mercedes Benz vehicles with two nights at the award-winning Rawnsley Park Station and one night at the famous Prairie Hotel. Rawnsley Park Station provides true outback hospitality and Aussie station experiences. Stay in luxurious Eco Villas, all with commanding views of the surrounding landscape. Touring includes the spectacular and rugged scenery of Wilpena Pound and the magnificent Flinders Ranges region with its wealth of wildlife, geology and ancient history. At Nilpena Station, take a fascinating station and Ediacaran fossil tour, and enjoy outback food and hospitality at the famous Prairie Hotel at Parachilna. Then travel through the stunning Clare Valley wine region for some wine tasting and lunch before returning to Adelaide.
The exclusive Fork and Grape tour takes you on a day’s exploration of all the senses sampling the finest produce this region has to offer! You’ll visit the hidden and unknown beauty of Fleurieu Peninsula’s cherished sub-region, while surrendering to the balance between landscape’s natural beauty paired with unforgettable food sensations.
Beyond the cellar door you’ll be tasting wines straight from the barrel but also have a personal tasting amongst the vineyards (seasonal). Lunch location is a surprise – the highly personal experience comprises of a delicious three course food safari. Prepared by a dedicated team sourcing the best produce sourced locally from and around the award-winning McLaren Vale region. After lunch you’re off again to another exclusive off-road track up the Willunga Hills for a unforgettable vista over the entre region and the sparkling Gulf St Vincent. A relaxed return trip will see you safely back to Ibis Adelaide.
Cruise the historic River Murray enjoying the magnificent landscapes of this picturesque region. Relax while taking a cruise and gain an insight into this unique river system. On the return journey, visit Melba’s Chocolate Factory
and Woodside Cheese Wrights at Woodside.
Experience the unspolit beauty of Kangaroo Island on this self-drive tour. One third of the island is a national park so it is a premier destination for nature lovers. Walk amongst wildlife and view dramatic scenery from dunes to boulders that will take your breath away. Extend your stay so you can take in the scenery on the way, and perhaps swim with dolphins or spend an evening with penguins.
While from end to end the Heysen Trail in South Australia is around 1,200km and would take around 60 days to complete, the accessibility means that most walkers opt to choose just a one or two day section. The 90km Cape Jervis to Victor Harbor section offers beautiful coastal scenery and enchanting wildflowers in the spring. Other highlights of the Heysen Trail include the renowned Barossa wine region and overwhelming mountain views of Mount Remarkable and the Flinders Ranges.
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Are you planning your next trip to South Australia? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on South Australia.
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