8 incredible places to holiday in South Australia
1. Explore the Adelaide Hills
Explore pretty valleys and vineyards on horseback, meet the wildlife, pick plump fruit along the food trails, and cosy up in the quaint villages of the Adelaide Hills. They are an easy 30-minute drive from Adelaide. The six storey-high Big Rocking Horse and Toy Factory in Gumeracha is sure to have the kids believing in giants. The main street of historic Hahndorf is a fairy tale come to life. The town is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. It has preserved colonial buildings housing lolly shops, ice creameries, fairy gardens, toy shops and a puppet shop worthy of Geppetto.
2. Search for sea monsters on the Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula has Tiffany blue beaches and sheer limestone cliffs that drop dramatically into the Southern Ocean. The native bluebush and mulga scrub speckle the immense vastness of The Nullabor. It’s also home to some of Australia’s the best wildlife experiences. All kids will love close encounters with koalas at Mikkira Station and older ones will be wanting to go shark cage diving with Great Whites in Port Lincoln. Over 5’s can see the sharks from the safer Aqua Sub. Families might prefer to skip the sharks altogether for underwater encounters with the puppy dogs of the sea, Australian sea lions, or swim with the local dolphins.
3. True blue Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is the ultimate Aussie destination for wilderness and wildlife fans. Australia’s third-largest and most unique island sits just off the southern coastline of South Australia and can be easily reached via a comfortable 45-minute glide across the Backstairs Passage from Cape Jervis with SeaLink ferries.
4. The worderful Limestone Coast
Home to some of Australia’s most spectacular natural wonders, the Limestone Coast is like nowhere on Earth. Families can delve down into the World Heritage-listed Tantanoola Caves and the underground gardens of Umpherston Sinkhole. Swim in the aptly-titled Blue Lake or snorkel the underwater gardens of Ewen Ponds Conservation Park and the surreal underwater world of Piccaninnie Ponds, with its clear waters and caverns of sculptured and scalloped white limestone. Or simply laze on deserted beaches, soak up the sparkling views over the limestone cliffs, explore heritage townships or snuggle up to glamp under a sky full of stars. Oh, and did we mention the wine…
5. The Flinders Ranges
The Flinders Ranges’ martian landscape of dusty red roads and deep craters and ancient cliffs dating back more than 600 million years offers families a taste of the outback.
6. Fleurieu Peninsula
Located on the doorstep of Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula is a beacon to active families with surfing, sailing, scuba and snorkelling just a few of the aquatic adventures on offer. Out of the water, make history with a historic paddle steamer cruise along the Murray River or take a ride on the Horse Drawn Tram at Victor Harbour. Ready for refreshments? The d’Arenberg Cube, a super cellar door fashioned after a Rubik’s Cube, boasts a quirky museum and activities for the kids while mum and dad enjoy a tipple.
For something different, experience life below the waves at Oceanic Victor, an in-sea aquarium where visitors can swim with southern bluefin tuna, while younger visitors can watch them pass by from an underwater observatory.
7. Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park
Take a hike in the Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park. Once covered by an inland sea, the Breakaways are now a striking rocky landscape of flat-topped mountains. They are home to almost 60 native flora species and a variety of wildlife, including red kangaroos, euro, echidna, numerous bird species and the fat-tailed dunnart. Hike to one of the two lookout points to witness the desert colours transform at sunrise or sunset.
8. Mount Gambier
Base yourself in Mount Gambier to explore the natural wonders and prehistoric lands of the region. Within a 30-minute drive of the town centre, you will find an unbelievable array of experiences that will keep the entire family entertained.
Located between two dormant volcanoes, Mount Schank and Mount Gambier, the Little Blue Lake is one unique swimming spot. The natural water-filled sinkhole features stairs and a floating pontoon, ideal for little legs that tire easily, and can be found in the middle of nowhere, sitting in an unassuming paddock in South Australia.
This article originally appeared in Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.
Lead image: Bunyeroo Valley, Flinders Ranges © Ben Goode
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