Umpherstone Sinkhole

7 South Australian Hidden Gems

Whispering wall

The Barossa Reservoir, north of Adelaide, was world famous for its concave design when built around 1900 and has become a tourist attraction for its acoustic effect. Stand at one end and someone standing 140m away at the other end of the wall can clearly hear you speaking — so be careful what you say. Great spot for views, picnics and bush walks, too.

Eco-villas at Wilpena Pound

In the ancient Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound sits in a giant meteor crater, or perhaps it’s where a huge flying saucer landed. The ramparts enclosing the Pound are ideal for hiking, including to its highest spot, the 1171m St Mary Peak. Eco-villas at nearby Rawnsley Station are an ideal base to explore — and at night the skylight in the bedroom roof gives a billion-star view.

Murphy’s Haystacks

Remarkable Rocks gets the publicity but Murphy’s Haystacks are just as remark-worthy. These inselberg formations are worn pink granite boulders, about 1500 million years old, as big as cars and cottages. The rock stars got their name when a traveller mistook the odd formations on Murphy’s farm for hay and are about 40km from Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.

Pool of Siloam

At the coastal town of Beachport in the South East you’ll find  beaches, a port for the fishing fleet and a 772m jetty. There is also the mysterious Pool of Siloam, said to be seven times as salty as the ocean, making swimmers so buoyant you’ll find it hard to dive.

Herbig Family Tree

As a change from wine tasting in the Barossa Valley visit the Herbig Family Tree at Springton where German immigrant Johann Herbig lived for three years after arriving in 1855. He married Caroline Rattey and brought her to live in the huge gum tree for two more years where they had the first two of their 16 children. With hard work the family prospered and their story is a remarkable part of the national tapestry.

Umpherstone Sinkhole

Many people have heard of Mount Gambier’s famous Blue Lake but the caves, sinkholes and extinct volcanoes of this region are sights to behold. The Umpherstone Sinkhole has beautiful gardens in a park setting. It was a limestone cave whose roof collapsed. Visitors can climb down its terraced gardens to the floor and watch possums emerge at dusk.

Harry Potter Beach
aka Stokes Bay

Many Kangaroo Island attractions are on its south coast but the north has its delights. A country drive from Kingscote takes you to unspoilt beaches such as Stokes Bay with its rock pool. A narrow gap in the cliffs is a Harry Potter-style entrance to a secluded neighbouring beach you could have to yourself.