Land of sand and sun

Lonely Planet named SA as one of the world’s top 10 regions to visit in 2017. If that’s not enough, here are five perks for travellers to South Australia.

Lonely Planet has firmly put South Australia on the international travel map this year by naming it as one of the top 10 regions to visit in 2017. According to Lonely Planet: “Its climate may be hot, but South Australia offers the coolest mix of brilliant wine country, abundant produce festivals, stark and stunning tracts of picturesque Aussie outback and crowd-free beaches. The Queen Mary 2 is putting South Australia on her travel list in 2017, choosing to dock not only in its artistic capital, Adelaide, but also taking in the rustic charms of Kangaroo Island. South Australia is a delicious feast suitable to anyone’s taste.”

Iconic Australian wildlife

Plunge into the dolphin realm at Glenelg, swim with sea lions or sharks and splash with tuna on Eyre Peninsula, cuddle koalas and kangaroos in the Adelaide Hills or escape to Kangaroo Island where wildlife reigns supreme.

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A smorgasbord of fine food and wine

Exceptional food and world-famous wine are a way of life. Adelaide is a culinary playground with a delicious mix of fine dining restaurants, award-winning cafes, food markets and boutique bars. SA is home to 18 wine regions and has officially been named a Great Wine Capital of the World. The Barossa is Australia’s gourmet capital, home to some of the world’s most prestigious wine labels, while the Adelaide Hills’ hand-picked produce can’t be beaten. Sink your teeth into superb seafood on our Eyre and Fleurieu peninsulas, or bite into bush tucker in the Flinders Ranges and Outback.

Soak up the sun on our beaches

Relax on stunning city beaches, while those with an adventurous spirit can try their luck at some of the country’s most epic surf spots. Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island are home to some of Australia’s most beautiful stretches of coast. The Yorke Peninsula’s coastline stretches 700km while the Limestone Coast’s Robe is one of our most popular summer holiday towns.

Party in Australia’s Best Event State

South Australia was named Australia’s Best Event State for the second year running at the 2016 Australian Event Awards. In January-March, when nights are balmy, Adelaide enters party overdrive hosting the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts, WOMADelaide, Tour Down Under and Clipsal 500 Adelaide. The Cabaret Festival and Guitar Festival warm up the mild winter while OzAsia, the Adelaide Film Festival and Feast Festival kick off in spring.

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Outback to the sea

Surf crystal-clear swells, trek ancient landscapes, tour lush green hills or meander down the mighty Murray. Our state is a melting pot of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes.


The 20 minute city

Nathan Davies dares to compare

Adelaide is a city that goes by many other names – the City of Churches – bestowed because the city was founded on the concept of religious tolerance, not because it actually has more steeples than peoples. Late premier Don Dunstan – of pink shorts fame – called the SA’s capital the Paris of the South. Then there’s Radelaide which, let’s face it, is a little tongue-in-cheek. But the nickname favoured by residents is The 20-Minute City, a reference to how easy it is to drive to your destination compared to the gridlocked streets of Sydney and Melbourne. And while 20 minutes might not get you to every destination, if we stretch the drive out to an hour it’s astounding just how many places you can see.

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 The Barossa Valley (60 minutes)

This is the most famous wine region in the country, and for good reason – it produces some of the best wine on earth. The vineyards read like a who’s who of Australian wine – Wolf Blass, Yalumba, St Hallets, Rockford, Grant Burge and, of course, the iconic Penfolds and Henschkes. Of course there are dozens of smaller cellar doors guaranteed to satisfy every taste and budget. Throw in the picturesque countryside, fascinating German heritage and boutique accommodation and you have the perfect long-weekend destination. Our advice? Get somebody else to drive. Where one hour’s drive will get you in Sydney: From the top of the high-rise carpark to … the bottom of the high-rise carpark.

McLaren Vale (45 minutes)

The yin to the Barossa’s yang, you can think of McLaren Vale as the Barossa’s younger, and possibly cooler, brother. It’s down south on the coast and has a different feel to its northern, inland neighbor. The Vale produces the shiraz, grenache and cabernet SA is famous for but, being Mediterranean in climate, it also pumps out some exquisite tempranillo, sangiovese and nebbiolo.
Where 45 minutes’ drive will get you in Melbourne: To St Kilda on the tram. If you’re lucky.

The Adelaide Hills (30 minutes)

There was a time when travelling from the city to “the hills” meant packing a lunch and negotiating a notorious stretch of road known as the Devil’s Elbow. Then we built some flash tunnels and put some of the most bucolic scenery in the country within an easy jaunt of the city. Picturesque villages, farm-fresh food and, yes, wine await. Where 30 minutes’ drive will get you in Sydney: To Bondi – if you have a police motorcycle escort. Even then you won’t find a park.

The Mid Coast (30 minutes)

Think of beaches and you think of the Gold Coast, Sydney, perhaps Perth. But the beaches of Adelaide are a little-known secret and they don’t come much better than the beaches of the Mid Coast. Clay cliffs, startlingly white sand and azure water give the place a Mediterranean feel, especially if you’re tucking into a plate of seafood and a glass of white in the clifftop Star of Greece restaurant.Where 30 minutes’ drive will get you in Melbourne: Half way to Frankston.

Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island (45 minutes)

OK, we’re cheating here because these two locations are 45 minutes away from Adelaide on a plane, but they should still be on your must-see list. Port Lincoln is the pseudo-capital of the Eyre Peninsula, a rugged chunk of earth with the Spencer Gulf gently lapping at one side and the Southern Ocean smashing into the other. You can also dive with great white sharks, if that’s your thing. Kangaroo Island combines breathtaking scenery, amazing wildlife and a laidback lifestyle that’s fast disappearing in the rest of Australia. Where a 45-minute flight from Sydney will get you: Bathurst