Lonely Planet has put Australia on the map for next year’s bucket list. Let us tempt you further:
Australia’s southern state is a great place to hang out for a while, whether you’re taking a road-trip into the Outback, seeking white sandy beaches or a stroll through the streets of Adelaide.
We loved South Australia. People seemed so relaxed here. The area is bursting with a variety of tasty food and great wine regions. Add music festivals, long beaches and exciting recreational opportunities, then you can see why we loved South Australia. Ah!
Called ‘the city of churches’ by some, the place has a laidback atmosphere. The popular World Music Festival ´Womadelaide´ is held here, where musicians such as Peter Gabriel and Xavier Rudd have played. One can have lunch at the Central Market, or have a bottle of wine and some snacks, while enjoying an old movie under the open sky in the Botanic Park cinema.
Hire a car:
If you rent a car and drive north you have several choices:
Flinders Ranges and the surrounding area have some interesting walks. Step into your hiking boots and explore the area. Say hello to the kangaroos and parakeets. See ancient cave paintings, homesteads and great scenery. Just remember to wear a net if it is that time of year – the flies can be very intense.
Tip: In the small Port Germein you find Australia’s longest wooden pier – approximately 1.3 km. long. On a sunny day it is nice to take a stroll to the end of the pier and chatter with people who are out there fishing.
One of the strangest places in Australia must be Coober Pedy, a mining town where for years they have dug for opals. Old mines have been converted into homes, hotels and even a church. Why? Due to the extreme temperatures on the surface. Sleeping 6-7 meters below ground is actually quite comfortable, especially when it is over 40 degree outside!
Take the train:
If you fancy a train journey from Adelaide, the legendary ‘Ghan’ train travels north to Darwin. The actual train journey is the travel experience. It goes very slowly, partly because freight trains have priority over tourists and so you sometimes have to wait a while when meeting other trains. Outside the large panoramic windows, the outback stretches into the distance in all its glory. A similar train, ‘The Overland’, goes west to Perth, over the desolate Nullarbor Plain, with a stop in the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie. Read more here.
South Australia offers great wine regions: Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and MacLaren Vale. In the latter, we came across something as unusual as sparkling red wine. We have still not decided whether we like it or not… We had some good conversations here. The people who offer the wine tasting are happy to chat, but then again, you don’t visit to rush from vineyard to vineyard. We were a little charmed by the unpretentious attitude to the wines as well, where the staff spoke about ‘Sav B’ and ‘Cab Sav’…
To the Swiss cheese town of Mt. Gambier, a city full of sinkholes and exciting caves. In addition to two craters there is Cave Park, which was created when the roof of a cave collapsed. The cave is still there and one can look down into it from a balcony, built for the best possible view. Beautiful roses form an idyllic entrance to the small park, which apparently is even more impressive after a storm, when water surges through the cave.
Not far from the centre you find Umpherston Sinkhole, also called the Sunken Garden, where you can see possums at night and have a picnic with friends and family.
Then you have Blue Lake, a crater where the water, in the summer, has a very special blue colour and no one can really explain why it is so. The neighbouring crater cannot boast any special colour to its water, but there is a large park with possibilities for barbecues and activities for families.
There were several places where we might like to stop, but we chose the small ‘Granite Island’. This is where the little penguins come in at night and the hard working Clydesdale horses pull old trams over the bridge from the mainland. This little island reminded us of Kangaroo Island. It has its strangely shaped rocks, interesting flowers and is a lovely place to spend a few hours.
A miniature Australia, we think. Watch the dolphins surf in the waves, seals sleeping on beach after days out looking for food, wallabies, koalas and lovely birds. Also here you find the little penguins. Rent a cabin and fall asleep to the sound of waves rolling into one of the country’s most beautiful beaches. We love this island!
You will find several lovely beaches on the coast of South Australia. In Glenelg, you can soak up the sun by day and enjoy drinks and good food in the evening. In Port Willunga at low tide you can see the wreck of the Star of Greece ship sticking out of the water. If you take lunch at the restaurant of the same name, you get some gorgeous views of the powdery white beach.
Last time when we left South Australia we had a tear in our eye. We really enjoyed our stay here. We have good friends here, and we made some new friends as well. No worries – we will definately go back!
The Remarkable Rocks in Kangaroo Island.