This nature filled state has everything Australia is famous for ~ golden beaches, lively cities, vast outback, unusual wildlife, endless sky and welcoming people.
Bounded by rolling hills and pristine beaches, Adelaide is a vibrant, stylish city. And as the wine and festival capital of Australia, you’ll always find something going on.
Do: For parents and older children, the city has plenty of diversions – galleries, cafes, pubs, bookshops, fashion houses, antique stores, nightlife, cellar doors and national parks. Young children and adults alike will love the wildlife park where you can hold a koala.
Learn about Australia’s indigenous peoples’ culture and art at Tandanya, Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts center. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples guide visitors through exhibitions in the art galleries and give performances in cultural arts such as the didgeridoo and traditional dances.
The Adelaide Central Market buzzes with life all year round with fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood, cheeses, cakes, and other gourmet delights. Along with the food, it’s a wonderful introduction to the colorful Aussie lifestyle.
Stay: In a Fire Station – a classic fire engine station that has been fully restored to meticulous historical standards but with welcome modern features such as a king-size spa bath and kitchen facilities. Among the inn’s many antiques and memorabilia, children love the full-size fire truck.
One of Australia’s true wilderness areas, Kangaroo Island teems with wildlife against a backdrop of rugged sandstone cliffs, sparkling beaches and beautiful bushland. Often called the Australian Galapagos, it’s considered the best place in the country to see the greatest range of free-roaming wildlife including kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, sea lions, penguins, goannas and a wide variety of birdlife including the rare glossy black cockatoo and endemic crimson rosella.
Do: Take a full-day 4X4 tour with a local specialist guide whose knowledge brings the island to life. It’s the local guides who know where to find kangaroos grazing in the shade, koalas sleeping among the gum leaves and where to search for the elusive spiny anteater. And they’re the only ones who can take you walking among the sea lions at Seal Bay. Additional adventure options include sand boarding on the spectacular sand dunes at Little Sahara.
Stay: Families are made particularly welcome on Kangaroo Island in accommodations that include B&Bs, self-contained cottages, an historic sheep farm homestead and exclusive lodge accommodation.
South Australian Outback
The Outback is just that – out back with red earth, brilliant blue skies and iconic outback towns.
Do: The true outback experience begins with a tour to the Flinders Ranges. Authentic Aboriginal rock paintings, working cattle stations, magnificent hiking trails, incredible local food and wine, native wildlife and ragged mountain ranges all make up the Flinders experience.
Ask us about taking a three-day customized tour with a local specialist guide through Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges over hills and ridges to Wilpena Pound, a region that was once an ancient seabed and now carries some of the most important early fossils.
Wilpena Pound is an 11-mile-long natural amphitheatre set amidst the vibrant colors of 800 million-year-old quartzite and limestone. The whole area changes color with the sun, but to gain a full understanding of the area it’s best to take a half-hour flight over it. From the air, you can see the stumps of massive mountains, eroded from a height that once approximated the Himalayas. These stumps form the rim and are all that remains of a huge dome of rock that was pushed up from the ocean bed 650 million years ago.
A mandatory stop for lunch at the Prairie Hotel is a highlight of the three-day tour. First licensed in 1876, this historic outback pub has become a hub for moviemakers drawn to the beautiful landscape and gourmands drawn to its cuisine.
Stay: Accommodation in the Flinders Ranges is diverse and includes a luxury sheep station at Wilpena Pound, a moderately priced resort at Wilpena Pound, the pub in Parachilna, a remote resort at Arkaroola in the Northern Flinders Ranges and camping throughout.
A two-hour plane ride from Adelaide takes you to Coober Pedy, the town that lives under the ground. Best-known as Australia’s greatest source of opals, the town’s name derives from an Aboriginal phrase “kupa piti,” meaning white man’s hole. In the remote desert town more than half of the 4,000 residents have chosen to live underground to escape the extreme summer and winter temperatures. Here you’ll an underground church, underground hotels, a golf course without a blade of grass and the abandoned spacecraft from the film Pitch Black forever parked outside a local hostel.
Do: Join a sunset ghost and star tour and meet the locals as they visit an opal mine and fossick for opals among the mullock heaps. Then take a guided tour to discover the world that exists happily underground. Families with more time can join the local mailman in his 4X4 vehicle to deliver the mail to an area that covers the remote townships of Oodnadatta and William Creek. You’ll stop at four vast cattle stations; swim at waterholes; view wildlife and
wildflowers, historic ruins and monuments, flowing springs and part of the Overland Telegraph Line; and have an opportunity to visit the legendary William Creek Hotel.
The Murray River – often called the “Mighty Murray” – is Australia’s largest river. See the spectacular gorges and teeming wetlands of this river’s lower reaches aboard a traditional paddle steamer. An Aboriginal guide introduces passengers to magnificent galleries of Aboriginal rock art, smoke stains from ancient fires and artifacts that have been unearthed by archaeologists. And you’ll never go unaccompanied with the prolific bird population of pelicans, kingfishers, reed warblers and swallows. Watch for kangaroos, emus and wombats in the grasslands and scrub, too.
South Australia’s Beaches
South Australia’s beaches are widely recognized as being some of the country’s best. Many remote beaches are “footprint free” and afford the chance to swim with sea lions and dolphins, snorkel with giant cuttlefish and leafy sea dragons, dive in ancient limestone caves, cage dive with Great White sharks off the Eyre peninsula, watch pelicans play in the dunes and the saltpans at Coorong National Park and watch the southern white whales that come to give birth off the Fleurieu Peninsula between May and October.
These suggestions for a Delectable Sampling of South Australia may be perfect for some, but please keep in mind that our specialty lies in Designing Custom Itineraries to suit your personal interests, desires, budget and schedule.