From the arid outback to the temperate peninsulas, South Australia is a top destination for those who want to see the country’s most rugged and unique sites.
With fascinating animals on Kangaroo Island, historic destinations on the Eyre Peninsula, and amazing views on Mount Gambier, you will never run out of places to visit when you explore South Australia.
11 Top-Rated Attractions in South Australia
1. Kangaroo Island
The third-largest island off of mainland Australia, Kangaroo Island is a massive 4,416 square kilometers packed full of tourist attractions and wildlife.
On Kangaroo Island, you can see wildlife, such as sea lions at Seal Bay, koalas, and, of course, kangaroo.
The huge island is also home to Flinders Chase National Park. Here, you can find gorgeous attractions like the Remarkable Rocks and Adrimarls Arch.
Additionally, the park offers bushwalking, scuba diving, whale watching, mountain biking, and fishing.
As the capital of South Australia, Adelaide is teeming with great things to do on your trip.
An area favorite is the Adelaide Central Market. As one of the largest fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere, visitors can find tons of locally made foods, like cheeses, baked goods, and produce.
The metropolitan also holds the premier performing arts center in South Australia, the Adelaide Festival Centre. At the center, you can watch performances as far-flung as operas to standup comedies.
Or, you can head to the Adelaide Oval, which is most famous for sporting events but also holds other performances like concerts.
Additionally, just because Adelaide is urban doesn’t mean that you can’t see any nature. The city and surrounding area contain wildlife parks, like the Adelaide Zoo, where you can get up close with Australia’s animals.
Another place in the area to get personal with nature is the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Here, you can see all of the lush greenery that Australia has to offer as well as plants from all over the world.
Similarly, Adelaide’s beaches are top-quality destinations, whether you want to swim with dolphins, hop aboard a fishing tour, or just lounge on the sands.
Lastly, don’t forget to explore the Adelaide Hills, a rugged area east of the city.
3. Clare Valley
Clare Valley, about 145 kilometers north of the capital, is one of the country’s oldest wine-producing areas and a popular hiking region.
If you’re a wine lover, there are many amazing wineries to try out in the valley, like Sevenhill Cellars. Or, you can go on the Clare UnCorked private tour and get acquainted with wines from all over the region.
For those who prefer to indulge in nature, Clare Valley contains some of the most beautiful scenery in the area. To get up close with the region’s landscape, explore the Riesling Trail or the Spring Gully Scenic Drive 18.
Meanwhile, history buffs won’t want to miss the Martindale Hall Historic Museum, housed inside a Georgian-style sandstone mansion.
4. Barossa Valley
A famous wine-producing region, Barossa Valley is a favorite for those who would love to see Australia while tasting great wine.
The valley is an easy day trip from Adelaide, so when you visit the capital, you won’t even have to rent a hotel to see the valley’s wineries and other sites.
5. Flinders Ranges
Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range you can visit in South Australia and begin in the outback north of Adelaide. The area is best known for its spectacular scenery, and tourists flock to gorgeous natural phenomena, like Alligator Gorge and the Mannum Waterfalls.
6. Fleurieu Peninsula
One of the most astounding coastlines in Australia, Fleurieu Peninsula is a top destination for nature lovers and wine drinkers alike, with plenty of places to visit.
Those who love marine life will find that the bay’s waters are some of the best in the world for snorkelers and scuba divers. Also, wine drinkers can savor world-class Shiraz and Cabernet at McLaren Vale.
There’s also Port Elliot on the island’s southern side, which sports gorgeous beaches and historic homes. Plus, Waterfall Gully, south of the capital, is a great place to find natural wonders.
7. Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula is a hilly area in south-central South Australia and includes a stunning coastline.
The swimming safaris are a tourist favorite where you can swim with animals like dolphins, bluefin tuna, sea lions, great white sharks, giant cuttlefish, and leafy sea dragons.
Or, you can go swimming on one of the peninsula’s beaches, such as Perlubie Beach on the Great Australian Bight or Stamford Beach in the Southern Ocean. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see some of the area’s southern right whales.
Port Lincoln is also a great place to visit in South Australia, especially if you are interested in seafood.
Another fun destination on the Eyre is Coffin Bay, where you can go fishing, snorkeling, or boating. The area is also a favorite for oyster lovers who can eat all they want at one of the bay’s many seafood restaurants.
For a unique experience, you can set off for Lake Macdonnell, which contains the famous Pink Lake. The waters here are completely pink because the algae create a red pigment that changes the lake’s color.
Finally, don’t forget Gawler Ranges National Park, where you can study geological anomalies, native plants and animals, and Aboriginal culture.
8. Murray River
Murray River is Australia’s longest river, beginning in Lake Alexandrina and heading eastward towards New South Wales. However, when people visit this extensive river in South Australia, they often head to either Murray River National Park or Coorong National Park.
9. Mount Gambier
Mt. Gambier is both a volcanic crater and a town that partially surrounds its slopes. Located on South Australia’s Limestone Coast, the land is part of the UNESCO-endorsed Kanawinka Geopark.
One of the main tourist attractions on Mt. Gambier is the Umpherston Sinkhole, which was once a cave until the top layer caved into itself. The sinkhole is now a beautiful garden sunk into the earth where you can feed possums by hand.
Visitors also enjoy Blue Lake, which lies inside one of the volcano’s craters. Blue Lake is particularly fascinating because the color changes from a somber blue in the winter to an intense turquoise in the summer.
10. Yorke Peninsula
The Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide, is best-known for its pristine coastal landscape where people come to bushwalk, fish, swim, surf, camp, boat, watch wildlife, and just absorb the natural beauty.
11. Coober Pedy
Coober Pedy is one of the most novel attractions in South Australia because the small town of just 1,700 people is almost entirely underground.
A former mining town, Coober Pedy lies in the central part of the state. The residents, who began to move in around 1915, decided to build underground homes to get some relief from the extreme outback heat.
Top tourist attractions in the area include several museums and churches, which are entirely underground. The town even has a golf course on top of the earth, but people only play at night because of the heat.
Also, many guests enjoy the unconventionality of staying in an underground hotel. Some of which even have their own swimming pool.