On the road again: Top 5 South Australian road trips

South Australia is a road tripper’s delight, with rugged coastlines, wine country, and true outback experiences. Where will you go first in the state where nature meets culture?

1. Adelaide to Flinders Ranges – Ikara (Explorer’s Way)

Distance: Approximately 429km

You could lose yourself for weeks in the vastness of the Flinders Ranges, so set your course for a specific destination – Ikara, otherwise known as Wilpena Pound. The natural amphitheatre of ancient rock formations and mountains is as far north as you’ll get on sealed roads in this part of the Ranges.

The road to Ikara (Wilpena Pound)
Use Wilpena Pound Resort as your base to explore, and enjoy the nightly Welcome to Country at 6pm. If you’re over self-catering, head to The Woolshed Restaurant, where seasonal produce guides the menu, and the lamb shanks are the stuff of legend. Live life in the slow lane and take a trip on the heritage Pichi Richi Railway. Daydream your way through blue bush landscapes from the comfort of a restored wooden carriage. Anyone for trainspotting?

2. Port Lincoln to Ceduna (Seafood Frontier)

Distance: Approximately 403km

Get the blood pumping by diving with Great Whites in Port Lincoln before hitting the road to soak up the Eyre Peninsula. It would be a sin to drive past Coffin Bay and not sample their famous oysters, which set the scene for the sumptuous seafood adventure ahead.

Oyster Farm Tours, Eyre Peninsula

Take your time and break the trip up with a night at Perlubie Seas in Streaky Bay. But be warned (or thrilled) – it’s adults only. Fuel up with breakfast and the coast’s best coffee at Bay Funktion. From there, you could get to Ceduna in just over an hour.

3. CBD to Adelaide Hills (Epicurean Way)

Distance: Approximately 26km

If you’re staying in the city and short on time, head for the hills! Treat the little ones to a foodie adventure with a day on the Kids’ Food, covering all the food groups – from strawberry picking at Beerenberg Farm (yes, the jam people) to a chocolate factory.

Too much for just one day? Keep it simple (and kid-friendly) at the Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park, where the pool and jumping pillow will take care of any energy your kids haven’t used up.

With loads of winding, hilly roads, the drive is part of the fun for an adventure on the city’s doorstep. And play some Hilltop Hoods in the car for atmosphere (it’s their turf).

Run through the vines in the Adelaide Hills

4. Wallaroo to Innes National Park, via west coast (Coastal Way)

Distance: Approximately 205km

If you’re exploring the Yorke Peninsula, check out of Wallaroo Marina Apartments and head south towards the Innes National Park on the peninsula’s edge.

Ethel Beach, Yorke Peninsula

Find your zen in the park exploring lighthouses, shipwrecks, fishing, surfing, and trekking. It’s a beach bum’s paradise, with Shell Beach at the far end of the park a highlight. If you’ve ever wondered how Richard Branson feels owning his own island, this secluded spot gives you a taste. Be warned, it might be hard to go back to reality.

5. Adelaide to McLaren Vale (Epicurean Way)

Distance: Approximately 40km

A day trip into the McLaren Vale wine region leaves you spoilt for choice on which cellar doors to visit, but the d’Arenberg Cube sings a siren’s song of sensory delights. Get hands-on with a wine inhalation room, a virtual fermenter, and a 360-degree immersive video experience. Take home a souvenir you can use—visit  The Blending Bench to create, bottle, name and label your own bottle of wine. The start of a new career?

McLaren Vale wine country

Head back to Adelaide for a stay at The Watson Hotel (inspired by Indigenous artist Yannima Pirkarli Tommy Watson). Kick back and update your Instagram: #awesome.


Heads up! Due to COVID-19, government restrictions are in constant review and travel guidelines may change between when you make your booking and when you travel. We strongly recommend that all travellers seek further information about destinations and attractions before visiting, take extra care and follow all rules to ensure their own health and safety.

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