5 reasons to visit South Australia (that don’t involve wine)

When you hear South Australia, you typically think of two scrumptious words: ‘food’ and ‘wine’. And if that’s what you’re into, you’ll naturally be drawn to Adelaide and all the fantastic wine regions that surround it. But in addition to the usual foodie adventures, SA is home to some of the most incredible national parks, scenery, and beaches in Australia. My husband and I recently had an unreal chance to check out this stunning state and we loved it so much we just had to share! So here are five big reasons to visit South Australia that aren’t just about filling your tummy.

1. The Fleurieu Peninsula

So many vibrant little towns to explore! Goolwa has some of the best country markets, all along the water. They’re on the first and third Sunday of everything month, with live music, quirky antiques, and some seriously yummy food. My favourite is the pie stall, which has everything from your traditional meat pie to mushroom and lentil.

If you want to catch a wave or just fancy a long, relaxing walk, neighbouring Middleton, with its famous surf beach, makes for another great stop. You can buy fresh vegies straight from the farm or try the local cafés – they’re the real deal when it comes to coffee.

Also check out Victor Harbour – the largest coastal town on the peninsula, with plenty of restaurants and entertainment. You can even ride a camel along the water! From Victor Harbour, take a quick jaunt (by foot or on an old-fashioned tram) across the 630-metre pier to Granite Island, where you can enjoy stunning views of the mainland and sparkling blue ocean while sipping coffee at the cutest outdoor café ever.

Granite Island.
Cutest café ever!

2. Kangaroo Island

Animal lovers, this one’s for you. Head to Cape Jervis at the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula and catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island. SeaLink has some awesome tours to choose from – we do a one-day tour and get taken around to all the best spots via a comfy bus, which we share with a bunch of new friends. We see everything, from Kangaroo Island’s beautiful, rugged coastlines, to Seal Bay’s charming and blubbery locals 😉

Kangaroo Island.
Making friends with the locals at Seal Bay.
Another incredible coastline.

3. The Flinders Ranges

The Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park is about a 5hr drive from Adelaide and one of the most serene and unique places I’ve visited. There are countless hikes, all varying in intensity, and each with an unreal vista or ancient rock art to greet you at the end. If you’re game for a few bumps, there are 4WD tracks throughout the park that will take you through what feels like unexplored territory. And for the animal lovers, there’s everything you’d expect from the Aussie outback, including whole families of wild emus.

And make sure you stick around for sunset! The colours of the majestic rocks changing in front of you, while you sit huddled around a campfire, is an experience you won’t soon forget.

The Flinders Ranges.
A magical sunset.
Skippy and friends.

4. Redcliff and Tumby Bay

If you’re driving down the Eyre Peninsula to check out the incredible national parks at its southern tip, don’t miss this hidden gem of a spot, just 45km north of Port Lincoln. Tumby Bay is a classic Aussie coastal town that’s famous for its 10km (no, that’s not a typo) long jetty that’s perfect for fishing. And if you want some real tranquility, with not a soul around, drive 20 minutes south to Redcliff. Its still, crystal-clear water makes it the perfect spot for me to drop a makeshift anchor (a rope tied around a rock) from my donut raft and kick back with a book for the afternoon.

Redcliff, SA.

5. Lincoln National Park

Lincoln National Park has the perfect balance of beaches, hikes, wildlife, and seriously authentic camping. You could easily do the park in a day, but in my opinion that just wouldn’t do it justice. We spend the night at Fisherman Point Campground, where we set up at the edge of a cliff, with the sunset behind us and a stunning 5km beach in front of us. On our first day, we do a 10km hike to two different beaches, catch a (blurry) photo of an emu sprinting past us, and come home to a sunset sky of oranges, pinks, and purples. On our second day, we take it easy and just wade out into the shallow ocean below our campsite. We have a solid 500-600m stretch of warm water that only comes up to our knees. It’s perfect to for splashing around in, so we pull out the skim ball for a bit of fun.

Lincoln National Park.
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