Nothing quite compares to the feel of the open road. A true traveler knows that it’s not so much the destination as it is the journey and one of the best ways to embody that is by going on a road trip.
South Australia is full of amazing attractions and a variety of natural environments that can be enjoyed. Whether you’re looking for a short sojourn or a longer adventure, Southern Australia has a number of excellent road trips for you to enjoy — and if none of them sound quite right, improvise! After all, the fun of a road trip is never being quite sure what you’ll discover!
Starting off in Adelaide you can make a large curve along the coast of Southern Australia, visiting a number of excellent beaches, coves, and wineries as you travel down from Adelaide to Cape Jervais. After spending a day enjoying the local food markets, you can rent a campervan in Adelaide and head south to McLaren Vale, where you can visit various wine cellars for a taste of the locally made beverages.
From there, a short drive south will bring you to Victor Harbour, where you can enjoy a boat ride, visit the penguin center at Granite Island, or (if traveling from June to September) go whale watching. Heading west will bring you to Cape Jervais where you can catch a ferry to Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third largest island and climb the Little Sahara sand dunes.
Goolwa to Mt. Gambier
A great trip either on its own or (for those looking for a longer sojourn) in conjunction with the Fleurieu Peninsula route. Starting in Goolwa, at the mouth of the Murray River, hosts the Wooden Boat Festival in February, but is full of watery fun all year long.
The paddle steamer PS Oscar W, built in 1908, offers weekend cruises up the Murray River. Traveling up to Murray Bridge you can visit the nearby Monarto Zoological Park for some animal encounters, then head south along A8 and A66 to Naracoorte.
Naracoorte and Naracoorte Caves National Park offer a number of caving tours to go on, including adventure tours that let you explore the deepest nooks and crannies of either Stick-Tomato or Blackberry Caves. For equine fans, nearby Kerami offers horse tours of the coast which can include a picnic lunch. If you stop in Mount Gambier, be sure to visit the Kanawinka Geopark and take in the beauty of Mount Gambier’s three gorgeous crater lakes: Blue Lake Crater, Valley Lake Crater, and Leg of Mutton Lake Crater.
From here, you can move on to the famous Great Ocean Road, enjoying all the scenery along the way, and end your trip in Victoria.
Port Lincoln to Port Augusta
The Eyre Peninsula is home to some of Australia’s most beautiful coastlines, national parks, and to some of the best seafood — Port Lincoln isn’t known as the “Seafood Capitol of Australia” for nothing! While tasting some of the great local fare, make sure to visit Calypso Star Charters for their sea lion or shark tours, as well as the beautiful Lincoln National Park.
Traveling up the coast, you’ll pass by Cowell and the Franklin Harbor Conservation Park, which offer several scenic drives, before arriving in Whyalla. Whyalla’s Maritime Museum is a must-see for travelers interested in maritime history and shipbuilding, and is home to and provides tours of the HMAS Whyalla, the first ship built in Whyalla’s shipyard back in 1941.
A quick drive north to Port Augusta will bring you within range of both the Whyalla Conservation Park and the Australian Arid Lands Botanical Garden. The garden takes advantage of Port Augusta’s coastal setting to provide examples of the myriad types of flora found in both Australia’s arid regions and in its marine environment, creating a mix of flora and fauna that is unique and truly special.
Photo Credits: Revelateur Studio via Creative Commons.