The Australian state of South Australia had long been looked over in favour of more well-known destinations like Sydney or Melbourne, however the secret is getting out. In 2014, Lonely Planet named South Australia one of the top ten regions in the world, and since then, more and more tourists have planned travel to South Australia to enjoy its unique charms.
Still not convinced? Here are our top eight things to do in South Australia, that you probably didn’t know existed!
Taste Some of the World’s Best Shiraz
South Australia has several excellent wine regions, however most wine connoisseurs will tell you that it is the Barossa Valley, about an hour north of Adelaide, that is the most iconic. This wine region is most famous for the spicy, full-bodied variety Shiraz, however there are plenty of other varietals as well. Best of all, a day out in the Barossa Valley offers the opportunity to chat with passionate wine makers in person. Even if you’re not a wine expert, you’ll love the Barossa – winemakers and laidback and informal, and just want you to enjoy their wine.
Meet Some Lazy Sea Lions
Everyone knows the famous Australian animals like koalas and kangaroos, but did you know that South Australia is also home to one of the world’s largest sea lion colonies? The sea lions call Kangaroo Island home, and one of the most amazing things to do on the island is to get within metres of them on a guided tour. This is particularly incredible when the sea lion pups are born every year around July. There are also many other fun activities on Kangaroo Island, including sandboarding or visiting the Remarkable Rocks.
Discover an Underground Town
One of the most unique things to do in South Australia is to visit Coober Pedy, a town which is nearly entirely underground. Located in the Australian outback some eight hours’ drive from Adelaide, the residents have created an underground network of shops, restaurants, hotels and homes underground to escape the intense heat. It’s become quite the tourist attraction for visitors who come to check out the underground hommes and opal jewellers.
There aren’t many places in Australia where you can actually hold one of Australia’s cutest local residents, but South Australia is one of them. Located just half an hour from the Adelaide City Centre, Gorge Wildlife Park is one of the best places to hold a koala in Australia. Best of all – it’s free with entry into the park, which also allows you to meet some other lovable animals including kangaroos and wallabies.
Admire the Natural Beauty of Mount Gambier
The regional capital of Mount Gambier has not one but two amazing natural wonders to enjoy. The first is the Blue Lake, a lake that is the most incredibly deep blue colour and attracts many admirers every year. The other is the Umpherston sinkhole garden, which is a beautiful overgrown garden located in a massive sinkhole. It is beautiful to look at, and is also perfect for photographers – it looks great on Instagram!
Explore the Naracoorte Caves
Listen on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Naracoorte Caves are more than 50,000 years old. It is a large network of caves so there are many different tours and trails that you can take, meaning the caves are appropriate for visitors of all different ages and physical abilities. Plus, the Caves run specialised tours for experienced cave explorers and also photographers.
Visit the Largest Undercover Market in the Southern Hemisphere
Yep, South Australia is home to the largest undercover market in the Southern Hemisphere – and its conveniently located right in the middle of the capital, Adelaide. The market boasts dozens of stalls selling all kinds of fresh produce and multicultural ingredients, and is the most visited place in South Australia with more than four million annual visitors. Some particular favourites include ‘the Smelly Cheese Shop’ and the Kangaroo Island Spirits stall.
Sample Some of the World’s Best and Freshest Oysters
South Australia is rapidly becoming known as a foodie hotspot, and one of the most underappreciated destinations is Coffin Bay. Near the outback of Australia, this region exports large, tasty oysters all over the world – but you can sample them fresh out of the sea in Coffin Bay itself. There are many great spots to enjoy them all year round, but a particularly fun time to visit is during the annual Oysterfest held in nearby Ceduna.
As you can see, there is certainly no shortage of amazing things to do in South Australia – and many are unique experiences that are found nowhere else in Australia. With these experience in South Australia, you will see a different, authentic side of living in Australia and create memories that will last a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? South Australia is beckoning!