Travel Time: Adelaide – 2 hrs from Sydney, 2½ hrs from Melbourne, 4½ hrs from Perth. Adelaide to Coober Pedy – 2 hrs from Adelaide. Adelaide to Kangaroo Island – 1 hr flight/4 hr drive.
Weather: South Australia experiences four beautiful seasons, each with their own distinct charm. In the southern parts of the state, summers are warm and dry, with Adelaide enjoying the lowest humidity of any Australian city. Temperatures average 16.7 to 28.6°C, occasionally soaring up to 40°C. Winters are reasonably mild, with temperatures between 8 to 16°C and very little rainfall – Adelaide is the driest of all capital cities. Spring and autumn are pleasant with averages between 12 to 22.7°C. Autumn is a beautiful season when the countryside takes on golden hues. The northern parts of the state, experience ‘desert’ Outback conditions – with summer days recorded up to 50°C and winter nights often falling below 0°C.
Currency: AUD (Australian dollar)
Major destinations: Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges, Kangaroo Island, South Australian Wine Country, Coober Pedy, Simpson Desert
Holiday types: City break, beach, outback, nature, active adventure for all ages
Adelaide is the beating heart of South Australia – alive with colourful year-round events, vast green spaces, superb beaches and animal encounters galore. Encircled by green parks and playgrounds, the best for kids are Adelaide Park Lands, Civic Park, Bonython Park and Jubilee Playground. Glenelg Beach is a family favourite where you can take a catamaran tour and swim with the nearby bottlenose dolphins. Venture into the Adelaide Hills for nature and animals at Cleland Wildlife Park, Hahndorf Farm Barn and Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is dotted with pretty coastal towns among thriving vineyards and is one of Australia’s best whale watching regions. Victor Harbour is a favourite for families, home to playgrounds, the SA Whale Centre and camel rides along the beach. Visit Deep Creek Conservation Park for more wildlife and incredible views. Take an historic paddle steamer along the Murray River, cycle the Encounter Bikeway, take a pro surfing lesson on Moana Beach and visit Granite Island for its resident Little Penguins.
For an animal haven head to Kangaroo Island, home to sea lions, penguins, pelicans, whales, koalas, wallabies and kangaroos. Terrific rehabilitation centres and up-close encounters are what to expect, with all animals living in their natural habitat. Watch sea lions lounging around Seal Bay Conservation Park, visit Remarkable Rocks for surreal rock formations, Little Sahara to surf the sand dunes and Parndana Wildlife Park for hand-feeding kangaroos.
Venture out to remote Coober Pedy. The Opal Capital of Australia, its other-worldly desert landscape and historic opal mines make for a unique outback experience. Or explore the stunning Flinders Ranges. Ride the historic Pichi Richi scenic railway, visit ancient Wilpena Pound and witness the rugged mountains ranges and sweeping gorges of this 540 million-year-old landscape.