The Murray River is Australia’s longest, spanning an incredible 1,558mi (2,508km) across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. There’s no better place to experience its grandiosity than in South Australia. In the small city of Murray Bridge, an hours’ drive from Adelaide, hire a kayak, pack a picnic, and paddle along the river until you find the perfect picnic spot.
You can fish here for Murray Cod, Callop, Catfish, Bream
Established in 1891, Belair National Park is the state’s oldest national park, and is only a half hour drive from Adelaide, making it an easy day trip if you don’t have time to venture far.
Take a hike through the park to see fire scars on ancient trees, Indigenous tree carvings, waterfalls, lakes
South Australia’s only World Heritage Site, Naracoorte Caves National Park has a vast system of caves. Book a tour to learn about the resident bats and chambers filled with fossils.
If you’re a caver, go straight to the Starburst Chamber and Fox Cave to crawl your way through the caves with an experienced guide, while learning about the history and geology along the way. If you’re new to the sport, book a novice tour to build your confidence.
There are hundreds of different hiking trails across the state, all with varying degrees of difficulty. Walk the short 1.4mi (2.4km) Ridge Trail in Mount George Conservation Park that leads to a rocky outcrop at the summit of Mount George for views over Bridgewater to Mount Lofty. Or take the very short 0.3mi (0.5km) walk to the summit of Mount Barker to see the countryside of Adelaide Hills, Porongurup Range, Stirling Ranges and the town of Mount Barker below.
If you’re looking for a challenge, take a hike to the top of one of the highest peaks in South Flinders Ranges, Mount Brown (3,162ft/964m). The loop hike including the spur trail to Mount Brown is 9.3mi (15km
South Australia has some phenomenal dive sites along the coast, but many people head to Port Lincoln to go cage diving with Great White sharks around the Neptune Islands. If that sounds terrifying, instead swim with sea lions at Grindal Island or Hopkins, just offshore from Lincoln National Park.
Adventure seekers will find a number of water activities on the Fleurieu Peninsula, such as snorkeling, diving, fishing, and sailing. Beginner and experienced divers will love the variety of dive sites, such as ex HMAS Hobart that was sunk in 2002 to make an artificial reef.
On the lower end of the Peninsula is Rapid Bay, a seaside community with a beautiful beach. Snorkelers may get a glimpse of a leafy sea dragon, a seahorse that is unique to the region. You can also take a sea cave kayak tour to visit a local colony of inquisitive Long Nosed Fur-seals.
Launch your road trip adventure in the far southeastern corner of the state at Mount Gambier, where you can explore the 90ft-deep cave in Cave Gardens, or take a guided tour of the sinkhole cave system at Engelbrecht Cave.
Drive northwest 277mi (447km) to Willunga, where you can start the Epicurean Way road trip that links great food and wine destinations in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and Clare Valley. Along the way, stop off to enjoy some of South Australia’s best food, wine, and beer.
Drive along the Limestone Coast for incredible coastal views, and stop at Canunda National Park for a bushwalk along the Coola Outstation Historical Walk, or Beachport Conservation Park to stay at 3 Mile Bend Campground and observe a variety of water birds on the lake.
South Australia’s Outback can be a challenging place to travel, and planning is key to staying safe. Renting a 4WD vehicle is the safest way to experience any road trip that goes into the desert, but ensure you have the latest maps, emergency equipment, off-road recovery gear, and stay up to date with information about weather and hazards on the road.
Perhaps reconsider visiting that elephant park. Here are 5 ethical things to think about before you pop elephant riding on your itinerary.
A bad wildlife experience may not always be easy to spot. As with any aspect of responsible travel, do your research.