Delicious Food, Unique Art & Culture in South Australia

Delicious food, fascinating culture, and unique natural beauty make this one of the most diverse states in the country, yet South Australia receives a low number of travelers each year. Here are a few ways to enjoy the fresh produce and laid-back communities of this underrated state.


Photo © Getty Images/Kieran Stone

The Wine State

South Australia is home to many award-winning vineyards, and produces half of the country’s wine. While there are plenty of great wines to choose from, the unique climate makes it perfect for producing Riesling and Shiraz.

The Barossa Valley, an hour from Adelaide, is one of the oldest and most acclaimed wine regions in the world. For those that want to channel their inner sommelier, head to a wine school in the Barossa Valley to learn about the intricate differences in tastes and textures. If drinking wine is more your thing, visit two of the most famous wineries, Penfolds or Rockford, on a wine tasting tour.

In Clare Valley, two hours from Adelaide, Claymore Wines has a great selection of locally produced wines, as well as cheeses and olives to keep your stomach full during a day at the vineyard.

Eden Valley is another wine region just over an hours’ drive from Adelaide. Similar to the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley produces great Riesling and Shiraz, due to the perfect climate. Try Flaxman or Fernfield Wines for great wine and local food, such as the broad selection of cheese platters or the Mt Pleasant smoked salmon tartlets.

A vineyard in the Barossa Valley. Photo credit: Getty Images/neoellis

Drive the Eyre Peninsula Seafood Trail

South Australia is also known for its abundance of seafood, and the local seafood industry places a major focus on freshness and sustainability.

Follow the Eyre Peninsula Seafood Trail between Whyalla and Ceduna, along the way, you can try fresh prawns, oysters, lobsters, tuna, and more. Stop at Tumba Bay and have a go at catching your own lunch, with chartered fishing tours on the search for King George whiting. Locks Well, between Port Lincoln and Streaky Bay, is known as one of the best salmon fishing spots in Australia, so there's an abundance of quality salmon in restaurants in the area.

Visit the most legendary seafood restaurant in South Australia, Sammy’s On the Marina, where a bucket of fresh South Australian King Prawns is one of their most ordered dishes, or tuck into delicious King Coffin Bay Oysters at Port Lincoln Hotel.


The state capital, Adelaide has a small population of just over one million and maintains a small city vibe. The Art Gallery of South Australia has one the most robust art collections of modern and Indigenous Australian works, but there are many smaller galleries to see. Established in 1989, The Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts center, and showcases vibrant Indigenous visual and performing arts.

Adelaide is also known for its vibrant festival calendar. The most well-known is WOMADelaide, a four-day celebration of multicultural music and art. Listen to local music, engage in talks about the environment and sustainability or take part in workshops like soul capoeira or yoga.

The annual Adelaide Festival has been bringing an eclectic mix of outstanding performers, and celebrates creative excellence and draws huge arts-loving crowds.

Flinders Ranges

One of the largest mountain ranges in Australia, the Flinders Ranges have particular significance for the indigenous community. See the landscapes on a tour departing from towns in the region, such as Quorn, or most tours leave directly from Adelaide. A lot of companies provide pickup and drop off from Adelaide, which makes it easy to access Flinders Ranges without having to rent your own car.

Tours will provide a deeper understanding of the history of the Indigenous Adnyamathanha people. Local Indigenous guides lead the tours, telling stories of the past and connections to the present. While you’re there, check out Wilpena Pound, a massive natural rock amphitheater-shaped out of the mountains. Originally thought to have been a volcano, it was formed through the erosion of sedimentary rock.

Coober Pedy

The small Outback town of Coober Pedy is the opal mining capital of the world but only has a few thousand residents. Due to the overwhelming heat during summer months (December to February), many people live in underground homes, dug out of the rock. No matter what the temperature was outside, these homes remain at a comfortable temperature.

Guided by residents you can tour some of the underground homes, or “dugouts” as the locals call them. If you want to experience what it’s like to live in an underground home, spend the night in one of the many underground accommodation options.

An abandoned car in Coober Pedy. Photo credit: Getty Images/ladiras


The historic port of Goolwa, an hour south of Adelaide, sits at the mouth of the Murray River. Goolwa was founded in 1853 as the first inland port in Australia and was integral to the country’s trade and transport links. The town hosts the fun South Australian Wooden Boat Festival every odd-numbered year (the next is 2019), where boats of all shapes and sizes are on display, from canoes to paddle steamers, kayaks and wooden river vessels. The festival is also an opportunity to try some of South Australia’s best local food and wine.


The town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula, was a copper mining town, founded when copper was discovered in 1859. It’s a great town to base yourself while you explore the Yorke Peninsula, known for its great food and wine. Buy fresh seafood straight from the Yorke Peninsula in local restaurants like Palate 2 Palette, well-known for their tapas plates. Go on a wine tasting tour at Barley Stacks Wines, grab a beer at Wallaroo Coopers Alehouse, and satisfy your sweet tooth with some chocolate from Minlaton Chocolaterie.

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