Aerial panorama of Hanson Bay and South West River, South Australia

Things to do in  South Australia

Fun in the land Down Under

South Australia encompasses a diversity of landscapes, from the red earth sunsets of the Flinders Ranges to the dramatic coastal cliffs of Kangaroo Island. In the heart of it all is the capital city of Adelaide. Although it ranks as the driest state on the continent, it is known for abundant wine regions and fine food production, complimented by a relaxed attitude and slower pace of life. Things to do in South Australia include visiting Kangaroo Island, sipping on wine in Barossa Valley, hiking Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, and seeking culture in Adelaide.

Top 15 attractions in South Australia

Kangaroo Island

With its unmistakably Aussie name, it’s little surprise that Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to spot native Australian wildlife. Australia's third-largest island, this unspoiled haven is a trove of natural wonders, from red rock cliffs to sandy beaches, sweeping dunes, and wild bushlands.More

Wirra Wirra Vineyards

In the world of wine, the Adelaide region is known for producing some of Australia’s best vintages. Such is the case at Wirra Wirra Vineyards, where talented winemakers have mastered the craft since 1894, enticing visitors from around the globe to sip on the fruits of their labor. One of South Australia's most iconic wineries, Wirra Wirra Vineyards is known for quirky, eccentric environment and affable, fun-loving staff, as well as for its fine Shiraz wines and array of reds and whites.Take a part in a Wirra Wirra wines master class to learn the technique behind the award-winning wines of the world-renowned McClaren Vale region, and to explore the vineyard, tour the winery, and sample some of Wirra Wirra winery's best. To get in the celebratory spirit without imbibing, visitors can ring the winery's nearly one-ton church bell, the Angelus Bell, which is used during special occasions and also completely at random.More

Flinders Chase National Park

With wind-sculpted coastal cliffs, remote bushland trails, historic lighthouses, and woodlands teeming with wildlife, Flinders Chase National Park is one of Australia’s most diverse wildernesses. Blanketing the western tip of Kangaroo Island, the park is ideal for hiking, animal-spotting, and outdoor activities.More

Admirals Arch

On the southwestern tip of Kangaroo Island, Admirals Arch offers one of the island’s most photo-worthy views. Framed by the jagged arch of an ancient cave—carved out of the sea cliffs by centuries of pummelling surf—the vast swathes of blue ocean and cloud-free skies are even more magical at sunset.More

Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park

Kangaroos might be the star of the show on Kangaroo Island, but the Aussie icons aren’t the only animals to call the island home. At Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, you’ll find more than 600 animals and 150 different species, including native Australian creatures such as koalas, wallabies, echidnas, cassowaries, and little penguins.More

Seal Bay Conservation Park

Kangaroos aren’t the only Aussie creatures that call Kangaroo Island home—you’ll also find one of the largest sea lion colonies in the world here. Seal Bay Conservation Park is dedicated to protecting and preserving the endangered animals, and gives you the chance to admire wild sea lions in their natural environment.More

Adelaide Oval

One of the world’s most scenic arenas, the Adelaide Oval dates back to 1871. Best known for cricket, the defining sport of British colonies, it also hosts concerts, rugby, Australian rules football, and more. Besides a cafe, fine dining restaurant, and corporate events spaces, it offers a museum devoted to cricket legend Donald Bradman.More

Little Sahara

Vast wind-sculpted sand dunes stretch out across the horizon just north of Vivonne Bay on the south coast of Kangaroo Island. Nicknamed “Little Sahara,” the dunes tower up to 250 feet (76 meters) high, affording magnificent views across the Great Australian Bight and serving as a natural playground for sandboarding and tobogganing.More

Mt. Lofty

Despite its name, Mt. Lofty is far from lofty, standing just 2,385 feet (727 meters) high in the Mt. Lofty Ranges, part of the Adelaide Hills. The summit offers views across Adelaide and the ocean, with a café, an information center and shop, and hiking trail access. Mt. Lofty Botanic Garden and Cleland Wildlife Park are on its slopes.More

Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery

Eucalyptus oil was once Australia’s first global export but has seen its industry decline worldwide. On Kangaroo Island, however, South Australia’s only eucalyptus distillers still operate out in the bush. With rusting relics scattered about the property and eccentric tastes, the family-run Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Oil Distillery still churns out the sweet-smelling elixir.More


As the island’s largest town and main commercial hub, Kingscote is the gateway to Kangaroo Island and the starting point for many island tours and day trips. Perched on the northeast coast, it’s a lively town with a rich history—founded in 1836, Kingscote was the first European settlement in South Australia and the original state capital.More

North Terrace

Grand 19th-century architecture laid out on a classically elegant street plan fringed with green parkland makes Adelaide perhaps Australia’s most beautiful city center—and North Terrace is at the heart of it. From galleries and museums to the state parliament, state library, and Adelaide University, the landmarks are all here.More

Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo is home to almost 2,500 animals, with around 250 different species from all around the world. Along with Aussie favorites like kangaroos, koalas, and Tasmanian devils, the zoo is famous for its pair of Giant Pandas, Wang Wang and Funi, the only animals of their kind in Australia.More

Clifford’s Honey Farm

The wildlife of Kangaroo Island isn’t limited to kangaroos and koalas—Clifford’s Honey Farm affords a completely different kind of animal experience. The family-run farm has been producing homemade honey since 1973, and their hives of rare pure-strain Ligurian bees create a tantalizingly sweet honey that has become a staple of Kangaroo Island.More

Cape du Couedic

Jutting out into the ocean at the southwestern tip of Kangaroo Island, the windswept Cape du Couedic is among the many highlights of the Flinders Chase National Park. The rocky headland is famous for its landmark Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse, its colony of fur seals, and the natural wonder of Admirals Arch.More

Top activities in South Australia

Kangaroo Island in a Day Tour from Adelaide
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Barossa Valley Inc Maggie Beers & Hahndorf (German Village)
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Barossa Valley Cellar Door Small Group Tour
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Barossa Valley Full-Day Tour
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Barossa Valley Full-Day Tour

Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tour Adelaide
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Full-Day Tour in South Australia Highlights
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Kangaroo Island Shore Excursion Scenic Trail Tour
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Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Half-Day Tour from Adelaide
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All about South Australia

When to visit

South Australia’s fall, from March to May, tends to be dry with pleasant temperatures, and paired with the harvest season, it is a wonderful time to hit wine regions and farms throughout the state. However, March tends to be busy and expensive, particularly in and around Adelaide, coinciding with the Adelaide Fringe Festival and overlapping rugby and cricket seasons. Both less busy and less expensive is the springtime, from September through November.

Getting around

Like the American West, South Australia is a large, sparsely populated state best traversed with a car. Train travel options to Adelaide include the Overland from Melbourne, The Ghan between Adelaide, Alice Springs, and Darwin, and The Indian Pacific between Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney. Kangaroo Island requires ferry service, the SeaLink (for transport with a car), or KIC (Kangaroo Island Connect) without. In Adelaide, purchase the Adelaide Metro Visitor Pass for unlimited bus, tram, and train use for three days.

Traveler’s Tips

While most people know about Australia’s most famous wine region, there is more to South Australian wines than the Barossa Valley and the Shiraz that has made it famous. Among the 18 wine regions of the state, consider the temperate vineyards of the Adelaide Hills and the McLaren Vale. Further to the north, sample the dry rieslings of the Clare Valley. In the south, the Limestone Coast boasts the Coonawarra, Wrattonbully, and Padthaway regions, home of highly respectable Cabernets.

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People Also Ask

What makes South Australia famous?

South Australia is a well-known destination for wineries, eateries, and fine foods, ranging from the world-class wines of the Barossa Valley to the diverse food stall offerings of the Adelaide Market. Its arid landscape encompasses the Flinders Ranges, a temperate coast, and the capital city of Adelaide, known for a wide range of cultural and sporting events.

Why do people visit South Australia?

South Australia is Australia’s most arid state, encompassing parts of the Outback, the capital city of Adelaide, world-class wine regions, and 3,200 km of coastline. Visitors come to experience the Limestone Coast, the capital city of Adelaide, the mining town of Coober Pedy, and the wildlife of Kangaroo Island.

What are the best months to visit South Australia?

South Australia has relatively mild temperatures year-round, with the fall being a popular time to visit Adelaide (March through May) and the summer (December to February) the best to experience Kangaroo Island. In general, October through April are the warmest months, with a rainy season in June through August.

What is the climate like in South Australia?

South Australia enjoys a Mediterranean climate that is relatively dry and warm. Winters throughout the state are relatively mild, with a more temperate climate on Kangaroo Island and the coast and warmer temperatures to the north in the Flinders Ranges.

Is it worth visiting Adelaide?

Yes. Adelaide is a vibrant but laid-back city boasting white sandy beaches, excellent museums, a thriving culinary scene, and a bevy of cultural and sporting events. With easy access to the Outback, Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island, and the Limestone Coast, Adelaide is a gateway to countless Australian gems.

How many days do you need in South Australia?

You could spend months exploring South Australia and still have places left unexplored. For a complete experience, plan for at least two weeks to see the sights in Adelaide, drive along the Limestone Coast, see wildlife on Kangaroo Island, and indulge in fine foods and wine in one of the state’s 18 wine regions.

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