21 of the best Summer experiences in SA these holidays

With the sun shining down on us, and an aperol in hand, we’ve put together this guide to help you get a little more out of your summer holiday to see and experience more of our great state.

South Australia is brimming with festivals and events all year round, but there’s no better season for celebration than summer. When skies are at their bluest and nights at their longest and balmiest, the state shows its true colours. 

So, with the sun shining down on us, and an aperol in hand, we’ve put together this guide to help you get a little more out of your summer holiday to see and experience more of our great state. 

You don’t have to go far for a summer getaway to feel a whole world away; so whether it’s glamping in the Adelaide Hills or swimming with dolphins, here are 20 incredible South Australian experiences to try this summer.

1. Brave a summer safari

Spend a day at Monarto Safari Park, one of the world’s largest open-range zoos!

Located just 60 km from Adelaide, Monarto spans more than 1500 hectares and is home to more than 50 species of exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles – you can actually fit every major zoo in Australia in Monarto Safari Park and still have land leftover!

For the bravest safari guests, Experience Australia’s only 360-degree lion encounter gives you a prey’s eye view into the world of these awe-inspiring predators.

Guaranteed to leave you in even more awe than when you entered, you’ll walk through a tunnel and emerge within clawing range of one of Australia’s largest lion prides.

Enjoy the jaw-dropping, absolutely safe encounter, which gives you a prey’s-eye view into the world of these awe-inspiring predators.

For more information, click here.

2. Swim with sea lions and dolphins 

Spend the day somersaulting and swirling with sea lions and dolphins in the crystal clear waters of the Spencer Gulf. Animals are unfed, untrained and totally wild.

This is one very special and remarkable experience. Nicknamed “the puppies of the sea” the Sea Lions are so playful and stunning to watch. We take a small boat out to Jones Island and see the Sea Lions in their natural habitat. After finding a safe spot to moor the boat we jump in the water and let the Sea Lions swim to us. The experience is all about letting these wild animals be in charge. We do not feed them, we swim in natural rock pools surrounding their island home. The whole Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience is about meeting the Sea Lions and Dolphins on their terms, in their habitat.

This experience is only a 15-minute boat ride to the swim area.

Fore more information, click here.

3. Segway through Seppeltsfield

This one is “Wheelie Good Fun”.

Join the Segway Sensation SA Team and experience all the delights of gliding among the grapevines, at the iconic Seppeltsfield Winery. Get a back-stage pass to some of the magical areas of the estate not normally accessible. 

This 90 minute experience starts with a Segway training session next to the cafe in the Seppeltsfield picnic grounds, before heading off for a one hour guided tour on two wheels. Traverse through the historic estate, passing by the heritage-listed buildings with commentary provided on the Seppeltsfield story. The tour then heads up the hill to visit the Great Terraced Vineyard to enjoy panoramic views of Seppeltsfield and the surrounding area. Includes a wine tasting at Cellar Door at the conclusion of your Segway Experience.

For more information, click here.

4. Learn to surf

Whether you’re a grommet or a pro, there’s plenty of fun to be had out in the surf.

If you’re headed to one of SA’s popular Fleurieu Peninsula beaches, like Middleton, Goolwa or Moana, you can get a lesson or two on how to ride the perfect wave from Surf & Sun. Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap!

For more information, click here.

5. Indulge in Coffin Bay Oysters

Experience, indulge and discover Coffin Bay Oysters.

There are oyster farm tours to explore where you can learn how oysters are grown, see the boat and all the equipment and talk first hand with the farmers.

The tours also invite you to taste freshly harvested and shucked oysters that are produced in the remote, unspoilt and pure waters of the large Coffin Bay waterway at the entrance of the bay.

For more information, click here.

6. Roof Climb 

Whether you choose a day, night or yoga climb, seeing Adelaide from the rooftop of Adelaide Oval is a unique experience.

Complete with a 90-minute climb experience, post-climb beverage, souvenir RoofClimb hat, achievement certificate, digital photo pack, and a seriously great mix of party tunes. There is no denying that this is an experience like no other.

For more information, click here.

7. Adelaide Fringe

Adelaide Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

For 31 magical summer days and nights, Fringe transforms Adelaide and greater South Australia. Fringe Festival stretches from up in Whyalla all the way down to Mount Gambier, with eclectic and vibrant events that include cabaret, theatre, comedy, circus, music, visual arts, workshops and so much more.

Fringe brings together 6000+ independent artists in 300+ venues across SA, collectively putting on over 1200 shows. Fringe offers a wide variety of experiences with free outdoor events, state of the art VR experiences and sensory-reduced, completely accessible, award-winning children’s theatre.

Whether you’re a cabaret connoisseur, comedy king/queen, theatre tragic or just want to sit back and enjoy the atmosphere, there’s something for you at the Adelaide Fringe.

For more information, click here.

8. BBQ lunch on the water

BBQ Buoys are the latest leisure innovation on the River Torrens in Adelaide, South Australia.

BBQ Buoys seat up to 10 of your favourite crew around a table with a beverage bowl or barbecue grill floating along the Adelaide Riverbank precinct.

Aside from family and friends, you can also invite your team members, colleagues and business partners for an impressive, fun and private 2-hour ride on a BBQ Buoy.

If you want to go all out, BBQ Buoys have the capacity to facilitate up to 38 guests at once.

You can find them at Pinky Flat, only a short walk away from Adelaide CBD, Convention Centre, Casino, Intercontinental Hotel, Festival Centre and Adelaide Oval.

For more information, click here.

9. Go on a jetty journey

Throw a fishing line off one of SA’s many jetties, and sit waiting patiently for the pull and tug from below the water’s surface.

There’s jetties that stretch across the state to check out from the circular Whyalla jetty to one of SAs longest jetties located in Beachport.

For more information, click here.

10. Zoom down SA’s longest zip line

Mount Lofty Adventure Hub’s all-new Rock Climb, Zipline and Mega Swing Experience featuring a unique 3-person Mega Swing, is a summer must. 

The experience involves the Adventure Tower’s 15-metre rock climbing and abseiling wall, the 324m forest zipline (SA’s longest!) and our all NEW unique 3-person Mega Swing!

Sessions run for approximately 90-minutes, up to three times a day. No experience is necessary. All instruction and equipment are provided.

For more information, click here.

11. Go glamping

South Australia offers so many beautiful camping destinations, however not all of us enjoy sleeping bags and a sore back. This is where glamping comes in handy – check out a couple of star glamping experiences below!

Five hours from Adelaide, you’ll discover the beautiful Flinders Ranges, and Wilpena Pound – a fantastic camping destination which forms a base for many bushwalkers, and bush tours. In a secluded spot away from the main campground, 15 roomy tents with king-size beds, tiled bathrooms and timber decks, are set among majestic red river gums and native pines.

If you’re looking for something closer to home, Adelaide Shores’ Big4 Caravan Park in West Beach has you covered. Offering double bed and bunks, this 4-person tent does the important things like keeping the bugs out, while keeping you cool with a fan above the beds.

For more clamping options, head to our comprehensive clamping guide here.

12. Treeclimb 

This is something we absolutely loved. Australia’s first inner-city aerial adventure park features over 70 obstacles, incorporating zip-lines, ladders, log-walks, Tarzan swings, rock climbing and much more.

For more information, click here.

13. Eat SA’s best pizza on the beach

The popular pizza makers of McLaren Vale have set up their seaside Aldinga pop-up yet again this summer for season of sunsets and seaside picnics.

The pop-up is open from 4pm until sundown across January dates slinging hand-made pizzas at Silver Sands.

Beach goers can enjoy Pizzateca’s traditional, Neapolitan style pizzas along with an icy cold from its fully licensed bar.

For more information, click here.

14. Adelaide Central Market Foodie tour

Enjoy a 45-minute gastronomic guide to healthy seasonal shopping while exploring the culinary capital of South Australia with over 80-artisan food stalls, cafes and wine stores.

This Adelaide Central Market tour is to the point, no fuss and may visit the hit stores including the famous Italian Lucia’s Fine Foods, the wickedly delicious Providore cake stall and Something Wild for exotic Australian fare.

Enjoy some delicious tastings, take some photos and do your shopping all at once!

For more information, click here.

15. Cycle the city

All the cycling action kicks off from 12 – 21 January with the Santos Tour Down Under returning with an action-packed line-up of cycling and custom racing routes that showcase the best of South Australia.

The dynamic 10-day event will bring elite male and female Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) riders to compete on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia.  

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady OAM said he and Assistant Race Directors Annette Edmondson and Carlee Taylorwere excited to build on the success of this year’s event. 

For more information, click here.

16. Sit Courtside at Memorial Drive Tennis Centre

Blockbuster tennis is returning to Adelaide in early 2024 with back-to-back Adelaide International events to be held at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre.

World class tennis action at The Drive will feature more than 170 top tennis players set to compete for a total prize pool of $2.5 million and world ranking points.

The world-class sporting precinct on the banks of the River Torrens will play host to some of the biggest stars in tennis in the lead up to the Australian Open breathing vibrancy and excitement into the city.

For more information, click here.

17. Sweat on a trek at Hallet Cove

Hike along the clifftops at Hallet Cove Boardwalk. The winding stairs will get your heart rate up, while the waves crashing onto the rocky coastline will cool you down.

Discover one of Australia’s most outstanding geological and archaeological sites at the Hallett Cove Conservation Park, where more than 1,700 Aboriginal artefacts have been found.

The interpretative walking trail describes the park’s cultural and geological heritage, including evidence of an Australian ice age some 280 million years ago.

The outstanding glacial pavements along the northern cliff tops are recognised as the best record of Permian glaciation in Australia and have international significance. This park’s beach is also popular for swimming which makes the perfect summer outing.

For more information, click here.

18. The Handlebar 

That’s right, Adelaide has its very own pedal pub. Take a two-hour pedal trip around the streets of Adelaide CBD all while sipping on beers, bases, bubbly, wines, or soft drinks.

The contraption is a 16 seater, so it’s perfect for big groups of mates.

For more information, click here.

Launching in 2021, two of the most loved institutions, Hardys Wines Tintara and McLaren Vale Hotel have teamed to bring SA a new pop-up wine bar just in time for summer.

Clink at Tintara will take your sunny Saturday sessions and twilight Friday nights to the next level. Clink will be slinging chilled beverages and spicy tacos from Nito Burrito to guests of the McLaren Vale locale from their big orange van.

For more information, click here.

20. Experience the bend

Feel the thrill of the racetrack with the exciting experiences you can try at the bend.

Race around the track with the hot laps offer which invites drivers to loop around the motor racing circuit choosing from a selection of vehicles. There’s a variety of circuits you can choose from to feel the speed adrenaline.

Take the wheel on the exhilarating outdoor track and reach speeds of up to 70km/h on one of the 3 circuit configurations.

For more information, click here.

21. Soak in the sun at The Mosley Beach Club

Taking inspiration from super-premium offerings across Europe and South East Asia, The Moseley Beach Club features daybed, lux-lounger and booth seating options as well as sun loungers, a casual dining area, bar, live acoustic music week nights and DJs on the weekend.

Running until March 2024, The Moseley Beach Club will provide fun for the whole family with free entry, food and drink options, a kids zone, sun loungers, day beds and a variety of casual seating options. With a cocktail in hand beach swims to cool down with, it’s the summer experience you don’t want to miss.

For more information, click here.

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