A Guide To South Australian Attractions That Rival Popular International Tourist Destinations

With travel back on the agenda, now is the opportune time to explore some of the stunning destinations within South Australia that rival popular tourist attractions across the globe.

Travel restrictions may be easing across Australia, however international travel is still a no-go for the foreseeable future.

Now, more than ever, is the opportune time to explore our own backyard and discover the stunning home-grown destinations South Australia has to offer, some of which rival even the most famous tourist attractions across the globe.

Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier

Some may think scenic sinkholes only exist in Mexico, but they’re yet to witness South Australia’s underground wonder, Umpherston Sinkhole. 

Once a typical limestone cave that naturally corroded and collapsed, the hole was transformed into a beautiful underground oasis by James Umpherston in 1886.

Today, the sunken garden is an almost otherworldly green space with statues and perfectly manicured greenery covering the floor of the sinkhole. 

Stick around to dusk to watch the possums begin to emerge.

The garden is open every day and remains open until late in the evening.

Free entry. You can find Umpherston Sinkhole via Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier, 5290

Barossa Valley

Instead of the wine region of Provence in France, why not consider South Australia’s Barossa Valley?

France may be known as the centre of the wine-making world, but South Australia offers a great contender with the Barossa.

For lovers of a good drop, there are plenty of wine-related experiences to get stuck into, from a wine-tasting masterclass at Artisans of Barossa to learning to blend your own wine at Penfolds.

And while you’re sipping on world-class Shiraz, you can feast on a local cheese board (which sounds a lot more appetising to us than snails and frog’s legs).

Blue Lake, Mount Gambier

If you’re dreaming of a lake that rivals those of Croatia, take a short drive to the Blue Lake.

Inhibiting one of the extinct volcanic craters of Mount Gambier, the Blue Lake boasts a vibrant cobalt blue colour during the months of November through to March each year.

The mysterious colour change of the water is believed to be because of the water temperature of the Lake, but whatever the reason, it’s a breathtaking sight which awes thousands of visitors year after year.

Adelaide Himeji Gardens

A traditional styled Japanese garden, Adelaide Himeji Gardens is a gift from Adelaide’s sister city, Himeji in 1982.

The gardens bloom with features of profound religious significance to the Japanese people and designed to recall the beauty of nature.

The Garden blends two classic styles, the ‘senzui’ (lake and mountain garden), where water and the imagination create images of vastness and grandeur, and the ‘kare senzui’ (dry garden), where rocks and sand evoke the presence of water.

This little oasis in the Southern Parklands will transport you to a whole new world without even leaving the city. 

Adelaide Himeji Gardens are open 8am – 5.30pm daily and can be found at South Terrace &, Glen Osmond Rd, Adelaide 5000.

Little Sahara, Kangaroo Island

Forget snow, this year is for sand boarding, and there’s no need to miss the sand dunes of Africa and the Middle East when Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island has an incredible dune system to slide down.

Covering more than two square kilometres, with an array of dunes (the highest of which peaks at 70m above sea level), it’s the perfect destination for the adrenaline-junkie in your family.

Hire sandboards & toboggans to surf the sand dunes or join in a guided tour from Little Sahara Adventure Centre.

Little Sahara Adventure Centre is open all year round, 9am – 5pm from October to April, and 10am – 4pm from May to September. Located at 3733 South Coast Rd, Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island.

Montacute Valley

Exploring New York’s Central Park by horse-drawn carriage may seem out of reach right now, but a magical ride through South Australia’s Montacute Valley is just a phone call away.

Classic Carriage Drives offers a 45 minute horse carriage ride through picturesque Montacute, just a 25 minute drive away from Adelaide’s CBD.

Total cost $180 per 45 minute ride, with the Carriage exclusively yours. Seats six adults (or equivalent with children).

Rides are offered year around, weekends and weekdays. You can find Classic Carriage Drives at 63 Institute Road, Montacute, 5134.


Get your bratwurst and sauerkraut fix at Australia’s oldest German settlement, Hahndorf.

The historic town oozes Bavarian charm and is filled with German-inspired pubs, cafes, and artisan shops.

Stroll down the high street and admire the rich cultural heritage of the town, grab a beer stein from The Hahndorf Inn, visit The Hahndorf Academy, or head to Beerenberg Farm, which dates back to the early 1800s and has been run by five generations of the Paech family since the German immigrants settled in SA.

Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges

Instead of cruising though Monument Valley in USA, escape to the great Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of mountains in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.

Much like the iconic valley in Utah, Flinders Ranges is seemingly purpose built for driving, camping, and spent as a place to de-stress and take in the splendour of outback Australia.

The Manor Basket Range, Adelaide Hills

Dating back to 1935 and nestled in the Adelaide Hills, The Manor Basket Range perfectly encapsulates European rustic charm.

Surrounded by rolling hills, the country estate features a historic stone walled castle, rambling gardens and water features as well as an onsite petite chapel.

Crafted of Basket Range Stone, this enchanting castle feels a world away even though it’s only a 30 minute drive from the CBD.

They have planned some fabulous winter dining events for the cool months ahead, including a Wine and Dine at the Manor over the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend (6 – 8 June).

Find The Manor Basket Range at 762 Lobethal Road, Basket Range, 5138.

The Balinese Villa, Adelaide Hills

If you had your sights sets on Bali this year, then the Bali Villa in the Adelaide Hills will more than impress.

A feature stone bath with fountain wall spout, giant timber day bed, outdoor deck, tranquil water feature and ambient lit Bali Hut are all waiting to transport you to Indonesia.

Exclusive yet affordable the Bali Villa is a design statement offering a spacious 2 roomed 70m2 of indoor living area, a private walled 45m2 outdoor courtyard and private bamboo and tropical planted gardens for you to relax in and explore.

Floor to ceiling glass surrounds every angle of the villa allowing views  and easy indoor/outdoor living. 

The villa is behind the Sticky Rice Cooking School at 96 Old Mt Barker Road, Stirling, 5152.

Mount Remarkable National Park

Best known for its rugged mountain ranges, dramatic gorges and watercourses lined with river red gums, Mount Remarkable National Park certainly lives up to its name.

Explore its history dating back 800 million years with the whole family on your next getaway.

There are walking trails for all ages and fitness levels, as well as plenty of lookouts along the way to admire the vegetated valleys and exposed red quartzite cliffs.

Within easy reach of Adelaide, located between Spencer Gulf and the southern reaches of Flinders Ranges, Mount Remarkable National Park proves you don’t have to travel far to feel a million miles away.

Mount Remarkable National Park.

The Kuitpo Forest Reserve

Situated in South Mount Lofty Ranges, 45 minutes’ drive from Adelaide, Kuitpo Forest not only provides sustainable wood production but offers some fantastic walking trails for all ages and fitness levels.

Who needs to visit Germany’s Black Forest when you have this nature playground in your back yard?

South Australian beaches

Why wish for the clear waters of the Maldives when South Australia is exploding with spectacular coastline?

Be greeted by white sand and crystal clear water at Shell Beach in Innes National Park or snorkel amongst squid, rays and schools of fish at Second Valley on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Have we missed somewhere? Email [email protected] and let us know.


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