South Australia is a vast and beautiful state. But we already knew that… It is home to some of the most spectacular natural phenomenons and a list of unusual places.
Having lived in Australia for five years and travelled extensively, Isabel Williams fell in love with South Australia (duh) and some if its more unusual places… So she has put together her list of ten of South Australia’s most unusual places:
1. Sunken Garden
Otherwise known as the Umpherston Sinkable (and featured often on the Glam Adelaide Instagram account for obvious reasons…), the Sunken Garden is easily the most fascinating sinkhole you’ll ever get to admire. Located in Mt Gambier, the Sunken Garden used to be a cave – until the top of the chamber collapsed downwards. That’s when James Umpherston came in and turned this place into a lovely garden in the 1880s. Viewed from top or bottom, this unique place is like a hidden paradise garden. The sinkhole is open day and night, and if you visit late evening, you might spot possums venturing into the garden to feed.
2. Granite Country
Located on the Eyre Peninsula, Granite Country is an area characterised by a large amount of the rock in question. The best way to appreciate this spot is to take a Mount Wudinna Tourist Drive, which will take you around the location’s most interesting rock formations, such as the Polda Rocks, the Pygery Rocks, the Paella Rock or the Turtle Rock. These are all unique granite outcrops which were formed over 1.5 billion years ago. Mt Wudinna is itself an impressive sight – it’s actually Australia’s second largest monolith. For those of you playing at home that is a single massive stone or rock.
3. The Pink Lake Between Tailem Bend and Meningie
Just as the name suggests, this lake’s waters are a bright shade of pink. The colour appears after the flood of Lake Eyre, a salt lake located 15 metres below sea level – the lowest point of Australia. The flooding happens on a regular basis, so if you get a chance, try to see its basin from a helicopter – it’s an amazing sight.
4. Mount Remarkable National Park
If you’re a nature lover, this place is the perfect spot to admire spectacular examples of Australian nature – reminiscent of the more famous natural wonders at Kimberly or Northern Territory. The Terraces and the Narrows are two definite must-sees – you’ll see some wonderful red rock formations with picturesque gum trees in between. It’s a paradise for nature photographers who enjoy snapping pictures of amazing rock formations.
5. Head of Bight
This is probably the best observation spot out there to get some amazing sights of the wild ocean from South Australia’s Far West coast. If you go there between June and October, you might enjoy watching whales playing in the water 90 meters down your feet. The limestone cliff is itself quite a sight and Head of Bight in general offers an amazing drive along SA’s coastline.
6. Lincoln National Park
Another wonder of nature, this national park is full of beautiful rugged cliffs and sand dunes. Located on the Eyre Peninsula, Lincoln National Park is a perfect spot for those who enjoy four-wheel driving – the dunes behind Sleaford Bay offer the perfect setting for an adventure. But that’s not everything – the park offers many trails and walks, as well as spots for fishing. The scenery at places like Wanna will take your breath away.
7. Flinders Chase National Park
This national park is full of natural wonders, and no wonder because it is on the stunning Kangaroo Island. One of the most famous sights are the Remarkable Rocks which are strange rock formations resembling cast-off toys of a giant child. The lichen on the rocks makes for some pretty amazing photos during sunset – if you can, hang out on the Island until the evening. Another must-see in the Flinders Chase park is Admirals Arch – it perfectly shows the ability of the ocean to carve the coastline into fantastic shapes. It’s also home to the delightful New Zealand fur seals. Check out our Guide to Eating KI here.
8. The Stuart Highway
Connecting Adelaide and Darwin, the Stuart Highway follows the footsteps of Scot John McDouall Stuart who traversed the continent from south to north as the first European in 1862. Following this route, you’ll get to appreciate the incredible wealth of the Australian environment. The transition from arid central Australian landscape to the tropical and quasi-monsoonal environment of the Top End is beyond fascinating.
9. Hallett Cove’s Ice Age
Located in Hallett Cove Conservation Park, this is easily one of Australia’s most extraordinary geological sights. From these stunning northern clifftops you can read the history of an Australian ice age, spotting changes the continent went through over the years. Pick the southern entrance off Heron Way beach – you’ll find parking spots, amenities and even a playground to keep the little ones happy. Entering into the park, you’ll find paths guiding you from one attraction to another. It’s a real treat for amateur geologists.
If you enjoy unusual landscapes, Farina is your type of hang out. This ghost town used to be a bustling city located on the old Ghan railway alignment. Today, it’s completely ruined but makes for the best photograpy. You might remember Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust album cover? Yep, it is very similar… It’s a desolate and stark place, but it’s also rich in history. A definite must in any alternative route along the Oodnadatta Track.
We stopped at ten even though we know there are so many weird, wonderful and beautiful locations/destinations/formations around SA. These are just some of our favourites… Feel free to comment with yours!
Thank you to Isabel Wiliams for this fabulous list!