From unforgettable ocean drives featuring sinkholes and extinct volcanoes to picture-perfect regional towns along the mighty Murray River, South Australia offers some of the most incredible road trips in the country, if not the world. With world-famous wineries and quality produce to boot, South Australia is the ultimate destination for epic road trips.
Here are three South Australia road trip itineraries to consider for your next holiday.
Southern Ocean Drive: Mount Gambier to Robe
From sinkholes to extinct volcanoes, the Southern Ocean Drive is rich with natural wonders. Step into another world in Mount Gambier – with each turn there is a new unique experience. Visit the Umpherston Sinkhole, a subterranean oasis of beautiful sunken gardens set in a collapsed limestone cave. Before you leave, visit Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake, formed in the crater of an extinct volcano. Walk the 3.6km circumference of the lake to see its beauty from every angle.
Just 20 minutes down the road from Mount Gambier you’ll find Piccaninnie Ponds, a world of underwater forests, a 35-metre-deep Cathedral and a 100-metre-deep natural chasm. For more diving adventures, visit Kilsby Sinkhole, a world-renowned dive site famous for its crystal-clear water and breathtaking visibility. It’s located a short 30-minute drive from Kilsby Sinkhole.
Keep driving until you reach Tantaloona Caves, a magical creation from mother nature formed over thousands of years. See ancient chambers filled with stalactites, adorned with pink and brown dolomite crystals.
Finish your trip with a night or two in Robe. The local beach, aptly named Long Beach is 14km long. The town boasts many great cafes and is famous for its incredible local seafood, particularly crayfish. Wind down after your drive with a local brew at Robe Town Brewery.
Epicurean Way: Willunga to Hahndorf
Before you hit the road, stock up on fresh local produce at the Willunga Farmers Market. Fill your picnic basket with seasonal fruits, vegetables, pastries, olive oils, local cheeses and fresh bread from local farmers and suppliers!
Head to stunning McLaren Vale to enjoy one of the most unique cellar doors in the world – d’Arenberg Cube. Situated in one of Australia’s oldest and most acclaimed wine regions, the cube is home to one of the largest biodynamic wineries in Australia. A visit to the 5-storey cube for a tasting at one of the bars or the restaurant is highly recommended, where you can also enjoy the 360-degree views from the museum or art gallery.
The Epicurean Way is perfect for vineyard hopping, from McLaren Vale to Macclesfield and into the Adelaide Hills. Maxwell Wines will take you back in time with vineyards dating back to 1893. Head to The Lane Vineyard for lunch at their award-winning restaurant along with world-class wines. Gin lovers will enjoy a trip to Ambleside Distillers, home to some fantastic handcrafted signature gins!
Finish the drive with dinner in the picturesque German town of Hahndorf. Explore the wide streets filled with cafes, German-style pubs and more than 100 different shops celebrating the heritage of the town.
Mighty Murray Way: Morgan to Tailem Bend
Follow the laid-back rhythm of one of the world’s longest rivers along the Murray Way. Rich in Aboriginal culture, stunning natural scenery and gourmet produce, travelling along the Murray River is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Learn about Aboriginal Dreaming and culture from a local guide at the Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park, one of the most significant Aboriginal cultural sites in South Australia. The ancestral home of the Nganguraku People sits on the banks of the Murray at the base of age-old cliffs. A truly remarkable place of history and culture.
Continue on your journey for an African safari experience at the Monarto Safari Park. The shuttle bus takes you around the 1,500-hectare open-range sanctuary where lions, cheetahs and zebras roam freely. For fearless big-cat lovers, step inside the Lions 360 Experience, a giant cage where lions will stalk you from the outside!
As the sun sets, pull up to the International Dark Sky Reserve for a truly magical experience. Here are some of the darkest skies recorded in the world, allowing you to look up to a canopy of over 5,000 stars, and even spot the rings of Saturn.
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