As the capital of South Australia, the city of Adelaide is the first place people look when visiting the area. This makes sense, given Adelaide’s reputation as a laidback and cosmopolitan city that’s easy to enjoy. But one of the most appealing qualities of Adelaide is that it is a gateway to many of the best places to visit in South Australia.
From the city you can head out and find world-class wine regions, beaches, wildlife, and plenty more. These places are bound to make an already fun visit even better and more meaningful. To make planning for your trip a little easier, we’ve collected ten of the best day trips from Adelaide which should appeal to all sorts of travelers.
Barossa Valley. Definitely one of the most common day tours from Adelaide is the famous wine region of the Barossa Valley. Lying northeast of Adelaide among rolling hills, the Barossa Valley is both picturesque and full of internationally-renowned wineries. The region is best known for its shiraz wines and counts names like Jacobs Creek and Penfolds among its many impressive vintners. It’s no secret that your time in Barossa Valley is going to revolve around wineries. However, you can also stop and enjoy small historic towns like Tanunda as well. There are also lovely viewpoints like Mengler’s Hill Lookout which help you appreciate the beauty of the valley’s landscape.
Kangaroo Island. Many visitors to these parts are eager to visit Kangaroo Island, which makes sense as it’s one of the best side trips from Adelaide. Kangaroo Island is the third largest island in Australia and one of the best natural destinations in South Australia. It’s basically a playground for those who like wildlife and the outdoors. Much of the island is nature reserve, with critters like koalas, sea lions, penguins, and yes, kangaroos. Head for Seal Bay Conservation Park to spot sea lions down by the beach, or Flinders Chase National Park if you want to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, and echidnas. You’ll also want to visit Kangaroo Island for rugged rock formations, like the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, along its coastal cliffs.
Hahndorf. You probably wouldn’t expect to find a German town in South Australia, but that’s what you’ll find in Hahndorf. A great little Adelaide day trip, Hahndorf is found out among the Adelaide Hills not too far from the city. The town was settled by German migrants in the 19th century who brought with them the cuisine and customs of Germany. That means you’ll see homes built with German architecture, pubs selling German food, bakeries offering pretzels, and even cuckoo clocks for sale. To learn more about the town’s history, head to the German Migration Museum at the Hahndorf Academy. On the edge of town is The Cedars, the studio of renowned landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen where you can see some of his work.
McLaren Vale. Another of the best places to visit from Adelaide for wine lovers is McLaren Vale south of Adelaide. This is where the state’s wine industry first began and there are some vines here that are over a hundred years old and still producing. Within this region, below the Mount Lofty Ranges, you’ll find over 80 cellars and vineyards, meaning there’s plenty of options for wine-tasting. McLaren Vale is best known for its Shiraz, but also boasts some fine Grenache and Cabernet. And if you want to mix things up a bit, why not take to the Shiraz Trail and walk or cycle through the area. You’ll also find that many wineries serve up excellent food as well, making them a one-stop-shop for indulgence.