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Exploring South Australia

When I first shared that I was going on a two week trip to Australia, most people assumed I was on my way to Sydney or Melbourne. Wrong! My holiday was to one of Australia’s lesser-known cities, but still one with plenty to see and do. I went to Adelaide and spent a week in the city during festival season, but I also made a point to get out and see more of the region — Australia’s driest state (and on the driest continent, no less).

South Australia is one of six Australian states, and, you guessed it — it’s in the south. Perhaps most famous for their wine region (Australia’s largest), the region is also a home to a number of surprising things to see and do. And with a direct connection from the capital of Adelaide to all the major international carriers, it’s an easy point to start, end, or stay on an Australian holiday.

Here are 5 surprising things to do in South Australia…

Adelaide’s Mad March Festivals

As the capital of South Australia, Adelaide has the most attractions. A city of over a million people, the population booms each March during festival season. The Adelaide Festival is an annual international arts and culture fest, with fringe events such as the Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide taking place at the same time. During March, the weather in Adelaide is still very summery, and the flocks of international and regional visitors really make the city come alive with a vibrancy, color, and energy you just wouldn’t see any other time of year.

Off Piste 4WD Tours in the Fleurieu Peninsula

An up-market, off-road adventure company, Off Piste 4WD Tours explore the hidden and rugged beauty of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Located between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, the tours — which can either be booked for a day or for longer, multi-day experiences — go through McLaren Vale’s popular food and wine region, but with an ecological slant. Exploring some of South Australia’s best beach drives, meeting kangaroos in the wild, or wine-tasting at off-the-beaten path locations, the tours are one-of-a-kind experiences

Barossa Wine Region

First settled by German and British settlers in the 19th century, the Barossa Wine region today is one of Australia’s most robust wine-making regions. There are over 750 wineries, producing everything from Shiraz to Riesling. A good day exploring the Barossa Valley would start with a visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, a cute café and restaurant overlooking a lake, with a huge selection of homemade jams and other local foods. One of the region’s most popular wineries, Seppeltsfield, hosts regular winery tours and tastings, plus they’ve got a beautiful outdoor restaurant on site. And for something really unique, Barossa Unique Tours offer chauffeured motorcycle tours that combine the history and culture of the beautiful Barossa Valley with the comfort and thrill of riding aboard a trike — a three-wheeled Harley Davidson

 

Adelaide Hills

Australia’s other big wine region, the Adelaide Hills date back to 1839, just three years after the colony was settled. It’s an easy day trip from Adelaide, and with a number of different sights, it’s suitable for all ages. Besides the wineries, like Mt. Lofty Ranges Vineyard (a sustainable boutique vineyard that serves locally-produced foods in their fine dining restaurant), the Adelaide Hills are great for panoramic, scenic viewpoints. And then, there’s the Gorge Wildlife Park, where you can see many of Australia’s most famous animals, plus get the chance to hug a koala!

Get more information and travel tips on South Australia right here.

Have you ever been to Adelaide or South Australia? If so, what’d you think? Any suggestions for things to see and do? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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