South Australia 5 Must See Places
SA Map

On compiling a top 5 list for every state in Australia we are bound to upset someone. Somebody’s favourite destination will have been left off while another person may find the inclusion of one place over another outrageous.

South Australia proves difficult to narrow to just 5 key destinations. Classic 4WD routes like the Birdsville track are as hard to omit as the Murray River or the Barossa Valley.

By narrowing the list down to 5 essentials we hope to include 5 completely different experiences for each state.

So in no particular order and with no apologies:

1. Kangaroo Island is another great island destination that can be accessed by air or sea. A famous 4WD destination, it has a new bay or cove around every corner. Stay in a variety of accommodation and eat great food while enjoying the famous S.A. wines or choose to go camping. The scenery is fantastic, the environment pristine and the pace relaxed.

2. The Great Australian Bight stretches 1200km reaching into Western Australia and images of the coastline are often used as a backdrop for tourism photographs. If you are going to visit the ‘bight’ chances are you will be driving the Nullarbor Highway across the Nullarbor Plain, a classic Australian Road Trip. Consequently we have included the whole bight as a single destination because a journey across the Nullarbor should include plenty of detours to the stunning cliffs that comprise this unique coastline.

3. Lake Eyre. Australia’s largest lake is a timeless landscape regardless of season or water levels. If you are lucky enough to visit after floods like those in 2009 then you will be treated to the rare vision of regions that may not have seen water in a hundred years. No matter what season Lake Eyre is remarkable for its stark wilderness. Lake Eyre access is by the classic 4WD, fully self-sufficient camping expedition (preferable) or as a tour operated fly/drive option.

4. Cooper Pedy is an unusual Australian mining town experience in that it was and is opals, not gold, wrested from the harsh ground of South Australia’s central region. It lies roughly midway between Adelaide and Alice Springs, making it an essential stop for those entering the Northern Territory from South Australia or vice versa. The town revolves around opals and opal mining whether you want to examine the history of the place or just buy some gems. The heat of the stark landscape means homes and businesses can be located underground to evade the scorching summer temperatures and much of your time will be spent clambering in and out of the ground. Fascinating.

5. Flinders Ranges provides a constantly changing landscape, from the classic red dirt/rock hill horizon to gum tree lined waterholes and stark rock outcrops. Wilpena Pound provides a particularly captivating vista. Take 4WD tracks, explore caves, fossick for opals or take a scenic flight or train ride. The Flinders Ranges are the typical Australian Bush landscape with a vast amount to see and do.

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