Our first big adventure of 2020 was roadtripping through South Australia. Travelling South Australia was an entirely different experience from our time in Victoria and Queensland. It is much emptier, more rugged and full of wonderful surprises. Be prepared for many hours of driving through open fields where the only other life you’ll see is sheep and cattle. Having said that, every single destination at the end of the long dirt road will leave you speechless, and better yet, you will have it all to yourself. Here is our Guide for travelling South Australia!
We cannot write about South Australia without mentioning Adelaide. While we did not spend much time there, it is the only major city in the state, and it is most likely where you will fly into. The little time that we did spend walking through the Adelaide streets, we really liked what we saw. It is a beautiful city, with lots of green space and many shops and restaurants to choose from. You can most definitely spend a few days exploring the area if you love the city life. Not far from the city, there are also many vineyards to visit. South Australia is famous for its wine and, more particularly, its Shiraz! We visited one particular vineyard during our time here: Shaw and Smith. Located in the Adelaide Hills, they have a beautiful setup for wine tastings that are also very affordable and delicious! Pro tip: get the wine tasting AND the cheese platter, you will thank us later.
Marino is the town we choose to base ourselves in for our time in the Adelaide region. It is very charming small town with a beautiful beach and amazing boardwalk offering a stunning sunset spot. It is well located so you can visit many different hotspots from this area. It is a 30-minute drive from the Adelaide center and between 30 and 90 minutes away from all the beaches along the coastline. If you are in town, make sure to check out Marino Rock’s Café! They do breakfast, lunch, and dinner very well and for reasonable prices!
This beach is one of South Australia’s best kept secrets! It is absolutely stunning and we only saw a handful of people there at the same time as us (in peak tourism season)! The reason for this might be because it requires either a very steep walk down to the beach or a very long walk (over 3 kilometres) through the National Park to get to the beach. If you have a 4WD vehicle though, you can easily drive to the parking lot located a few minutes by foot away from the water. Blowhole beach is located in the Deep Creek Conservation Park. This park is not only home to this incredibly beautiful beach, but it is also home to a large amount of Kangaroos! You would have to be extremely unlucky to not spot them.
Walking through this national park felt like walking through the hills of middle earth in Lord of the Rings. It is like no other landscape we have seen before. And once you get to the beach, it makes the hike even more worth it! The water is bluer than blue and the sand is pristine.
Second Valley is only slightly north from Blowhole beach and, while we did not make it there during our time in South Australia, I have seen many beautiful pictures taken in the area and have heard nothing but good things about it. If you enjoy stunning beaches, there is something for you to visit in Second Valley.
The Yorke Peninsula is at the very tip of SA and has marvels on every side. At the most southern tip, you’ll find the Innes national park, and incredible beaches along both the eastern and western coastlines. For our time here, we stayed in Stansbury, a small fishing town on the east side. Stansbury brings the definition of the word small to a whole other level. There is only market, one café, and one bar. However, it has everything you need, and is an extremely charming place to stay for a few days. It is also located in a very convenient area for exploring the Yorke Peninsula. Stansbury is also a landmark along the famous “Walk the Yorke” trail, which is an over 500km long walking trail that circles the entire peninsula. Needless to say, we chose to drive to our destinations. However, if walking and hiking is something you enjoy and have the time for, there are over 16 different walks of varied difficulty to choose from (you know, if 500km is a bit much).
Our first day exploring was spent hopping from beach to beach along the western coastline. We started with the amazing Hardwicke Bay, which offered one of the most breathtaking ocean views we’ve ever seen. We then went to Flaherty Beach, which has a similar landscape to Hardwicke: white sand, secluded, and crystal clear shallow water.
We then ended our day on West Beach, which is possibly our favourite beach in all of Australia. It is a long beach that is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers, and is a perfect spot for sunbathing and playing in the ocean. And once again, there wasn’t much more than a dozen people there.
Innes National Park
The Innes national Park is protected area at the very tip of the Yorke Peninsula. It is filled with gorgeous cliffs, lighthouse views, and cheeky wildlife.
West cape lighthouse and Cape Spencer lighthouse are both definitely worth a visit, and on a clear, lucky day, you may even spot dolphins and wales swimming near the cliffs. Regardless of the marine life, both these lighthouses boast incredible views of the ocean.
There are several different hikes you can do within the national park, and there are countless area to park your car and go exploring. We had a run-in with a massive Emu on our first off-road walk, and we were able to get within 10 feet of it. If you get luckier than we did, and the weather is warmer, there are some amazing beaches for you to enjoy. Some of these are ethel beach, dolphin beach, and shell beach.
As you can see, South Australia really has something for everyone, and you will see some incredibly unique landscapes! Definitely one of the coolest roadtrips we have done and we highly recommend adding this less popular state on your next Australia itinerary! Getting off the beaten path really does come with the best surprises.
We hope you enjoyed, and thanks for reading!
Lots of Love,
Ben and Bianca