As Australia eases out of coronavirus lockdowns, it’s time to get excited about domestic travel. On Monday 11 May, South Australia became the first state to allow regional travel and open campgrounds and caravan parks after their impressive suppression of coronavirus.
So in the spirit of this announcement, we’ve selected our favourite road trips in South Australia to help locals (and soon, tourists) see the best of what this stunning state has to offer.
1. Ocean to Outback on the Explorers Way
Travel away from the bustle of the city and towards the outback and Flinders Ranges. Driving through the Flinders Ranges will almost feel like you’re navigating the face of Mars due to its rugged, red mountains, spectacular gorges and rolling terrain. As well as the impressive landscapes, you’ll travel through outback towns and be able to explore some of Australia’s Aboriginal cultural sites. With so much land to explore, It’s worth staying a while to wander through the many walking trails and take in the scenery.
Along the way be sure to stop off at Clare Valley, one of South Australia’s famous wine regions, and visit some of the many wineries and cellar doors including Skillogalee and Sevenhill. From there, it’s about three hours and thirty minutes to drive to Flinders Ranges. If you’re after a road-trip of more epic proportions, the Explorer’s Way can take you all the way from Adelaide to Darwin, cutting through Australia’s desert heart.
2. The Epicurean Way
This one is for the food and wine lovers. The Epicurean Way seamlessly links together the four iconic wine regions of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley to create a journey that’s as delicious as it is gorgeous. Experience some of the state’s finest wines and world-famous food while taking in the idyllic scenery along the way. South Australia Tourism have mapped out a four-day itinerary for this journey which gives you the optimal amount of time to visit the region’s must-see wineries including d’Arenberg, Seppeltsfield, Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo, The Lane Vineyard and Wirra Wirra.
3. Southern Ocean Drive
Drive along the coast of the Southern Ocean and explore some of the lesser-known treasures of South Australia. Traversing the coastline will take you through the natural wonders on the Limestone Coast, to the wilderness of Kangaroo Island and the sea and vines of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to stop at stunning cliff faces and spectacular beaches, and you might even spot some whales at Victor Harbor. Be sure to check out the sinkholes and lakes of Mt Gambier, the friendly faces in the town of Robe and the Coonawarra wine region. Here’s a suggested itinerary.
4. The Seafood Frontier
Follow the Eyre Peninsula’s stunning coastline and embark on a seafood safari. Eat your way around the coast and be sure to try the oysters in Coffin Bay and the tuna in Port Lincoln. Once you’re done filling up on food after the drive make sure to allow time for activities like swimming with sea lions, wandering along pristine beaches or, if you’re really brave (and the experience has reopened), a cage-diving experience with great white sharks. For more fun things to see and do, consider this planned itinerary that recommends allowing eight days to allow for the full experience.
5. Mighty Murray Way
Australia’s longest waterway, the mighty Murray River flows more than 2500 kilometres from the Snowy Mountains to the Southern Ocean in South Australia. This road trip allows you to travel alongside it, starting at the river town of Renmark and ending at the Murray Mouth. Along the way, uncover local lifestyles in nearby towns and the habitats of local wildlife. It’s suggested that this road trip will take you five days, factoring in plenty of time for activities including, scenic cruises, hiking trails and tours of local microbreweries. Find out about the best things to do and see along the way, here.