South Australia would contest for space amid Australia’s top sights, but give it a chance and savour a slice of Australia’s outdoorsy best, with unique ways of being out and about in its:
Despite its city status, Adelaide is compact and easy to navigate. Exploring Adelaide on foot showcases its numerous architectural nooks and crannies, squares and historic buildings, and the nearly 150-year old Central Market that offers everything from oyster shucking to ant gin shots, best experienced on a food tour with Sheryl. Bravehearts can also go on a stadium rooftop walk at the Adelaide Oval. Finish with pub-crawling on Leigh Street and dinner on the lively Peel Street.
Walk down streets adorned by popular graffiti artist Lisa King, whose works can be spotted all over. A fabulous option that lets you breeze past the city’s architecture and other sights is the Eco Caddy, an environment-friendly alternative to driving.
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Outside the capital, no visit to the province is complete without a visit to Hahndorf, South Australia’s German settlement from 1839. Having evolved into a tourist attraction, the main street might have a perpetual Christmas hangover with nutcrackers and cakes on sale, but Sharon’s walking tours truly take you back in time.
The province is the largest producer of wine in the country including some of its best home-grown brands, familiar back home. After the Adelaide Oval, it is almost religion for the quintessential Indian traveller to cool off with a rosé at Jacob’s Creek in Barossa Valley. There’s also a fun blending class where you can create your own wine, blended, bottled and numbered for posterity.
Equating wine with subtlety is the norm, but the sweetest surprise comes at Seppeltsfield where you can actually go rocketing through the winery on a Segway! Started in 1851 by the Seppelt family, the historic winery is known today for its ‘birth year wine’ tasting tour. It turns out be just the right amount of wine to fuel your courage and zip on a Segway confidently up hillocks, across narrow bridges, and breeze down slopes. Seppeltsfield is the only winery in the province that offers this grand tour, adding heaps of thrill to routine wine tours.
South Australia is bordered by the Southern Ocean, and offers the entire plethora of water sports that the island country is known for. From the usual suspects like diving and kayaking to more offbeat experiences like kite surfing and jet pack flying, it has it all. And while you’re at it, don’t miss out on sandboarding, an easy adventure for most. When it comes to surfing, adverts for beginners’ lessons can be found pretty much everywhere. Choose your exploration of South Australia’s waterways via any of these water sports, but no matter what you pick, round it off with a sunset boat ride from seaside town Glenelg. Sunrise rides take you deeper into the sea for spotting dolphins, but if you’re fortunate you could spot them in the horizon even on sunset cruises.
Across the region, the province pays homage to intrepid explorer Captain Matthew Flinders who gave Australia its name and the first semblance of an accurate map, with universities and parks named after him. The adventurous ones can go for multi-day camping in the Flinders Ranges, but there is nothing like the wilderness of Kangaroo Island. Hike across the Lantham national park and spot wild ‘Roos’ and wombats.
Walk the windy coastline of Seal Bay dotted with snoozing sea lions satiated from their last hunt, looking intermittently into a horizon where the next piece of land is Antarctica about 5,000 miles down south. The Flinders Chase National Park is a good place to spot koalas in their natural habitat. Naturalist Mark Kelly also doubles as your chef and sets up fabulous bush tables.
In the same park, drive up to the 500 million-year old Remarkable Rocks that truly live up to their name. Quad bikes, another great way to navigate the island, offer a much adventure on the island’s grasslands and rocky terrain. Ride with bike guides cum naturalists, go deeper into the wilderness, and get up close with elusive goannas and even the tiniest showstoppers like red-backed spiders. Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action offers quad biking tours that are also big on safety. Be warned though; you might want to rev the engine and drive off even after time’s up. Quad biking is highly addictive, much like the rest of South Australia’s adventures.