Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Holiday at home: South Australia:

There's so much more to South Australia than food and wine - but they're not bad to start with!
By Motherpedia
Date: December 20 2012
Editor Rating:

Unless you live in South Australia, and already know and appreciate its diversity of attractions, it's a state that tends to slip under the radar.

But, basing yourself in Adelaide alone gives you access to so many different things to do - not only in, and around, the city, but the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and, if you want to venture a little further, to Kangaroo Island. 

New Year’s Eve - Glenelg

The best way to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Adelaide is to take the tram from the city to Glenelg and its wide expanse of sandy beach. Have a meal at one of the many cafes, bistros or restaurants and join in the family friendly fun with live entertainment, children’s amusements and dazzling fireworks high above the sea

Semaphore Summer Carnival

Throughout the school holidays, the Summer Carnival on the beach at Semaphore has thrill rides, dodgem cars and water balls. Sunday’s also include magicians and street performers. There’s also more fireworks here in a dry zone on New Year’s Eve and Australia Day at 9.30pm.

Adelaide Zoo

What’s special about Adelaide Zoo? Two creatures: Wang Wang and Funi – the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s worth a visit just to see them alone, but there’s lots of other creatures great and small to see also. Favourites include Seal Bay, the Rainforest Wetlands walk-through aviary and the Bug Barn. Once inside, there’s a free walkabout tour starting every half hour from around 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Adelaide Central Markets

Adelaide is another foodie’s paradise. The Adelaide Central Markets are worth a visit to the central markets to stroll around to smell, taste, enjoy the many delights on offer and to take in the action.

Haigh’s Chocolate Factory

Surely some of the best chocolate in Australia? Going for 98 years, they certainly know what they’re doing and the Haigh’s Chocolates Visitors Centre offers a tour where you can see how the chocolate is made and enjoy an extra special tasting. The free factory tours go from Monday to Saturday, but there’s just three a day and you need to book.

Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale

There’s no reason why the whole family can’t enjoy this! Just 30 minutes drive from the city, you can pick strawberries at Beerenberg in the quaint German village of Hahndorf (pictured), climb a giant wooden rocking horse in Gumeracha, head to the Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary for a dusk tour to feed the kangaroos, and then relax at one of the many small and not-so-small wineries for which the area is known. If yo find just the right place in this area, you can be seated in a winery bistro, on top of a hill, in the shade, surrounded by vineyards and overlooking the ocean. Pretty perfect.

Murray Bridge

Just on an hour away from the Adelaide Hills is Mannum on the Murray River. It’s a great place to hire a houseboat – for a holiday with a difference - or take to the water in kayaks. 

Fleurieu Peninsula

More wineries to look for, more small artisan food places. Drive and explore – and enjoy days at the many beaches on either side of the Fleurieu Peninsula. At Victor Harbour (besides having a fantastic pizza shop), you can jump on the Big Duck Boat Tour and explore the spectacular ocean otherwise inaccessible areas of the coastline. There’s also a Whale Centre at Victor Harbour which has holiday activities for kids, but is of both historic and current interest to the entire family.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley is the other side of Adelaide, but it’s still only about 60-90 minutes drive. It’s great for a walk, drive or cycle around the wineries; there’s activities for children; galleries and museums; festivals – and you become immersed in one of Australia’s oldest wine districts. Of course, if you’re a fan of Maggie Beer – and who isn’t? – you can also visit her place and have a picnic and maybe even catch a cooking demonstration. But don’t just stop at Maggie’s: there’s much more to see and do also!

Further information?


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