The best of Australia in one place? Well yes indeed... we explore why South Australia has it all from wildlife to vineyards and more
Maybe it’s the wine that does it. Maybe it’s the flowing green landscapes, or the arty pull of Adelaide. Maybe it’s the whole package. South Australia isn’t the biggest, the showiest or the most-visited state in the country, but spend time here and you’ll struggle to name one more enjoyable. The best of Australia in one place? Well, yes indeed, it probably is.
South Australia’s main selling points are its rugged mountains, pristine coast, a menagerie of wildlife, pulse quickening adventure, big Outback skies, world-class wine and one of the most liveable cities on the planet. Having a centrepiece like Adelaide helps. The handsome riverside capital forms a natural focal point for the state, thanks to its good looks, appealing climate, eclectic cuisine, bohemian feel and colourful spread of annual festivals.
South Australia is a region to be lived and explored, somewhere to enjoy at leisure and at length – an approach also well suited to its local shiraz. The state map is studded with headline experiences – but whether your attention is caught by Kangaroo Island or the Flinders Ranges, be warned that you’ll fall for plenty of other spots on your travels here. It’s that sort of place. Tempted? Read on...
Time zone: GMT+9.5 (Oct-Apr GMT+10.5)
Visas: Required by UK nationals. You can apply for a free eVisitor visa prior to travel at www.border.gov.au; this is valid for multiple visits of up to three months over a one year period.
Money: Australian dollar (A$), currently around A$2.10 to the UK£
Climate varies around the state. Adelaide and coastal regions have mild winters (Jun -Aug) and warm summers (Dec-Feb), with autumn (Mar-May) a good time to visit. The north has a desert climate.
There are direct flights into Adelaide from many global hubs, including Singapore, Dubai, and Hong Kong, as well as from all major Australian cities. Adelaide to Melbourne is an eight-hour drive. The Ghan is a long-distance rail link between Darwin and Adelaide.
South Australia’s accommodation options are as diverse as its attractions. Adelaide has a good spread of hotels, hostels and boutiques, while across the state you’ll find everything from luxury lodges, rural B&Bs and lighthouses to motels, campervan sites and vineyard retreats.