Sun-blushed vineyards and outback plains stretch along the banks of the Murray River.
One of Australia’s most compact states, South Australia offers outback adventures and wildlife safaris within easy reach of Adelaide. Head south to spot sunbathing wild kangaroos, enjoy lazy afternoons wine tasting and oyster sampling, and hike through red-sand deserts, forested gorges, and rocky mountains. Temperate weather makes SA a year-round destination for camping and outdoor activities, but it’s busiest during the balmy summer months. Cruise over to Kangaroo Island in springtime to see the cutest wildlife encounters, admire wine country in a canopy of fall leaves, or take a winter whale-watching cruise along the coast.
Adelaide is South Australia’s laid-back state capital, where parklands unfurl along the River Torrens, bars and restaurants sit riverfront, and arts festivals draw crowds year-round. Once you tire of the city, hop over to nearby Kangaroo Island, go for a beachside getaway along the Fleurieu Peninsula, or plan wine tasting in the vineyards.
The green hills around Adelaide house some of Australia’s finest wine regions. From the Barossa Valley, with its stone cottages and patchwork vineyards, to the leafy peaks of the Adelaide Hills—there are some sweet spots to sip Sshiraz or taste cabernets. Many camping sites offer direct access to the natural landscapes, whether strolling the beaches of McLaren Vale or cycling between cellar door wine tastings in the Eden Valley.
North of Adelaide, the hills give way to the dusty red sands and remote bushlands of the Australian outback. Flinders Range National Park is the headliner, the dramatic finish line of the 1,200-kilometre Heysen Trail and home to the peaks of Wilpena Pound. Further north, the opal mining towns of Coober Pedy and William Creek offer a look at outback life, while Lake Eyre National Park’s pink lakes feature lakeside camping sites like no other.
Stretching west from Adelaide and the Yorke Peninsula, Eyre unfolds in a panorama of gold-dust sands, rocky shores, and deserted dunes. Coastal camping spots have the best views, and the sheltered waters of Coffin Bay, Venus Bay, and Streaky Bay are famous for their oysters.
Bushlands, sand dunes, and wave-ravaged coastlines await on Kangaroo Island. Explore off-piste in a 4WD, spot wild kangaroos and koalas in the nature reserves, or walk the beach to watch fur seals and little penguins, then head back to camp for a campfire barbecue. Adventurous campers will find a number of bush camping grounds, while holiday parks provide a little more luxury.