Beyond Adelaide: Single Day Destinations
Though Australia's first wineries were located on the outskirts of Sydney, NSW, it was the wineries started by 19th Century German settlers in the Barossa Valley that put Australia on the world map as a producer of fine table wines. All the big name brands have wineries there - Seppelts, Penfolds (producers of the iconic Jacobs Creek wines), Orlando, Yalumba, Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann - among lesser known brands, offering winery tours, tastings and cellar door sales. A bi-annual week-long Vintage Festival draws visitors from all over the world and has entertainment for all tastes including a huge street parade, concerts and gourmet dining.
Location: 70 km north-east of Adelaide. How to get there: by road, either Main North Road (A20) to Sturt Highway via Gawler and the Barossa Valley Way, or via Lower North East Road (A10) through Chain of Ponds in the Adelaide Hills to Williamstown in the southern Barossa.
The picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula is located 30 minutes south of Adelaide in South Australia. With its central highlands and coastal fringes, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers wine, wildlife and water in delightful abundance. Wildlife presents itself to the visitor throughout the year. Little Penguins return to nests on Granite (Penguin) Island every evening of the year.
Being a peninsula, water plays a major part in the recreational activities of locals and visitors alike. Long sandy beaches, rugged cliffscapes, and sheltered coves introduce a range of year round holiday activities that include fishing, surfing, scuba and snorkelling, sailing and swimming. Winter migrations of the Southern Right whales are seen along the coastlines of the Peninsula, particularly along Encounter Bay. Winter and springtime wildflowers and orchids delight the keen observer.
The area known as The Riverland is located on the Murray River in South Australia, and extends from Renmark to Waikerie. The river, which flows 650km through South Australia, is central to the success of the region, it provides a natural resource for irrigation, a playground for tourists, and a natural environment for the native flora and fauna. The major horticultural products grown are in the Murray Riverlands are wine grapes, oranges, lemons, stone fruit, almonds, with increasing plantings of olives. Berri boasts the largest winery in the Southern Hemisphere, oranges and other fruit are juiced and stone fruit are dried using the natural heat of the sun.
Whether your idea of fun is to relax on a leisurely cruise (by canoe, paddlesteamer or houseboat), explore the backwaters and by-ways of Australia's greatest river or simply drop a line and enjoy the fishing, the Murray is one of Australia's best inland destinations for a holiday. The region is sprinkled with historic river towns which can be explored either by car or on the river itself.
Kangaroo Island, which lies across the mouth of Spencer Gulf to the south of Adelaide, is one of the best places in Australia (and without doubt the best place in South Australia) to see Australia's native wildlife and flora. On land there are kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, platypus, goannas and birds of every shape and size (255 species, many rare or endangered); in the surrounding ocean there are seals, sea lions, dolphins, whales (in season) and little penguin. The coastal scenery is superb and the island is big enough to never feel crowded, even in peak holiday season.
Kangaroo Island is Australia's third largest island (after Tasmania and Melville Island). It has become a popular holiday place for South Australians and its main settlement, Kingscote, on Nepean Bay, is linked by a regular air service to Adelaide and a vehicle/passenger ferry service to Cape Jervis at the foot of Fleurieu Peninsula.
A regional service and administrative centre and the main port of the southern section of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Victor Harbor is also a favourite holiday destination for the people of Adelaide, so much so that the city's population is greatly expanded during the summer holidays
A popular site for visitors is Granite Island, which is connected to the mainland by a short tram/pedestrian causeway. The tram service is provided by the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram, one of the very few horse-drawn tram routes remaining in public transit service. Granite Island is home to a large colony of Fairy Penguins which are a popular attraction on the island. These penguins shelter on the island during the night, departing in the morning to hunt for fish before returning at sunset.