By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Planning a getaway this long weekend, but accommodation is all booked? For those living in Adelaide, we have the answer. Break your adventuring across three day trips that let you be a tourist near your own town but have you back sleeping in the comfort of your own bed at day’s end.
1. Head for the hills
Whether you prefer a picnic in nature or the comforts of an indoor wining and dining experience, if you’re based in SA’s capital or nearby surrounds, the Adelaide Hills is a day-trippers’ delight. Enjoy a German feast in Hahndorf, snack on sumptuous cheese or stretch your legs and go mountain biking from Mount Lofty Summit to Cleland Wildlife Park.
A road trip in the Adelaide Hills wouldn’t be complete without a quick stop at Melba’s Chocolate Factory. See the chocolatiers weave their magic and create delicious treats that you won’t be able to resist. Stock up your chocolate cupboard with everything from honeycomb to rocky road and choccy frogs.
If you haven’t overindulged in chocolate, drop next door to Woodside Cheese Wrights where you’ll find a range of cow and goat milk cheeses. Woodside Cheese Wrights are true artisans, crafting all their products by hand.
Once you’ve packed up your cheese and chocolate haul, hit the road and make your way to Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard for lunch. Sit on the deck overlooking the blossoming grape vines and enjoy a two-course luncheon or, if the spring weather hasn’t quite hit the mark for you, visit the rustic barn-like cellar door and sit by the 360-degree central open fireplace.
Now that you’ve indulged a little, it’s time to get your heart rate up – not too much though. Jump on an e-bike and take a Taste of Hahndorf Gourmet Food and Wine ebike Tour. Ride 14km in and around Hahndorf visiting attractions like Beerenberg Farm to pick strawberries, Shaw + Smith’s Tasting Room for a wine tasting and the panoramic Lane Vineyard for a picnic.
2. Drive down south
If you’re a coast lover and early starter, drive south on Main South Rd out of the city and just keep on going. For your morning exercise, try stand-up paddle boarding at Port Willunga.
This popular pastime is a mix of balance, strength and endurance which will give various muscles a workout. RAA members who want to give stand-up paddle boarding a go, get five per cent off with SUPDownSouth.
Next stop? Home Grain Bakery at Aldinga for a pie jam-packed with tender meat and gravy, then a short drive up to Sellicks Hill.
Be sure to stop at Nan Hai Pu Tuo Buddhist Temple and enjoy the serene surroundings as well as the stunning coastal view.
Driving along Main South Rd, you won’t miss this landmark, with the giant Buddha looking out over the ocean. The temple is open from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 4pm on Sunday.
Next, you have a choice. Continue south along the scenic coast towards Yankalilla, Normanville and Second Valley, or drive across the Fleurieu Peninsula to Victor Harbor.
There are lots of family-friendly activities at Victor Harbor. Visit Granite Island and view the many sculptures along the Kaiki Walking Trail, or if you’re in the area on Saturday morning, explore the farmers’ market in search of fresh produce.
Looking for something a bit more adventurous? Take a 60-minute Big Duck Boat Seal Island tour and witness dolphins, seals, sea lions and other marine life in their natural habitat.
Take an alternative route home and stop at the world-famous wine region of McLaren Vale. Visit the unique d’Arenberg Cube for a degustation lunch or grab a bottle of wine from one of the countless wineries in the area for when you get home. If you’re stopping for lunch or wine tasting, pre-book as most wineries require bookings at the moment.
3. Go on an adventure to St Kilda
Feeling a little childish, or looking for something to entertain the stir-crazy kids? Take a day trip to arguably the best adventure playground in South Australia. Only about 30 minutes from the city, the St Kilda Adventure Playground offers a range of attractions to ignite the imagination of children big and small.
Here you’ll find a huge castle with slides and a drawbridge, a bouncy boomerang, giant flying fox, a basketball court, swings and more.
Once you’re tuckered out from chasing the kids around the playground, jump in the car, drive about five minutes down the road and step back in time at the Tramway Museum.
Discover a collection of horse-drawn trams, electric trams and trolley buses – all of which used to frequent Adelaide’s streets.
As you make your way back to the city stop at the Port River for a kayaking tour. Paddle around Garden Island in search of the pod of dolphins that call this area home. You might be lucky enough to see these marine animals up close, frolicking in the water.