By Lauren Ferrone
Last updated on: March 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm
From dining in what looks like a giant glass Rubik’s Cube to getting some shut-eye in an underground hotel room in Coober Pedy, here are our top seven picks for SA's most unique places to sleep and eat.
1. d’Arenberg Cube
Location: McLaren Vale
Whether you’re a guru at the Rubik’s Cube or your head spins with every twist and turn, you’re bound to love McLaren Vale’s new five storey, glass-encased steel and concrete structure the Cube (pictured top).
It has been designed to look just like the 3D puzzle. The two top floors are uneven and rotated on their axis, just as if you’d twisted a Rubik’s Cube.
There’s a wine inhalation room, a virtual fermenter, a 360-degree video room, restaurant and, of course, cellar door.
Just like the Rubik’s Cube, the $14 million obscure building will puzzle you. The only difference is it won’t take you long to figure out why people from all over the world are flocking south for a peek inside.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 10% on a cheese and wine tasting experience at the Cube.
2. Fire Station Inn
Location: North Adelaide
Summer might be over, but the big red fire truck parked in one of the three suites at North Adelaide’s Fire Station Inn helps to add a fiery ambience to the room.
Set within Adelaide’s first fire station, which was originally built in 1866, this 4.5 star inn’s Fire Engine Suite also has a fireman’s pole, which will probably keep the kids just as entertained as a visit to the local playground.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 5% on a stay at the Fire Station Inn.
3. Adventure Bay Charters’ Aqua Sub
Location: Port Lincoln
Now this is a lunch date that’ll likely go down as one of the most memorable (and possibly scariest).
Adventure Bay Charters’ unique dining experience – Aqua Sub – allows you to wine and dine with Great White Sharks from the safety of an underwater glass sub with 360-degree views.
Get a group together – six can sit dry while devouring nibbles and wine in the sub, while the others jump in a cage before being lowered into the water with these stunning predators of the sea.
If you decide on the day you want to get in the water, all you need to do is pop on your wetsuit and jump in!
4. The Desert Cave Hotel
Location: Coober Pedy
If you need the room dark and quiet to get a decent sleep, consider some shut-eye in one of the underground rooms at The Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy.
This unique outback hotel has 19 underground rooms, a bar and restaurant, an opal shop, plus 31 above-ground rooms for those who prefer a more traditional sleep.
There’s also free Wi-Fi – yes, you can stay connected when you’re metres below ground. You might, however, need the door slightly ajar to get a decent connection!
This isn’t the only underground spot Coober Pedy locals and tourists can retreat to when summer temperatures reach up to 45°C in the shade. There’s also an underground church, art gallery and other concealed hideouts scattered across the small opal mining town.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 5% on a stay at The Desert Cave Hotel.
5. Tanonga Luxury Eco-lodges
Location: Charlton Gully (20 minute drive from Port Lincoln)
A staycation in one of Tanonga’s luxury eco-lodges will leave you feeling on top of the world.
Built on a 96-hectare historic property and perched high on the hilltop with 360-degree views, the green rolling hills and blue sea merge to create a beautiful sight for the early-risers who wake up in Tanonga’s The Ridge eco-lodge.
Tanonga’s second eco-lodge, The Valley, is about a kilometre away and is just as stunning.
They’re both fully self-contained and have nearby walking trails where wildlife can be spotted while exploring the area on foot.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 5% on a stay at either of Tanonga’s eco-lodges, The Ridge or The Valley.
6. Ikara Safari Camp
Location: Flinders Ranges National Park
Who’d have ever thought camping out in the outback could be so comfy?
Wilpena Pound Resort’s Ikara Safari Camp has luxurious private tents decked out with king beds, air-con, private decks, and even fire pits.
Nestled among the cypress pines in a secluded area of the Flinders Ranges National Park, these luxury tents are becoming the new age of camping.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 5% on accommodation at Wilpena Pound Resort.
7. Rawnsley Park Eco-villa
Location: Flinders Ranges
Rawnsley Park eco-villa is best described as a haven where nature meets luxury.
Tucked away in a secluded spot with breathtaking views of the Flinders, the villas are insulated using straw bales.
Unlike the Three Little Pigs’ straw house, you won’t be able to huff and puff and blow this villa down.
Fairly thick straw bales have been used, and talk about a stunning wall feature! Inside each villa is a small viewing window which gives guests an inside look into the bales in the wall.
The skylights above the bed add just another dimension to the villa’s unique design, allowing guests to admire the starry night sky as they lay down to sleep.
RAA member exclusive: You can save 5% on a relaxing retreat to Rawnsley Park’s eco-villa.