By Ellen Morgan
Published: Thursday, August 13, 2020
Global borders may be closed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dive into a world of experiences right here in South Australia.
Overseas travel is a luxury bestowed upon recent generations – something we’ve become comfortably accustomed to. But in the current global climate, we can’t simply hop on a plane and head across the seas whenever we desire. Instead, as we adjust to the new normal, we’re turning to travel within our own borders, searching for a way to get that global feeling here on our doorstep.
Lucky for us, South Australia is full of exceptional experiences. After the state’s devastating bushfires, and the halt on tourism businesses of late, there’s never been a better time to support local industry and communities. To help you experience our stunning state, we’ve conjured up a list of some of the best spots to eat, drink, stay and explore.
Lake MacDonnell, Eyre Peninsula
It might look like an optical illusion, but Lake MacDonnell’s iridescent pink waters are naturally occurring, caused by high salt levels combined with an algae and a pink bacteria. The less water, the more vibrant the colour. The road that stretches between the pink lake and a neighbouring blue-green lake (on Point Sinclair Rd) has become a social media sensation, putting the Eyre Peninsula on the global stage. While you’re there, check out Cactus Beach and neighbouring town Penong.
Explore inspiration: Utah, USA
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island
A secluded seaside sanctuary on Kangaroo Island, Vivonne Bay is arguably one of the jewels in South Australia’s crown. The crystal-clear waters, white sands, and rugged rocky cliffs here are bordered by green hillsides and there are usually only a few other souls to be seen. The local township has a scattering of essential amenities, while nearby Little Sahara is another favourite local attraction, ideal for a hike, sandboard or toboggan. To book a Kangaroo Island experience with RAA, visit the website.
Explore inspiration: Santorini, Greece
Off Piste tours, McLaren Vale
With a range of carefully curated tours around the Fleurieu Peninsula and beyond, Off Piste will have you feeling worlds away with every kilometre driven and every mouthful savoured. Their Fork and Grape Safari is one of the more popular options, whisking you away to McLaren Vale. You’ll travel from the vines to the sea, stopping to sample local wines as well as have morning refreshments and lunch in off-track, secluded locations.
Drink inspiration: Napa Valley, USA
Yalumba, Barossa Valley
A trip to the historic Barossa winery just outside Angaston is a journey in and of itself, with vast grounds to explore, a spacious cellar door and their own cooperage, where they craft their own barrels. The only winery in the southern hemisphere to have a working cooperage on-site, Yalumba offers a tour of the facility where you can see bespoke barrel making in action. Who needs Bordeaux when you’ve got this in your own backyard?
Drink inspiration: Bordeaux, France
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills
Just a hop, skip and jump away from Adelaide’s CBD, Mount Lofty House could be mistaken for a manor in the English countryside. Whether you stay a night or for the weekend, relax in style in your lavishly appointed room, settle into a balcony seat to wine-and-dine the night away at the beautiful Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, and rest and relax at the Stables spa.
Stay inspiration: Yorkshire, England
Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges
A 5-hour journey from Adelaide, Rawnsley Park Station boasts striking red earth, towering cliff-faces and miles of grand Aussie outback as far as the eye can see. At the station, there are a range of accommodation options, from luxury villas and superior holiday units, to the Rawnsley Homestead and camping grounds.
Stay inspiration: The Grand Canyon, USA
Hahndorf Hill Winery, Adelaide Hills
Savour the flavours of Europe in an indulgent chocolate and wine tasting at the pretty-as-a-picture Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills. While you can simply sample the wine with valley views from the cellar door, we recommend indulging in their Chocovino experience. Taste chocolate from around the globe as you sip wine and feel spirited away to that European getaway.
Eat inspiration: Vienna, Austria
New from the team behind Shobosho comes ShoSho – a Japanese style restaurant featuring tempura, dumplings, ramen and delectable desserts (think yuzu meringue egg tart). The King William Rd location takes cues from traditional styling you might find in Japan, including canvas and blackened timber. Asahi is on tap here too, as well as a range of local and international wines.
Eat inspiration: Tokyo, Japan
Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide
One of the largest undercover markets in the southern hemisphere, Adelaide Central Market is a hive of foodie activity. Traders trolley produce to their stalls while coffee beans are ground and lattes poured. Freshly folded pastries are wheeled in, and the smell of laksa prepared for the lunch rush wafts through the aisles. Taste a world of flavours and take home some produce to cook up a global feast.
Experience inspiration: London, England
First Drop Wines, Barossa Valley
Tapas – it’s the ultimate holiday meal, but you don’t need to go all the way to Spain. Barossa’s First Drop Wines is offering RAA members an exclusive wine tasting and tapas package to whisk them away to beautiful Barcelona. Be guided through a tasting of their wines and tapas-style food to match – think Spanish meatballs, patatas bravas and pan-fried halloumi with oregano and lemon.
Experience inspiration: Barcelona, Spain