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Adelaide is a beautiful city full of heritage buildings and history. Each year the city hosts a variety of festivals including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Film Festival and WOMADelaide making Adelaide one of the best loved city’s in Australia.
With the wineries of the Barossa Valley on their doorstep and culinary delights of the Adelaide Hills, Adelaide has even more treasures to offer as you travel further afield. To discover more we asked fellow travel bloggers to share some of their favourite spots for weekend getaways from Adelaide.
Morgan South Australia
By Rosalind from Frequent Traveller
Sitting on the banks of the mighty Murray River, Morgan is a pretty town which is steeped in history. Located just two hours (165 km) north-east of Adelaide this once bustling river port will take you back to days gone by.
Walking along the Riverfront Reserve you can watch boats drift down the river and if you are lucky you may even get a glimpse of the majestic paddle wheeler the PS Murray Princess as she makes her way upstream.
You can take the Morgan Heritage Walk and see such sights as the Morgan Historic Wharf, the Morgan Museum and Mortuary. Step into the Aladdin’s cave that is Carmine’s Antiques or stop off for a meal at one of the towns quaint old pubs.
To get a closer look at the Murray River take the ferry across to the other side, it is free and the perfect place to take that snap of the Murray River.
For accommodation in Morgan during your weekend getaway stay at the Commercial Hotel which is full of charm with great views overlooking the Murray River.
Getaway in the Adelaide Hills
By Natalie from Curious Campers Australia
The Adelaide Hills might only be 20 minutes from the city centre but as you drive through the leafy gullies and villages it feels like you are a world away from Adelaide.
Accommodation in the hills ranges from the stately charm and luxury of Mount Lofty House and Thorngrove Manor to finely appointed apartments, cosy B&Bs and caravan parks. Most accommodation is between Crafers and Hahndorf but options are dotted throughout the hills particularly at many of the wineries.
The Adelaide Hills is an internationally recognised region for cool climate wines. Your weekend will go all too quickly if you visit any of the over 60 cellar doors. Many of the wineries also have excellent dining options featuring locally grown ingredients.
‘The Hills’ are known for its gourmet food. You can get active and enjoy picking strawberries, figs and apples. Throughout many of the Hills towns there are boutique cheese, chocolate, smallgoods, gins and craft beers.
A great way to see the region is to follow the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail. It takes you to over a dozen hills towns. You can explore everything from the German themed main street in Hahndorf to wineries and lakes around Langhorne Creek and Milang.
Families can spend a weekend with animals at the Hahndorf Farm Barn, Cleland Conservation Park where you can feed kangaroos and pat kolas and Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary where you might spot a platypus. The Giant Rocking Horse in Gumeracha is also a fun family friendly spot.
If you are just looking to unwind you can spend the weekend walking around the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, relaxing at a coffee shop in Stirling or exploring the many bushwalks in the hills.
There really is something for everyone, the hardest part is fitting it all into two days!
Visit Coober Pedy for a long weekend
By Claire from Claire’s Footsteps
Coober Pedy is about 850 kilometres from Adelaide; around an 8 and a half hour drive, but worth the trip! The town is famous for two things – mining opals and living underground.
To reach Coober Pedy, most of your drive will be on the Stuart Highway, through the heart of the South Australian outback. Coober Pedy is hundreds of kilometres from any other town, and apart from the telltale signs saying that there are motels, restaurants and bars in a few kilometres, you could be forgiven for not realising that there is a town there.
Because, unlike a lot of other towns in Australia, Coober Pedy doesn’t have much to speak of above the ground. Due to its extreme weather – it reaches up to 50 degrees in the summer, with absolutely no natural shade – the opal miners who moved there decided to move underground instead.
It’s a tiny place, but there are actually quite a lot of things to do in Coober Pedy. You can explore an underground home and learn about the woman who dug it out herself (Faye’s Underground Home), see an underground church, visit a mine, go to a museum about the area and opal mining (which is underground, of course), and learn about the local kangaroo population in a kangaroo sanctuary.
Surrounding Coober Pedy is the beautiful breakaways region, an otherworldly landscape that you can visit with a 4WD. Also, try the Oodnadatta Track and watch out for camels!
Take in the beauty of the Flinders Ranges
By Margarita from The Wildlife Diaries
Ancient and rugged, Flinders Ranges are one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in South Australia. And while Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park may be a little too far from Adelaide (449 km) for a weekend getaway, you can visit the southern end of Flinders Ranges for a weekend of hiking and 4WD adventures.
The most spectacular areas of southern Flinders – Warren and Buckaringa Gorges are both home to the adorable Yellow-footed rock wallaby – the unofficial icon of Flinders Ranges. You can spot them sunning themselves on the rugged slopes of the gorges in the early morning and late afternoon. Red kangaroos and Wallaroos are also abundant in southern Flinders as well as a wide array of birds.
One of the best places to base yourself here is Argadlles homestead – a working sheep farm set amongst 32 square kilometres of spectacular scenery 362 kilometres north of Adelaide, and 28 kilometres north of Quorn. The property lies between Warren Gorge and Buckaringa Gorge and offers a range of accommodation options from cabins, to caravan park to wild camping.
If you are an experienced 4WD adventurer, take Mount Arden track for spectacular views from the top (806 m) or some of the other signposted drives through the gorges on the property. If you prefer a bushwalk, you can take the picturesque and shaded Mount Arden walking track. Another option for a walk is the famous Heysen Trail, part of which meanders through the property. Pick up and drop off can be arranged at the homestead.
Visit Kangaroo Island
By Pauline from Beeloved City
When it comes to weekend getaways from Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is an all-time favourite. There is so much to see and do on Kangaroo Island!
Located a couple of hours south of the city, you can easily get there by ferry or plane. Flying from Adelaide to Kingscote only takes 30 minutes however you will need to rent a car on the island if you want to make the best of your weekend.
The best option is to drive down to Cape Jervis and take the SeaLink ferry to Penneshaw.
Once you reach KI, make sure to stop in American River first. There are amazing wineries and oyster farms in the area.
Kangaroo Island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Vivonne Bay, Pennington Bay and Emu Bay are absolutely stunning! You will love spending an afternoon there! Stokes bay is also a great place to go watch the sunset. Climb on the cliff on the side of the beach before sunset. It’s a fantastic view point!
But the highlights of kangaroo Island are located in Flinders Chase National Park: Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse.
In terms of accommodation, opt for a place to stay in Kingscote. You will be close to the supermarket, bars, restaurants and the main road. It’s the most convenient location.
Explore Burra South Australia
By Josie from Exploring South Australia
The town of Burra in South Australia’s mid north makes a great weekend getaway location. It’s a comfortable two hour drive from the Adelaide City centre.
Burra was once a booming copper mining town, and during those boom years it was the seventh largest town in Australia, bigger than both Perth and Brisbane. Mining ceased around the beginning of the twentieth century, but there are still many relics of the past around town to explore and enjoy.
The local visitor information centre has put together a fabulous Burra Heritage Passport which gives access to many of the sites as well as an audioguide and book to explain the history and tell some great stories. This allows you to explore the sites you are interested at your own pace.
As well as the museums and historic sites, there is an art gallery in town showcasing local artists. And all fans of Australian rock music will want to take a short drive out of town to see the Midnight Oil house, the ruin that graces the cover of their 1987 album “Diesel and Dust”.
Burra also has some great hiking in the nearby Red Banks Conservation Park, arguably the home to the best megafauna fossils in Australia.
For dinner, head to La Pecora Nera (The Black Sheep) for a delicious Italian meal.
Clare Valley for sights, wine and fine dining
By Joanne from Families Magazine
Newly arrived in Australia, and settled in Adelaide, we were keen to explore all that the state is famed for. A short break in Clare Valley, two hours north of Adelaide, promised to provide it all: fine wine, epicurean food, heritage, history, and great accommodation. As a ‘first holiday’ in our new home state, we booked a weekend away at the Clare Country Club.
There are suggested itineraries for various lengths-of-stay at Clare Valley Tourism, but for us it was an ad-hoc break. We didn’t plan anything in advance and with only two days at our disposal we decided on a must-do winery tour followed by as much history and heritage as we could cram in before heading home.
The Riesling Trail runs right through Clare Valley and there are plenty of organised cellar door bus tours to choose from. You can DIY your tour with a designated driver – or even hire a pushbike if you’re keen! At every door we were well looked after and accommodated by each host, with delicious locally sourced nibbles, canapés to accompany our wine samples.
As history lovers, we decided to take a tour of Martindale Hall at Mintaro; a grand manor built in the Georgian style in 1879-1880. It’s now a living museum and visitors are welcome to wander its halls and peer into its period-styled rooms. If you’re keen to see the heritage and history of Clare itself, I recommend following the Clare Historic Walk to take in the churches, museums, historic cottages and lookouts. You can find the map online.
Accommodation-wise, Clare offers everything from camping and glamping, to quirky holiday cottages, bed and breakfasts, and a variety of hotels. The Country Club was a convenient base with great dining on site, but I think a period cottage would be our choice for our next stay.
Barossa – Popular for weekend getaways from Adelaide
By Christina from Travel2Next
South Australia produces some of the best wine in the country, and one of the most popular things to do in Adelaide is to taste wine from the state’s numerous wine regions. While wine from McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and the Barossa are available in restaurants and bottle shops in Adelaide, there’s nothing better than going on a weekend getaway from Adelaide to drink wine and eat good food. If you only have time to visit one wine region, then the Barossa Valley is the one to choose. Not only is it a scenic place, with cute villages and towns, vineyards, farmland and rolling hills, but it is also only an hour’s drive away and easy to reach by car.
The region has been producing wine for 175 years, and many wineries are family-run by people who are passionate about their wine. With so many excellent wineries in a small area, wine tasting is the number one activity to do when visiting the Barossa, which is also a region that has excellent food. Activities for foodies to tick off their list while in the Barossa include joining a wine masterclass, a gin-making lesson, cooking class or a farmer’s market tour. There are easy cycling and walking trails, and charming towns with cute local shops selling crafts and gifts.
If you’re on a budget, one of the best ways to enjoy weekend getaways from Adelaide in the Barossa is to book a cottage where you can prepare your food. Go shopping for fresh local produce at the Barossa Farmers Market and get creative in the cooking department. If you’re looking for a luxurious treat, stay in a suite at ‘The Louise’.
See Victor Harbor
By Holly from Globeblogging
Located on the South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Victor Harbor is a popular option for either a day trip from Adelaide or for a weekend getaway that tends to be a little cooler than the state’s capital.
Visitors can get to Victor Harbor from Adelaide by train or bus, or it is about an hours drive. The coastal township is surrounded by National Park so there are plenty of options for enjoying the scenery, while keeping a watchful eye on the water for the local marine life. Between the months of May and November, Southern Right Whales pass by on their migration to and from warmer waters and sightings are common, along with dolphins. Don’t miss a hike up the bluff to look over Encounter Bay.
One of the most popular activities in Victor Harbor is taking the horse drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island. Located in a marine park, it is home to a small colony of wild Little Penguins, as well as a remarkable in-sea aquarium called Oceanic Victor where visitors can swim with and feed massive wild tuna.
For the families, the kids will love riding the steam train along the coastline and visiting the Urimbirra Wildlife Park just five kilometres out of town.
Check out the Anchorage Hotel for ocean view rooms and a great restaurant on site.
Visit the beauty of Kingston-on-Murray
By Heleen from The Global Wizards
Kingston-on-Murray is a little town that lies on the mighty Murray River. It’s about a two-hour drive from Adelaide, which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.
We were immediately blown away by the beautiful scenery of the Riverland. Choose one of the campgrounds right next to the river, enjoy the sunset and be amazed by its characteristic dead trees sticking out of the water. If you like to fish, this is a great spot to throw a fishline as well.
The area is amazing for nature lovers. You can explore the backwaters and creeks by canoe or kayak. Or maybe you prefer a Loch Luna Eco Cruise, which departs daily at the shores of Kingston-on-Murray? You’ll most definitely see some of the many birds who visit the river borders, such as the pelicans and black swans.
If you like to walk, we can highly recommend a visit to the Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre. You can hike around the estate, on the 8-kilometres boardwalk, that takes you through the wetlands.
Take some time to stop at the information posts and learn more about the area, its history and the wildlife. If you like birdwatching, you’ll love to observe the birds in one of the 4 hides. Don’t forget to taste some wine and learn about this ecological project, while enjoying a meal. You definitely deserved that after a long walk.
Summary of best weekend getaways from Adeliade
This is a snapshot of some of the many places to enjoy weekend getaways from the city of Adelaide in South Australia. There are of course so many more throughout the state.
So, whether you’re a local looking for short trips from Adelaide or visiting this vibrant city of Australia, we hope we have inspired you with our list of weekend getaways from Adelaide. Do you have a favourite weekend getaway? let us know!
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