Take a Mini Break in South Australia
Take a mini-break in your own backyard and book in a weekend at one of the following South Australian destinations. Simply sort out your holiday accommodation and venture out to enjoy all this stunning region has to offer.
The Limestone Coast covers more than 21,000 square kilometres, with rich, fertile soil that makes it perfect for vineyards. It boasts super premium wines from regions such as Coonawarra, Wrattonbully, Robe, Mount Gambier, Mount Benson, Bordertown and Padthaway.
Along with these world-class wines, the Limestone Coast is home to a boutique industry that encompasses diverse foods such as emu steaks and mettwurst, pickled walnuts and native preserves. For meat lovers there's some of the nation's best beef and lamb, plus fresh seafood harvested from the surrounding waterways. With that in mind, any visit to the Limestone Coast should include and experience along the Limestone Coast Real Food and Wine Trail.
Supported by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the trail stretches from Tailem Bend to South of Mount Gambier and across the Victoria border, featuring a blend of rich landscapes, breathtaking coastlines and plenty of mouthwatering food and wine.
Download the trail brochure to help make your journey easier, or simply follow your nose as you eat your way through wagyu steaks, local cheese and muntrie jam. Stop at farm gate sales' outlets, cellar doors and the sites of artisan producers for a taste of the real Limestone Coast, and stock up on plenty of treats to take back home with you.
Complete your Limestone Coast mini-break with a trip to Coorong National Park, where you'll find more than 80 species of birds living in the shallow saltwater lagoons. All that separates the Coorong from the wild Southern Ocean are some majestic white sand dunes, which make for a stunning photo opportunity. Take time out to go fishing, boating and four wheel driving in the park.
Glenelg is just 10 kilometres away from the heart of Adelaide City, but remains its own charming seaside town located along the shores of Holdfast Bay. It's the site of South Australia's original mainland settlement that dates back to 1836, and its pristine ocean environment is perfect for a laid back beach getaway.
It's in these waters that you can swim with wild dolphins, thanks to Temptation Sailing. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes you on the first South Australian vessel to be given a licence to study and swim with dolphins in the wild. The boat doesn't go to the dolphins - the mammals come to the boat, and they come in droves. Because the gulf is home to more than a thousand common and bottlenose dolphins, Temptation can offer a money back guarantee.
You'll need to be ready to board the boat at 7:20 a.m. for your best chance of playing with the dolphins, but this early start is well worth it.
For maximum culture on a minimum budget, head to the Bay Discovery Centre in the Glenelg Town Hall. For a gold coin donation you'll get the chance to browse through interactive multimedia exhibitions, learning about life by the sea in the early days of Glenelg. The centre's mezzanine gallery offers a changing pattern of exhibitions that support the work of South Australian artists.
The centre is open every day apart from Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
When you've worked up an appetite, head to Esca, a restaurant and espresso bar located on the Marina Pier at Holdfast Shores. Home-style Mediterranean dishes grace the menu, and can be eaten outside with views of the Marina or in front of the roaring fireplace if you're chilly. Try the spaghetti chitarra with South Australian prawns, chilli, garlic, chorizo and basil, or opt for the cataplana of seafood, consisting of mussels, prawns, calamari, fish, cockles and blue swimmer crab.
One of the best things about Middleton is its beach, which is enjoyed year round by fishermen and surfers from all over South Australia. The beach is sheltered from big waves by the King George Sound, making it a perfect place to take the kids and for snorkelling in the clear water. There's also a platform in the bay which you can swim out to and jump off.
The beach has toilets, showers and a playground, plus a terraced shaded area for picnics. Stroll along the boardwalk that climbs the hill to the south, getting views across the King George Sound and Middleton Bay.
Head to Basham's Beach between Middleton and Port Elliot during June to September for a chance to see the Southern Right Whale. You can also commonly see these magnificent creatures off Middleton Point.
If you're a keen cyclist you'll want to pack your bike for this mini-break and try out the Encounter Pathway. This is a shared bike path that runs along the foreshore, connecting all the way through to Victor Harbour. The pathways stretch between Middleton and Port Elliot is often thought to be its most visually appealing.
The Yorke Peninsula is just over an hour's drive away from the South Australian capital of Adelaide. It offers more than 700 kilometres of coastline, making it a firm favourite of anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Stock up on delicious food for your trip at the Stansbury Seaside Markets. Taking place on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. just off ANZAC Parade, the markets feature local produce and home made baked goods along with jewellery, crafts, face painting and art. Take the opportunity to try a free sample of local emu oil, and stock up on some wines, nuts, dips and sauces to enjoy after your holiday.
Adventurous types can enjoy the Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail, which is the stretch of water that lies between Kangaroo Island and southern Yorke Peninsula. More than 70 lives and 26 vessels are believed to have been lost in these waters, with many of the shipwrecks a haven for aquatic life and divers from around the world.