Best Driving Destinations - South Australia

2023-11-28
Best Driving Destinations - South Australia banner

South Australia is well-known for its fantastic driving experiences; whether you are looking for a quick day trip or an epic adventure, there is something to suit everyone. Explore the majestic coastlines and get close and personal with marine life, or head into the historic outback and soak in some truly magical scenery. Gourmet foods, riverboat cruises, and rich Aboriginal culture are all on the agenda. There is something to discover on every corner and bend. So fuel up and strap in for the road trip of a lifetime.

Do you love a good drop of vino paired with incredible food and scenery? This circular wine and food experience is undoubtedly on the road trip bucket list! Linking together the four world-renowned wine regions of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa, and Clare Valley, this trip is certainly one for the tastebuds. Sample some of Australia’s best wines and get up and personal with expert wine tours while taking in some of the most incredible scenery. There is an ample selection of delectable culinary experiences for the foodies on board, from cheese and chocolate to world-class restaurants, local produce, and even strawberry picking! Experts recommend giving yourself at least four days to enjoy this experience. However, many spend longer to encompass every last drop of memories from these iconic regions.

Best Time To Visit - Epicurean Way

South Australia is known for its fantastic weather, with many experts suggesting that for this road trip, the best time to visit is around October through to May when you can experience many things on offer. Including the yearly grape harvest, when the region will be humming with life and activities.

How to Get There - Epicurean Way

The best way to get to Epicurean Way is heading South from Adelaide towards McLaren Vale, which will take approximately 40 minutes. (if you need a car, why not look at what subscription cars are available from Motopool Adelaide)

From the Adelaide CBD, take Goodwood Road south to South Road and then head west. Use the Southern Expressway or Main South Road towards Victor Harbour and then onto McLaren Vale – the start of the circular wine and food tour. Most then head from McLaren Vale towards Adelaide Hills. From Adelaide Hills to the Barossa Valley. The Barossa to Glare Valley, and finally circling back to Adelaide.

What To Do - Epicurean Way

With so much rich history, exploring this region is clearly one for the memory books. Teeming with local wildlife – cue the Kangaroos in the vines – these regions are a buzz of life and experiences. Join a local wine tour to visit the massive array of cellar doors while gaining personal insights from some of the area’s top winemakers, including Primo Estate, Sabella Vineyards, Jacob’s Creek or Seppelsfield Winery. Many of these wineries also offer personal experiences, including blending your own wine, so make sure you create the perfect itinerary to match what you want to experience in each of these renowned areas. Most wineries also have world-class restaurants and dining opportunities. If you are keen on a bike ride, book a tour and head off on a guided bike experience, weaving through some of the best wineries, including The Lane Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. Don’t forget to visit the Australian Food Icons' shop at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop to enjoy the Barossa Valley’s finest produce. With so much fresh produce to sample, including cheese delights, strawberries and chocolate, you can find something for everyone on this great road trip.

Plan Your Trip - Epicurean Way

Depending on your taste buds, it’s a good idea to ensure you plan what you want to experience in each region - McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley – to ensure you get the best out of the trip.

Southern Ocean Drive

After a five to 10-day adventure full of incredible sights and breathtaking beauty? The Southern Ocean Drive is certainly one to add to your dream driving destinations. Witness stunning coastlines and get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most famous wildlife and untouched wilderness, or enjoy a sip of your favourite plonk at the beautiful array of wineries. This drive certainly has something for everyone. Showcasing Australia’s most beautiful beaches is well known for being one of Australia’s best drives – similar to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria (see our Best Driving Destinations Victoria edition) but without all the traffic and people.

The Sothern Ocean Drive begins where the Great Ocean Road concludes – meaning you can combine the two for a truly incredible driving experience across two different states. Starting at Mount Gambier and ending in McLaren Vale, the road weaves around some of the most magnificent beaches on earth, from the Fleurieu Peninsula with its coastal scenery and culinary delights to the wonders of the Limestone Coast and Kangaroo Island. So buckle up and get ready to enjoy some outstanding driving and Instagram-ready scenery.

Best Time To Visit - Southern Ocean Drive

South Australia boasts its best weather from March to May. Autumn offers the lowest possibility of rain while providing warm and inviting days. If you want to experience the famous Fleurieu Food Festival, August is the time you want to ensure you reach this region. If whale watching is on the agenda, the months between June and August are the best times to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures, while September/October and November will showcase the endless native wildflowers. Depending on what you want to do and see during this epic road trip, it’s a good idea to research the exact months to ensure you get the most out of your adventure.

How To Get There - Southern Ocean Drive

You can access the Southern Ocean Drive from the end of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria [add a link here to VIC blog] or from the opposite end at McLaren Vale, 45 minutes from Adelaide. The entire drive is approximately 1,200km, with the main stop-off routes being;

  • Port Fairy to Mount Gambier
  • Mount Gambier to Robe
  • Robe to Victor Harbour
  • Victor Harbour to Kangaroo Island
  • Kangaroo Island to McLaren Vale

From Victoria, you can access the Southern Ocean Drive at the conclusion of the Great Ocean Road and head to Port Fairy on the A1 motorway. The entire drive is well-signed with the Southern Ocean Drive. Still, we suggest ensuring your GPS is up-to-date and loaded with your intended stops, as some routes will travel inland. In contrast, others will stick to the coast – allowing you to customise your entire trip depending on what you want to see and do in this exquisite region. If driving from Adelaide, take the M2 motorway towards McLaren Vale.

What To Do Southern Ocean Drive

There is so much to see and do on this incredible drive it would take a whole book to explore every detail of the excitement and memories to be made. From guided tours and cruises to breathtaking hikes and 4WD adventures! But there are certainly a few worth mentioning. The Port Fairy Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, which is located within an inactive volcanic crater, is one worth pursuing, particularly if you want to experience Australia’s most iconic native animals, including kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, possums, emus and more.

Marvel at the transparent waters and white sands of Cape Bridgewater, or enjoy the Seal Walk to the famous colony. There are also ample blowholes to enjoy along the way and masses of photo opportunities. Mount Gambier also offers its very own dormant volcano crater lake – the Blue Lake – that changes colour depending on the time of year you visit this dazzling destination or visit the natural wonder of the Umpherston Sinkhole that has been transformed into a spectacular garden. Stop off in the stunning town of Robe and enjoy the beautiful sights while enjoying some great food, or take a stroll across their lovely jetty.

From Robe to Victor Harbour, you can enjoy 150km of the Coorong National Park, which is full of wetlands that offer a massive diversity of plants, animals, and nature. Kangaroo Island is a must-stop on this dream driving experience; there is so much to do on this spectacular island you can literally spend three days just in this one location exploring the remarkable features of interesting rock formations and wildlife alongside Australia’s most sensational beaches.

Plan Your Trip Southern Ocean Drive

Being such an extensive road trip, planning in detail what you want to experience along the way is vital. Motopool has done the hard work for you with some great websites offering superb itineraries to get you started.

Eyre Peninsula

If you want to experience the ocean and all of its beauty, this road trip is definitely for you. Also known as Australia’s Seafood Frontier, and for good reason, this trip is teeming with ocean experiences of all kinds. From swimming with Great White Sharks and seals to enjoying some of the best seafood on offer, the Eyre Peninsula is beaming with experiences and adventures. Around a four-day trip and approximately 1,098km, you can enjoy a range of activities from snorkelling, surfing, kayaking, cage shark diving, fishing, hiking, bushwalks and more. And don’t forget the seafood and memorable country pubs this region is famous for. Plus, the scenery is something to remember, with national parks dotted along the way as you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the ocean. So strap in and get ready for the journey of a lifetime.

Best Time To Visit - Eyre Peninsula

The peak time for this area is understandably summer, from December to February. During these times, the days will be hot and perfect for those wanting to enjoy the world-class white sandy beaches on offer and warmer ocean temperatures. However, autumn and March to May are also beautiful times to enjoy this region for those wishing to explore without the hustle and bustle of crowds.

How To Get There Eyre - Peninsula

The most popular and easiest way to get to the Eyre Peninsula is via Adelaide. Head towards Port Augusta on the National Highway A1 Motorway; this will take around three and 1/2 hours, and then choose which way to explore the coast. Many follow the coast from Whyalla South or keep heading west via Kimba towards the Gawler Ranges. The entire drive from Adelaide to Eyre Peninsula takes around seven hours. The most popular routes include:

· Whyalla to Port Lincoln

· Port Lincoln to Streaky Bay

· Streaky Bay to Head of Bright

As with all long-distance road trips, ensuring you have a good GPS and make a detailed plan.

What To Do - Eyre Peninsula

Like all of these epic scenic coastline road trips – there is ample to experience. Overflowing with options for guided tours, exploration cruises and more, you can see as much or as little as you like. Swim with giant cuttlefish in Whyalla or jump in a cage to get a close encounter with sharks at Port Lincoln. Enjoy an oyster farm tour in Coffin Bay, swim with sea lions, or explore the Talia Caves. Visit the celebrated and most photographed South Australia destination of Eyre Peninsula’s Lake MacDonnell Lake with its intensely beautiful pink hues, and head over to Cactus Beach, located between Streaky Bay and the Head of Bright, to catch some seriously epic wave action. These regions are also famous for their iconic beaches, surfing, snorkelling, diving, fishing, breathtaking national parks, and ample world-class seafood. If you are in the area around July to September, you can catch a glimpse of the migrating whales, dolphins, sea lions and seals in Fowlers Bay and Head of Bight.

Plan Your Trip - Eyre Peninsula

Get planning to ensure you get the best out of your road trip to the Eyre Peninsula!

Coastal Way - Yorke Peninsula

Enjoy 460km of pristine beaches, coastal towns and national parks on this beautiful Coastal Way road trip. Most experts suggest taking four days to enjoy this incredible adventure; however, for driving enthusiasts, it can be done in a shorter time frame – but with so much to experience, it’s highly recommended to take your time to soak up this legendary area. From Port Wakefield to ending the entire loop in the Yorke Peninsula, you’ll be delighted by the sights, sounds, and tastes of this famed drive. Pack the fishing rods, swimmers, and hiking shoes and strap on the bikes for the adventure of a lifetime.

Best Time To Visit Coastal Way - Yorke Peninsula

The area is known for its variable conditions, with experts suggesting the ideal time to visit the region is between October and May, when you will enjoy long warm days and clear, cool nights. Interestingly, the Yorke Peninsula is in the 64 percent for the most pleasant weather compared to other tourist destinations worldwide! For those wanting to chase the sun, the warmest time of year is undoubtedly between December and February.

How To Get There Coastal Way - Yorke Peninsula

The Coastal Way Road Trip in the Yorke Peninsula comprises over 700km of astounding coastline. Take the National A1 Motorway out of Adelaide, heading towards Port Wakefield; from here, follow the signs to the Coastal Way Road Trip. The entire drive takes around 24 hours to complete. Most experts suggest the following routes;

· Port Wakefield to Edithburgh

· Edithburgh to Marion Bay

· Marion Bay to Moonta Bay

· Moonta Bay to Port Broughton

Fire up the GPS so you don’t miss all the great stops along the way!

What To Do Coastal Way - Yorke Peninsula

If you fancy a spot of fishing or want to feel the gentle sea breeze in your hair, this is definitely the road trip for you. Coastal Way Road Trip of the Yorke Peninsula is bursting with scenery, national parks and adventures. Walk the Yorke is certainly on the top of the list of things to do, with its 500km loop from Port Wakefield to Moonta that is perfect for biking or walking. Or head off on a shipwreck adventure at the Ardrossan Heritage Museum to discover the region's rich maritime history. Don’t forget to pop into Stansbury to sample some of the world’s most exquisite oysters; you can even book in for a day on an oyster boat and learn the tricks of the trade of this booming industry. Marion Bay is well-known for its sea sports and fishing while also being on the doorstep of the famous Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park. Book a guided tour or explore the region yourself, from the Cape Spencer Lighthouse, the incredible beaches and tranquil waters or the Ethel shipwreck. Port Hughes offers some of the best fishing in this South Australian spot, or paddle in the shallows at Moonta Bay. There is so much to delight the senses on this incredible road trip. Finish in Point Broughton to conclude your astonishing adventure, visiting local wineries and sipping some of South Australia’s best vino.

Plan Your Trip Coastal Way - Yorke Peninsula

With so much to see and do, it’s imperative you create the best itinerary for your road trip to the Yorke Peninsula. Don’t worry; Motopool has done all the hard work for you to get you started and prepared for your epic adventure!

The Mighty Murray Way Road Trip

Travel alongside the most legendary Australian river and one of the world’s longest - the mighty Murray River. Flowing from the Snowy Mountains to the Southern Ocean, this stunning drive will showcase some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery and wildlife while immersing yourself in the rich Aboriginal history that is famous in this region. From river cruises and delectable gourmet delicacies to historic towns, canoe adventures, and water sports galore, this region certainly provides something for everyone on board. So, strap in and buckle up for the adventure of a lifetime on the Mighty Murray Way Road Trip.

Best Time To Visit - The Mighty Murray Way

Autumn and the months of March to May are the best times to visit this area as you will enjoy the river's calmest time of year, allowing you to enjoy the paddling opportunities. This time of year will also have you experiencing clear daytime skies and star-filled evenings.

How To Get There  - The Mighty Murray Way

Most experts suggest starting your 382km journey in Renmark and concluding in Goolwa around seven days to immerse yourself in this celebrated region. Renmark is around 2 hours and 50 minutes from Adelaide; take the M2 Motorway north of Adelaide, heading towards Reid, and follow the signs for the National Highway A20 to Renmark. Most will then embark on the following routes;

  • Renmark to Loxton
  • Loxton to Morgan
  • Morgan to Tailem Bend
  • Tailem Bend to Goolwa

Planning is paramount to ensure you don’t miss a beat on this marvels drive. Also, always check conditions – the mighty Murry has been known to suffer from devastating floods, so always ensure the roads and sights you wish to explore are open to the public.

What To Do The Mighty Murray Way

With 2500km of flowing river, the options are endless for your adventure, depending on what you want to focus on. Visit the 100-year-old historic Wilkadene Station and immerse yourself in the history of shearing while enjoying a tipple or two at the famous Woolshed Brewery or sample some locally made gin or brandy. There are ample canoe and kayak adventures or jump on a paddle cruise and take a break from the road to enjoy the Murray River at its best. Explore Lake Bonney, soak up some truly spectacular sights, and ensure you book a trip to the Wetland Centre to enjoy the brimming birdlife and nature on display. From vines and wines to fruit trees and preserves, the views will impress, and so will the delicacies on offer. Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park is a must-see to get a real feeling of the history that soaks this region. Australia’s first International Dark Sky Reserve is also one for the star gazes, with almost 5,000 visible stars on offer! The Safari Park is also a popular spot with tourists to get a close encounter with some of nature’s wildest animals. Finish with a pit stop at the Blend Motorsport Park with the world-class motorsport racetrack. With a maze of guided tours available, ensuring you have a solid itinerary before heading off on this epic road trip is a good idea.

Plan Your Trip The Mighty Murray Way

It’s important to grab a pen and paper and get planning so you don’t miss a beat on this wonderful road trip adventure.

Looking for other great driving destinations in Australia? Also check out:

Best Driving Destination Guide NSW

Best Driving Destination Guide Victoria

Best Driving Destination Guide Western Australia

Best Driving Destination Guide Queensland.

  

 

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