South Australia

5 weekend getaways in South Australia

South Australia has beautiful coastal and countryside retreats that embrace the natural landscape of the state. If you've been contemplating a trip to SA then these weekend getaway locations will get to start exploring.

Listen to the waves crashing on the beach in Victor Harbor, enjoy island life on Kangaroo Island or walk through the vineyards in the Barossa Valley. South Australia is full of natural beauties that are sure to tickle your fancy for a couple days away.

Turn off your phones, unplug from the internet and enjoy the company of a partner, friends or family during a weekend getaway in South Australia.

Victor Harbor

The Fleurieu Peninsula is one of South Australia’s favourite playgrounds, and in its heart, you’ll find the charming seaside town of Victor Harbor. Just a 75-minute drive from the centre of Adelaide, Victor (as the locals refer to it) offers a myriad of activities that simply beckon a weekend away.

Keen surfers can satisfy their adrenaline craving at nearby Boomer Beach and Knights Beach, while those looking for a more leisurely seaside stroll can find solace in scenic Horseshoe Bay.

When in Victor, a visit to nearby Granite Island is a must. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, you can either choose to walk the 630 metres to the island or alternatively hop on the horse-drawn tram – the last of its kind still in operation in the world.

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or more of an outdoors novice, the island is easily covered within an hour thanks to its range of stunning walking trails. Pack the camera!

South Australia is home to some top-notch food, and Victor Harbor’s culinary offering is no exception to this. For a step back in time, head to the town’s iconic Anchorage Seafront Hotel Bar and Restaurant. Dig into a fresh catch of the day, then wash everything down with a glass of wine sourced from nearby McLaren Vale.

Where to stay in Victor Harbor

At the base of the ‘Bluff’, The Bluff Resort Apartments offers stunning ocean views across Encounter Bay. Choose from a studio, two or a three bedroom apartments, all equipped with free wifi and Foxtel. If swimming in the ocean isn’t your cup of tea, the property offers a solar heated outdoor swimming pool, barbecue facilities and even a laundry area to offer some home comforts.

The Bluff Resort Apartments

8.4 Very good (709 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
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Outdoor swimming pool
Restaurant
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Barossa Valley

An etching of woven vineyards is sewn into rambling golden hills. Twisted, native shrubbery flanks the roads, while the scent of wine fragrances the air with a ripe aroma. Welcome to the Barossa Valley.

While locals may prefer to keep this sanctuary top secret, the Barossa has become a cherished weekend destination for South Australians and the rest of the world alike. Often likened to Bordeaux, Napa, and Tuscany, the Barossa means business when it comes to delivering superb wine.

If you’re guilty of liking your fair share of plonk, your first port of call should be the revered Penfolds Vineyard. Quaff the likes of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre, then be sure to cleanse your palette before sipping the cellar’s most celebrated blend: the Penfolds Grange. With more than 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors, the Barossa is unquestionably any wine lover’s paradise.

“The Barossa is the ideal place for a weekend getaway. Just an hour’s drive from Adelaide, it has unique wine experiences; plenty of boutique accommodation options; and top quality destination restaurants showcasing the best of local produce.”

- Brent Hill, Director of Marketing, South Australian Tourism Commission

Depending on your stamina the following day, we recommend getting a bird’s eye view of the region with an early morning hot air balloon ride. Both Barossa Valley Ballooning and Balloon Adventures offer aerial trips and guarantee some pretty unbeatable sunrise views over the valley.

Conclude your adventure with a trip to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop in Nuriootpa. One of Australia’s most loved chefs, see where Maggie started it all with some of her cult products including burnt fig jam and tomato and basil sugo – delicious!

Where to stay in the Barossa Valley

Nothing says country living quite like a cottage. Queen’s Cottage, located in Williamstown, is a restored 1800’s Stone Cottage that offers accommodation for one to three couples.

Wake up to delicious breakfasts made with fresh local produce, spend the day enjoying afternoon teas; sampling local wines or perusing nearby antique stores and cellar doors, and for a bit of relaxation and romance, end your evening in front of the log fire.

Queen's Cottage Barossa Valley

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (26 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
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Air conditioning
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Robe

A quaint seaside town, nestled on South Australia’s scenic Limestone Coast, Robe is certain to leave you tickled pink. Just over a three-hour drive from Adelaide, you can be greeted by a rugged coastline that’s positioned against gentle, calm beaches.

The highlight is arguably Long Beach, which offers 17 kilometres worth of golden sand and permits direct car access. Our tip? Pack a tasty hamper, and spend the afternoon there.

“Robe is a picturesque town along the south coast of the state. You can drive on the beach itself, dine on some of the best seafood and local produce in the state, and the Coonawarra wine region is just an hour away for those stunning bold reds.”

-Tanya Jarman, South Australian Tourism Commission

The region is renowned for its fertile ‘terra rossa’, which translates to red soil. While several of the grapes grown in the soil are transported to other wineries outside of Robe, the town has a small offering of local wineries including Karatta Wines. Start with a fresh glass of Chardonnay that reflects notes of peach and lemon, then progress to the winery’s highlight – the 2005 Karatta ‘Reserve’ Shiraz.

But Robe doesn’t just stop at the beach. The charming town centre offers a myriad of small streets and historic brick and sandstone buildings, including the much-loved Robe Hotel.

Here you can dig into a typical counter meal – think a chicken schnitzel served with a hefty portion of chips and salad – we’ll forgive you, you’re on holidays.

Where to stay in Robe

Located near the oceanfront, Robe Marina Accommodation is the perfect seaside family accommodation. It is easy to feel at home in the guestrooms as they offer up plenty of homely amenities, such as a microwave, flat-screen TV, private bathrooms with showers and a hairdryer.

When you’re ready to venture out of your guestroom, exploring the nearby sights is easy with Long Beach and the Little Dip Conservation Park not too far away.

Robe Marina Accommodation

8.2 Very good (68 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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Hahndorf

With its Tudor, wood-panelled pubs, rustic cake shops, and green draping plain trees, Hahndorf is a slice of Germany right in the heart of South Australia. Established in 1939, and recognised as Australia’s oldest German settled town, Hahndorf makes for a cultural weekend getaway that’s just a 30-minute drive from Adelaide.

As a true German town, it goes without saying that several of the pubs and bars offer robust beers on tap, but for something local, head to Gulf Brewery. Positioned on the town’s main street, Gulf is a microbrewery that produces hand-crafted boutique beers – think a fish tale pilsner or a trade winds IPA.

“Hahndorf is an easy place to fall in love. It’s such a diverse melting pot of cultural influence and rustic Adelaide Hills charm. A once kitsch, Bavarian tourist village, has now been transformed into a local hub of food, wine, art and artisan produce to make it a must visit destination in SA.”

- Tully Challen, Communications & Digital Manager, The Lane Vineyard

If you’re feeling the beer belly, you’ll be pleased to know a range of respected wineries are just a hop, skip, and a bottle away. Favourites include The Lane, Shaw + Smith, and Nepenthe, with all guaranteeing some of the state’s finest drops – delish!

Nothing quite aspires more to the afternoon narrative in Germany than an afternoon tea at the German Cake Shop. Here you can indulge in a delectable offering of cakes and pastries which are all made from traditional recipes. Favourites include the Bienenstich (bee-sting cake) as well as the apricot and poppy seed strudels that are baked fresh daily.

Where to stay in Hahndorf

Set in the beautiful garden surroundings, The Hahndorf Motor Lodge is the perfect accommodation for exploring the region. Offering guests modern facilities, such as a fully-equipping kitchen, flat-screen TVs, and guests can also choose one of the four poolside rooms.

 

While you’ll be tempted to go off to explore the neighbouring regions, make sure to enjoy the German architecture of famous Main Street, where you will find boutique cafes and restaurants. If you’re visiting from out of town, you’ll not have to travel far as the Lodge is only 35 minutes from the airport.

Hahndorf Inn Motor Lodge

8.1 Very good (672 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Indoor swimming pool
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Kangaroo Island

An island steeped in history, Kangaroo Island is close to South Australia’s mainland in geography, but a million miles away in experience. A 90-minute drive from Adelaide to Cape Jervis, and then a 45-minute ferry crossing, Kangaroo Island is an idyllic weekend getaway. If you’re prone to a little seasickness, Regional Express also offers direct flights from Adelaide Airport which take a mere 20 minutes.

The island is rich in native wildlife and rugged beauty, with more than 1/3 made up of national parks. The largest of these is Flinders Chase, which boasts the stunning, wind-swept Remarkable Rocks.

After grabbing your winning Instagram shot, venture to Seal Bay where you can appreciate an idyllic, sandy beach that’s home to Australia’s third-largest sea lion colony. Other favourite beaches include Stokes Bay and Vivonne Bay, which offer tamer waters than other parts of KI.

When it comes to rich gastronomy, Kangaroo Island falls far from short. Whether you fancy biting into a freshly caught catch of the day, or you’d rather sample some farm-grown produce including gooey honey and sheep’s milk cheese, KI has you covered.

Our pick? Hannaford & Sachs of course! Head chef, Rachel Hannaford, serves up a seasonal menu with an international flair – think Thai dumpling soup alongside Lebanon summer salad. During summer, you can’t beat dining under the picturesque Fig tree.

Where to stay on Kangaroo Island

What better way to enjoy the beauty of Kangaroo Island than spending the night at Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge. Allowing guests to be one with nature, the Lodge is located with the bushland and overlooks American River Bay.

Most rooms on the property offer useful amenities, such as a microwave, toaster, iPod speaker dock and a Nespresso coffee machine. The hardest part of your stay will be choosing between pool or water views. For a great day out with the kids, make sure to visit the nearby Penneshaw Penguin Centre.

Hotel Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge

7.7 Good (432 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.5 / 10
Car park
Pets allowed
Gym
Indoor swimming pool
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Feature image by Алексей Торбеев / Fotolia