South Australia

7 Places to visit in South Australia that aren't Adelaide

Adelaide is a wonderful city to visit, but don't look past the other great places to visit in South Australia. Next time you head south, swap the city of churches for one of these cool towns.

Think of things to do in South Australia and the mind might drift to the ambient streets of Adelaide, or perhaps to the cool and cultured climes of Kangaroo Island. But there’s an awesome array of interesting towns to escape to in this southerly section of our kaleidoscopic country. From the former seaport of pretty Port Augusta to the ultra-quirky desert town of opal-rich Coober Pedy, there’s a thrilling range of places to rest your head for a few nights and escape your ordinary routine.

Oceanside luxury awaits in Port Lincoln, where you can down artisan cocktails before retiring to a private balcony. Or if you prefer a group trip to vineyard-fringed Clare, you can frolic in verdant landscapes before sampling glasses of smooth Pinot Noir as the sun sets. Look forward to trendy rooms with bay views and minibars stocked with tipples for your taste buds. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s something to suit every preference and budget across this wildly wonderful state.

Be waterside in Port Lincoln

The Port Lincoln Hotel is the place for ocean lovers. Perched on the edge of the water, this traveller hotspot and favourite Port Lincoln accommodation option allows you to drink in aquamarine views of Boston Bay and is just a short stroll from the town’s main attractions.

Finely finished family rooms can sleep up to five, while the Deluxe Spa Suite – complete with a king bed and luxurious spa bath – brings elegance to romantic stays. A multitude of stellar eateries are within skipping distance, though the hotel’s own Sarin’s restaurant might be hard to beat. Tuck into a buttermilk pancake stack with chantilly cream at breakfast, or wash down your dinner of decadent hiramasa kingfish with a hand-blended elderflower elixir.

Lively Sharky’s Bar is the ideal place to wind down with a beer at the end of the day or to get competitive on quiz night. Or, perhaps you’d simply like to watch the moon slowly rise in the inky sky while reclining on your own private balcony.

Port Lincoln Hotel

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1460 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

Explore Port Augusta

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Laidback Port Augusta accommodation was once overlooked in favour of bustling Adelaide for a South Australian breakaway, but opt to spend your next holiday at this growing city’s Standpipe Golf Motor Inn and you could be pleasantly surprised. Set in the lush grounds of an 18-hole golf course, this award-winning inn is close to the Upper Spencer Gulf and has a range of recently refurbished contemporary suites to suit many budgets. All rooms are kitted out with a microwave, toaster and fridge so you can whip up a simple brekkie in the privacy of your own space. If you prefer eating out, chuck on your slippers and pop down to the on-site restaurant to feast on a hearty eggs benny or homemade buttermilk pancakes.

With leisurely days ahead of you, you’ll want to take time to explore the premises’ landscaped gardens or slip under the cooling surface of the pool for a break from the sun. The hotel is five minutes by car to attractions such as the Wadlata Outback Centre and Curdnatta Art Gallery, so you’ll be spoiled for choice as to how to spend your time. Our guess is that you’ll want to be back for an evening of taste bud-tingling Indian food that can be enjoyed either in the restaurant or in the comfort of your own room.

Standpipe Golf Motor Inn

Port Augusta, 2.2 km to The Australian Arid Land Botanic Garden
8.2 Very good (293 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

Plush and peaceful in Porter Bay

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Perched on the very edge of Porter Bay is the Marina Hotel. Whether you opt for a studio-style suite or a self-contained waterfront apartment, the plush fawn and teal-hued interiors will wash you in boujee vibes from the moment you arrive.

Suite dwellers will benefit from the use of a quaint kitchenette, while those in apartments can cater to the whole family with full kitchen and dining facilities. You might just find, however, that the draw of the on-site restaurant is too much to resist. Inhale a breakfast feast of cinnamon French toast, then dine like a monarch in the evening on saffron king prawn bisque. You can even sample the wares of local vineyards (top picks include Lincoln Estate and Teakle Winery) while gazing out at the marina. At just steps from the ocean, you can work off every decadent meal with a bracing walk along the water’s edge.

There’s plenty to do in the local area, too. Daredevils can commune with resident sea predators through tours booked with Calypso Star Shark Charters — though maybe a relaxed stroll around Lincoln National Park is more your style. However you choose to spend your days, you can wind down in the evenings with a sunset tipple before retreating to the comfort of your peaceful hideaway.

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Marina Hotel

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (503 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Wellness centre / Spa
Hotel CTA

Underground quirks in Coober Pedy

Quirk and style are written into every inch of Desert Cave Hotel, a Coober Pedy hotel that’s delightfully distinctive and partly underground. This unique accommodation invention offers two different sleeping options: overground abodes suit those who love natural light, and a handful of stylishly sandstone-lined ‘dug-out’ rooms bring a cool and quiet escape from the desert sun. All rooms have been fully kitted with modern comforts, with all 50 suites boasting snooze-inducing beds, WiFi and personal minibars.

You needn’t venture far for that essential opal-based souvenir, as the hotel’s very own underground shopping centre hosts a glittering array of jewellery and other wares made from the local gemstone. You’re also never far from a delicious dish or thirst-quenching beverage here, with a diverse choice of eateries on hand to keep you well-fed and watered (or wined). Try the bacon-wrapped shrimp at Umberto’s Restaurant for a mouthwateringly eccentric take on surf and turf, or end the day with a cold beer in the underground bar and games room.

Desert Cave Hotel

7.9 Good (486 reviews)
Very good Cleanliness 8.4 / 10
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

Experience eco-friendly tourism

Eco-conscious travellers will marvel at the elegant and energy-efficient accommodation at Crossroads Ecomotel, a purpose-built retreat that aims to honour Aboriginal culture. Here, nature taste buds and innovative natural products – such as solar panels and packed earthen walls that keep out heat and noise – are utilised to provide unique comfort with a bonus side of feel-good vibes.

Check into an environmentally friendly Deluxe Room and you can take advantage of a fully-equipped kitchenette for long, lazy Sunday breakfasts on your private outdoor deck. With king-sized beds draped in quality linens, you’ll be sure of a sound night’s sleep that will set you up for a day of exploring the sunshine-bathed streets of pretty Port Augusta. That is if your room’s cushy leather sofa doesn’t make you want to stay in for a leisurely day in front of the 40-inch flat screen TV. Just make sure not to miss the chance to use the outdoor barbecue area for a sausage sizzle under the stars.

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Crossroads Ecomotel

Port Augusta, 2.5 km to The Australian Arid Land Botanic Garden
9.1 Excellent (472 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
WiFi in lobby
Hotel CTA

Verdant vineyard-lined Clare

Wine lovers will be familiar with the vineyard-fringed town of Clare, and the Clare Country Club is perfect for taking advantage of this sun-soaked, grape-laden region. Families can choose between stylishly appointed two- and three-bedroom apartments in this Clare accommodation spot, where kids will dose up on vitamin D on the outdoor terrace while the ‘rents prepare dinner in the fully-equipped kitchen. Ultimate relaxation awaits couples in a King Spa Suite, where complimentary toiletries and a bubble-filled spa bath will put the finishing touches on any romantic retreat.

If you’re looking to burn some energy, chuck on your tennis whites and head to the Club’s well-kept courts. If workouts beneath an air-conditioning vent are more your thing, opt for a HIIT session in the climate-controlled gym. Afterward, the palm-flanked outdoor pool, with its inviting turquoise surface, will beckon you for a cooling dip under the South Australian sunshine.

For a change of scene, nip to nearby Knappstein Enterprise Winery and sip a smooth vintage like the Insider Shiraz Malbec. Wined and contented, return to your hotel for an evening of gastronomy with lip-smacking lemon myrtle and mountain pepper squid at the on-site restaurant, Conners.

Clare Country Club

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (1462 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
Car park
Wellness centre / Spa
Gym
Outdoor swimming pool
Hotel CTA

Port Pirie - an elegant place to visit in South Australia

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For a true taste of luxury, potter to Port Pirie and spend a weekend in the exquisite Ellen Hotel. Recline like royalty in any one of the 19 beautifully appointed rooms, where designer in-room amenities and complimentary hot drinks come as standard. A sensual steam shower, generous king-size bed and access to the ultra serene Courtyard Lounge await those who check into a Luxe Suite. You can lull yourself into a state of tranquil bliss with a menu of spa treatments that you can take in-room.

Start each day with a Millennial breakfast of avocado and smoked salmon and you’ll be ready to venture along the foreshore to Solomontown Beach. You’ll want to take a moment to pose in front of the photo-worthy waters of Port Pirie Creek before returning to the hotel for a leisurely afternoon at the sophisticated Ellen Restaurant. Here, you’ll be able to tickle your tastebuds with delicate sandwiches and sweet nibbles at high tea. Come evening, treat yourself to a tipple from your personal minibar and settle in with a blockbuster on your 40-inch flat screen TV.

Ellen Hotel

8.6 Excellent (57 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.4 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Restaurant
Hotel bar
Hotel CTA