Our favourite travel spots in South Australia

Our favourite travel spots in South Australia

Since COVID hit, every type of travel has had its roadblocks - including interstate travel in Australia. We have taken the last few months as an opportunity to get out and explore our very own beautiful state, South Australia! These are a few of our favourite places to travel around SA: 

The Yorke Peninsula is one of our absolute favourite spots in SA - being only 2 hours away from our home, we have done our fair share of Yorkes visits over the years. Most camping sites require a Bush Camping Permit which covers all sites - available online here or in person at any of the Council Offices in Maitland, Minlaton, and Yorketown. Camping fees start from $10 a night, rangers frequently visit sites. 

Berry Bay is a beautiful exposed beach break, perfect for surfing, swimming, and fishing. There are rips frequently, so be mindful of this and take caution when swimming. Berry Bay has a number of rock pools to explore in, we usually see fish, crabs, and starfish. There is no vehicle access to this beach and you need to walk down a small flight of stairs to access the beach. Free day beach access, camping or overnight parking not permitted. Toilets available and dogs are permitted. 

Wauraltee Beach is one of our favourite spots to stay on the Yorkes. Whenever we stay here we typically have the whole stretch of beach to ourselves! Vehicle beach access is permitted so you can setup right by the water, anywhere you like. The water is always a beautiful blue and there is minimal seaweed around. We always see dolphins when we stay and they come in super close.

Winds can be a bit pesky sometimes, not uncommon for westerly facing beaches in the area. The entry point of the beach has recently had bins and rain water put in - apart from that there are no other facilities so best to be self contained if staying for longer periods. 

White Troopcarier on Beach

Wauraltee Beach

Cape Elizabeth may not be at the top of our list, but it sure did save our butts during SA's lockdown. This is one of the few camping spots across Yorkes that is not a part of the paid council scheme, camping is free. A bit of a trek in (approx 25 minutes) through some rutted unsealed roads. Winds can be quite strong and seaweed build up occurs at points. Again, this is one of the few beaches that you can have access to drive on, unfortunately a lot of access is being taken away by councils. 

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park is a must see on anyones Yorke Peninsula trip! This national park sits at the bottom of the peninsula with access from Marion Bay. Be sure to pack your camera for this one, wildlife is abundant and the views over the ocean are stunning. We were greeted by mobs of kangaroos and emus, many with young. Please take care when driving, as with any national parks and keep an eye out for our wildlife. The park is one way in, one way out with multiple attractions along the way. The route ends at Browns Beach with no vehicle access beyond this point, if you wish to access Gym Beach you will have to exit the park and go the long way around. Pondalowie Beach is fantastic if you own a surfboard. Shell Beach provides an absolutely stunning view with a wooden stair case down onto the beach. There are multiple camp grounds and carparks throughout the park. You need to pay for a permit for day access and there are additional fees for camping. You can access permits here.

The Flinders Ranges is an epic spot, such a South Australian beauty - filled with absolutely breathtaking views and lots of wildlife. The best time to visit the ranges is in the cooler months, between May and October. The cooler days provide ideal walking conditions, greener sceneries and if you're lucky you may be blessed with some rain. As odd as this sounds, it is absolutely stunning when it rains!

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park lies between Parachilna and Hawker with the iconic Wilpena Pound in the centre. Again you need a permit for a day pass and additional camping fees apply. You can access permits here. A great spot to stay in the Flinders is Rawnsley Park Station, a large caravan park style retreat 30 minutes drive north from Hawker on the Flinders Ranges Way. This park offers accomodation options including luxury eco villas, powered campsites, and bush camping. We opted for the bush camping sites which spanned across a 3km stretch following the river bank. You are able to drive along and pick your own site practically anywhere, no sites are marked. Facilities can be a bit of a walk from certain campsites, but you do get access to showers and multiple clean toilets. This is the perfect spot to put your feet up with a glass of wine and watch the sunset hit the almighty Wilpena Pound as it lights up. Unpowered campsites start from $29 per night, and powdered campsites start from $39 per night. You can see all accomodation styles and pricing here.

Flinders Ranges Campfire Setting

Rawnsley Park Station

Rawnsley has its own airstrip and offers scenic flights of Wilpena Pound and Lake Eyre if this is of interest. They also have a general store at the reception with everything you think you could need. Phone reception is also available at most places here, unlike other areas of the Flinders - staff informed us that Optus is the best and some other networks can be hit and miss in certain spots. There are multiple hikes you can do starting from the park, all of varying difficulty. Some of the hikes entail almost vertically rock climbing up the track - they can be tough. Rawnsley Bluff bush walk is a 11.3km hike return and the views from the top are absolutely beautiful, with the option to fork left at the top of the climb to overlook Wilpena Pound, or continue straight to look back over the Elder Range. Seeing both will add an extra 45 minutes to your journey. All up the hike took us around 5 hours return to go to both lookouts and stop for photos on the way.

Pugilist Hill Lookout is a small hill nested to the east of the highway around 15 minutes drive from Rawnsley Park. The lookout gives a different perspective over the ranges and is also the perfect spot to watch the sunset being westerly facing. 

Pugilist Hill Lookout Troopy on Hill

Pugilist Hill Lookout

Edeowie Station is a gorgeous family-owned and operated sheep and cattle station that offers camping. They have 3 different campsites that are different sizes and can cater for small or large groups. They also offer stays in the homestead and the shearer's quarters if you like a little bit of 'home-like comfort'. The station is on the Western side of Wilpena Pound offering beautiful sunrises and sunsets. If you are into hiking you can take the hike to Edeowie Gorge from the property. A lovely hike that is only medium intensity, but it can be time consuming and there is very minimal signage - we did get lost. We use an app called All Trails that works offline and follows your GPS signal so you can record your track and find your way back. Follow the creek bed, allow for min 4 hours return. We saw many wild goats and yellow footed rock wallabies on the hike. The campground has possibly the best long drop toilet around and you can have a shower for $5. There is no phone reception here so you really get to switch off and take it all in. Fire wood is usually readily available, best to be conservative though. Camping fees are $10 per adult per night and $5 per child per night. Check out all accommodation styles and prices here.

 Edeowie Station Sunset

Edeowie Station

A trip to flinders wouldn't be complete without your iconic photo at Razorback Lookout, located in Bunyeroo Gorge, a great spot to stop for your morning cuppa. To access the gorge travel towards Wilpena Scenic Resort along Flinders Ranges Way - you can get fuel and groceries here. Approx 3km past the Wilpena Lookout take a left turn onto an unsealed scenic route. This route will take you into Bunyeroo Gorge. From here you can follow the gorge through to Bunyeroo Road leading into Brachina Gorge - this is where you will find Razorback Lookout. Brachina has got to be our favourite gorges, not just because of the beautiful rock formations and water streams, but this is one of the best places to view yellow footed rock wallabies in their protected habitat. Camping is allowed in the Gorges but strictly only at the designated camp spots. Toilets and water fill up spots are located throughout the gorges, mainly at the campsites. 

Razorback lookout Flinder Ranges

Razorback Lookout

Parachilna Gorge is not actually part of the national park, it is more open but often quieter than the other gorges. It is accessible via Blinman and either of the two highways that encompass the Flinders. Be sure to pop into the Prairie Hotel for a beer or their uniquely famous meals! If you have dogs, this is one of the best places to stay. As it is not part of the national park, you are permitted dogs providing they are under control. Camping here is often in dried up creek beds as apposed to dedicated sites. Mountain goats in this area seem to be that bit more friendly with many coming by our campsite to say hello.

The Eyre Peninsula is a beautiful spot that we have travelled to only once, but we loved every single minute we spent there. It is approximately 8 hours drive from Adelaide. If you are travelling this way, be sure to stop in at a few of the silo art locations along the way. Some of these locations include Wirrabara, Kimba & Cowell. 

Venus Bay was a great spot to stay on our first night of arriving on the Eyre Peninsula. When leaving Venus Bay and travelling 500m on Venus Bay Road, there are some dirt roads on your right. These roads lead to some beautiful cliffs along the coastline where we set up camp for the night. 

Coffin Bay National Park is an absolute must-visit if you have a 4WD! The beginning of the park is accessible to 2WD, but the best parts and the majority of the park are 4WD only. It is a really narrow track that can get rough at times, you need to drive with caution and be prepared to reverse and find a spot to park to allow others to pass. Sand flags are a good idea as it can be hard to see people coming! There are so many amazing beaches and campsites throughout the whole park, filled with lots of kangaroos and emus. Over estimate your travel times when in the park as it can take time. If wanting to see the whole park, allow 3-4 days minimum. We did up until Sensation Beach across 2 full days. Salmon fishing was quite good at this location. The further you go in the park, the more secluded your stay will become. Be prepared though, and travel with others, or take the appropriate recovery gear. Gunyah Beach at the start of the park is awesome fun, however can be very soft, so again, be prepared. Access to the park is restricted if you wish to stay, so pre-book your dates online to ensure you don't get caught out.  

Coffin Bay National Park Black Springs Beach Shot

Coffin Bay National Park - Black Springs 

Port Lincoln National ParkWe ran out of time when we were here to do this park, however we have only heard great things. This park has fantastic four wheel driving from Sleaford to Wanna. If you have to time, make your way to Memory Cove. This bay has pure white sand and protected by vegetation, making it the ideal secluded paradise. Access to the park (particularly Memory Cove) is again restricted, so pre-book your dates online to ensure you don't miss out. 

Whalers Way is a privately owned piece of land that sits at the the bottom of the peninsula, around 25-30km drive from Port Lincoln. As it is privately owned, you will normally have to purchase a key from the Port Lincoln Council office to gain access. As of November 2020, the price was $40 per vehicle. During busy periods the gate is left open, however permits are still checked at the gate. Allow a full day to drive around this part. Fishery Bay is the first stop you come to with again beautiful white sands and fairy shallow waters for the first part. To top it off, this little slice of paradise offers free camping as well. 

After you go through the gate, your second left hand turn will take you to a dead end which is where you can access the swimming hole. To get down to the swimming hole you descend down an old fashioned stairwell. 

Stairwell down to Rockpool at Whalers Way

Whalers Way Rockpool near Fishery Bay

This swimming hole to the left is fairy well protected, but always watch the water. If you are up to it, a bit of a clamber over rocks and you can access the swimming hole to the right of the stairwell. This one is a bit more open so take extreme care. Many fatalities have occurred throughout beaches, especially the Eyre Peninsula from complacency, always read the ocean and the situation. 

Rockpool at Whalers Way Blue Water

Whalers Way Rockpool near Fishery Bay

Following on, as you near the end of the sanctuary you will reach Baleen Rockpool area. This has got to be some of the most gorgeous rock pools around!

Rockpool at Baleen Rocks Baleen Rockpool

The water colour needs absolutely no filter, it is a shade of incredibly light blue and so inviting. There are rock pools to the right and the left of the area. The swell can be quite a bit more intense here. 

Warning Sign Rockpool

Baleen Rockpool

We also got the privilege of viewing a large colony of sea lions at Redbanks Beach. For us, they were congregating at the north western corner of the point and also had multiple young with them.

Fleurieu Peninsula is perhaps one of the states best locations. Not only is it home to some of the most pristine beaches and nature parks, but it also encompasses the famous McLaren Vale wine region. Make sure you spend some time checking out some of the local wineries in the area, see the local markets full of fresh produce from small business or dine out. Star of Greece at Port Willunga has on the the most stunning veiws you could think of, think Santorini vibes.

Kuitpo Forest is a located near McLaren Vale and offers quiet overnight camping in a great pine forest setting. Fees are payable through ForestySA webpage or at any of their offices. 

Some of the best camping is in Deep Creek Conservation Park, located right down the tip of the peninsula near Cape Jervis. There are multiple overnight camp sites that you can find here. Blowhole Beach is a lovely place to visit for a day trip, note that you need a 4WD with clearance to access the track down to it.

Blowhlole beach. Kangaroos in foreground of rolling hills. 

Rapid Bay and Second Valley are both magical spots very close together. Second Valley has beautiful cliff side views, a great place for a swim. If you have a canoe, bring it along and explore some of the small coves and caves close by. Rapid Bay is also a fantastic place to go for a snorkel. You can launch off to the jetty and head south to follow the foreshore where there is an abundance of colourful fish, rays and more. 

All in all, South Australia is a beautiful place and no matter where you are - there is always somewhere amazing to explore. So get out and see all that this incredible state has to offer! 

Wyatt & Tayla


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