Read these 134 South Australia Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Australian tips and hundreds of other topics.
Population: 413 This was a whaling station in the early days, but now its main catch is lobster.
The small town's main assets for the visitor are solitude, peace and a rugged and beautiful coast. Sand dunes, rocky headlands, pristine beaches all make Beachport a mecca for nature lovers. There are walking trails through the surrounding bushland and the coastline to spots such as Salmon Hole, Post Office Rock, Backlers Lookout and Rivoli Bay. Bowman scenic drive is recommended for superb views of the coast.
Population: 3500 Kadina is the largest town on Yorke Peninsula. Its name stems from the Aboriginal 'kadiyinya, meaning lizard plain. Rich deposits of copper were discovered here in 1859 and a thriving mining industry soon developed around the town. While its importance waned after 1923 when its mines closed, it has since become an important agricultural centre. Fine examples of the Cornish miners' architecture can be seen throughout the town. The oldest cottage in the town is thought to be at 63 Taylor Street and is the only survivor of its type, with a Parapet built to prevent snow from building up on the skillion roof. Other good examples include the Wombat Hotel, the Royal Exchange Hotel and the Catholic Church.
Population: 15 291 The city of Port Augusta sits at the apex of Spencer Gulf and is known as the crossroads of Australia. the spot where flinders stepped ashore on March 10. In the history of white settlement, the site was charted by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and was developed early on as a major port of export for the outback's wool, wheat and minerals. Today, Port Augusta is a busy outback centre with a large power generation plant and railway workshops.
Browse the shops for opals. If you don't know your opals, stick with a guide who knows, as you could wind up with cheap low-quality stones.
Visit the opal museum in the centre of town. Learn about opals and some mining history.
Visit an opal mine and underground home. There are a number of organised tours you can take.
Go fossicking for opals. Best to do this in a designated opal field.
If you have the time and wish to do it, travel with the mail truck on a 600-kilometre round trip from Coober Pedy to Oodnadatta and William Creek for a different traveling experience.
Today, Wallaroo is the economic epicentre of the copper triangle towns, and has many fine examples of colonial architecture. Guided tours through the town's streets are available, with guides from the Wallaroo Museum available on weekends, alternatively a copy of the guide sheet is available from the museum for visitors who prefer to see the town at their own pace. The Wallaroo Mines site is also open for a sign-posted walking tour.
Population: 2,225 Copper was discovered around Burra in 1845, and soon a bustling town had grown around the site. The Burra, as it was known, consisted of a series of small townships based around the nationalities of the miners who lived there. Kooringa and Redruth were Cornish, Aberdeen- Scottish, Llywchwr-Welsh and Hampton- English. While the town economy is today based on the pastoral industry especially merino sheep farming, the copper heritage is evident everywhere. Several museums interpret the old mines site, and numerous historic residential and public buildings have been restored and put to contemporary use. Burra's Passport system is an inviting and novel way to see the town's many attractions - simply collect your key from the Burra Tourist Office, and head off at your own pace on an eleven kilometre tour of heritage buildings, museums, mine shafts and lookouts .
Murray River National Park
The Murray River National Park consists of Katarapko Creek, Lyrup Flats, Bulyong Island and Eckert Creek. The floodplain is considered important for the preservation of red gum and black box woodland habitat.
Katarapko Creek, a minor branch of the River Murray is across the river from Loxton. Here, in quiet backwaters and several horseshoe lagoons are numerous waterbirds. Many protected species nest and live on the island, including peaceful doves, sulphur-crested cockatoos, sacred kingfishers striped honey-eaters, regent parrots, crimson rosellas, blue-faced honeyeaters, pied butcher-birds, pelicans, ibis and darters. The waters around Katarapko Island are excellent for canoeing and fishing.
Telephone (08) 8553 7235 Rocky River is a small cleared area in the heart of a forest of the national park, known for large numbers of Kangaroo Island kangaroos and Cape Barren geese that go there to feed. The kangaroos are mostly docile and visitors can hand-feed them. Other animals in the area include emus and koalas. Park Headquarters are at Rocky River.
Talisker Conservation Park
134 hectares Talisker Conservation Park has as its focus the historic Talisker silver and lead mine. The old Cornish miners' diggings, surrounded by steep wooded hills, are listed on the state's register of heritage items. An interpretive display and walking trail explore the mine, its history , natural features and vegetation.
Population: 742 The historic port of Robe is today a holiday-makers' mecca. It was discovered by French explorer Baudin in 1802. He must have been impressed at what he saw - in one direction, clean gently sloping beaches stretching as far as the eye can see in the other, rocky cliffs and impressive natural landforms. Long Beach qualifies as one of the country's most under-rated beaches for swimming and surfing. The port of Robe is an old town, with streets of heritage cottages and public buildings, and loads of character. In the 1850s, lines of Chinese immigrants streamed through, on their way to the victorian goldfields - it was cheaper to land here and walk than to disembark in Victoria and pay the poll tax of 10 pounds a head.
Population 963 This is a thriving deep sea port, shipping bulk grain grown on the peninsula to all points of the globe. Proclaimed in 1873, its first settlers initially Iived in dugouts. The land around the settlement was riddled with broom bush and mallee and at first was cleared by hand, a terrible job.
Then, in the early 1870s, a local farmer called Mullins developed a contraption called the 'mulleniser', a heavy roller drawn by a team of horses which flattened the scrub, which was later burned. In 1876, two brothers, Clarence and Richard Smith invented the stump jump plough, an ingenious device that saved South Australian farmers uncounted hours of effort - and in particular the farmers on Yorke Peninsula.
Another industry around Ardrossan is dolomite, mined from quarries south of the town.
Fleurieu Peninsula & Kangaroo Island
The Fleurieu Peninsula sits half an hour south of Adelaide where Gulf St Vincent meets Backstairs Passage. The Peninsula has more than twenty conservation parks where wildlife can be seen in natural bush settings. A 16km ferry ride across from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island of which much has been set aside as National or Conservation Parks. The island can also be reached by air with regular flights from Adelaide airport.
Melrose is the oldest town in the finders Ranges and has been used as a movie set on several occasions. The discovery of copper gave birth to it while today it services a large and prosperous grain growing industry. It is also one of the most beautiful towns of the Flinders Ranges, nestled at the foot of Mount Remarkable and next to the Mount Remarkable National Park. Climb to the War Memorial for a panoramic view over the Willochra Plain, or to Lookout Hill near the water tanks. Cathedral Rock is a spectacular formation along the edge of Mount Remarkable Creek west of the town. Day trips in and around the area lead to some of many scenic areas of the finders Ranges via the National Park and gorges.
Beltana is an old railway town on the western fringe of the Flinders Ranges. Today, it is a historical reserve off the main Hawker-Leigh Creek road.
The detour is worth it. Many of the town's buildings are being or have been restored, making Beltana a time-capsule of the I9th century. These include the original Beltana Homestead (1855), Police Station (1881), Post Office and Telegraph (1875), Bush Hospital (1898) and School (1882).
The "Smith of Dunesk Mission Church" was opened in 1895 and was the base from which Rev. John Flynn pioneered the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Australian Inland Mission.
Beltana was also the base for pastoralists Thomas Elder and Robert Ban-Smith, co-founders of Elders. In the early days it was a camel breeding station. When the railway was replaced in 1956, Beltana slowly fell into disuse. Note: the buildings in Beltana are privately-owned and are generally not open to the public.
Population: 400 Edithburgh's layout is similar to Adelaide, with parklands and gardens. It was named after the wife of the then governor of South Australia. Edith Fergusson. There are nearly 200 lakes in the Yorketon - Edithburgh district, most of them salt and from the 1880s until the 1950s, salt extraction/scraping was an important industry. Evaporation pans at Port Price on the northern end of the peninsula ended its viability. The town is now a pleasant holiday destination, servicing the local farming community. The ocean is an important part of the towns heritage - in 1909 the Clan Ranald sank nearby off Troubridge Hill, with the loss of 33 crew, who are buried in the town's cemetery.
Loxton's earliest white settlers were mainly of German extraction; their determination, hard work and spirit of community continues today in the pride residents have for their town.
Loxton was first sealed in 1895, and the Loxton Historical Village recreates the look and feel of the town as it was in its early years. The town is renowned for the work of its local artists.
Population: 3250 Nuriootpa means 'meeting place,' which stems from its use as a place of barter by Aboriginal tribes before white settlement. Today it is the commercial centre of the Barossa Valley. Founder William Coulthard's name is commemorated in several spots - his house today is the Barossa Information Centre, Coulthard Reserve is a beautiful place for a picnic. The North Para River meanders through the town, and offers several pretty spots for recreation or a picnic - stock up on traditional German fare at the town's butcher and baker.
Population: 2,591 In the beautiful northern Mt Lofty Ranges, Clare nestles among wooded hills and orderly vineyards. Its earliest settlers were Irish, and it's one of the few South Australian districts where an Irish influence can be detected in the lifestyle and culture. Clare is the centre of a prosperous pastoral community and an important wine industry. The Clare Valley's slopes and valley floors provide a cooler climate for later maturation than in the Barossa Valley, and the district's wines have a reputation for quality and character. It's one of the most picturesque wine producing areas in Australia.
Population: 2500 Wallaroo's copper mines were already yielding when a shepherd discovered copper around a wombat burrow twenty kilometres away. The mines proved rich beyond the dreams of most, and the town of Moonta quickly grew around the site. During its 63 years of operation, it is estimated to have yielded 6,250,000 tonnes of ore. Today Moonta is a monument to the mining age. Its streets look just like they did one hundred years ago (with the odd concession to modern living). The splendid gothic influenced Uniting Church is a fine example of colonial architecture. And the restored miners' cottages at the Moonta Mines Museum take you right into the world of the Comish miner. George Street, Moonta's main street is named after George Goyder, surveyor -general of South Australia 1861 to 1866. Copper mining was re-commenced at the Poona Mine sixty years after the close of the mines in the area.
Mintabie is a small, opal mining area 33 kilometres west of Marla and 265 kilometres north of Coober Pedy. The fields were discovered in the early 1920s, when good deposits of black opal were found. Large scale mining operations dependent on earth-moving equipment opened the area up in the 1970s. The settlement is still small, however, and facilities for tourists are limited. Access to Mintabie requires a permit, available from the Police Stations at Marla and Alice Springs.
Population: 1,450 This was the first settlement in South Australia. It was first named Angas, after George Fife Angas, one of the colony's founders, but a dispute saw it renamed after Henry Kingscote, another of the founders. On the shore of beautiful Nepean Bay, Kingscote is the island's capital, and its centre of commerce and tourism. To the north of the town, steep cliffs provide a good vantage point for views over the town, the bay, and Western Cove. Yachts and fishing boats dot the water. At the base of the cliffs is Reeves Point, the colony's first landing-place. To the south, the cliffs give way to beach and swampland near the mouth of the Cygnet River where birds nest and breed in profusion.
South Australia, state (1991 pop. 1,236,623), 380,070 sq mi (984,381 sq km), S central Australia. It is bounded on the S by the Indian Ocean. Kangaroo Island and many smaller islands off the south coast are included in the state. Adelaide is the capital; other important cities are Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, and Mt. Gambier. Two thirds of the state's population live in the Adelaide metropolitan area.... Read More: South Australia: Physical
Population: l5.000 Gawler is South Australia's oldest country town, and boasts more grand colonial buildings than most. It was laid out in 1839 and is one of the many places in the state to bear the second South Australian governor's name. In the I9th century it was known as the 'Modern Athens' a reference to the literary nature of its early residents. The 'Song of Australia' was written here by Carl Linger. The town's importance can be seen in its many old classic colonial buildings. Of special note is the entire Church Hill district, one of the few declared heritage areas in the state.
Kangaroo Island, small island, South Australia, S Australia, at the entrance to Gulf St. Vincent. It is 90 mi (145 km) long and 34 mi (55 km) wide. The chief products are barley, sheep, salt, gypsum, and eucalyptus oil. At its west end is Flinders Chase, a large reservation for native flora and fauna. There are many summer resorts. Kingscote (1991 pop. 1,443) is the principal settlement.
Cape Borda Lighthouse
Telephone (08) 8559 3257 Opened in 1858, this lighthouse stands on a cliff 155 metres above the sea on the far western end of the island. Nearby stands a small cannon, once used to warn ships of danger. The cemetery close by has thirteen headstones, a stark reminder of the hardships faced by the early settlers. The Cape Borda Heritage Museum displays a collection of relics which depicts the daily life of the settlement and explains the operation of the lighthouse.
Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse
This automatic lighthouse was built in 1906. The remains of a jetty, water tank and storeroom are nearby at Weirs Cove. From here, building materials and other supplies were sent by flying fox to the top of the cliffs. In 1835 the island's largest shipwreck occurred nearby.
Population: 2103 Opal was discovered at Coober Pedy in 1315, today it is Australia's largest and oldest opal mining town, known the world over for the unusual underground lifestyle its inhabitants have been forced to adopt to escape the fierce summer heat. Coober Pedy is on the main Stuart Highway. Its most notable feature is the moon-like landscape of opal mines, holes in the ground dug by several generations of miners and simply left there untended after being discarded. Care should be taken when walking around the area. The mines area is made up of around thirty working fields stretching outwards in a radius of up to fifty kilometres from the town. There are certain rules of behaviour visitors should observe - including avoiding fossicking for opal in and around miner's claims. Ask permission before searching for opal in tailings heaps ('mullock' heaps). Visitors can stay in a choice of underground accommodation.
Seal Bay Conservation Park
750 hectares Telephone (08) 8552 8233. Seal Bay is famous for its large colony of rare Australian Sea Lions, estimated to comprise ten percent of the world population of the species. The inhabitants are relatively tame, and do tolerate human incursion into their midst. Nonetheless, they can be dangerous and entrance into the area is restricted to minimise disturbance to both the mammals and their breeding. Guided tours take visitors closer to the large mammals. A Ranger's hut above the beach provides information on the sea lions' living habits. The full length of Seal Bay Conservation Park has been declared an Aquatic Reserve swimming and fishing are prohibited.
No wonder, many have chosen to live in underground dugouts, and a visitor to this place can, in fact, secure accommodation in an underground hotel or be toured through underground homes.
Located on the Stuart Highway, somewhere between South Australia's Port Augusta and the Northern Territory's Alice Springs, it is almost an obligatory stop for travelers on the highway in order to experience the unique Outback character of this fascinating Australian town.
Port Augusta itself is an interstate crossroads town where you can head west through the Nullarbor to Western Australia, east to Broken Hill and Sydney in New South Wales, south to South Australia's Adelaide, and of course north to Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The Stuart Highway is a sealed road which roughly, and often erratically, parallels the railway of that well-known train, the Ghan, from Adelaide to Alice Springs, as well as the desert routes of the camel drivers of an earlier time.
Berri, in the centre of the Riverland, has plenty to see and do. Its main industries are citrus fruit and its by products and wine - Berri boasts the largest single winery in the southern hemisphere, Berri Estates.
As elsewhere along this part of the river, water sports and recreation rate highly with locals and visitors. Martin's Bend, a few kilometres east of town is also a popular picnic and water skiing spot. They take their golfing very seriously in Berri, and Berri Golf Club is regarded as a challenging country course with exceptional spots of beauty.
Fast ferries, operating 24 hours a day link Berri with Loxton.
Andamooka is South Australia's youngest outback opal mining town. It is 120 kilometres north of Woomera, west of Lake Torrens and noted for the quality of its investments and heirloom quality opals. Andamooka was opened up with the discovery of opal in 1930. The main fields are close to the town, where semi dug-out homes are common. The historical cottages, now on the national heritage register were the first semi dug-out permanent homes of the early miners and opal buyers. Local tours can include inspections of working mines and the historical cottages.
Coober Pedy, 535 kilometres north of Port Augusta in South Australia, has always held a strange fascination for many Australians, not that a high proportion of them have ever been there.
It's a place like Oodnadatta, farther north along the Oodnadatta Track, which skirts the normally waterless Lake Eyre, whose name conjures stretches of arid desert, marvelous rock and sand formations, and a natural stillness that speaks of vast distances and solitude.
What differentiates Coober Pedy from any number of Outback towns is the fact that it lies in Australia's best-known opal region and about 1500 of its people (roughly half its population of around 3000) live up -- or down! -- to its Aboriginal name: Coober Pedy, usually translated as "whitefella's (white man's) hole in the ground."
As a tourist destination, Goolwa has a unique claim to fame - it's the only place in Australia where paddlesteamers and an historic train join forces to provide a double- barrelled adventure in steam transport. The town is a junction for the Cockle Train, a holiday maker's train of historic carriages that travels between Goolwa and Victor Harbor. From Goolwa, the paddlesteamer Mundoo' and a number of other vessels depart on day trips or longer to cruise the lakes, Coorong and river reaches.
Population: 1,222 A heritage-conscious town, Penola's many fine colonial buildings and streets have been wonderfully restored, with a number of slab and hewn cottages remaining in good condition. Sainthood may yet make Penola an even more important destination in the near future. It was here that Mother Mary MacKillop founded the Order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and a school for the districts children irrespective of income or class in the 1860s. Her endeavour have since been widely recognised and she may well be soon canonised. Walkers will appreciate Penola and environs. There are good sign posted walking trails through the town and also in the conservation park.
Mount Gambler is the commercial centre of the South East. Built on the slopes of an ancient volcano, it's alternatively known as 'Blue Lake City'. The Blue Lake is the South East's largest and most popular attraction, but there are a number of other, if not quite as spectacular lakes and craters in the district. The city has many fine examples of colonial architecture built using the distinctive local stone. Mount Gambler's major industries are timber, dairy products, especially cheese, vegetables and wool.
Simpson Desert Conservation Park
This park is in the centre of the Simpson Desert. It consists of an endless series of red sand dunes, salt lakes, spinifex grass and gidgee woodland whilst after rare bouts of rain, wildflowers add a stunning range of colours.
A variety of birds and marsupials unique to this part of Australia - including eyerean grass wrens, zebra finches, Australian bustards, hopping mice and marsupial moles - inhabit the park.
Access should only be attempted by four-wheel drive vehicle.
Outback National Parks
Vast areas of the South Australian outback are set aside as national and conservation parks or regional reserves. Travel into these should only be undertaken with proper preparation, care and equipment.
For camping in the desert parks in the outback region, you may require a Desert Parks Pass. The Pass is valid for twelve months from the date of issue and comes with an information booklet and detailed outback maps.
Information and Desert Passes into the parks can be obtained from the:
Environment and Natural Resources: Telephone (08) 8204 1910
Northern Regional Office: Telephone (08) 8642 3800
Marla is a major service centre on the Stuart Highway between Coober Pedy and the Northern Territory border. Roads from here lead to Mintabie opal fields and the Oodnadatta Track. The settlement has a hotel-motel, caravan park and camping area, food outlets, medi- clinic and is base for several government departments.
Population: 5,318 This is the South Coast's Premier holiday resort, and has been since last century. It is also the largest town. The area was first settled in 1837 to service the whaling industry. For a few years, Victor Harbor was a major South Australian port of export for the River Murray trade. A railway linked Goolwa and Victor Harbor but when the trade died tourism became an important part of the Victor Harbor economy. The historic railway track is still in use, this time to carry the popular Cockle Train between the two towns.
Population: 2.360 This is an historic river Port on the lower reaches of the River Murray, the last before it empties into the Southern Ocean. It was once a thriving port, built to funnel the trade in wool, grain and merchandise from up-river to Port Adelaide and interstate. A busy shipbuilding industry provided and repaired paddlesteamers, whilst the first public railway in the country was built to carry the goods cross country to Port Elliot and later, Victor Harbor. However, by the turn of the century Goolwa had lost its importance - railways built from Adelaide to the River Murray and from Melbourne to Echuca quickly siphoned its trade from the 1880s.
Population: 15,114 This is the region's largest centre. It has always played a crucial role in the state's economy. Broken Hill silver, lead and zinc deposits have provided significant earnings for the city for generations, while grain from its hinterland has been shipped from the port for over a century. Contemporary Port Pirie has a rich cultural life, and its location near the Flinders Ranges makes it a good base for visitors intending to explore further afield.
Population: 230 This is one of the few remaining outback towns that hasn't lost its character to the great god Progress. Its name stems from the Aborigine 'Utnadata' meaning 'blossom of the mulga.' The long cattle track that followed the trail of explorer John McDouall Stuart into Australia's dead heart bears its name. Oodnadatta was an important railhead between 1891 and 1929. when the section of track to Alice Springs was completed. Until then camel train was the main form of transport to this central Australian settlement. Oodnadatta is the starting point for trips into the Simpson Desert.
Great Australian Bight, wide bay of the Indian Ocean, indenting the southern coast of Australia. An unbroken line of cliffs c.200 ft (60 m) high runs along the coast and extends inland as the arid and desolate Nullarbor Plain. The bight is very stormy during winter months.
AREA: 978,810 sq. km., POPULATION: 1,500,000
CAPITAL: Adelaide (1,000,000)
South Australia is known as the driest state in the driest continent on earth. but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some of the most beautiful coastline and lakes you will see. For example, the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier is renowned for its deep rich azure colour, while the mighty Murray River wends its serene way for 400km. right through its southern portions...... Read On: South Australia: Description
Population: 1103 Another town laid out like Adelaide, with streets at right angles and the whole town surrounded by parklands, Maitland services an agricultural community rich in history and has some wonderful examples of colonial architecture.
A hanging on display in the Town Hall was embroidered by the local community and depicts the history of the district from Aboriginal times through to agricultural settlement
This is the valley's oldest German settlement, founded in 1842 by a group of Lutheran families - the settlements biblical name an indication of their devotion. They mapped out their village along prussian lines. The cottages facing the road replicate those the settlers lived in before coming to Australia. Several have been restored and are open to the public in the form of craft shops and art galleries. The village reserve is a great spot for a picnic, even down to the idyllic creek flowing through it. It has a strong resemblance to villages in northern Germany and Poland.
Population: 1,924 Strathalbyn is one of South Australia's most beautiful towns and has some fine colonial buildings. Many of its founders were Scottish, and the town's architecture reflects this influence - not to be missed are the Old Courthouse Museum, the Old Police Station and Saint Andrews Church which overlooks the tree-lined River Angas. The town's old-world charm is best experienced on a walk through its wide streets guided by a walking tour booklet available at the Tourist Office and other retail outlets. Strathalbyn is also renowned for its Craft and antique shops.
The Adelaide Casino is housed in a classic 1929 sandstone building on North Terrace and is within short walking distance to Parliament (both old and new Houses), the Festival Centre, Government House, State Library, Art Gallery of South Australia, Migration Museum, and the University of Adelaide. A bit further to the east is the Botanic Garden. Close by is the Adelaide Zoo. Two blocks down from North Terrace in the city centre's eastern half is Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute and major Aboriginal multi-arts complex on Grenfell St.
Between North Terrace and Grenfell St is Rundle Mall, a shoppers' mecca, which runs west to Hindley St and east to Rundle St.
Most Adelaide after-dark activities are concentrated along North Terrace and Hindley St.
Population: 7,810 Renmark is the oldest settlement along the Murray, It was founded in 1887 with an agreement between the government and two Canadian irrigation experts, the Chaffey brothers, who pioneered the concept of irrigating land from the river. Today Renmark is a proud river town, with wide streets, gracious buildings, excellent facilities and a busy economy based on wheat, wool, fruit growing and wine production. The co-operative spirit has always been high at Renmark, and is best seen in the Renmark Hotel, the first community-owned hotel established in Australia.
Newland Head Conservation Park
945 hectares This coastal conservation park twelve kilometres west of Victor Harbor includes Waitpinga and Parsons beaches, both noted for their fishing, hard-breaking surf and beachcombing. A series of signposted walking trails is set off from both beaches. There are camping ground facilities, free gas barbecues, rainwater fit for drinking, public conveniences and shelter.
Population: 1,189 Keith is on the main Melbourne- Adelaide road. Much of the farmland around it was once a part of the ninety mile desert, but thanks to the discovery that it lacked trace elements, it is now highly productive land.
Keith was proclaimed in 1883, and has some good examples of rural town architecture. A nearby park, the Mt Monster Conservation Park, has some spectacular granite outcrops, presumed to have once been islands when the south east was covered by water forty million years ago. A sign-posted walk takes visitors to the Mt Monster lookout for marvellous views of the area.
Population: 1 600 One of the most famous railway towns takes its name from an Aboriginal word describing the spot where the broad river waters take a sharp turn towards Lake Alexandrina. Watersports and fishing have long been popular with locals and visitors. Many make use of the barbecue grounds and adventure park in the Rotary Park where an old railway engine sits.
Auburn is a pretty town at the southern gateway to the Clare Valley. It dates from the 1840s, when it serviced the bullock wagons travelling between Burra's rich copper mines and the coast.
A walk along its back streets is like taking a step back in time - many of its original buildings remain, especially St Vincent Street. Walking tour guides are available from the National Trust or Aubum Stores. Famous colonial bard CJ Dennis, author of 'Sentimental Bloke' was born and spent his early years here.
Population 430 Port Vincent is a picturesque little town situated on the east coast of Yorke Peninsula adjacent to a quiet, calm bay with safe swimming ,clean beaches and an all weather concrete boat ramp. Considered by many to be the premier holiday resort of the peninsula.
Population: 900 At first this area was called Gum Flat, because it was one of the few areas on Yorke Peninsula where gum trees grew. The name Minlaton was coined from a combination of the Aboriginal 'Minlacowie' meaning sweet water and the Anglo Saxon for town. Today it is the centre of a thriving agricultural district.
Population: 1.350 This is the gateway to South Australia from Victoria and NSW providing visitors and the rural community with rest havens, recreation and supplies. Native birds, emus and kangaroos are housed in a modern enclosure next to the caravan park. Barbeque and Picnic amenities are available at the Soldiers' Memorial Park. A number of conservation parks are easily reached from the town.
Population: 2300 In Aboriginal dialect, its name stemmed from Wadlu Waru, meaning wallaby's urine. The squatters shortened that to Wall Waroo. The practicalities of stencilling names on wool bales meant it was shortened to Wallaroo. Copper was discovered here in 1859 by a shepherd and the mines, near the present site of Kadina, proved immensely rich. A smelter was built and during the peak of the mine's production life in the 1880s the ore extracted yielded an incredible 30% copper. When the mines stopped production in the 1920s, the main industry of the town became the Wallaroo - Mount Lyell Fertilizer Company's operations.
Innamincka grew around a hotel that serviced the early drovers who brought cattle down the Strzelecki Track. It is on the banks of the Cooper Creek and before federation of the Australian colonies in 1801, was a customs outpost where duty on goods coming into the colony was collected. The ruins of the Australian Inland Mission hospital (1328) still stand in the town. Close to the spot where the Innamincka Hostel once stood, a large cairn with two memorial plaques commemorates the expeditions by Captain Charles Sturt (1844-45) and Burke and Wills (1860-61). Will's grave can be seen near Cooper Creek, west of the town and a memorial-to Burke's last resting place is along the creek to the east. Another historic spot is King's Marker, a memorial on the spot where John King, the sole survivor of Burke and Will's tragic expedition was found.
At the tip of Fleurieu Peninsula is Cape Jervis. It was charted in 1802 by Mathew Flinders who named it after the then first Lord of the Admiralty.
The coastline around Cape Jervis is rugged, the result of glacial action and aeons of elemental weathering; the surrounding cliffs and coves are great for exploring. On most days, the outline of Kangaroo Island can be clearly seen. The waters around Backstairs Passage can be treacherous and Cape Jervis lighthouse is still important to shipping.
Several ferries depart from here daily for Kangaroo Island, sixteen kilometres away. In addition to fishing and boating, the district is a popular venue with hang gliders.
Quorn, an old railway town was once an important junction for east- west and north-south rail traffic in the days of narrow gauge rail lines. The construction of a new standard gauge railway line from Port Augusta to Marree in 1956 bypassed Quorn and lessened its importance, but the re- opening of part of the Pichi Richi line has introduced tourism as a new industry.
Quorn is nestled in the beautiful finders Ranges and has lost none of its enchanting old world character.
Between Tanunda and Seppeltsfield, this tiny hamlet received its current name in 1918, when a wave of anti-German hysteria washed over South Australia. Before that, it was called Gnadenfrei (meaning 'freed by the grace of god') by its founding German settlers. Progress hasn't been allowed to change the character of the village. Recent developments deliberately reflect the district's past. Several wineries, one with a restaurant, a motel, a metal art forge and an old wares shop add to the character of the old settlement.
Population: 13,000 Since the 1830s, Murray Bridge has been the major thoroughfare for travellers and trade between Melbourne and Adelaide. Explorer Charles Sturt in 1830 rightly grasped the area's ideal position and encouraged early settlement for farming. The bridge itself wasn't built until 1879 and before that, passengers or livestock had to make use of ferries - or swim across! The town was known for many years as Edwards Crossing and really grew with the arrival of the railway from Adelaide.
Population: 1,635 Leigh Creek's enormous brown deposits of brown coal were first mined in 1943. The Electricity Trust of South Australia operates the mine and currently extracts 2.3 million tonnes every year. Once reduced to small pieces, the coal is loaded onto special trains which take it to a power generating plant at Port Augusta at the head of Spencer's Gulf, a distance of two hundred and fifty kilometres. Book a tour of the coalfields, visiting the mine site viewing area and Aroona Dam.
The Grampians National Parks
The Grampians National Park.
Koorie rock paintings are rare in Victoria and Australia. But not in The Grampians National Park. Five thousand years ago, the Koories who roamed the well stocked hunting ground surrounding Gariwerd as the mountain range was known to them, began recording their dreamtime legends and ceremonies on the recessed walls of caves, tucked away in rocky outcrops.....Read On: The Grampians National Parks
Lake Eyre National Park
This vast park takes in all of Lake Eyre North and the Tirari Desert. It Protects an important desert wilderness. Lake Eyre has international significance, both for its large expanse of salt pan and its occasional floodings. The Tirari Desert is noted for its vast north-south dunes and salt lakes and in one, Lake Ngapakaldi, important fossil deposits have been discovered. Vegetation in the park tends to be low and stunted, consisting mainly of samphire, saltbush and bluebush, with some acacia and cassia. Lake Eyre has only been full of water three times in living memory (and those only in the last fifteen years).
Woomera was established in 1947 as a testing station for the British programme of experimental rockets. Numerous rockets were launched here, including the early Europa series. It also operated as NASA tracking station until 1972. The testing range and the Nurrungar communications station are prohibited areas and managed by the Defence Department.
Population: 250 This is one of the state's oldest resorts. Mathew Flinders' first called here in 1802 at nearby Pelican Lagoon. A year later, 33 years before South Australia was settled, an American brig visited the estuary and stayed to build a 32-tonne schooner, the 'Independence,' from native pine.
On the edge of Eastern Cove, American River's beautiful blue waters are a haven for birdlife, especially pelicans.
Holiday-makers are never short of things to do - there's plenty of birdwatching, sailing, canoeing or fishing, bushwalking or horseback riding. At night, wallabies and other nocturnal animals come out of the bush and can be spotted around the town.
In August, the entire town is ablaze with the blooms of Ereesias whilst wildflowers provide a continually changing carpet of colour along the road and through the bush trails.
There are more than a quarter million mine shafts in the Coober Pedy area, and visitors are warned to be on the lookout for them when traveling alone -- or run the risk of falling into one and remaining undiscovered for days on end, or not being found at all.
In fact, straying by one's self around town, especially by a woman, is advised against, and it's not just falling into a mine shaft that is the danger.
Unless you're already traveling with a group, it may be best to stay with organised tours, or stay very close to the heart of town.
Millicent lies inland and is a convenient base from which to explore the coastal towns of Beachport, Robe and Southend. It began life as a rural centre, but earlier this century, large plantations of trees were planted in the district to take advantage of the favourable climate and rainfall for forestry. Today Millicent is a busy commercial centre for the forest industry. There are several paper mills and sawmills in the area.
At the northern end of the Flinders Ranges National Park, Blinman was a thriving copper town between 1862 and 1830. Robert Blinman's discovery of the metal in 1859 built up high hopes for the future of the town that bears his name.
Some old mine machinery, early buildings and an historic cemetery remain as a reminder of the town's history.
Population: 4,724 Waikerie is the first major Riverland town encountered travelling the Sturt Highway from Adelaide. The first impression you get is of immense scale - more than 5,000 hectares of fruit orchards and vineyards are under cultivation in what was once desert country. The citrus centre of Australia, Waikerie has the largest citrus packing house in the country and a thriving fruit juice company. On the north side of the river you find important fossil deposits, one of the few places in Australia where crystallised gypsum fossils exist in great number.
Morgan was settled in the late 1870s, when Sir William Morgan MP was chief secretary. It quickly became an important port for the river traffic upstream. At one point, when the railway line from Adelaide to Morgan was completed, it was one of the busiest river ports along the entire Murray-Darling river system. The river trade may have died out, but Morgan keeps it alive today with a full working paddlesteamer - the PS Mayflower, built in 1884. Railway services to the town closed in 1969 but the original station has been put to good use as a museum of river and rail history.
Adelaide, city (1991 pop. 957,480), capital and chief port of South Australia, S Australia, at the mouth of the Torrens River on Gulf St. Vincent. It has automotive, textile, and other industries. Grains, wool, dairy products, wine, and fruit are exported. In the face of declining manufacturing, service industries have become more important.
Named for the consort of William IV, it was founded in 1836 and is the oldest city in the state. It was the first city in Australia to be incorporated (1840) and developed according to the original city plan of Colonel William Light. The Univ. of Adelaide (1874) and the multicampus South Australian College of Advanced Education (1982) are among the institutions of higher education located in the city and its suburbs. The Adelaide Festival of the Arts has been held biennially since 1960.
To those who've seen the movies Mad Max III (Beyond Thunderdome) or Priscilla Queen of the Desert, their bleak seemingly out-of-this-world Outback landscape is distinctively Coober Pedy's.
It is a landscape so patently (and potently) Australian (and beloved of directors and cinematographers) but which somehow seems to call up a kinship with America's once-upon-a-time Wild West.
Coober Pedy, a mining settlement, is a rough town hewn out of South Australia's desert fringes. It is hot and dusty in the daytime in summer and freezing cold at night in winter.
Wilpena Pound is arguably the Flinders Ranges' single greatest natural asset, certainly its best-known. The Pound's upturned hand and gnarled fingers are a part of the Flinders Ranges National Park and offer the visitor magnificent scenery, bushwalking trails aplenty, Aboriginal and white history, abundant wildlife and dense native vegetation. There are no cars in the Pound and entry is through a narrow gorge above Sliding Rock while walking trails crisscross its floor, slopes and ridge-tops.
Out from Wilpena, there are numerous scenic drives to other natural features in the national park - including Sacred Canyon with its Aboriginal carvings, Stokes Hill Lookout, Aroona Valley, Brachina Gorge, Bunyerxo Valley, Wilkwillana Gorge and the Aboriginal carvings at Arkaroo Rock.
Population: 3800 Tanunda is the cultural heart of the Barossa. The most German of all the valley's towns, its name actually stems from the aboriginal word for "watering hole". The town at first centred on the hamlet of Langmeil, the Barossa's second earliest settlement. A short stroll through the town's back streets or around Langmeil's Goat Square quickly makes plain the importance of northern German culture and Lutheranism to the villagers. There are four Lutheran churches and many of the town's old buildings have been registered with the National Trust. For the traveller, Tanunda holds all manner of delights. Wineries surround the town. To compliment the wine, German pastries, breads and wursts can be bought at several shops, or enjoyed at the town's restaurants and tearooms.
Population: 300 Penneshaw is on the north-east coast of Dudley Peninsula, a small, pretty town overlooking Backstairs Passage. The mainland is a mere sixteen kilometres away, and vehicle ferries from Cape Jervis dock here daily. Hog Bay has an excellent swimming beach and jetty, and its picnic spots make it a destination favoured by families.
Bordertown is the gateway to the state for traffic from Melbourne. It's also a rich agricultural district, noted for its production of cereals, wool, meat, seeds, vegetables and wine grapes. It was settled in the early 1850s, following the establishment of a base camp on the banks of the Tatiara Creek by Alexander Tolmer's Gold Escort from the Victorian goldfields to Adelaide with gold for the ailing colony's coffers.
The Murraylands & The Southeast
The Murraylands with watersports, wildlife and heritage trails being some of the major attractions offers boundless options for exploration and enjoyment.
To the southeast the landscape changes to rugged coasts and beautiful beaches with sub-terrainean caves, sinkholes and extinct volcanoes.
When expansion on the land gathered pace in South Australia in the mid to late I9th century, scores of ambitious farmers followed the trail northwards. The area around Jamestown was opened up in the 1870s, and it soon became an important grain district. It remains so today. There are also extensive forests nearby at Bundaleer.
Flinders Ranges SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Flinders Ranges abounds with wildlife from wedge-tailed eagles and emus to colourful parrots, and kangaroos ,which are all indigenous to this this area. Containing three national parks the Flinders are arguably one of Australia's most under-rated natural attractions.The Mid North has some of the richest agricultural and pastoral land in the state, with a valuable maritime and mining history , idyllic wine producing district and natural bushland adventures.
Barossa Valley SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia's major destinations, being known all over the world for its quality wines. A home to many major wine producers this area produces over half of the countries wine.
To the east flows the Murray River which is one of the largest river systems in the world. Irrigation introduced in 1887 transformed the northern section into lush paradise with a wide variety of attractions, from watersports to wildlife and of course delicious fruits and wine.
Population: 500 The only major town on the island not on the coast, Parndana is a good central base from which to explore all parts of Kangaroo Island. It sits on the Playford Highway, forty kilometres from Kingscote and services the grazing land and western end of the island. It is a relatively new town, having been settled by soldier-settlers after World War II. Its country town atmosphere provides a good contrast to the coastal resort towns of Kingscote and Penneshaw.
Witjira National Park
776 900 hectares
This huge desert park begins 120 kilometres north of Oodnadatta and takes in gibber plains, salt pans, sand dunes, flat-topped hills, numerous mound springs and breakaway country. The mound springs, part of the Great Artesian Basin, bring life to the desert and create eases in a hostile
environment. Pastoralists and Aboriginal communities rely on them for sustenance as well do many desert animals and birds.
Dalhousie Springs is one of the best-known of the mound springs and the largest in Australia. Its tepid waters are suitable for swimming, although the fragile environment requires sensible behaviour - no detergents or soaps are allowed. In Witjira, vegetation consists of red mulga and gidgee trees around the dry riverbeds, while around the springs, melaleucas and in some cases palms grow.
Access into Witjira is via Oodnadatta or from Birdsville.
The locals call this the hub of the Flinders, with some justification - it is the junction of roads from Port Augusta, Orroroo, Marree and Wilpena Pound. It was once a thriving railway town, a typical outback town, but when the line was re-located. Hawker's pace slowed somewhat. It is, however, an important tourist town servicing the traffic into the central and northern Flinders Ranges and has all necessary facilities.
Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park
21,254 hectares Covering the expanse of exposed southern coast from Bales Beach to Cape Linois, Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park extends inland to Murray Lagoon. Thousands of years of elemental action have carved high cliffs and caves along its coasts. Here the vegetation consists of hardy heath. Further inland, mallee provides shelter for kangaroos, bandicoots, pigmy possums and marsupial mice. Only bushwalkers can gain access to this park.
Population:706 Lyndoch dates back to 1838 when the colony's surveyor-general colonel William Light named it after Lord Lynedoch, with whom he'd fought at the Battle of Barossa in 1811. A draftsman's slip misplaced the "e". Vines and winemaking have played an important role in the local economy since the early days. The first winery appeared in 1836; today, there are many winemaking operations, small. and large.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
4,030 hectares Deep Creek Conservation Park is on the southern coast of Fleurieu Peninsula, not far from Cape Jervis. It consists of rugged hills, from which flow streams that water the valleys where native orchids and ferns luxuriate. Vegetation varies from tall forest to wind-blown heath and the park is rich in birdlife and native animals. Where Deep Creek meets the coast, high cliffs Provide stunning vistas across Backstairs Passage to Kangaroo Island. Only occasionally are the cliffs broken by small coves. The Heysen Trail and other walking paths wind through the park and simple camping grounds have been set aside.
The famous Heysen Trail, at 1,500 kilometres the world's longest walking trail, begins near Cape Jervis on its path north to the Flinders Ranges. The Fleurieu Peninsula section of the trail is excellent for both day treks and longer walks and takes you through some superbly varied terrain. From Cape Jervis, the trail follows the coast to Newland Head, where it pushes inland up Newland Hill and on to Myponga Conservation Park, It then turns north-east for Mount Compass and northwards through the Mount Lofty Ranges. The trail is marked with orange triangles, wherever possible, in the tops of pine posts. While close to Adelaide, access to the trail from public transport is generally not available . Some sections of the trail, require bushwalking experience, and, advice should be sought from the Recreation Institute.
Maps are available from the State Information Centre, Plaza level, 25 Grenfell Street, Adelaide.
These days it's famous for being the beginning of the Strzelecki Track, but last century Lyndhurst was an important outback railhead. The large area of ochre cliffs ranging from reds, browns, yellows and whites on the outskirts of the town on the Marree road are a colourful attraction.
Kelly Hill Conservation Park
6.306 hectares Stunted coastal heath and hardy mallee thrive in this park, a large section of undulating limestone ridges on the western edge of the island before Flinders Chase National Park. Walking trails wind through the park to the coast and to the historic village of Grassdale, while at Kelly Hill, an extensive area of caves, caverns and sinkholes is the park's most popular attraction .
Breaking out of the city through the parklands that surround it, the Adelaide visitor can find new adventures in the nearby Adelaide Hills and at Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Ranges, the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, the Murray River, and the wine country of the Barossa, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra.
There are hotels, motels, hostels and camping grounds in the area. You might want to stay in underground accommodations.
Try the restaurants, Greek tavernas and dugout cafes. As with most mining towns there is a mixture of people of different races, so there's a variety of ethnic fare as well.
Murraylands and the Southeast National Parks
Coorong National Park and Game Reserve
Brookfield Conservation Park
Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park
Dingly Dell Conservation Park
Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
Read all about them here: Murraylands and the Southeast National Parks
Barmera sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Bonney, sometimes referred to as the Murray's 'Sparkling Jewel.' Lake Bonney's lovely beaches and waters are perfect for a variety of water sports, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and swimming. The proclaimed nudist beach of Pelican Point is popular with people who like to go skinny dipping or prefer an overall tan. There are several significant sites of Aboriginal occupation and early white settlement around Barmera. advice and information can be obtained from the Barmera Travel Centre.
Population: 226 A favourite stopping point en route to Adelaide, this scenic spot has a ferry which transports visitors right into the heart of the Murraylands. Swan Reach offers excellent water sports and holiday facilities. Geraldton wax trees, garlic and avocado farms are also open for inspection. Nearby, Punyelroo is well-known to waterskiers and holidaymakers.
Its first name was Hergott Springs, and for a long time Marree was a staging post for the camel trains used to transport heavy goods north and south along the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks. Until 1980 it was a major station along the Ghan Railway journey to Alice Springs. Today, it is a service centre for the enormous cattle stations in the area.
Adelaide is a city of one million plus people situated on the Adelaide plains, a flat, fertile corridor of land between Gulf St Vincent and the arc of the Mount Lofty Ranges. As capital of the Festival State, Adelaide plays host to a variety of festivals it also has some of country's finest restaurants and produces a lion's share of the nations wine.
Population: 250 This is the last of the windjammer ports. A jetty was built here in 1878 and with it came a thriving grain trade that kept the port busy until after World War II. Ketches and deep sea sailing ships called here during the harvest to take on the hundreds of thousands of bags of barley and wheat destined for European ports. The windjammers generally rode at anchor in the lee of Wardang Island and small coastal ketches ferried the grain out to them. Often it took four or five weeks, sometimes as long as eight weeks, to load the big ships for their long journey. The larger ones carried as many as 60,000 bags of grain.
The last square rigger to use the port was the Passat in 1949.
Along the Oodnadatta Track, William Creek is South Australia's smallest town. The irony is, it's surrounded by one of Australia's largest cattle properties, Anna Creek Station which is almost half the size of Tasmania.
The character of the outback is easy to meet here, especially in the old William Creek Hotel. The annual William Creek races draws visitors from all over the country for this outback race meeting.
Telephone (08) 8552 8233 An important wildlife haven in Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park, Murray Lagoon covers as much as 2,000 hectares after winter rains. It is a food and breeding area for more than two hundred bird species. Walking trails around the lagoon allow visitors to see many of them. At the park's headquarters at the Seagers Road entrance. Displays provide information about plant identification and the birdlife.
Naracoorte is one of the South East's largest commercial centres, servicing a prosperous pastoral and agricultural industry. Its earliest settlers were Scottish - names like Macintosh and Riddoch are common today. The town has many beautiful old buildings that reflect its prosperous past.
Population: 1,622 Kapunda was the site of Australia's first viable copper mine. Its economic significance to the young colony was enormous. In near bankruptcy due to speculation, the discovery of copper gave South Australia the leg up it needed. The mines operated between 1844 and 1912, and produced 14,000 tonnes of copper metal. Kapunda's streetscape reflects this prosperous past, with numerous historic buildings, museums and churches. Many wear the characteristic old 'Kapunda Lace' on their verandahs, intricate decorative ironwork designed and manufactured in the town last century. The Cattle King, Sir Sidney Kidman also lived in Kapunda for many years. His home Eringa is now part of the high school. A one-and-a-half kilometre walking trail takes visitors past the old mine site and its surroundings. A booklet of the town's significant buildings is also available.
This is an attractive, long sweep of beach on the south-eastern side of the island, once the site of a whaling station. Subject to the might of the Southern Ocean, its shores have been the location of several shipwrecks. Today, D'Estrees Bay is popular with anglers and shell collectors after the elusive nautilus shell. Many hours can be spent exploring its length of beach.
Arkaroola is a 61,000 hectare privately-owned wildlife sanctuary in the rugged northern flinders Ranges just to the east of the Gammon Ranges National Park. It shares features seen in that park - including spectacular arid zone mountain terrain, picturesque gorges, water holes and wildlife unique to the area.
Arkaroola Village, a motel, caravan and camping complex, is the focus for the sanctuary, purchased by the current owners in 1968. Until then, the area was made up of a series of degraded pastoral leases infested with vermin; these were eradicated, and today Arkaroola is a fine example of a privately-run sanctuary. The scenic waterholes of Nooldoonooldoona, Bolla Bollana, Arkaroola, Stubbs and Bararranna are well worth a visit.
Population: 651 The southern-most sea port in the state, Port MacDonnell is the base for a large lobster fishing fleet. It began life as a busy outport early last century. The arrival of the railway ended its importance as a port. The coast around Port MacDonnell is spectacular and rugged, with plenty of opportunities for scenic drives and bushwalking. Take the scenic drive to Cape Northumberland lighthouse for rewarding views of rocky coastline.
Flinders Range National Park
Gammon Ranges National Park
Mount Remarkable National Park
The best time to go bushwalking in the Flinders Ranges is between May and October, when temperatures are mild.
Read all about bushwalking in the beautiful National Parks of SA here:Flinders Ranges and the Mid North National Parks
Indomitable explorer Edward John Eyre named the creek which runs into the River Broughton the 'Chrystal Brook'- the spelling is his. The name stuck and a town grew near the spot where his party camped in 1839. Before the town grew, however the site was swallowed up by the huge pastoral landholding belonging to William Younghusband and Peter Ferguson. Crystal Brook today is a nature lover's mecca. The Heysen Trail runs past the town and Bowman Park.
Kelly Hill Caves
Telephone (08) 8553 7231 This popular area features sink holes and caverns which lead to caves of ornate calcite formations. The Kelly Hill Caves contain weird and wonderfully shaped straws, stalactites, stalagmites and strangely contorted helectites. Guided tours are conducted daily and visitors will hear about the history of the caves. Cement paths allow for easy manoeuvring through the cave system.