A first-timer's guide to Southern Australia

Even with a month to play with, seeing the many marvels of Oz would be almost impossible. Fear not, our bite-sized southern Australia itinerary is designed to give you a big taste of Down Under in just two weeks. Such is the size of Australia, trying to join up the countless highlights can be exhausting. We recommend focusing on one area and getting to know it really well – Southern Australia encapsulates the very best of the country.

1. Adelaide – city of cuisine and culture

Fly directly into Adelaide and within 15 minutes of leaving the airport you can be standing beneath Queen Victoria’s statue. The first settlers came here to create a utopia, with lots of greenery being one of their main priorities. Hence the race course, the parks, the botanic garden and cricket grounds.

2. Fleurieu Peninsula – seafood and surfer paradise

Board a vintage tram from Adelaide to Glenelg, just 20 minutes away. With a car, you can then head east to the Fleurieu Peninsula and string of beautiful beaches such as Moana, fantastic for surfing, whilst Willunga is perfect for seafood lovers. Dine at the hugely popular Star of Greece restaurant.

Port Willunga

3. Barossa Valley – vineyards & valleys

The Barossa Valley and its 400 vineyards are well-known, but you’ll also find Clare Valley not too far from Adelaide nestled into rolling farmlands and hills of eucalyptus.

Barossa Valley

4. Flinders Ranges – adventure in the Outback

At the heart of the Ranges is the breath-taking topography of Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of mountains. Just five hours from Adelaide or you can fly by private charter if you like.

5. Kangaroo Island – wilderness & wildlife

Just a short hop form Adelaide, Kangaroo Island is one of the best places to see kola, emu, wallaby, kangaroo, possum, sea lions, seals and much more amazing birdlife, from ospreys to cockatoos. Many of these are extinct on the mainland.

6. Indian Pacific Railway – epic train ride

At the end of your two week holiday in Southern Australia, we recommend you ride the Indian Pacific railway to Sydney (two days and one night) through the Blue Mountains and mining town of Broken Hill.

7. Sydney – a city to suit everyone

This world-class city has handsome attractions from beaches to harbour boat trips, excellent restaurants, sea-plane journeys, evenings at the opera. In fact, if you wanted, you could spend an entire two weeks in Sydney and still have a wonderful holiday.

Sydney Harbour

David Wickers is Director of Bridge & Wickers.

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Comments (10)

  1. Emily says:

    Thanks David for this great quick list of Southern Australia’s must-do’s. Australia is next on my upcoming travel calendar so it’s super helpful to have this useful list to reference as a starting point. Thanks again!!

  2. David Wickers says:

    Hi Emily, I’m glad you found it useful. Let us know if we can help you plan your upcoming trip to Australia at all.

  3. Brad says:

    Hi David,

    I’m considering going to Neptune Island for the great white diving. Do you know much about it. Also, would you do Melbourne or Auckland. Already spending 3-4 days in Sydney and looking to do 1 more alternative location.

    Thanks for your help.


  4. David Wickers says:

    Hi Brad, for Neptune Island we would actually recommend you get in touch directly with an Australian specialist diving company. As Neptune is close to Adelaide, we would suggest going to Melbourne as it’s much closer than Auckland and there’s plenty to do.

  5. Flora Macdonald says:

    Would add Ocean Road drive along South Coast to Geelong and a houseboat cruise on the Murray River to this list.

  6. James says:

    Thank you for the guide, next month I will go to Australia for the first time. I read your blog and this is very helpfull for me.

  7. Jacobs says:

    Thanks David, this is a complete guide to visit Southern Australia. The place will get into my list.

  8. Thanks David for sharing the information on traveling to Southern Australia. I have been to the Western part and looking forward to visit the southern part next year. I hope it will be a great experience and visit some of the best places which you have listed here in the post.

  9. Kerrod says:

    Thank you for the great article. I have been to most places in Australia, but have yet to head over to SA. This is something that I should get onto ASAP.

  10. Kerrod says:

    Great article. We took our campervan to SA early this year and had a blast. There were so many things to see and we struggled leaving and going back home.

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