7 alternative day trips from Adelaide

Been to the Barossa one too many times? Headed to Glenelg every weekend this summer? You might be in need of a new day trip destination. From sparkling coastlines to hilly havens, Adelaide and its surrounds are made for exploration. In this article, we talk about a handful of day trips from Adelaide that you may not have visited, or which you might like to discover once again.

Day trips from Adelaide you’ve been missing out on

Once known as the sleepy city, Adelaide has rapidly developed into a vibrant and cosmopolitan state capital, offering a wealth of places to visit and things to do in and around the city. The famous Barossa Valley, the Adelaide Hills, Glenelg and Hahndorf are some of the most popular and well known sites for tourists visiting this region. However, there’s much more to see if you look past the famous destinations.

Beyond the typical destinations that South Australia has to offer, a number of hidden gems are waiting to be uncovered. All within easy driving distance from the city, these seaside spots, hilly havens and wine country wonders are perfect for day trips.

Looking to linger a little longer? Head to the bottom of this article and find a discount code for 10% off your hotel in the city.

Alternative day trips from Adelaide

In this article we’re about to show off and highlight some of the lesser known but equally interesting day trips from Adelaide. If you’re coming from regional SA and heading for a city break this summer, opt for something a little different and try one of the following spots for your day trip from Adelaide. Alternatively, if you’re living in the city and hoping for a fun day out – we’ve got you!

Port Adelaide

1. Port Adelaide 

Charming Port Adelaide is an area that has recently become fashionable, boasting a vibrant and hipster vibe with its lively restaurants and bars alongside a wide range of museums for all of the family to visit. This historic spot hosts the National Railway museum, the South Australia Aviation Museum and the South Australian Maritime Museum providing something for the whole family to enjoy.

The Dolphin Sanctuary which is only 12 km from the town centre is also a must for those wanting to experience a wonderful wildlife experience. The Fishermans Wharf Market, open on Sundays and Bank Holidays is a must with its huge array of diverse stalls to delight your senses with the sights and sounds plus the smells of the wonderful food on offer. When it comes to refreshments then look no further than Pirate Life – the new and lively brewery where there are around 24 beers to choose from. Cool down with a refreshing beer here after experiencing a fascinating tour of the venue or simply enjoy the entertainment on offer.

2. Clare Valley

Being the home of 30 different family-run wineries within small colonial towns, this fascinating region is definitely worth a visit if you don’t mind making an early start and travelling a little further afield. Situated just over 100km from Adelaide and taking less than two hours by car, this area is the home of Australian Riesling and is known to be Australia’s oldest wine producing region. The Clare Valley Riesling Trail between Auburn and Clare takes you past around 50 Cellar Doors and can be enjoyed by hiring a bike. Take in the lovely countryside views along the way. Although the Clare Valley qualifies as a destination for a day trip from Adelaide, a night at Clare Valley Country Club won’t hurt either.

Victor harbor

Pic credit: Oceanic Victor

3. Victor Harbor 

Although it’s not necessarily alternative, Victor Harbor is lesser known within Australia – and we think it’s about time that changed! Victor Harbor is certainly the place to visit if you are craving some nature, coastline and outdoor activities, as it is only an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Situated on the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula and boasting beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs and breathtaking views out to sea, there is an abundance of exploring to be done either on foot or by booking one of the many tours available.

Take a horse drawn carriage across the causeway to Granite Island to see the wild penguin colony or a cruise to Seal Island to see a wealth of marine life including sea lions, Right whales, sea birds and dolphins. Climbing to the top of the Bluff is an absolute must to experience the spectacular views of this beautiful coastline. The town centre of Victor Harbor is absolutely charming with its little toy shops, sweet shops and cosy pubs. Victor Harbour certainly offers something for everyone with an extensive range of activities to suit the whole family!

Mannum near Adelaide

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

4. Mannum 

Sitting on the west side of the Murray River and only 84 kilometres from Adelaide, this tranquil and friendly little historic town is well worth a day trip. Plus, it’s a totally unique and intimate. Originally established as a place where the famous steamboat, The Mary Ann was built, this quaint little town tells the story of the history of paddle steamers and river trade. One can simply stroll around the town listening to the wonderful birdsong whilst visiting the many sites, or simply relaxing in one of the many picnic areas alongside the river bank.

A short drive out of town you will find the famous and beautiful Mannum Waterfalls. Equally for those wanting a more active day then the Mannum Golf Club with its tree lined fairways offering 9 holes is just a short walk from the town centre. Canoeing and kayaking plus many other water sports are also on offer along this scenic river where there is also a great choice of places to eat: The Cafe Mannum situated in Mannum Motel will certainly provide you with a very tasty meal whatever the time of day with the added benefit of spectacular views from its elevated location.

Port Noarlunga Adelaide

5. Port Noarlunga

Our final choice of destination is this beautiful seaside village only 30 kms south of Adelaide. With its picturesque red cliffs, a long jetty and reef, this stretch of coastline has become a favourite destination for divers, fishermen and holiday makers in general. It is also renowned as being the first of Australia’s Mid Coast surfing reserves whereby the beaches are patrolled by the Surf Lifesaving Club. During low tides a wonderful conservation listed reef can be seen providing a great spot for exploring the aquatic life.

If it’s some retail therapy you are seeking then the town is full of charming boutique gift shops plus an Art Centre and Art Gallery which can be located in Sauerbier House – one of the many state heritage listed buildings. This quaint little spot also has many cafes serving excellent coffee and tasty food to fully compliment your visit. When it comes to coastal day trips from Adelaide, this is pretty much as great as it gets!

second valley day trips from Adelaide

Photo via (IG) @behindmyhat

6. Second Valley and Rapid Bay

Prepared to be totally dazzled at Second Valley and Rapid Bay. Nestled along the stunning coastline of South Australia, these two hidden gems beckon explorers with their natural beauty. Firstly, Second Valley captivates with its picturesque beach, crystal-clear waters, and towering cliffs that create a sense of tranquility and awe. Day trippers love to snorkel here in the summer months, paddle board or simply swim and watch the world go by.

Meanwhile, Rapid Bay boasts a long sandy beach, inviting turquoise waters, and a breathtaking backdrop of rugged cliffs. Both locations offer opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and swimming, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of the underwater world. With their pristine landscapes and captivating charm, Second Valley and Rapid Bay are destinations that will leave visitors in awe of South Australia’s coastal splendour!

Maslin Beach South Australia

7. Maslin Beach and Aldinga

It’s probably been a while since you’ve been to Maslin Beach, and that’s because it’s pretty much an underrated gem on the South Australian coastline. A true coastal paradise, Maslin boasts expansive golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning cliffs; it’s a breathtaking backdrop for relaxation and exploration.

Then, only moments up the road, the quaint town of Aldinga awaits. Enjoy the small town vibes during a trip to this part of the state, and don’t forget to drop into Kick Back brewery where you can sample local beers and sit in their garden with some tasty dinner. Visiting earlier in the day? Head to Goodness Cafe where you can try some incredible coffee and cake.

Adelaide meridien hotel

Pic credit: Adelaide Meridien

Adelaide Meridien – the perfect base for day trips from Adelaide

Budget-friendly, comfortable and spacious, Adelaide Meridien is a great little base for your trip to Adelaide. From this convenient location in North Adelaide, enjoy day trips around the city and surrounds. Located near the best cafe, shops and restaurants in the city, you’ll have everything you need at your doorstep.

Plus, receive 10% off your stay when you use the code SAWE10.

Book your stay today!

For more information regarding things to do in Adelaide, check out our Ultimate Guide and put together the perfect city break this summer.