5 alternative and lesser known day trips from Adelaide


things to do in Adelaide

Pic credit: Adelaide Convention Centre

Beyond the Barossa

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.

The intention of this article is to show off and highlight some of the lesser known but equally interesting places to visit outside of the city. 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.

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 

This 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.

Pic credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone

4. Mannum 

Sitting on the west side of the Murray River and being 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 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.

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.

As you can see, Adelaide and its surroundings offer a wealth of diverse and exciting things to do. Allow yourself plenty of time to fully explore vibrant Adelaide, but why not also head out to somewhere different during you trip? Explore the real, local and authentic regions of South Australia this summer by choosing from one of the above day trips from Adelaide.

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