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Dreamy Day Trips From Adelaide: Your Summer Hitlist

You don’t need to travel far to experience something new. These are our favourite day trips from Adelaide to discover this summer.

When the sun is shining and the wide open road is calling, it's South Australia's time to shine. With world-class wine regions and a scenic coastline at its doorstep, you never have to travel too far from home to enjoy a change of scenery. Spend the day swirling and sipping at cellar doors, dining on degustation menus, cruising along the Murray River, or watching penguins frolic along rocky outcrops. 

This is our edit of the best day trips from Adelaide. You're welcome!

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Adelaide Hills

Take a short 30-minute drive from the city, and you'll be in Adelaide Hills wine country. In the lush surrounds of Mount Lofty Ranges, there are over 40 cellar doors, hatted restaurants that champion farmgate produce and villages with boutique shopfronts and open-air markets. Plus, gardens that change colour with the seasons and walking trails through natural bushland with stunning views. For wine tasting and lunch, pop into The Lane, and Stirling is perfect for browsing markets and the local shops. 

The Murray River - Isaac Foreman
The Murray River - Isaac Foreman

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: The Murray River

For an easy day trip from Adelaide, head east to Mannum, a historic river port along the mighty Murray River. It’s just over an hour’s drive away and has all the makings for a leisurely day out. Grab a bite to eat at the Pretoria Hotel, which is located alongside the river before exploring a town steeped in colonial history. If you have more time, one of the best ways to take in the sights is on the PS Murray Princess, the largest inland paddle-steamer in the Southern Hemisphere, which offers multi-day cruises. 

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Burra

Nestled between the rich vines of Clare Valley and the red soil of the Outback lies a vibrant pastoral centre bound by its mining past. Just two hours from Adelaide, Burra is the perfect day trip for history buffs brimming with unique attractions, picturesque landscapes, and regional charm. The easiest way to see the sights is on the Burra Heritage Passport tour, which takes you to 46 of the area’s historical sites including the Redruth Gaol, the cellars of the Unicorn Brewery, and Burra’s dugouts. For an easy afternoon, take a stroll down the main street and browse the many galleries, vintage stores and quaint specialty stores before stopping in for a bite and a pint at one of the local pubs.

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Cape Jervis

So much more than the Kangaroo Island ferry departure point, Cape Jervis deserves its own moment. Located near the western tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, this breezy coastal beauty is unmatched during the warmer months. Surfers and swimmers are spoilt for choice with many of the region’s best beaches (Rapid Bay, Second Valley and the striking bluffs of Yankalilla Bay) within arm’s reach. Bushwalkers have the nearby Deep Creek Conservation Park to explore or there’s the breath-takingly scenic Cape Jervis to Victor Harbor walk that’s guaranteed to impress.

Image Credit - Jacobs Creek Wine
Image Credit - Jacobs Creek Wine

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Barossa Valley

As far as wine regions go, Barossa Valley is in a class of its own. Just an hour from Adelaide City, you can be amongst world-class cellar doors, hatted restaurants, and artisan producers. Tanunda is one of the main towns in the region and is a pretty spot to start before heading off to explore this picture-perfect wine region. No day trip to the Barossa Valley is complete without stopping by Jacobs Creek to sample their latest releases, but for lovers of wine, food, and art, Seppeltsfield Wines is a must-visit. 

Moseley Square - Jonathan van der Knaap
Moseley Square - Jonathan van der Knaap

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Glenelg

A short 20-minute drive will have you on Adelaide’s coastline, making this one the easiest day trips from Adelaide City. Glenelg, a standout favourite, is a vibrant beachside suburb that people have long been going to for a quick getaway. The beautiful beach and marina are a veritable playground for water enthusiasts, spend the day swimming, kayaking, windsurfing, or sailing before relaxing at one of the many sidewalk cafes, on-trend restaurants, and bars. If shopping is more your thing, then Jetty Road is for you. 

Chapel Hill Winery
Chapel Hill Winery

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: McLaren Vale

Yet another wine region near Adelaide is picturesque McLaren Vale. Just a 45-minute drive from Adelaide City on the Fleurieu Peninsula, McLaren Vale is both a town and a region, with the village itself being jam-packed full of places to eat, and boutiques, and galleries to browse. World-class vineyards, cellar doors, and restaurants are peppered throughout the region. For lunch, stop by the Salopian Inn Restaurant, which is housed in an old stone cottage. For lovers of old-world architecture and good wine, Chapel Hill Winery is a must.

Granite Island - Chirag Arora
Granite Island - Chirag Arora

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Victor Harbour & Granite Island

On the Fleurieu Peninsula, the charming seaside town of Victor Harbor is one of Adelaide’s best day trips. You will find everything here from nature-bound adventures to activities that will delight your inner historian. Explore the historic town and its markets, jump aboard a horse-drawn tram, cycle the 31.5km Encounter Bikeway, and visit the small wildlife haven of Granite Island, the place to explore granite boulders against an ocean backdrop, little penguins, and the sculptures trail. You may even spot a whale. 

Mintaro Maze Clare - Isaac Foreman
Mintaro Maze Clare - Isaac Foreman

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Clare Valley

A little further out (two-hour drive to be exact) is Clare Valley, a stunning wine region that has earned itself quite the reputation for its Rieslings. If you’re after a day trip from Adelaide amongst the vines but without the crowds, then this is it. There are thirty wineries to explore, most of which are small and family-run, plus there is a variety of gourmet food producers to delight your inner foodie. Once you have had your fill of wine and food tasting, wander through Red Banks Conservation Park, which gives you a glimpse into what the landscape was like when megafauna walked the earth. 

Kangaroo Island Tourism
Kangaroo Island Tourism

Best Day Trips from Adelaide: Kangaroo Island

Although you will want to set aside at least a few days for this island paradise, it is possible to visit Kangaroo Island for the day. Jump on a tour or go it alone by driving an hour and a half to Cape Jervis and taking the scenic 45-minute ferry ride to Penneshaw, a small town on Kangaroo Island. Or opt for a quick flight. However, you choose to get to the island; once you’re there, you will find a nature wonderland. A great spot to visit is Seal Bay and its sea lion colony, where you can experience them in their natural habitat.  

When it comes to day trips from Adelaide, South Australia delivers on the goods with world-class wine regions, a stunning coastline and island getaways. And it’s all within two hours of the city. To discover more places to escape to, check out Best Restaurants in Glenelg and Adelaide’s best hiking trails.