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Picture-Perfect South Australian National Parks for Your Next Adventure

From the depths of a forest to crystal clear coastlines, adventure awaits outside of Adelaide in South Australia’s National Parks.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park (Image Credit: Hello Emilie)

South Australia is blessed with what mother nature gave her – mountains carved by history, turquoise waters lapping white sand and an abundance of unique Australian wildlife. For adventurous souls, there is nothing better than getting back to nature, recharging your batteries, and finding gram-worthy moments when you make your next weekend getaway a little more... rugged.

These South Australian National Parks will have you itching to explore the natural beauty found outside of Adelaide. From the stunning coastal wonders to lush green oases, these natural gems promise enchanting hikes, picturesque vistas, and a chance to connect with the great outdoors like never before.

Gawler Ranges National Park (Image credit: Rob Blackburn, South Australia Tourism Commission)

Gawler Ranges National Park

A spectacular national park steeped in history and culture, Gawler Ranges National Park is a must-add to your list. Take the long drive up before stretching your legs as you hike the famous Organ Pipes, formed over 1500 million years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. When it's time to call it a night, set up camp under the canopy of unpolluted night sky, in one of the best places in for stargazing and dreaming in South Australia.

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open

Barns Road, Gawler Ranges

Photo Ops: Organ Pipes. Striking red sunsets that contrast with whimsy blue blanket of stars.

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park (Image credit: Josh Geelan, South Australia Tourism Commission)

Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Nature lovers, assemble. Situated at the tip of Yorke Peninsula, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park can be reached in little over three hours by car from Adelaide, making it the perfect option if you have no problem turning this into an overnight trip. A popular spot for camping, fishing and surfing, the national park has no shortage of activities for an adventurous day. When it comes to accommodation, pick from camping spots or cabins situated alongside perfect picnic spots and BBQ facilities.

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open

Inneston, Yorke Peninsula

Photo Ops: This national park is home to incredible Australian wildlife and glistening beaches.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park (Image Credit: Hello Emilie)

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

Got a few days of annual leave to use? Take the 5-6 hour drive up to the iconic Flinders Ranges and live your best outdoors life. There’s a range of accommodation options for all adventurous types, as well as BBQ and picnic areas, so don't fret if you can’t quite manage without electricity and running water. The rugged, mountainous landscape is expansive, so it’s a good idea to opt for the guided tours available if you’re a newbie.

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open

Blinman, Flinders Ranges

Photo Ops: Think quintessentially Australian outback, with wide-stretching landscapes great for a mantlepiece-worthy couples shot.

Murray River National Park

Murray River National Park

Walk, bike, canoe or take a self-guided drive around the 14,879 hectares of Murray River National Park and become acquainted with the endless wetlands and the wildlife that call it home. Made up of six individual parks across the area, each landscape offers something unique. Think adorable wildlife from kangaroos to koalas, campfire and picnic areas to refuel and camping options galore.

Park Entry: Free

Park Hours: Always open


Photo Ops: The river's crystal-clear waters and aquatic life make for fun, memorable snaps.

Mount Remarkable National Park. Image credit: Heysen Trail

Mount Remarkable National Park

Remarkable by name and remarkable by nature, this park has fast become a family favourite. There's bushwalks suited to all ages and abilities, easy-to-access picnic and barbeque facilities, and a unique landscape of rocks, forest and stunning viewpoints as you make your way up the 960m high Mount Remarkable Summit.

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open


Photo Ops: Update the family photo-album with a self-timer shot set amongst the striking rock formations.

Coffin Bay National Park (Image credit: Elise Cook, South Australia Tourism Commission)

Coffin Bay National Park

Go for the famous oysters, stay for the crystal-clear water that can only be seen in Coffin Bay. This waterfront haven has endless activities, including surfing, boating, canoeing, scuba diving and windsurfing – if the weather allows. Enjoy a picnic in one of the many designated spots, keep an eye out for a whale passing by and take a bushwalk if you can drag yourself away from the water!

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle per day

Park Hours: Always open

Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula

Photo Ops: Whale spotting makes for the perfect past time and picture-worthy activity.

Coorong National Park (Image credit: Cassandra Missen, South Australia Tourism Commission)

Coorong National Park

Driving down Robe way? Take some extra time to soak up the serenity at Coorong National Park. A perfect pit-stop, overnight stay or to recharge your batteries over a few days and nights, Coorong is full to the brim with European and cultural history. You can explore the park on a four-wheel drive tour, by boat, kayak or canoe, or maybe just on your own two feet. You may recognise this park and its pelicans from the film adaptation of iconic Australian novel Storm Boy, so keep an eye out for a feathered friend or two!

Park Entry: Free entry

Park Hours: 9am – 4pm


Photo Ops: Keep an eagle eye out for pelicans and capture a film-worthy shot to take the memory home.

Lake Gairdner National Park

Lake Gairdner National Park

Now this is one you’ve surely seen crop up on Instagram before. Surrounded by the picturesque red foothills of the Gawler Ranges, Lake Gairdner is one of South Australia’s most famous salt lakes surrounded by red sand hills. You can pitch a tent and camp for free up here, but do your research beforehand as it’s fairly limited on the facilities front. Pack plenty of food and drinks in advance and check out where the toilets are so you’re not caught short.

Park Entry: Free entry

Park Hours: Always open

Lake Gairdner

Photo Ops: Lake Gairdner stretches out over the horizon to provide a jaw-dropping, shimmering backdrop to your unique picture.

Flinders Chase National Park

Flinders Chase National Park

No round up of South Australia’s national parks would be complete without mentioning the much-loved Flinders Chase on Kangaroo Island. There are endless natural beauty spots from the Remarkable Rocks to Admirals Arch, alongside plenty of seals, koalas and –you guessed it - kangaroos. With summer coming up, Kangaroo Island is the ultimate spot to take some time away and feel like you’ve actually gone on holiday, while supporting the island's recovery from devastating bushfires in recent years.

Park Entry: $13 per person

Park Hours: Always open

S.Coast Road, Flinders Chase, Kangaroo Island

Photo Ops: The sheer diversity of wildlife will have you snapping all throughout your spectacular stay.

Canunda National Park (Image credit: Chris Perrin)

Canunda National Park

If a trip to the coast combined with surfing, bushwalking and breathtaking views sounds like you, then be sure to plan a weekend at Canunda National Park. Situated on the coast, there are endless opportunities for fishing from the shore and snorkelling over reefs, and 4WD’s are permitted to drive along Geltwood Beach – talk about getting prime views on this particular road trip. There are several walking trails to hike, and campsites are situated in close proximity to the beach, making this perfect for summer getaways.

Park Entry: Free entry

Park Hours: Always open


Photo Ops: The limestone cliffs and turquoise waters are begging to be snapped for the gram.

Deep Creek National Park (Image credit: John Montesi, South Australia Tourism Commission)

Deep Creek National Park

The largest remaining portion of natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Deep Creek National Park is home to an abundance of wildlife, from grey kangaroos and birds to little echidnas. Taking it to the coast, whales are regularly spotted making their annual migration from June through to September, and the 15 walking tracks and heritage-listed mines from the 1800’s will keep you busy throughout the day before setting up camp at one of the 5 campsites scattered throughout the park.

Park Entry: $13 per vehicle

Park Hours: Always open

Deep Creek

Photo Ops: The views across to Kangaroo Island from Cobbler Hill Picnic Area are spectacular.

Nullarbor National Park (Image credit: Eyre Peninsula)

Nullarbor National Park

You may want to rise early for this one. Make your way west from Adelaide and get comfortable, because you are in for a long (but totally worth it) drive to Nullarbor National Park. In about 10 hours you will hit the Nullabor Wilderness Protection Area and be blown away by the sheer amount of vast flat landscape and the huge Bunda Cliffs that drop into the sea below. The ocean below sees whales in winter, and wombats are the resident locals. While this may only be a stop along the way to WA, it’s a great spot to stretch the legs and breathe in that crisp ocean air.

Park Entry: Free Entry

Park Hours: Always open


Photo Ops: Capture the Bunda Cliffs at sunset for a photo that will impress your friends on socials.

Looking for an outdoorsy adventure a little closer to home? Check out things to do during a weekend at Victor Harbour or keep it local at the best wineries in the Adelaide Hills.

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