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Dreamy Day Trips From Adelaide to Add to Your Hit List

You don’t need to travel far to experience something new. These are the best day trips from Adelaide to discover when venturing out of the city.

Burra (Image credit: @godwardphotography)

When the sun starts to shine and the wide-open road is calling your name, look no further than your own backyard, because South Australia is brimming with unforgettable adventures. With world-class wine regions and a scenic coastline at the ready, you don’t need to travel far from home to enjoy a change of scenery and a welcome change of pace.

Spend the day swirling and sipping at cellar doors, dining on degustation menus, walking amongst nature, cruising along the Murray River, or watching penguins frolic along rocky outcrops. It’s time to pack up the car and start planning the day you desire; this is our edit of the best day trips Adelaide has to offer. You’re welcome!

Best Day Trips Adelaide: Things To Do

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Port River (Image credit: IG @theajknight)

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Port River

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Port River offers a distinctive experience where you can see wild dolphins in their natural habitat - and it's only a stone's throw away. Located just a short drive from the city, you can explore the river by kayak or take a guided boat tour to learn more about the local ecosystem and wildlife. You can also take a hike through the sanctuary if you want to get your legs burning.



A short 20-minute drive will take you to Adelaide’s underrated coastline, making this one the easiest day trips from Adelaide. Glenelg - a standout favourite - is a vibrant beachside suburb that people have long been going to for a quick getaway, no matter the season. 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 and dining at stylish restaurants is your thing, then Jetty Road is for you. We’ve got foodies covered too, with a roundup of the best restaurants in Glenelg.

Adelaide Hills

Adelaide Hills 

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

Mount Lofty Summit (Photo credit: South Australian Tourism Commision / Mount Lofty House)

Mount Lofty Summit

Though this is part of the Adelaide Hills, there is so much to do in the Mount Lofty Ranges that it deserves its own mention. Within a quick half-hour drive from the city, you'll be strolling along wonderful walking trails and through lush gardens, soaking in the beauty of nature around you. Test your fitness on the challenging hike to Mount Lofty Summit for sprawling views over Adelaide – it’s a gorgeous view to take in as you catch your breath.

If picnics in the sunshine are more your thing, head to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens for a relaxed afternoon. Why not extend the fun and turn this day trip into a full-blown weekend getaway? Mount Lofty House is hard to top as the spot for a truly luxurious stay.

Hahndorf (Image credit: South Australia)


Feel like transporting yourself to the heart of Europe without the long-haul flight? Take the short, scenic drive past Stirling and find yourself in the historic German town of Hahndorf, which will do just that. Wander along the charming main street lined with delightful lolly shops, traditional German pubs serving up steins and mouthwatering pork knuckle, and sip on warm mulled wine on the chilly winter days. Don't forget to explore the cute and cosy souvenir shops for unique finds, and for day trips in the warmer months, try your hand at strawberry picking in the patch at Beerenberg Family Farm. Embrace the German delights and enjoy the town that feels much further away than it really is!

The Bluff (Image credit: City of Victor Harbor)

Victor Harbour & Granite Island

On the Fleurieu Peninsula, the charming seaside town of Victor Harbor is one of Adelaide’s best day trips – particularly when the town comes to life in the glow of summer. 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 if the timing is right.

Riverland (Image credit: The River Vista)

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 the time to turn your day trip into a weekend or weeklong vacay, 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, hop aboard for one of the multi-day cruises and enjoy an experience of floating bliss on the Murray.

Cape Jervis

Cape Jervis

So much more than the Kangaroo Island ferry departure point and well worth a stop before continuing on to the island, 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.

Kangaroo Island (Image credit: Kangaroo Island Tourism)

Kangaroo Island

Although you will want to set aside at least a few days for this island paradise, it is entirely 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 where your adventure really kicks off. Or you can always opt for a quick flight. However you choose to get to the island one thing is for certain; once you’re there, you will find a nature wonderland begging to be explored. A great spot to visit is Seal Bay and its sea lion colony, where you can watch them lazing about and frolicking in the water.

Yorke Peninsula (Image credit: Riley Williams, South Australian Tourism Commission / Wauraltee Beach)

Yorke Peninsula

Dive into the crystal-clear waters for some epic swimming, snorkeling, and fishing at a spot of your choice, which shouldn’t be too difficult with over 700km of pristine coastline to choose from. Trust us; the Yorke Peninsula holds the recipe for summer fun. Don't miss the opportunity to get in touch with nature's wonders at the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park. It's like stepping into a dreamland of stunning landscapes and wildlife. Yorke Peninsula is the ultimate escape for those seeking sun, sea, and unforgettable memories, and it’s all less than 2 hours from Adelaide!

Burra (Image credit: @godwardphotography)


Nestled between the rolling vineyards 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 a laidback 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: Wineries

McLaren Vale (Image credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/ d'Arenberg Cube)

McLaren Vale

The wine region near Adelaide truly loved by locals is picturesque McLaren Vale. Just a 45-minute drive from Adelaide CBD 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, boutiques to browse in, and galleries to view art and history. 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, and to see the most photographed cube in SA, be sure to stop in at d’Arenberg.

Barossa Valley (Image credit: IG @demiaesthetic)

Barossa Valley

As far as wine regions go, Barossa Valley is in a class of its own. Just an hour from Adelaide CBD, you will be amongst world-class cellar doors, hatted restaurants, and artisan producers. Tanunda is one of the main towns in the region and is a perfect spot to start the day 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 in a stunning venue with manicured grounds, Seppeltsfield Wines is a must-visit.

Clare Valley (Image credit: South Australia)

Clare Valley

A little further out (a two-hour drive to be exact) is Clare Valley, a stunning, and yet another 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 the place to be. 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. For an experience that will earn you your wine, the Clare Valley Reisling Trail is a 35km bike trail that traverses through the picturesque region and is suitable for recreational riders. Don’t forget the photo op at Lake Bumbunga either – the pink shores are a must-see!

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 they're often all within two hours of the city! To discover more places to escape to, check out the best restaurants in Glenelg and Adelaide’s best hiking trails.

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