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The 21 Bucket List Things to do in South Australia Right Now

From Venetian gondolas and pink lakes, to wining and dining in just about every setting you can think of, these are the bucket list best things to do in South Australia.

City of Victor Harbor

Famous for its regional events, food and world-class wineries, South Australia and Adelaide offers a multitude of epic experiences and unmatched landscapes that are just begging to be enjoyed.

Whether you’re just visiting or a long-time local, there’s always something new to discover in this stunning state. From the mainstream destinations, to the roads less travelled, our roundup of the best things to do in South Australia will have you wining and dining, partying on peninsulas, and sipping on sparkling wine in the sky.

The only thing left to do is to decide on where you’re going first!

Whale Watching in Victor Harbor

Whale Watching

A natural phenomenon occurs annually from late May to October along the coast of the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula is one of the best things to do in South Australia. This is one that is guaranteed to stay with you for the rest of your life. Whale watching season returns each year, with the gentle giants migrating to the warmer, sheltered waters of Encounter Bay to socialise, court, and raise their calves before heading back down south to Antarctica. The area is a breeding ground for the endangered Southern Right whales and a stop-in for passing Humpback whales, alongside New Zealand fur seals, Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Go to a Festival or Two

South Australia is called the Festival State for an extremely good reason: because we have an exciting festival on practically every single month of the year. Starting with the biggest of the lot, the Adelaide Fringe festival takes over the entire city for a month, with ticketed shows across many venues and free shows to catch in bars, on the streets and in larger venue spaces such as the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony.

Cultural festivals such as OzAsia burst out onto the streets of Adelaide and of course there is the many, many food festivals including the delicious Tasting Australia. No matter which festival you choose, it's guaranteed to be one of the best things to do in South Australia. 

Rodney Fox Shark Cage Diving

Go Shark Cage Diving in Port Lincoln

Ever wanted to come face to face with a Great White Shark? In Port Lincoln, you can do exactly that – without putting your life in danger. Join Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions or Calypso Star Charters for the ultimate great white shark adventure. Tours depart from Port Lincoln marina, to the beautiful and world famous Neptune Islands.

No diver certification is needed to view these magnificent sharks safely from the surface cages and their qualified crew give full cage and dive briefings and make sure everyone onboard is happy, safe and confident. 

While waiting your turn in the dive cage, you can sit back and relax with local South Australian food and wine and enjoy excellent topside viewing of the great white sharks. 

It's truly one of the most epic, once-in-a-lifetime things to do in South Australia. 

Restaurant Botanic

Dine at the Best Restaurant in Australia

Situated in a heritage rotunda and nestled within the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Gardens, dining at the Restaurant Botanic is truly the best thing to do in South Australia. It is clear to see why Restaurant Botanic was named as Australia’s Restaurant of the Year 2022 by Gourmet Traveller. From their ingredients being sourced straight from the botanic gardens themselves, to the artistic effort put into creating each of the 20+ courses of their degustation menu of flavour combinations, not including the addition of a delectable, paired wine flight. Recent renovations introduced an exclusive ‘chef’s table’ option with 10 seats surrounding the culinary kitchen to see your culinary and sensory escape prepared fresh.

Plane Tree Drive, Adelaide

Monarto Safari

Feed The Lions at Monarto Safari

If you’re after a bucket-list item that is truly unforgettable and one of the best things to do in South Australia, then buckle up. The Lion 360 experience at Monarto Safari invites you to see wildlife like never before, getting up close and personal with the lions from the safety of a 360 dome enclosure. Phrases like “within clawing range” and “prey’s eye view” may sound extreme, but this is a once in a lifetime experience! Even better, your visit will also be contributing towards conservation charities helping to save lions from extinction.

Prices start at $70 per person

Monarto Safari Park, Old Princes Highway, Monarto South


Visit Seppeltsfield Winery

Possibly one of the most iconic and best wineries in Barossa Valley, possibly even South Australia, Seppeltsfield is one for your wine bucket list. Drive down the iconic stretch of road lined with palm trees and be welcomed into wine heaven. The Seppeltsfield Cellar Door is located in the redeveloped 1900 Seppelt Bottling Hall, showcased in a world-class blend of historical and contemporary architecture. Everything is an experience within itself, from intimate wine tastings in cosy alcoves to private and luxurious wine tastings in their VIP mezzanine lounge. A unique moment on offer is to taste the wine from your birth year, privately hosted over 30 minutes with a wine educator. You’re educated alongside the longest lineage of single vintage wines in the world, which date back to 1878, culminating in a taste from a barrel of your birth year – an experience like no other.

730 Seppeltsfield Road, Seppeltsfield

d'Arenberg Cube

Explore Art, Wine and Views at d’Arenberg Cube

Iconic from the get-go, the d’Arenberg Cube offers an experience in South Australia like no other. The stunning architecture stands proud within the d’Arenberg vineyards, welcoming visitors through its many floors. There is a Salvador Dali sculpture exhibition to explore, toilets that are practically art within themselves, a gourmet restaurant and cellar door for tastings. Wine lovers can blend their own wine at the blending bench, and foodies can feast on the eight course food and wine degustation. Want more from your experience? Private helicopter and flights in a 1930s open cockpit biplane will take your trip sky-high, seeing the stunning views of McLaren Vale in full 360. It's truly one of the most magical and best things to do in South Australia!

58 Osborn Road, McLaren Vale

Clare Valley Riesling Trail

Clare Valley Riesling Trail

Have your main character moment and cycle into the sun along the Clare Valley’s picturesque Riesling Trail. Regarded as one of the best things to do in South Australia, explore the vineyard-dotted roads and charming cellar doors by bike for a day like no other. A great alternative to a van or car, biking offers the chance to slow down, revel in the fresh air, and truly appreciate wine country’s storybook scenery. Named after the wine variety that the region is famous for, the trail runs for 35 kilometres passing by many cellar doors and vineyards - Claymore Wines, Mr Mick Cellar Door & Kitchen and Sevenhills Cellar are just a few.

Clare Valley

Barossa Valley Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning Barossa Valley

What do you get when you combine a hot air balloon ride with Champagne and a decadent ‘Barossa’ breakfast? An absolutely unforgettable experience, that’s what. Take the short trip at just under an hour from Adelaide’s CBD to the Barossa Valley and prepare for lift-off at sunrise with Barossa Valley Ballooning, soaking in the early morning tranquillity in a peaceful, yet exhilarating hour-long flight. Look down at the world-famous wine region vineyards stretching below and take in the 360˚ panoramic views with this once in a lifetime experience. Your adventure continues after touch-down with a gourmet breakfast complete with Champagne to raise a toast to yourselves. You’ll literally be floating on cloud nine.

Book here

Barossa Valley

Adelaide Gondola (Image Credit: Red Balloon)

Ride the Adelaide Gondola

All aboard! Experience all the romance of Venice in the heart of Adelaide. Climb aboard an Adelaide Gondola and set sail on the calm waters of the River Torrens, heading off into the sunset. Spend a romantic afternoon with someone special riding along the river in your very own private gondola, taking in the serene surroundings along the way. Operating seven days a week and at any time of day, this is a dreamy way to start or end a day. Let the attendant gondolier take the strain while you relax and soak up the atmosphere of this stunning city, all while indulging in some of Australia's finest sparkling wines. 

War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide

Cherry Picking (Image Credit: South Australia)

Go Cherry Picking

There’s something irresistibly wholesome about roaming orchards and feasting on fruit fresh off the tree. You can do just that at friendly farms such as Fleurieu Cherries, Plummers Border Valley Orchards and Marble Hill Cherries, where they allow you to wander their fields and pick your own produce. Support local and fill up your baskets with ripe and ready fruit, paid for by the kilo and more gratifying than any supermarket punnet. One of our top choices for the best things to do in South Australia, ripe for the bucket list. Experience cherry picking with family, friends or as a first date. Cherry season happens every summer, usually from mid-November to mid-January.

Various locations

South Coast Wine Train

All aboard the South Coast Wine Train

With scenes straight out of Under the Tuscan Sun, a trip on the iconic South Coast Wine Train takes you on a picturesque ride along the Steamranger Heritage Railway. Quintessentially one of the best things to do in South Australia, this experience combines world-class wines with exquisite food and awe-inspiring landscapes. The renowned expedition promises access to parts of the region that remain unspoiled, travelling in style. Climb aboard the 1920s built heritage railway carriage and tour regions in Adelaide Hills, Langhorne Creek and towards the South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Enjoy wine tastings from 3 cellar doors and enjoy a glorious 2-course lunch at a local restaurant along the journey.

From $257

Pickup from Adelaide

Murray River National Park

Explore Murray River National Park

Experience the natural wonders of the Riverland region and the Murray River National Park for yourself. Escape the city for a day, weekend or longer for a winter break by the river, and walk, bike, canoe or take a self-guided drive around the 14,879 hectares of the sprawling Murray River National Park. Become acquainted with the endless wetlands and the wildlife that call it home, made up of six individual parks across the area, each landscape offering something different. Think adorable wildlife from aquatic to koalas, campfire and picnic areas to refuel and camping options to spend a night under the stars. If you’re after something high-end, book into award-winning luxury accommodation The Frames, explore the waterways at sunrise with a canoe adventure, or at night with a dark sky reserve tour, free from light pollution.


Sequoia Lodge

Wine, Dine and Escape at Sequoia

Lovers of the gourmet, luxury and fabulous, discover Sequoia – an intimate, adults-only luxury lodge afoot the iconic Mount Lofty House. Set in the highlands of the Adelaide Hills, you can take in panoramic views either from your private balcony or from your huge bathtub. Immerse yourself in wellness with the semi-private hot pools and infinity pool filled with healing minerals of the estate’s natural springs, or treat yourself to a treatment at Gatekeeper’s Day Spa for some pampering. Book in for an artisan food experience, where you learn about and sample their chef's favourite produce from the hills in a hosted masterclass. Pair this with their sommelier-hosted wine masterclass for a true time of decadence.

1 Mawson Drive, Crafers

Eyre Peninsula

Discover the Colours of Eyre Peninsula

See an absolute icon of South Australia for yourself, the pink lake! With beaches, salt pans and the world’s longest stretch of unbroken sea cliffs, the Eyre Peninsula is full of Instagrammable wonders. With over 2000 kilometres of shoreline, get ready to take in the beauty of the Nullarbor and the Bunda Cliffs, undulating white sand hills at Yanerbie and of course the gorgeous pastel pink waters at Lake Macdonnell. Local food and drink offerings are waiting to be discovered, with the Eyre Peninsula being hailed as Australia’s seafood frontier. Check out oyster sheds and local townships, hang out with Eyre’s favourite locals including sea lions and magnificent cuttle fish.

Eyre Peninsula

Arkaba Walk. Image credit: Luke Tscharke

Go Glamping in the Flinders Ranges

For an overnight experience like no other, take the journey about five hours from the CBD and find yourself amongst some of South Australia’s most impressive outback. The overwhelmingly beautiful scenery at Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park introduces ancient and rugged landscapes abundant with native wildlife. As part of Arkaba Walk, you can book yourself in for an escape on one of their timber swag decks. Each deck is elevated with a screen around three sides with the fourth left open to the breathtaking views over the countryside. Your roof is simply the night sky, but don’t worry – the deck has shelter in case the weather decides not to play ball.

Flinders Ranges

Adelaide Biplanes

Reach New Heights on the Fleurieu Peninsula

Now, this is a solid bucket list experience as one of the best things to do in South Australia. Go back in time with Adelaide Biplanes flying experiences, taking off from Aldinga Airfield and flying south along the Fleurieu Peninsula. You’ll head out across the eastern coast of Kangaroo Island and over The Deep Creek Conservation Park, up over the hills that surround the McLaren Vale wine region and back into Aldinga Airfield near Sellicks Beach. If an experience in Adelaide Biplanes changes your life and you want more, sign up to their flying school for recreational aviation training.

Aldinga Airfield, 174 Colville Road, Aldinga

Battle of Bosworth Wines

Walk The Shiraz Trail

Take a walk on the wine side with the Shiraz Trail. Starting from McLaren Vale (Almond Train) and going right down to Willunga through a steady 7.4km (one-way) track, you can take the track by foot or bike. A shorter route is available thanks to the Flat to Vale Trail from McLaren Vale to McLaren Flat at just 3.6km. You’ll pass vineyards, some of the older architecture of the area, grazing sheep and the lush greenery including towering Eucalyptus trees. At the end of this trek, or during, you can enjoy a glass of something from the many surrounding cellar doors.

Address available on site

The Enchanted Fig Tree

Experience The Enchanted Fig Tree

For one of the best things to do in South Australia, check out Gastronomo’s showstopping dining event The Enchanted Fig Tree. Bringing out the Island’s fairy tale feel, once upon a time a small fig tree was planted on Kangaroo Island to provide food. Over a century later, settle in for lunch within the sun-dappled limbs of a 120-year-old fig tree beneath a canopy of shimmering leaves. Within the twisted limbs of a tree, you’ll sip on a welcome cocktail made with Kangaroo Island Spirits alongside delicious canapes. With your appetite truly whet, you will then venture through the ‘entrance’ of the tree into natural dining rooms, decked out with whimsical table settings. Sit down and enjoy a decadent meal of native foraged foods and some of the Kangaroo Island and South Australia’s finest food. This experience is available in seasonal periods throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn, so don’t miss out!

6015 North Coast Road, Middle River, Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island Ocean Safari. Image credit: GetPass

Take an Ocean Safari

Living up to its name, Kangaroo Island boasts an abundance of wildlife. Book yourself into a remarkable day trip on the Ocean Safari where you’re offered a range of one-of-a-kind marine experiences. Tick swimming with dolphins and adorable seals off your bucket list, as well as adventurous snorkelling, or staying on board and enjoying the sights from the dry. Marvel at the changing colours of Kangaroo Island’s magnificent skyline on a sunset safari, or experience sheer luxury with the ocean and air safari, with a private helicopter transferring you straight to the boat. Planning a trip to Kangaroo Island encapsulates some of the best things to do in South Australia, all in one location.

Christmas Cove Marina, Kangaroo Island

Coffin Bay Oysters

Eat Oysters in Coffin Bay

Go for the famous oysters, stay for the crystal-clear water that can only be seen in Coffin Bay. Water sports fans can enjoy surfing, boating, canoeing, scuba diving and windsurfing when the weather allows. Nature lovers can an eye out for a whale passing by and take a bush walk. This waterfront haven has endless offering of some of the best things to do in South Australia, but the ultimate experience in Coffin Bay has to be oysters. Set sail the clearest waters you’ve ever seen with the Coffin Bay Oyster Farm Tour wading among the farm and tasting those world-famous oysters, freshly shucked right before your eyes.

Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula

This list is only a glimpse of some of the best things to do in South Australia, but when you're short on time, these are your absolute must-dos. For those planning on staying a while, pick your perfect accommodation in gorgeous settings including Kangaroo Island or the Barossa Valley. You can also check out our top picks for winery tourshidden gemsnational parks and more via our destinations page.

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