The must-do day trips from Adelaide

South Australia offers travellers a world of wonder. Look beyond the city limits of Adelaide and you’ll find yourself in wine country mingling with award-winning winemakers, dining on gourmet feasts or exploring a secluded eco-sanctuary filled with wildlife and spectacular natural scenery.

If you don’t have wheels to get around South Australia, don’t worry because there are plenty of day trips available from Adelaide. The best way to travel is with a local, so dust off those suitcases, it’s time to escape to South Australia. Regardless of how short or quick your stay here is, a guided tour can be squeezed into any itinerary and guarantees an extraordinary day out.

Here are the top 10 day trips from Adelaide that will reveal South Australia’s laid back lifestyle, rugged beauty and culinary adventures to tickle your tastebuds.

Beers and bites in the Adelaide Hills

You may have heard that South Australia is famous for its wine, but nestled within the Adelaide Hills is a German settlement you cannot miss out on visiting. In fact, you could be forgiven for thinking that you have transported yourself into a European wonderland.

Hahndorf is proud of its German heritage with traditional streetscapes, bakeries, boutique arts and craft shops, cuckoo clocks, and of course, Bierhouses. Join the locals on a beers and bites tour in the Adelaide Hills and you’ll get to visit four breweries in one day with plenty of time to sip on crisp lager, smooth dark chocolate stout and a famous Red Ale.

For those who love spontaneity and to travel at a whimsical pace, the Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Hop On Hop Off Tour allows you to choose your own adventure, stopping at the places only you wish to visit. You never know where your tastebuds will lead you. However, if you only have time for one winery in the Adelaide Hills, do make sure to do Shiraz Wine Tasting with Chocolate Platter at Wirra Wirra winery.

Sip award-winning wines in the Barossa

The Barossa is one of the world’s best wine regions, located within an hour’s drive of Adelaide. Leave the car keys at home and sit back as tour guides take you on a behind the scenes tour of working vineyards that produce award-winning wines.

From Penfolds and Jacobs Creek to St Hugo and Yalumba Winery - there are no shortage of cellar doors to sample delicious blends or enjoy a gourmet feast. You can even sample a vintage from your birth year straight off the barrel at Seppeltsfield, the only winery in the world to release a 100-year-old, single vintage each and every year.

There is more than one way to experience the Barossa though. Soar high above the vineyards on a breathtaking hot air balloon ride taking place at sunrise or enjoy the wind in your hair as you travel in style on a Barossa trike and wine tour.

Hop over to Kangaroo Island

Rise and shine for an early start to the day, it’s time to explore Kangaroo Island. Undoubtedly, the island is Australia’s premier nature-based tourist destination and one of the top things to do in Adelaide. During a day tour to Kangaroo Island, you’ll enjoy a very comprehensive glimpse of all the highlights of the island including a guided walk in Flinders Chase National Park, home to the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.

You’ll also enjoy a 2-course lunch at Vivonne Bay with stunning water views and a visit to Seal Bay Conservation Park to spy on sea lions frolicing by the ocean. It’s not every day you get to hang out with Sea Lions but on a Kangaroo Island day tour, it’s possible.

Stargaze into the world’s darkest skies at Mannum

The Murray River is Australia’s very first accredited International Dark Sky Reserve sitting in good company with only 15 other locations in the world like it. What does this mean? Uninterrupted views of the darkest skies to stargaze at the constellations completely free from light pollution.

Nobody will tell you to get your head out of the clouds on this Murray River Stargazing Tour from Mannum. Whether you are obsessed with astronomy or simply curious, this evening tour will see you embark on a guided tour of the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Archaeological Cultural Site, dive into a traditional pub dinner and stargaze with astronomers, and astrophotographers who are happy to answer your questions.

Cruise the Murray River

Now you’ve seen the Murray by night, stop by during the day to see it in all its glory on a guided tour and river cruise. The Murray River is Australia’s most iconic waterway stretching over 2,700 kilometres from north-eastern Victoria to South Australia.

The Murray River is lined with Red Gum trees, sandy beaches and plenty of wildlife, birds, mammals, reptiles and fish. Adelaide visitors can join this guided day tour for a glimpse into this scenic countryside that includes a buffet lunch, a two-hour river cruise and a majestic stop at a lookout in Mannum.

Historic tramways and oceanic adventures at Victor Harbor

Located in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Victor Harbor is a charming seaside town with a bounty of things to see and do nearby. For a touch of history and glamour as you take in the coastal scenery, jump on the Victor Harbor Tramway to Granite Island. The horse drawn tramway is the only one of its kind in Australia taking passengers on joy rides since 1986.

Once you have arrived at Granite Island, take a walk along the Kaiki Walk and keep an eye out for marine life including penguins and Southern Right Whales between June and October. If you prefer an aquatic adventure, we highly recommend the Southern Ocean Adventure Cruise that will reveal a close encounter with Seals, Dolphins and whales in season.

Taste your way around McLaren Vale

Just a short hop from Victor Harbor, you’ll also find the renowned McLaren Vale wine region located within the Fleurieu Peninsula. Stop by d’Arenberg and you’ll be spellbound by the intriguing cube, inspired by the puzzle making of winemaking. Indulge in a wine tasting and take in some art while you here.

For those with a sweet tooth, the Shiraz Wine Tasting with Chocolate Platter put on by Wirra Wirra Estate is a must-do experience in McLaren Vale. Known for its Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, lovers of red wine must add McLaren Vale to their itinerary. If you don’t want to be a designated driver there is a hop on hop off tour that allow you to choose the wineries you’d like to visit.

Enjoy the fresh air and great outdoors at Morialta Conservation Park

Morialta Conservation Park is a hiker’s paradise just 10 kilometres from Adelaide. The recreational centre is perfect for walkers, rock climbers and bird watchers alike with dozens of gorges, waterfalls and woodlands to be explored. A guided tour of Morialta Conservation Park gives you a chance to catch your breath and reconnect with nature with a small group of like-minded experienced bushwalkers who will share with you the park’s early history, native plants and animals.

Departing at Adelaide in the morning around 7.30 am, you’ll have a tranquil morning walk along some of Adelaide’s best hiking trails and be back in the city in time for lunch. For those who are feeling a bit more adventurous, you can scale natural rock cliffs on a fully guided rock climb and abseil experience with expert guides, no experience required.

Incredible wildlife encounters at Monarto Safari Park

For a safari that doesn’t require a passport, come along to Monarto Safari Park to see over 500 animals and 50 species of exotic and native mammals. Monarto is one of the largest open-range zoos and the closest thing you can experience to an African safari.

Gaze over the plains to see zebra and giraffes, rhinos, lions, cheetah, monkeys and more being well cared for in this wildlife facility that focuses on education and conservation. If you’re feeling brave, step into the Lions 360 for a close animal encounter of the pride during their daily feed. The roaring sounds of the lions waiting for their feed is something you have to see and hear to believe!

Admire the view at Mount Lofty Summit

Standing 710 metres above sea level, the Mount Lofty Summit near Adelaide is a wonderful place to visit for panoramic views of Adelaide city. Stop by to witness a magical sunrise or sunset and if you are keen walker, you’ll find a series of trails that descend down the hill.

The Mount Lofty Summit is approximately 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD and the Summit Restaurant and Cafe is a great place to grab a bite to eat or warm up with a hot cup of coffee.

Ready to pack your bags and escape to South Australia? Discover all the top things to do in Adelaide and surrounds here with extraordinary experiences available to book online here in one convenient location.

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We acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Custodians of Country and their connections and continuous care for the skies, lands and waterways throughout Australia.