Guide to South Australia
You’ll find some of the nation’s top golf courses, together with great hospitality, excellent cuisine, fabulous wines and unforgettable landscapes in South Australia.
Meander between Adelaide’s white beaches and sprawling parklands and cellar hop in the world-renowned Barossa Valley and beach-lined Fleurieu Peninsula . Meet native wildlife on Kangaroo Island and take a scenic flight over the epic, ancient Flinders Ranges. Whatever inspires you, you’ll find it in abundance on a South Australian golfing holiday.
The State’s Capital – Adelaide
Known as the wine and festival capital of Australia, Adelaide is an elegant and gracious city close to some of the best metropolitan beaches and wineries in Australia. It’s commonly called a 20 minute city because it never takes longer than 20 minutes to get anywhere. Within that time you can be swimming with dolphins at one of the lovely beaches, tasting premium wines in a smart cellar door in the Adelaide Hills, strolling an ‘eat street’ or walking through the past in Port Adelaide.
Surrounded by parklands, the city centre is a charming blend of historic buildings, wide streets, parks, street cafes and restaurants, all of which are easily explored on foot. Adelaide’s famed food and wine experiences begin right in the city centre with the Adelaide Central Markets, the vibrant fresh produce market where walking tours are available. Penfolds Magill Estate, a short drive from the city, is home to Australia’s most famous wine – Penfolds Grange. North Terrace boasts many of Adelaide’s cultural attractions, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the Botanic Gardens.
From January to March, the city revs up for a slew of summer festivals and sporting events. These include the Tour Down Under (a UCI Pro Tour cycle race), the world’s second largest Fringe festival, the WOMADelaide world music event, the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race and the renowned biennial Adelaide Festival of Arts.
Adelaide is also your gateway to Kangaroo Island wildlife, the Outback and famous wine regions. But when you discover a city that satisfies the tastebuds, the mind and the soul, you won’t want to leave in a hurry.
Nowhere is the Australian outback more accessible than in South Australia. The state is home to remarkable flora, varied birdlife, nomadic emus, red kangaroos, clear waterholes, thermal springs, sand deserts and magnificent gorges. You can also find relics of European settlement and authentic Aboriginal art and culture.
There is plenty to explore in the Flinders Ranges. Take a flight over the magnificent natural amphitheatre of Wilpena Pound, the centrepiece of Flinders Ranges National Park. Or spend the day exploring Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Breathtaking by day, dazzling by night, this award-winning property features some of the most spectacular views. If you journey further north you will find the historic and wonderfully quirky Coober Pedy, the opal capital of the world, littered with underground dwellings.
Wildlife is prolific and varied, including koalas, southern right whales, sea lions, dolphins, emus, kangaroos, wallabies, penguins and seals. Wildlife parks in the gorgeous Adelaide Hills offer guests a rare chance to get up close to native fauna, while those searching for an untamed wildlife experience will find it on Kangaroo Island – the best place in Australia to see wildlife in their natural habitat.
For the more adventurous travel to the Eyre Peninsula, where stunning coastal scenery combines with amazing wildlife experiences such as swimming with dolphins, sea lions and tuna, or cage diving with the awesome great white shark.
The ‘wine capital of Australia’, South Australia is home to 17 wine regions including the Barossa and Clare Valleys, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra, along with over 200 cellar doors including world famous labels Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek and Peter Lehmann, all within an hour’s drive of Adelaide. With a rich history of viticulture – established by early German settlers – the fertile Barossa is known predominately for its shiraz, though complex boutique varieties also exist. The wine country is stunning, the histories are engaging and the communities, warm.
Golf in South Australia
The jewel in South Australia’s golfing crown is Royal Adelaide – one of the six Australian courses ranked in the World Top 100. Although designed by C. L. Gardiner and H. L. Rymill, it was Dr Alister MacKenzie who later consulted and made valuable changes to the course.
By designing holes over and around the enormous dunes, MacKenzie was able to make full use of the site’s magnificent natural features. Royal Adelaide has changed considerably over the years, but has retained its fundamental charm. With a core of outstanding holes and an unmistakably adventurous streak, Royal Adelaide is an entertaining golf challenge.
Play an additional round at Adelaide’s Kooyonga Golf Club, combine wine-tasting and golf in the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale regions or enhance your golf holiday with fresh seafood along the Eyre Peninsula. There are spectacular coastal courses on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Limestone Coast and lots of lush, quality courses along the Murray River. For different scenery, try the treeless course at Coober Pedy or play on the reputedly world’s longest golf course on the Nullarbor Plain.
Southern South Australia has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm to hot dry summers. Most of the state’s rainfall is during the winter months of June, July and August. Very hot conditions can be experienced during summer, especially in northern regions such as the Flinders Ranges and Outback. While the summer days can be extremely hot in outback areas, the temperature drops quickly once the sun goes down and nights can be very cold.