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Hit the Road Adelaide's Best Road Trip Escapes

Hit the Road: Adelaide’s Best Road Trip Escapes

Buckle up, road warriors! We’re about to take you on a whirlwind tour of the best road trips in Adelaide, where the journey is just as thrilling as the destination.

Take a quick tour from Adelaide to Hahndorf, a slice of Europe in the Adelaide Hills, or hit the coastal paradise of Second Valley.

Ready to roll? This article has all the details.

Adelaide to Melbourne

From adalitax


Distance from the CBD: 726.5 kilometers

Travel Time: 8 hours and 23 minutes

An Adelaide to Melbourne road trip is the cure for your wanderlust, especially if you enjoy coastal views, water activities, and greenery. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stops like Mount Gambier, Grampians National Park, and Murray Bridge.

If you’re in the mood for some fishing fun, stop by Cape Bridgewater, where you can also hit the clear waters on a canoe or simply stroll through the pristine shore. For those who prefer surfing and sunbathing, Warrnambool is where it’s at.

Don’t forget to fuel up, as this journey takes a while. Robe’s Southern rock lobsters are worth a shot, but you can always stop by streetside eateries, such as Fred Bakery, Waacks Bakery, or Fish by Moonlite.

Travel Tips:
Taste the world-class Melbourne coffee.

Visit around March to May when the temperature is milder.

Check the Melbourne Cricket Grounds if you’re a sports fan.

Don’t forget to rest. The Adelaide-to-Melbourne main route offers several accommodations, including Oasis Motel in Nhill and Darlot Motor Inn in Horsham.

Adelaide to Kangaroo Island

From FirstClass Travel


Distance from the CBD: 210.4 kilometers

Travel Time: 3 hours and 39 minutes

An Adelaide to Kangaroo Island road adventure is a wild ride packed with beach views, national parks, farmlands, and exotic animals.

The first stop is McLaren Vale, where you can snag some fine wine. Then, swing by Goolwa, Deep Creek National Park, and Flinders Chase National Park for a dose of Mother Nature.

Cape Jervis is your spot before you ferry your ride to Kangaroo Island. Once on the island, kick back at Penneshaw or Vivonne Bay, where you can also surf, swim, and snorkel.

Travel Tips:
Kangaroo Island is accessible by ferry from Cape Jervis. Be sure to check the ferry schedule and make reservations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Kangaroo Island is renowned for its wildlife. Drive carefully and watch out for animals, such as kangaroos, wallabies, and echidnas.

Adelaide to Clare Valley


Distance from the CBD: 142.6 kilometers

Travel Time: 1 hour and 44 minutes

A trip to Clare Valley offers vineyards, farms, and reserves. The best first stop is Yangarra Estate Vineyard for wine tastings or Beerenberg Farm for pony rides and strawberry picking (November to April).

Art and history buffs shouldn’t miss Hans Heysen’s The Cedars, while wildlife enthusiasts must pop by the 14-acre Gorge Wildlife Park to see some dingoes, bats, Tasmanian devils, and more.

Remember to stop at St. Kilda Adventure Playground, especially if you have kiddos around. 

Once in Clare Valley, you can relax at the heritage-listed Bungaree Station; explore wineries, like Seven Hills Cellars and Martindale Hall; head to the mining town of Burra; or stroll through the Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail.

Travel Tips:
If you plan to visit specific Clare Valley wineries for tours and tastings, it’s wise to make reservations in advance, as some places have limited availability.

Clare Valley’s rural location offers fantastic stargazing opportunities. Consider bringing binoculars or a telescope for a memorable night under the stars.

Adelaide to Lochiel

From miuyukimura


Distance from the CBD: 131.8 kilometers

Travel Time: 1 hour and 29 minutes

An Adelaide to Lochiel trip promises a chill ride with coastal and lakeside views as highlights. Don’t forget to swing by Wildflower Park first, where you’ll find a small but mighty playground with balancing logs, climbing nets, and a hill slide.

You can proceed to Port Wakefield—a serene port town with direct access to Gulf St Vincent. This breezy town has modern boat ramps, a tidal swimming hole, and fishing hotspots best visited if you want to reel in a free dinner.

The pièce de résistance awaits in Lochiel. We’re talking about Lake Bumbunga, a pink lake that’s as Instagram-worthy as it gets, thanks to the algae changing the water’s colors.

Travel Tips:
Bring sun protection gear, such as sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, as there isn’t enough shade in Lake Bumbunga.

Lochiel doesn’t have service stations, so make sure your vehicle is fueled up at the start of the trip, especially before the drive to Lake Bumbunga.

Adelaide to Darwin


Distance from the CBD: 3029.9 kilometers

Travel Time: 31 hours

Adelaide to Darwin may be a long drive, but the roadside views of arid lands, falls, gorges, and Darwin’s beachfront beauties make it worthwhile.

We suggest stopping at the Steamtown Heritage Rail Center in Peterborough. Then, gear up for the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden in Port Augusta, a desert oasis of unique flora.

Don’t miss the Old Timers Mine & Museum in Coober Pedy, where opals shine. As you inch closer to Darwin, don’t skip a soothing soak at Katherine Hot Springs in Cossack or miss the scenery offered by Nitmiluk’s gorges and falls.

Once you hit Darwin, gear up for water activities, from swimming at Mindil Beach and spotting reptiles at Crocosaurus Cove to fishing at the historic Stokes Hill Wharf.

Travel Tips:
Make sure to book a spot where you can sleep.

Our go-to accommodations for this road trip include Coober Pedy’s Desert Cave Hotel, King’s Canyon’s Discovery Resorts, and Katherine’s Cicada Lodge.

Have paper maps and a reliable GPS device or smartphone app for navigation, as GPS signals can be unreliable in remote regions like Coober Pedy and Port Augusta.

Be prepared for variable weather conditions, especially in the Outback. Pack clothing for both hot days and chilly nights.

Adelaide to Innes National Park

From sohaibirshad


Distance from the CBD: 286 kilometers

Travel Time: 3 hours and 8 minutes

Innes National Park (currently named Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park) is pure beachside bliss. Nestled atop the Yorke Peninsula, this park serves up a visual feast, from dramatic cliffs to sandy beaches.

Make pit stops at the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, a haven for bird enthusiasts; Ardrossan Lookout, a spot for panoramic coastal views and stunning photographs; and Parara Bush Campground, an ideal base for camping and bushwalking.

You should then head to Marion Bay, a charming coastal town perfect for swimming, beachcombing, and soaking in the laid-back coastal vibes.

Travel Tips:
If you plan to hike, pack comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes, maps, and plenty of water.

Look for the park’s rare tammar wallabies.

Bring enough essentials. The park doesn’t have any shops.

Pack some fishing gear. The park is famous for its fishing spots.

Additionally, anglers should familiarize themselves with the fishing regulations here.

Don’t forget your surfing gear. Innes National Park is a surfing hotspot.

Adelaide to Second Valley

From always_sorround_me_in_water


Distance from the CBD: 90.1 kilometers

Travel Time: 1 hour and 16 minutes

A trip to Second Valley is a beach and nature lover’s dream come true. The journey will take you to some of SA’s most stunning beaches, particularly Second Valley Beach, embraced by towering cliffs and captivating rock formations.

This road trip’s notable stopovers include McLaren Vale’s Shiraz Trail, where you can savor some of the region’s finest wines. Then, there’s Moana Sands Conservation Park, a secluded sandy and rocky beach perfect for sunbathing.

Our road trip buddies also love hiking the Myponga Lookout, with heavenly panoramas of forested areas, rolling hills, and the Myponga Reservoir.

Travel Tips:
If you plan to visit Second Valley’s beautiful beach, check tide times to ensure safe swimming and exploration of the tidal pool areas.

Head to Encounter Marine Park for boating adventures and whale watching.
Fish at Second Valley Beach’s jetty.

Adelaide to Hahndorf


Distance from the CBD: 26.6 kilometers

Travel Time: 27 minutes

Hahndorf is a German heritage town oozing history and character, and it’s more than just schnitzels and bratwurst. This artisanal town has wineries, cheese cellars, distilleries, farms, and German specialty shops that’ll make you want to stay for more than a day.

But before you waltz into Hahndorf, why not check the must-see spots along the short but adventure-filled route? We always head to Measday’s Lookout, where you can unwind near a small waterfall and see cityscapes on the observation deck.

The Cleland Wildlife Park is a worthwhile detour, too, mainly for animal enthusiasts. For a bit of whimsy, visit  Steamroller Park’s playground and Bridgewater Fairy Garden, a section of the Heysen Trail with fairytale-themed structures and sculptures!

Travel Tips:
Consider starting your journey early in the morning to beat the crowds and enjoy a peaceful drive.
Stop by the Beerenberg Farm for fresh, locally produced jams, chutneys, and sauces.

Explore the Hahndorf Academy, which houses art, craft, and design exhibitions as well as a heritage museum.

Visit local microbreweries such as Hahndorf Brewing Co. for craft beer tasting sessions.
Bring a bike or rent one and explore the town’s main street.

Adelaide to Coober Pedy


Distance from the CBD: 848.5 kilometers

Travel Time: 8 hours and 56 minutes

The road from Adelaide to Coober Pedy is a journey to the “opal capital of the world,” and it’s as otherworldly as it gets. Full of opal mining pits and mullocks, the landscape here resembles a moon-like dreamscape.

The town is also known for its underground charms. You can explore subterranean churches like the Catacomb Church, unique lodging options, such as the Desert Cave Motel and The Underground Motel, and much more.

As for the notable pit stops, we recommend Clinton Conservation Park, Bowman Park, and Lake Hart and Hanson for those who want to relish nature’s splendor. Make sure to visit Rocket Park, too, a space history that’ll give you a taste of the cosmos.

Once you reach the Outback, go to the Wadlata Outback Center or the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden before you finally head to Coober Pedy.

Travel Tips:
This is a long trip, so be sure to book a spot where you can rest. Some highly rated accommodations along this route are Comfort Inn Flinders on Main, Crossroads Ecomotel, and Kingoonya Hotel.

Coober Pedy and the South Australian Outback, in general, can get scorching, so carry plenty of water for the journey.

The South Australian Outback roads are long and desolate, so always have a spare tire and emergency kit.

Additionally, fill your tank whenever you can; gas stations are sparse on the way. Outside the CBD, there are refilling stations in Wakefield, Port Wakefield, and Wylie Rd.

If you’re going to use an EV, you may find several charging stations in the CBD, Augusta Hwy, Port Pirie, and Port Augusta. The charging station after Port Augusta is in Coober Pedy, so plan and charge accordingly.

Adelaide to Flinders Ranges


Distance from the CBD: 453.4 kilometers

Travel Time: 5 hours and 10 minutes

If you can’t have enough of the great and rugged Australian Outback, Flinders Ranges, Australia’s largest mountain ranges, is the spot for you.

It stretches for a whopping 430 kilometers from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna, resulting in a myriad of exceptional peaks and lookout points, such as St. Mary Peak’s Tanderra Saddle and Razorback Lookout.

Art aficionados will also enjoy the Aboriginal rock art at Arkaroo Rock, a glimpse into ancient stories. But the real showstopper here is Brachina Gorge, where rocks and fossils date back to over 650 million years ago.

The sights and destinations along the way don’t disappoint, too. Our favorite is Orrooroo’s Magnetic Hil, Hawker’s Jarvis Hill Lookout, and Peterborough’s Steamtown Heritage Rail Center.

Travel Tips:
You can learn more about Flinders Ranges by joining the Blinman Mine Tour. Bookings are required.
Keep an eye out for native wildlife like kangaroos, emus, and wedge-tailed eagles. Binoculars can come in handy.

Explore the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park. It has famous sights like the Alligator Gorge and Wilpena Pound.

Plan your trip during the cooler months (April to September) to avoid extreme heat. The landscapes are more vibrant after some rainfall too.

Adelaide to Eyre Peninsula


Distance from the CBD: 838.7 kilometers

Travel Time: 6 hours and 55 minutes

For those who prefer a splash-tastic road trip, driving from Adelaide to the Eyre Peninsula should be on your bucket list. This spot is an aquatic playground where you can swim with sea lions, dance with dolphins, and even cage-dive with great white sharks.

But before you make a splash, take a pit stop at the Water Tower Lookout, where you’ll score views of the Spencer Gulf and Port Augusta’s bustling harbor. For beachy vistas that’ll make you want to grab a surfboard, head to the Hummock Hill Lookout.

And if you’re into boardwalk strolls, the Arno Bay Mangrove Boardwalk is a must-visit, offering a peaceful walk through an enchanting mangrove forest.

Travel Tips:
If you don’t want to get wet, you can still see the Peninsula’s aquatic marvels by joining a whale-watching eco tour or a fishing charter.

Don’t leave without trying Coffin Bay oysters.

If you intend to explore national parks like Coffin Bay or Lincoln National Park, purchase a park pass in advance for ease of entry.

Check for local events, festivals, and markets happening during your visit. They offer a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.


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