Now it is time to get amongst the real Australia
South Australia is home to the country’s largest wine region and extensive outback where you could go for days without seeing another soul.
It holds the kind of environment that has come to captivate Australian literature and define the way much of the world views this diverse nation.
With rolling plains of orange dirt, outback pubs in towns with populations of under ten, South Australia is the place to get away from it all.
The state’s capital of Adelaide, often referred to as the ‘City of Churches’ is located at the south-east tip of the state and is home to a vibrant cultural scene including renowned arts and music festivals.
Despite not being a well-travelled destination in comparison to the east coast it has much to offer to backpackers beyond the prominent attractions of the great beaches, and easy access to the fantastic outback and wine regions of the Barossa Valley. It is cheap.
And Adelaide being cheap means a longer stay is possible and/or more beer money depending on how you want to go about your day.
More money too, means you are more able to take in the 17 major festivals that come to Adelaide every year, including the largest art festival in the southern hemisphere. That being the Adelaide Fringe Festivals which for 24 days hosts over 4000 artists.
Adelaide is described as being for the curious. It rewards those who dig a little deeper beneath the surface of the city.
From there you will find little laneways of food, quiet but revelling bars and pubs.
It is a city defined by its arts and culture. Being a little curious will lead you to find the significance of it all, and more so how this quiet city of Adelaide can be easily enjoyed even on a backpacker’s budget.
South Australia offers more than what meets the eye.
Just thirty minutes’ drive you will find yourself on the Adelaide Coast home to a fearsome yet somehow inviting stretch of coast that forms the east end of the Great Australian Bite.
Glenelg Beach is the most popular of the beach haunts for locals and travellers alike and offers a relaxing day at the beach mixed with charming beachfront cafes that turns into a cruisy nightlife scene after dark.
Nearby is Henley beach a popular retreat, full with cafes and ice cream parlours that go well with a dip in the water and lazing on the sand.
For those more inclined to catch the breaks off the coast, Boomer Beach is the place for you.
The angry surf comes booming in from Antarctica and creates huge swells, though not for the faint-hearted. It is a great place to catch a few waves and get the adrenalin rolling.
Just off the coast is Kangaroo Island, a place of incredible wildlife and personal freedom.
It offers an escape from the modern world yet an ability to reconnect with the simple aspects of life.
Stand on the pristine white beaches in the colder months and take in the migrating white whales and with hidden coves and the states tallest cliffs, the exploring won’t end.
Mixed in with this diverse environment is the excellent local cuisine, featuring fresh gourmet food and wine that will go hand in hand as you watch the sun go down on a fantastic island.
Speaking of great food and wine a comfortable drive inland from Adelaide will land you in the world-renowned wine region of Barossa Valley.
It has a fascinating history that spans back to the early 1800s, and the Valley has been producing some of the finest wines on the planet since then.
With the colder climate, this is also a great place to escape the heat and enjoy a day out tasting all the region has to offer.
Port Augusta is a great place to start your outback travels; north of Adelaide, it is where the desert meets the sea.
From there, escape to a new world. And what a better way to see not just the outback but the lifestyle of those that call it home than in Cooper Pedy.
This town is unique. Try and find another town built underground to escape the heat but also manages to produce 80, yes 80 per cent of the world’s opals.
It is a town that provides an interesting look into the lives of outback Australians.
From the harsh to the sublime now, we have made it to Lake Eyre, a staple location for any outback traveller in South Australia.
This oasis spans over 9,500 square kilometres, and when full, it is all you can see and becomes the home to a huge array of wildlife.
When dry, the sun reflects the salt crystals into the horizon.
Camp out or find a local caravan park, with the local pubs known to serve delicious food and indulge in the best of outback life.
From the culture and festivals in Adelaide to the ranges of Mount Gambier, the Barossa Valley and the Outback – South Australia has it all for the explorer and curious.