South Australia's Explorers Way, 8 Days
The accommodationDay 1 to 2 Adelaide - Clare (via Lake Bumbunga) (179km)
Your Explorer's Way road trip begins where the Clare Valley vineyards roll into the edges of the outback. As you reach Clare Valley, discover over 40 wineries and vineyards scattered throughout the region, with it's signature Riesling, being among the best in the world. There is also a local brewery for lovers of beer at the Clare Valley Brewing Co, where they draw water from a natural aquifer beneath the brewery, creating a range of ales and a stout for you to enjoy.
Visit the rustic and delightful Terroir Auburn with its Parisian feel, built circa in the 1860s, before passing the charming town of Watervale. Stop a little further for lunch at Skillogalee, an historic settler's cottage, surrounded by beautiful gardens, or take a short drive to Mintaro where you can step back in time and explore Martindale Hall, a living museum and one of Australia's prettiest country mansions.
Stay 2 nights in ClareDay 3 to 4 Clare - Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges 305km)
Journey into an ancient land of unspoiled, rugged beauty and dramatic mountain ranges as you make your way to the Flinders Ranges. Stop into the historic mining town of Burra, nestled between the Clare Valley and the outskirts of the outback. You may choose to take a longer route and travel via Alligator Gorge with its small cascading waterfalls and awe-inspiring rock formations, where you can hike one of their many walking trails. As you continue your journey to South Australia's most iconic national park, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, you will drive through Mars-like environments, with dusty red-roads and deep craters bordered by towering cliffs. Forming some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in the country, Flinders Ranges and the Outback is rich in indigenous history and wildlife.
Explore the ancient peaks of 800-million-year-old Wilpena Pound, a massive crater-like bowl almost 100km wide, which stands above the plains, or see it from the air on a scenic flight to really appreciate its size and beauty. Stay at the Wilpena Pound Resort, the only accommodation located inside the national park, which provides a great base from which to explore the Flinders Ranges. Other attractions include Rawnsley Bluff, Razorback Lookout in Bunyeroo Gorge and Stokes Hill Lookout.
The region produces a vast range of bush foods, with feral game found on many menus, along with desserts featuring quandong. Quench your thirst at the Prairie Hotel, a quintessential Outback pub renowned for its feral fare and innovative use of native ingredients, or dine at The Woolshed Restaurant at Rawnsley Park, a rustic Australian corrugated iron woolshed serving country-style cuisine with a twist.
Stay 2 nights at Wilpena PoundDay 5 to 6 Flinders Ranges - Coober Pedy 601km)
Make your way to Coober Pedy, Australia's opal capital, where you can sleep underground for the next few nights. The mining town is famous for its sun-baked lunar landscapes, fascinating history and quirky lifestyle. Join a tour to get in touch with the unique Outback lifestyle of Coober Pedy, where you will visit a private underground home, see the bizarre Moon Plain and enjoy a drink at an underground bar. The Desert Cave Hotel allows you to experience dugout-style living, underground shops, bar and opal display areas, all within sandstone surrounds in the heart of Coober Pedy. Enjoy the famous sunsets as you watch the iconic Outback town change colour as the sun sets. Try your luck at fossicking for your own opals, or learn about the town's mining history at the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum.
Stay 2 nights in Coober PedyDay 7 Coober Pedy - Port Augusta 542km)
Travel south to Port Augusta for your last night of your Explorer's Way road trip. On arrival into Port Augusta, make your way to the Wadlata Outback Centre, where you can experience the Tunnel of Time, with local tales about the region. From there you can take a Heritage Walk through the town discovering its historical buildings. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you stroll along the coastal path following the shores of the Spencer Gulf, you may even spot a dolphin.
Stay 1 night in Port AugustaDay 8 Port Augusta - Adelaide
As you make your way back to Adelaide you will pass Lake Bumbunga, stop and see the lake change colours from pink, to white, to blue, depending on the salinity of the water throughout the year.
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