When it’s time for an exclusive escape that’s just for you and one other, no other state quite compares to South Australia.
Crystal-clear swells break onto white-sand shores, lush green hills give way to vineyards and ancient landscapes carve their way into outback territory where, by night, the stars have never been brighter. With a stark but stunning contrast of backdrops, South Australia sets the scene for romance, seclusion and one-of-a-kind encounters. Luxury lodges, unforgettable foodie experiences and the beautiful, meandering drives that take you there top it all off.
Perhaps one of the most obvious reasons couples flock to South Australia is the wine; up to 40 per cent of visitors to the state call into a winery. And it’s no wonder. The Barossa alone flaunts more than 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries right on the cusp of Adelaide – making it possible to indulge in a taste-testing journey in an easy day trip. Throw in a very stylish sleepover at one of the many cosy cabins, boutique hotels or resorts, and you don’t even have to worry about rushing back. With so many exquisite restaurants in the region, you’d be silly not to linger at least for dinner.
In spring, the whole state and its 18 wine regions host food and wine festivals that see it burst with flavour and fashionable frivolities, particularly among the grape-laden spoils of McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and the Adelaide Hills. But look closer and discover the highlights stretch further than the obvious, all year round. Just 200 kilometres north of Adelaide, the vistas transform as the Flinders Ranges rise on the horizon – an ecotourism hotspot.
There are a handful of cellar doors – including many award winners – but it’s also where you’ll find some of Australia’s most interesting culinary experiences. Emu egg omelette, kangaroo tail soup, rabbit stew pie, camel sirloin with sweet potato wedges… it can all be found on the menu here. The local chefs are known for dishing up bush tucker favourites in newfound ways, served in the classic comfort of Aussie pubs. There’s dessert, too – quandong pie with fresh cream, anyone?
Keep going north and South Australia really gets remote – and utterly rewarding – in places like Coober Pedy, famous for its gorgeous opals and unique underground living quarters. The Gawler Ranges is unbeatable too, boasting stunning wildflowers, sculptured stone formations and salt lakes that beg for discovery. It’s the perfect spot to feel at one with nature, meet quintessential Australian wildlife and get off the beaten track, away from the obvious.
And if wildlife watching is a must on your getaway for two, there’s no looking past the wild haven of beautiful Kangaroo Island. With over a third of the island protected in nature reserves, there are sea lions, koalas, penguins and birds galore. It’s also renowned for food, wine, gin and luxury accommodation, so it’s a sure winner for couples who want to experience it all.
All along South Australia’s coastline, more stunning panoramas and wildlife encounters are promised, from whale-watching at the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula to bobbing alongside ducks on a houseboat down the Murray. Swim with sea lions and sharks off the stunning windswept shores of the Eyre Peninsula or stay close to the capital, and dip in for a swim with dolphins at beachfront Glenelg.
Wherever you venture, it all culminates in the capital, where the exclusive getaway begins and ends. Adelaide manages to bring the best of the state together in one easy sweep: award-winning cafes and fine dining restaurants, food markets, wildlife-rich natural reserves and elegant wineries on its doorstep. If it’s romance you’re after – with enough ‘wow’ for two – South Australia delivers from top to bottom.