Words by Carlie Tucker
All too often we set our sights abroad when searching out luxury experiences, commonly looking to reliable standards such as New York, Paris or London. Though, if you're seeking something a bit different for your next getaway, South Australia has been charming luxury lovers for decades with a splendid array of experiences that emphasise the finer things. It doesn't matter if your chosen indulgence is a 5-star room with a view or a top tipple at the cellar door, there's a holiday hotspot to treat yourself:
When it comes to food related holidays, Southern Australia's Barossa Valley stands head and shoulders above the rest. Thanks to fertile lands and a patchwork of farms scattered across verdant rolling hills, this region yields some of the country's best produce. As such, unique food experiences emphasising seasonality are around every corner. Villages are alive with bustling food markets, farm-to-plate dining is the rule and new tasting experiences are plentiful to say the least.
While it's possible to keep your focus firmly on the food while in the Barossa, it is worth delving a little deeper to unveil her heritage and history. Music, galleries and festivals can cater to your cultural side, while cycling tours, balloon flights and private driving tours tap into any sense of adventure. And when it comes time to turn in, you can rest assured that an equally diverse range of accommodation offer something to suit your needs. Mix things up with a farm stay, or relish the luxury of a historic homestead. The choice is yours.
Kangaroo Island proves that getting back to nature doesn't have to mean roughing it. Situated just off the coast of South Australia, this large island getaway perfectly toes the line between natural sanctuary and luxury getaway with all the trimmings. It is Australia's third largest island, playing home to a stunningly diverse range of sights and experiences. From the elegant arch of white sand beaches peppered by fur seal colonies, to the dense bushland made of towering eucalypts, this stunning landscape showcases some of the country's iconic native animals in the undisturbed beauty of their natural element.
Day trippers can relish the serenity on offer with tours available to escort you around the island's many sights, but for those looking for something more, a selection of luxury retreats provide environmentally friendly pampering. Many are dedicated to preserving the unspoilt serenity of this incredible island, which means all the trappings of modern 5-star service with a minimal footprint. Many also offer the services of naturalist guides to treat guests to first-hand Kangaoo Island experiences.
Looking for more holiday inspiration right here at home?
Speaking of getting back to nature, South Australia also happens to be home to the formidable Flinders Ranges – 430 kilometres of the quintessential outback experience. Adventurous travellers are treated to rugged mountain terrain, incredible natural formations, indigenous history and native animals by day and stunningly beautiful starscapes by night. Fly over it, 4WD through it, hike and/or ride across it; no matter how you decide to explore, you're sure to tap into the true Australian spirit that beats strong through the furthest reaches of this national park.
While the landscapes may be rugged, staying among them doesn't have to be. Get your 'glamp' on at Wilpena Pound, holiday at a homestead or camp with a conscience in a luxury eco-villa. The accommodation options are as varied as the land, each one pampering guests with their own brand of outback luxury, where native animals graze in the distance and views are best enjoyed tinted by the rosy reds of sunset.
Did you know South Australia is known as the wine capital of the country? And did you know that some of the country's best vineyards are less than an hour from Adelaide? Adelaide Hills plays home to more than 60 cool climate vineyards waiting to treat you to top tipples. If you value a good drop over all else, you'll have your pick of cellar doors. Try a twilight tasting at Sinclair's Gully (the only eco-certified winery in Adelaide Hills) or nose and nosh at the likes of Gruner Veltliner and Blaufrankisch who specialise in food and wine experiences. Of course, it's not all about wine. There are artisan ales to choose from as well with Grumpy's Brewhause and Prancing Pony being just two of the breweries specialising in local suds.
Beyond a tall glass, this stunning region beckons with a wealth of activities for holidaymakers that love to explore. Arts and culture, driving journeys, walking, hiking, horseback riding and more. There is no shortage of things to see and do.
Images courtesy of Getty