We’re off … travel restrictions are easing and we’re champing at the bit for South Australian adventures. But where to go first? Here are a few inspirations for your post-iso bucket list.
- Important: Australia’s post-coronavirus travel regulations vary by state. See up-to-date details here
Swimming with cuttlefish – Whyalla
There’s plenty of hot action in the cold waters off Whyalla. Donned in wetsuit and snorkelling gear and dipped into cold water, this is an up-close and personal look at cuttlefish breeding.
Every year from May to August, cuttlefish gather in their thousands to mate along the rocky coastline at Point Lowly near Whyalla.
It’s quite an erotic display – in a David Attenborough kind of way. Picky females watch for bold males – usually the biggest of the bunch. They approach each other, tentacles outstretched, gently touching. Then his eyes bulge and skin quivers and, with the niceties over, he sucks her head into his mouth, fertilises her eggs and releases her. She eventually slips away to lay teardrop eggs on the underside of rocks … then she’s back for more with another male, and another, and another.
Cost: $75 for equipment for two days plus $300 for guide (cost can be divided among up to 10 people), Whyalla Diving Services
Troubridge Island – Yorke Peninsula
Did you know you can have a whole island to yourself? Book the lighthouse keeper’s cottage on Troubridge Island and it’s all yours. Well, you and thousands of birds nesting in the sanctuary … plus a few ghosts.
A 2.5-hour drive from Adelaide to Edithburgh and a 12-minute boat ride and you’re there. At low tide, you can explore the nine-hectare island. At high tide, the water comes right up to the steps of the lighthouse and the heritage-listed cottage accommodation.
Cost: $960 for four people for two nights ($120/person/night) including boat transfer, Troubridge Island Escape
Oyster Farm tour – Coffin Bay
Don some waders and wander from Oyster HQ straight out to the oyster beds just offshore. Yes, you look dorky, but think of the tasty morsels at the end of your mini trek.
A small ramp leads up to a platform and tables set up for a seafood extravaganza.
While you sit at the table, feet dangling in the water, glass of riesling in hand, an oyster farmer will offer you a glove, knife and some freshly harvested oysters.
Wait for the lesson on how to pry them open, cut the muscle free from the shell, flip the oyster (because it looks better) and then shuck in.
Cost: From $40, Coffin Bay Oyster Farm Tours
Heli-swag-hiking – Rawnsley Park Station, Flinders Ranges
This is a modern-day outback adventure in one of the world’s most ancient landscapes – the Flinders Ranges. It starts with two days of short (seven kilometre) warm-up walks to destinations such as Wilpena Pound, Arkaroo Rock and Wangara Lookout, and two nights in a cabin or eco-lodge (the choice is yours).
Then the real fun starts. A helicopter takes guests where no 4WD can – to the top of the Chace Range – where dinner and drinks are served watching the sun set. The night is spent in a swag under a star-filled sky. Then there’s a hike back down the mountain – without a track. Luckily Kym Tilbrook, the intrepid guide, is a walking compass.
Cost: From $1680, Rawnsley Park Station
Bukirk Glamping – Clare Valley
Here’s an experience for the romantics – and it’s one that can involve doing very little or all that the Clare Valley has to offer.
Hit the wineries, cycle the Riesling Trail and check out the local towns of Clare and Mintaro, then escape to Bukirk for an adults-only glamping experience.
There are five bell tents – each with its own ensuite and a private deck overlooking farmland or a vineyard. Privacy is paramount – if you want it. But there is also a community firepit where you can meet new friends and a kitchen with all you need to cook up a gourmet dinner – just bring the food and wine.
Cost: From $250 per night, Burkirk Glamping
Little Sahara – Kangaroo Island
Hit the slopes on Kangaroo Island – the sand slopes. About an hour’s drive from Penneshaw, you’ll find SA’s own Little Sahara – a series of heritage-listed sand dunes and all the equipment you need for hours of fun. Hire a toboggan to sit and slide, or a board if you have better balance than I do.
If bike riding is more your thing, take to the bush on a two-hour fat bike tour. Fat wheels (and motors if you like) help you along the tracks.
If it puts you in the mood for even more action, ask about quad-biking.
Cost: Sandboarding from $37; fat bikes $97; quad biking from $147, Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action