Heading 435 kms south of Adelaide you will find yourself in the quant town of Mount Gambier. The town was named after the incredible Blue Lake (pictured right) which is situated in a crater formed by an extinct volcano. There are many treasures in this small town to be discovered such as the incredible sink hole which was once a cave. Other activities include exploring the national parks and lakes surrounding the area. For food lovers you can't pass up the opportunity to dine at the 'House of Snitzel' which boasts an impressive selection of over 30 Snitzels! From SA's well loved classic chicken parmagina to No. 6 the Garlic Prawn (If you're not a fan of Garlic this one definitely isn't for you). It is a great space to dine while sitting back enjoying a red in the crisp cold of winter. I'd suggest allowing 2-3 days to travel this region which makes Mount Gambier one of my top picks for a long weekend away. Due to Mount Gambier's convenient location if you've got more time up your sleeve you can continue south onwards to Kangaroo Island, The Great Ocean Road or the Grampians.
Victor Harbour is a beautiful seaside town located a convenient 1 hour south of Adelaide. This makes it perfect for a Sunday drive, a weekend away or a beachside holiday ideal for families with kids. Start your morning with a stroll down the Causeway which will lead to the famous Horsedrawn Tram. If you've got some loose change climb aboard for a unique way to travel across to the iconic Granite Island. If not take a leisurely stroll across the Causeway. Keep a look out for seals and whales in the below waters which can be spotted between mid June and early November. Granite Island is home to the world's smallest penguins - The 'Little Penguin'. Every evening at dusk (excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Eve) you can join the 'Guided Penguin Tours' which offers an exclusive up close and personal experience! After exploring the beauty Granite Island has to offer I'd suggest booking an afternoon trip with Big Duck Boat Tours - www.thebigduck.com.au. From as little as $35 you can expect a half hour ride around the island which offers a great opportunity to spot dolphins, whales and seals up close. If boats aren't for you head back across the Causeway to the South Australian Whale Centre. This is a fun and interactive museum that kids and people of all ages can enjoy. Other activities in Victor Harbor include Greenhills Adventure Park and Camel Rides.
*Please note all prices were accurate at the time of posting. These are subject to change*
Most commonly known for the abidance of wineries the Adelaide Hills is a perfect place to spend a weekend. If you have a passion for the outdoors start your weekend with a sunrise hike up the Mount Lofty Summit. My recommended trail is Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty which is a 7.5km return trip. Once you reach the peak expect spectacular 360 degree views of the Adelaide CBD stretching all they way to the coast! If you are an animal lover stop into the Cleland Wildlife Park on your decent. Next up on your Adelaide Hills adventure in Harndorf. This small town is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement with a population around 800 and one of my favourite spots in Adelaide. Start your visit here with a stroll through the town centre. There is an abundance of shops offering anything from alpaca clothing, handmade wooden toys and authentic German meats and cheese. Continue down the main street until you reach Beerenberg Farm. Grab yourself a punnet and head across to the family owned farm to pick yourself some of the best strawberries I've ever tasted! For lunch head to the German Arms Hotel. This pub offers an authentic German menu and features a large selection of local and imported beer and wines. After lunch spend your afternoon wine tasting your way through the hills. You are spoilt for options with dozens of cellars to choose from! If wine isn't your thing and it happens to be a Sunday don't pass up the opportunity to stroll through the Stirling markets where you can pick up home made treats, plants or nick-nacks. For dinner head to the Bridgewater Inn for an affordable yet high quality meal. Their chicken parmigiana is amazing!
If you are after an adrenaline rush look no further then Port Lincoln! Situated on the Eyre Peninsula Port Lincoln is home to the deadly but beautiful Great White Shark. With the cool coastal water temperatures year round Neptune Island (70 kms south of Port Lincoln) is an ideal place to see these incredible animals up close. There are several tour companies operating in the area however I would highly recommend Adventure Bay Charters - www.adventurebaycharters.com.au. Not only have they recently introduced the world's first 'aqua sub' offering 360 degree views underwater, they are bait and berley free. I enjoyed a once in a life time experience on board with Adventure Bay in 2014 and was extremely impressed by the companies knowledge, experience and respect of sharks to ensure the experience does not harm these endangered animals. If diving with sharks is out of your comfort zone rest assured there are other adventure activities available including swimming with Sea Lions or Southern Bluefin Tuna. On land Port Lincoln offers stunning national parks and wineries as you'd expect from South Australia. If you are lucky enough to be around in January don't miss the annual 'Tunarama' festival where I hear tuna tossing is included in the festivities. If you are looking for accommodation in Port Lincoln I would recommend a stay at the Port Lincoln Hotel. This hotel is conveniently located in the centre of town, offers incredible views of Boston Bay and dishes locally sourced seafood that food lovers will thoroughly enjoy.
Keeping in tradition of South Australia being a premium wine producer, a trip to SA wouldn't be complete without visiting the Borossa Valley. A quick 1 hour drive north east of Adelaide will find you in one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious wine regions. Wolf Bass, Penfolds and my favorite Jacobs Creek are some of the more popular labels based in this region. If you appreciate the finer things in life you can't pass up the opportunity to taste test your way around this picturesque region! Get outdoors and enjoy a bike ride through the vineyards, pull out your AMEX at the local boutiques offering a unique shopping experience, put your putting skills to the test on the mini golf course at Borossa Bowland or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a beautiful day with the family. There really is something for everyone here!