1. Kangaroo Island
Where do I even begin? I think it would be easier for me to give reasons not to go to Kangaroo Island seeing as that list would be significantly less - if any such reasons were to even exist.
This island’s diverse array of landscapes as well as the endless options of activities to do to pass your time - make it the perfect holiday haven. Wether you're into camping, surfing, swimming, fishing, hiking, snorkelling or wether you love beaches, sand dunes, rolling farm lands, amazing rock formations or wineries - Kangaroo Island has it all, catering for the whole family.
For me, a nice beach goes a long way and when it’s topped off with crystal clear water, a visit from a sea lion and white sand then it has my vote!
D’estrees bay is up there with my favourite places that I have camped all trip (and thats after 4 months of being on the road), our van was parked a ten second walking distance from the water and it was an amazing location to soak up the afternoon sun.
If you're an animal or photo enthusiast then this paradise will very quickly fill up your days. Perfect sunset and sunrise spots as well as an abundance of bird life, sheep, kangaroos, wallabies, dolphins, seals and sea lions are found throughout and around the island. Seal Bay was a great opportunity for us to watch and take photos of the Sea Lion’s basking on the beach during the day, whilst Remarkable Rocks was a favourite spot to take landscapes with the amazing glow of Sunrise and Sunset.
Upon arriving to Kangaroo Island the extreme wind, and general poor conditions of the weather didn't give us much hope for a comfortable or enjoyable stay. As we landed on the island we realised how mistaken we were. With countless pristine beaches scattered around the coastline of the island, no matter what the wind or swell direction, there is always somewhere in your Favour. Either blocked right from the wind or minor off shores, these countless options leave you with crystal clear water and perfect waves breaking both left and right.
To see the entirety of the island it's best to travel in your own vehicle, giving you the freedom to travel at your own pace and camp where best suits your itinerary. This is best achieved with the amazing services of SeaLink Ferry! Click the link below for further details on how to get to Kangaroo Island.
2. Swimming with Sea Lions
Seeing a Sea Lion in the wild is enough to win me over, but to be able to witness these amazing animals in their natural habitat whilst swimming and playing with them is on a whole other level!
Port Lincoln in South Australia is my favourite place for this awesome experience. Not only are the team at Adventure Bay Charters friendly and genuine, but their love for the environment and the Sea Lions really heightens your encounter with these creatures. The animals are not harmed, frightened or fed to negatively impact the eco-system, rather they are bounding with joy as your boat docks, with an inexhaustible excitement to twirl and dance in the water with you.
I can’t say I have ever had an underwater or ocean experience like this. Not only do you not have to move more then a couple of metres to be surrounded by adorable Sea Lions, but I can’t think of any other animal encounter where the animal did not have to be sought after, chased or even caged in order to have its photograph taken.
I am so glad I was able to tick this one off the list, and it really exceeded all expectations!
3. Barossa Valley
Wether it was because it happened to be my birthday, the best surprise ever or because it was just simply incredible - the Barossa Valley certainly stands out. There isn't a wine community quite like it and you can almost taste the wine and cheese upon arriving.
I was very spoilt that day but you can do this area of South Australia relatively cheap - the wine tastings are free and the food whilst amazing is still reasonably priced.
If you are a food lover and can’t resist a delicious glass of wine then this is a must. The rolling green hills, dozens of farmlands scattered with farm animals and the like make up this perfect backdrop for the day - and you can even bring your own picnic and enjoy the scenery by yourself. The countless wineries and cellar doors are all in close proximity which is great news if you have limited time or simply want to fit as much into a day as possible. Each cellar door has a lot to offer and the staff are very friendly and informative, I learnt a lot about the wines and products and it was great to support my favourite local wines.
With a group of friends, your family or your partner, a weekend away to the Barossa Valley will not disappoint.
4. The Flinders Ranges
If you’re an outdoor admirer and love taking in a good view look no further than the Flinders Ranges! Offering a variety of challenging, medium and easier walks you could spend as little or as long as you want exploring this scenery.
My favourite walk was to the summit of St Mary’s Peak - a 14km return walk that took roughly 6.5 hours in total (including an hour taking in the view up the top.)
To reach the summit in time for sunrise we woke up at 2:30am and started walking at 3:00am, the early rise was definitely worth it upon reaching the summit just in time to see the clouds turning red! The first 4-5km of the walk wound through the forrest at a steady and gentle incline to the base of the mountain, the next 3km proved a challenge in the dark - using torches whilst rock scrambling up a steep incline. The track got harder to navigate as we were searching in the dark for square reflectors which are
marked on rocks every 20m, but luckily we made it up just in time (after taking a few wrong turns) to see the sun appearing over the horizon at 6:00am!
We were certainly not prepared for the very cold 4 degrees celsius temperature and gale force winds, so after a quick cool down and some photos of the sunrise from the amazing summit, we started to make a very quick descent down the same track.
Probably because we were so cold we ran most of the way down, it took a lot less time and we were able to get back at the van by 9:30am for breakfast!
The views from the summit would be spectacular at any time of the day, but if you are willing to get up early, its very rewarding seeing St Mary’s Peak at sunrise.
But not all views are taken in from the top of mountains in the Flinders Ranges, one of my favourite views from the trip was from the back of the van at our camp spot.
Just west from Wilpena Pound on Moralana Rd we stopped to take in one incredible backdrop for the night!
5. The Nullarbor Plain
A road that hugs sheer cliffs along the coastline covered in free camp spots, what more could you want? For those travelling by car, van or 4WD the Nullarbor Plain has some amazing camp-spots not far of the highway. With plenty of firewood to collect, a view of the sun setting over the ocean, warm weather, beaches and sheer cliffs surrounding you, there is more than just a highway along this plain.
I’ll let this picture speak for itself.