Venture just beyond the city limits and within minutes you could be sprawled out beachside, sipping wine surrounded by rolling vineyards or getting up close to iconic Australian wildlife.

With more than 200 cellar doors, jaw-dropping coastline and lush bushland on Adelaide’s doorstep, an unforgettable day trip is literally minutes away. Sip Mediterranean-style wines a stone’s throw from the ocean in McLaren Vale, sample cool-climate drops and explore leafy hamlets in the Adelaide Hills or head for the Barossa and drink the world’s best red wine and be back in Adelaide in time for dinner. Start planning with our guide to the best day trip destinations from Adelaide.

1. McLaren Vale

Coriole, McLaren Vale
Coriole, McLaren Vale

For the ultimate blend of sea and vines, venture 45 minutes south of Adelaide to world-famous McLaren Vale where prime wine country is framed by spectacular coastal vistas. Explore more than 70 cellar doors, sipping your way around award-winning wineries like d'Arenberg Cube, Down The Rabbit Hole, Gemtree Wines, Alpha Box and Dice and Chalk Hill. Dine on farm-fresh, sustainable produce grown just metres from your table at Gather at Coriole, The Currant Shed or Maxwell Wines, or plucked fresh from the ocean and onto your plate at a table overlooking the coast at Star of Greece.

Afterwards, slip into your bathers and onto one of the Fleurieu Peninsula’s famed post-card worthy beaches, or chuck on your sneakers and hike through dense bushland and along impressive gorges at Deep Creek Conservation Park or Onkaparinga River National Park. McLaren Vale is one of the most rewarding day trips from Adelaide, but with so much to discover you could easily spend a week exploring. Stay a little longer and start planning with our Fleurieu Peninsula itinerary.

2. Adelaide Hills

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Adelaide Hills
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Adelaide Hills

Rolling green hills, vineyards criss-crossing valleys, flourishing bushland home to abundant wildlife, quiet, leafy hamlets and orchards overflowing with fruit… just 25 minutes from Adelaide? On the city’s doorstep, arrive in the magical Adelaide Hills and unearth world-class restaurants, award-winning wineries and incredible local food producers. While away an afternoon sampling cool-climate wines at one of the region's 60 cellars doors including Bird In Hand, Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard, The Lane Vineyard or Unico Zelo. Afterwards, swap to a local botanically-infused gin at Ambleside Distillers or a golden ale at Prancing Pony Brewery.

Stop for lunch and feast straight from nature’s bounty at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Lost In A Forest or the Summertown Aristologist. Pick your own fruit, explore Mount Lofty Botanic Garden or meet koalas, kangaroos and other iconic Australian animals at Cleland Wildlife Park. Extend your stay with our Adelaide Hills itinerary.

3. Barossa

Seppeltsfield Rd, Barossa
Seppeltsfield Rd, Barossa

A scenic 50-minute drive from the heart of Adelaide lies one of the world’s most iconic wine regions. Home to more than 80 cellar doors tucked among sprawling vineyards, picturesque farmland and historic towns, the Barossa is one of the most accessible and idyllic destinations near Adelaide. Sip wine as old (or young) as you straight from the barrel at Seppeltsfield, drink the official world’s best wine at Kellermeister, or snag a sun lounge and sip Rosé overlooking vineyards at David Franz. Prefer gin? Stop in for an award-winning tipple at Seppeltsfield Rd Distillers or Barossa Distilling Company or try a local brew at Barossa Valley Brewing.

Hungry? Sample artisan cheeses at Barossa Valley Cheese Company, hand-crafted chocolates at Barossa Valley Chocolate Company or local preserves, jams and sauces at the home of a culinary legend, Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop then stay on for lunch at The Farm Eatery. Foodies should also check out Hentley Farm, Fino, FermentAsian or Vino Lokal. If you’re visiting on Saturday, stop in at the Barossa Farmers Market to sample some of the region’s best produce. There’s so much you can pack into a day in the Barossa, but for a truly immersive experience plan a weekend getaway with our Barossa itinerary.

Around the world in South Australia

Dreaming of an international holiday? While we can’t fly overseas right now, an unforgettable holiday with all the hallmarks of far flung vacay is still a reality in South Australia. Check out our guide to 10 South Australian holidays that rival international destinations.


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