Planning a trip to South Australia? Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be difficult – there’s no shortage of beautiful spots around the state. The hardest part will be choosing which cavernous cenotes, rock formations, colour-changing lakes, and perfectly manicured botanical gardens you want to visit. Not sure where to start? Here are our top five South Australian springtime gems.
1. Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island
Head over to Kangaroo Island to experience more wildlife, pristine waters, natural attractions and serenity than you could ask for. A must-visit on the island is Remarkable Rocks, in Flinders Chase National Park. These towering and uniquely shaped granite boulders have been moulded by 500 million years of waves, wind and rain, and many of them glow orange and gold thanks to the lichen that covers them. The best time to visit is in the early evening or early morning, but take care when the weather is windy or wet, as it can be dangerous on the rocks.
2. Lake MacDonnell, Eyre Peninsula
Lake MacDonnell, on the Eyre Peninsula, is a popular photo destination due to the varying hues of its waters. On one side of the road, the lake is a regular shade of blue, while on the other, the water is a striking bright pink! You can thank certain algae and bacteria that love salt and emit red pigments for creating this distinctive pink hue. When the water levels allow and the day is clear (spring is usually the perfect time), you can admire the show-stopping pink colour of this salt lake, along with the contrasting Green Lake across the causeway.
3. Little Blue Lake, Limestone Coast
If it’s a swim you’re after, put the Little Blue Lake in your GPS and head to this secluded spot between Mount Schank and Mount Gambier. While this lake no longer changes colour like South Australia’s other gem, the Blue Lake (Little Blue Lake stays a green colour throughout the year), it does offer a different unique experience for visitors. How often can you say you’ve swum in a volcanic sinkhole? There are stairs and a floating pontoon for safer access, and, of course, the cool water to enjoy. Just make sure you’re an experienced swimmer – the lake is deep, with the shallowest point 25 metres. If you’re unsure about swimming, it’s a wonderful experience just to see this cenote in the middle of a paddock!
4. Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide
On the list for an ideal Adelaide spring day is a wander around the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Highlights of the magnificent gardens include the First Creek Wetland, the International Rose Garden, the Australian Native Garden and the Dahlia Garden. Make sure you visit the historical Palm House, which contains a range of plants from the African island of Madagascar. Make a day of your visit, stopping to fuel up at Café Fibonacci, and end your day with a delicious degustation at the Restaurant Botanic.
5. Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula
The Yorke Peninsula is 700 kilometres of pristine coastline, complete with pure-white sand and bright-blue water. It is also home to Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, a jewel that is not worth missing! Here is where you’ll find the picturesque coastal setting of your dreams. For breathtaking views of the national park, stop by the Gulawulgawi Ngunda Nhagu – Cape Spencer Lookout in Inneston, just outside of Marion Bay. We recommend heading there at sunset – the pink and purple skies in this pocket of South Australia are magical.
To find out more, read the Spring 2023 edition of Caravanning Australia!
Pictured: Lake MacDonnell. Image courtesy of Riley M Williams