South Australia is a beautiful state, with plenty of attractions from hiking, sinkholes and beaches. It’s hard to choose what to see and do, so I have made 3 itineraries; 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 1 month or more! Each suggestion on this itinerary is linked to specific guides on that area to help plan out your time at the destination.
These itineraries are only suggestions and can be altered to your liking.
Table of Contents
Renting a Campervan
You will need a campervan for this itinerary, and I highly recommend you look into renting a campervan for South Australia for a few reasons. South Australia has heaps of free or cheap campsites, which are accessible via 2WD. Most of the campgrounds you will need to be fully self contained in order to camp. The best part of South Australia is you don’t need any of those fancy campervans, just somewhere to sleep, cook and preferably with a portable toilet.
One campervan company I can highly recommend is Spaceship Rentals. Although their vans are very basic, they are comfortable and have everything you need for a holiday! They are also very fairly priced and the customer service is fantastic. I have never had a problem with this campervan company. Their campervans sleep 2-4 people, come with cooking gear, bedding, a fridge and more.
There are a few ways you can find campsites in South Australia, and other parts of Australia. I have written a guide to the best way to find cheap campsites in Australia, which you can find here.
How This Itinerary Works
This itinerary works on the assumption that you will either be arriving in South Australia by flying into Adelaide. However, it can be modified if you are travelling via road from either Western Australia, the Northern Territory or Victoria.
2 Week South Australian Itinerary
This itinerary will give you a taste of all the main attractions in South Australia and fits in as much as possible in 2 weeks!
Day 1 & 2 – Adelaide
Spend your first 2 days of this itinerary exploring the Capital City of Adelaide and preparing for your road trip. Depending on what time you arrive, spend your first day collecting your campervan and buying groceries. Spend your second day exploring the city. Here you can visit the Botanical Gardens, enjoy the food scene, visit the Art Gallery or Zoo.
Make sure you travel the short 1 hour drive to Sellicks Beach and the Port Willunga beach caves! This was one of my favourite places in the whole of South Australia. The coastline is absolutely insane, and Port Willunga beach is one of my favourite beaches!
For more things to do in Adelaide you can check out the South Australian Tourism page here.
Day 3, 4 & 5 – Ikara-Flinders Range National Park
Time to get on the road! The travel time from Adelaide to the Ikara-Flinders Range National Park is roughly 5 hours. This National Park is a must visit for your South Australian itinerary. Beautiful mountain landscapes, hiking and sleeping under star filled skies. Spend your first day checking into your accommodation and spend the other 2 days exploring the National Park and Wilpena Pound. If you are not into hiking, I still recommend you visit here, as there are heaps of easy walks, viewpoints and scenic flights.
If you’d like a more in-depth guide to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges, you can check out my guide here. This guide includes where to stay, what to do and how to get there.
Day 6&7 – Yorke Peninsula
You have 6 hours of travel time today as you make your way down the Yorke Peninsula towards the Dhilba Gurranda-Innes National Park. There are plenty of stops to see along the way, and you can find 10 of my favourites in this guide. You can visit these stops on the way on your first day, or split them over 2 days.
The main attractions you will see during these two days will be:
- Lake Bumbunga: A beautiful salt pink lake located on your way along the Yorke Peninsula
- Point Turton: A small beach side town which has a beautiful natural swimming pool. This is great for snorkelling and families.
- Dhila Gurranda-Innes National Park: Plenty of beaches, viewpoints and camping. Make sure to visit Ethel Wreck Beach and Pondalowie road lookout, which is great for sunset!
- Shell Beach rock pool – Located in the National Park, a great place for cooling off! This is one of the rockpools you will see all over social media.
Spend the night in the National Park at one of the many cheap campgrounds. These can be booked online here.
Day 8, 9 & 10 – Port Lincoln and Port Lincoln National Park
I have given this section of the itinerary 3 days, as it requires 1 full day of driving from Dhilba Gurranda-Innes National Park. This driving time will be roughly 8 hours. On your second day, you can either go swimming with Great White sharks or seals! Spend the third day exploring the Port Lincoln National Park and Whalers Way.
Although Whalers Way is beautiful and has some amazing coastline, I’d only recommend coming here if you have a 4WD or you’re only wanting to visit the ‘Swimming Hole’. The Swimming Hole is a beautiful rockpool located close to the Whalers Way entrance, it was the only place I thought was worthy of a visit. You will need to pay to enter Whalers Way, which will cost $40 and includes 1 night camping.
If nothing here interests you, I’d spend one day in Port Lincoln and move on to travelling up the Eyre Peninsula.
Day 11, 12 & 13 – Eyre Peninsula
Technically you are already on the Eyre Peninsula, but over these next three days you will start exploring some of the most popular attractions. I recommend starting your first day off by travelling to Coffin Bay National Park, which is a 1 hour drive from Port Lincoln. Here visit the viewpoints and go for a dip at Almonta Beach. I only recommend spending a few hours here before moving on. You can camp in the National Park, however there are better campsites on the Eyre Peninsula.
From Coffin Bay National Park, drive to Greenly Beach – which is a 40 min drive. Spend the rest of the day here exploring the beach and the Greenly Beach rockpool. The track down to the rockpool is rather bumpy and sandy. While I was on my visit I saw many vans get down there without a problem. Here is where you will be spending your first night. The camping at Greenly Beach is very cheap , just make sure you take everything with you when you leave.
Spend the next day taking one last final swim in the rockpool and start heading to the Talia Caves. Spend and hour or so exploring this area and make sure to find the Talia rockpools! They are located around the headland to the right of the stairs leading to the cave. These are only accessible during low tide. There is cheap camping available at Talia Caves.
After you’ve explored here, head to Baird Bay. Here is a great place to swim with seals if you haven’t already in Port Lincoln. This is meant to be the best place to swim with these playful critters in the state. Just make sure to book in advance. After, head to Murphys Haystacks. This isn’t usually on anyone’s SA itinerary, however I thought it was a peaceful place to camp (and cheap). If you don’t want to camp here, there are other campsites in the area.
Spend your last day on the Eyre Peninsula exploring Streaky Bay and Smokey Bay. If you have time and are willing to make the drive you can also check out Lake Macdonnell. I wouldn’t recommend driving here unless you really wanted to see it, as it is a bit out of the way. Smokey Bay and Streaky Bay both have cheap campsites.
Day 14 – Back to Adelaide
On your last day we travel back to Adelaide. This will be a long driving day so I recommend booking an evening flight if possible or spending another day in Adelaide to catch a flight the following day. Depending on where you camp you are looking at about 8 hours driving.
3 Week South Australian Itinerary
This itinerary follows the same route as above but with a few extras! If you have 3 weeks in South Australia make these changes to the above itinerary.
Day 3 & 4
Instead of heading to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges on day 3, spend 2 days on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Here you can take your time exploring Sellicks Beach, Port Willunga, Rapid Bay and Second Valley. For more stops to see along the Fleurieu Peninsula you can check out my guide here.
Explore beach caves, coastline, pristine beaches and rockpools. I recommend camping at Rapid Bay, which has beachfront cheap camping. Make sure to spends few hours exploring each spot as there are heaps of hidden gems to find!
Day 5, 6 & 7
After you’ve explored the Fleurieu Peninsula, head out early morning to catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island. Although 3 days is definitely not enough time to fully enjoy Kangaroo Island, it is enough to give you a taste! You can read my full guide to Kangaroo Island here. Top places I recommend you visit on your short trip to are Vivonne Bay, Stokes Bay, Pennington Bay, Emu Bay and the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Park.
Day 8 and beyond
Start the 2 week itinerary from day 3, and head to the Ikara-Flinders Range National Park. Just keep in mind you will have 2-3 more hours of driving on the first day.
1 Month or More
If you have more time in South Australia I recommend you add these places or make these changes.
- Spend more time on Kangaroo Island
- Spend some extra time exploring the Eyre Peninsula
- Visit Mt Gambier for some impressive sinkholes
- Spend a few days in Coober Pedy – A unique opal mining town with some unique quirks. Make sure to visit the Breakaways.
- If you have a 4WD, drive to Coward Springs and spend a night under the stairs. Make sure to try to natural hot springs tub!
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