The Adelaide Airport is only around 4 miles from the city center
of Adelaide, which makes for a very short drive.
The Adelaide Hills are only 20 minutes from Adelaide.
There are 625 miles of walking trails, wildlife sanctuaries and
15 wineries in the
region. The Adelaide Hills are known for their white wines and
One of the oldest settlements is Hahndorf, which was settled in
1839 by 187 German Lutherans who were escaping religious persecution.
Today, the town is a great stop for arts and crafts, private museums
and a place to eat and have a coffee.
The Barossa Valley
is one of the premier wine areas in the world and it is located
only one hour north of Adelaide. It is probably Australia's version
on the Napa or Sonoma Valleys. The Valley was settled in 1842
by Lutheran Prussians and Silesians and then followed by Germans.
There are approximately 50 wineries
from the larger commercial vineyards to the smaller boutique variety.
Approximately 25% of Australian wines are produced here. The region
is famous for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz production but
there is also a good selection of white wines as well. As in Napa,
the Barossa Valley has an excellent selection of restaurants to
accompany the wine.
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Clare Valley: An hour from the Barossa Valley and 2 hours
from Adelaide, there is another successful wine growing region
called the Clare Valley where there is approximately 30 vineyards.
The Irish settled the area originally but today the area produces
some of the popular cool climate wines such as Riesling.
The valley is made up of seven small valleys. In fact there is
a town called Sevenhill which is the home to Sevenhill Cellars
which is the only winery in Australia run by a religious order.
The first vines were planted in this area in 1851 by Austrian
Jesuit monks and they are now producing these wines commercially.
Kangaroo Island is paradise for nature lovers. It lies
off the South Australian coast and is about 90 miles by 37 miles
in size. You can get to Kangaroo Island by air or by ferry and
the ferry will take you an hour from Cape Jervis.
Once on Kangaroo
Island, you will see some of Australia's most beautiful creatures
in their natural habitat. The Flinders Chase National Park is
on the western region of the island and covers over 180,000 acres.
The park is home to koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, echidnas
and platypus. On the coastal area there are seals, sea lions and
ospreys. Another area to see the seals and sea lions is the Seal
Bay Conservation Park. The park is located on the south coast
of the island.
The Eyre Peninsula is for people who love the water. It
is a popular area for surfing, whale watching and fishing. As
with Kangaroo Island, there is a population of seals and sea lions
and dolphins. In fact, you can take some tours
that will allow you to swim with the dolphins in the wild.
Fleurieu Peninsula: Twenty
miles south of Adelaide, you will find The Fleurieu Peninsula.
There are wineries, beaches and 940 miles of hiking trails. One
of the wine regions here is McLaren Vale with over 50 wineries.
For hiking, strolling along the beach or trying some of the local
wines, the Fleurieu Peninsula is a great attraction.
Flinders Ranges and Outback:
The Flinders Ranges are the largest mountain range in South Australia
and they stretch for 300 miles. It's hardly the Rockies but it
is a place to hike, see wildlife and to look at some 12,000 year
old aboriginal rock art. Other activities include 4WD driving
and scenic flights.
One of the more famous towns in this region is Coober Pedy which
is the opal mining capital of the world. You may or may not know
but Australia produces over 90% of the world's opals
and they are much deeper in colour that the ones available in
the United States.
The Murray River
is the second longest river is Australia after the Darling River.
It originates in the alps in New South Wales and has played a
major role in Australia's history much like the Mississippi River
in the United States. It has been used for irrigation and for
transport although much of the transportation today is for recreation.
Many vacationers have houseboats and you are also able to cruise
on a paddlesteamer not unlike St. Louis and New Orleans. That
will probably be the only likeness however as South Australia
is largely unpopulated, at least by humans.
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