South Australia has exceeded our expectations many times over. Sure, we’ve had some pretty average camp grounds, and weather that we’d have loved to not experience, but overall we can very honestly say South Australia is a great place to visit.
In this post, I want to share our absolute favourite spots, and in our opinion, the best places to visit in South Australia. We’ll explain why for each location, but it includes camp sites, 4WD tracks, destinations and general attractions:
We’ve seen some pretty amazing places in Australia over the years, and I love it when a location genuinely takes my breath away. The Bunda Cliffs did exactly this, and we loved spending a night here, and walking along the edge of the cliffs (not too close!).
Located not far across the WA to South Australia Border lies about a million tracks that take you off the Eyre Highway, and towards the cliffs. You can free camp in hundreds of different locations, but the sheer height, beauty and energy around the cliffs really has to be seen to be appreciated.
We were cautious to camp a long way away from the cliff edges (some are far more game than us), but it was still absolutely incredible, and one of our favourite places in South Australia.
WA has amazing coastline, and when we crossed into South Australia I was expecting their coastline to be decent, but not at the level of WA. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and our first beach camp in South Australia proved this.
Scotts Beach is a fantastic national park camp site with brilliant 4WD tracks, coastline to die for and great fishing. We spent a day driving out to Fowlers Bay, through the sand dunes and then out to Point Fowler, and back along Scotts Bay to the camp site. You can head the other direction to Mexican hat, and the views, and different types of coast are nothing short of magic.
Camping here is low cost, bookable and truly awesome, or you can stay at Mexican Hat for something different, which isn’t too far away.
We’ve seen more stunning beaches in Australia than most, and these days it has to be truly next level to impress us. I was absolutely staggered looking over the views in both directions at Wanna, and when we did the Wanna to Sleaford 4WD track it just gets better and better.
Located in the Lincoln National Park, its not too far in, or too hard to get to, and so worth the drive in.
You can get here by 2WD (to the lookouts), and if you go on a calm, sunny day (easterlies are best) it is one of the best beaches in Australia by a long shot. On a really rough day, its supposed to be incredible too, with huge swell coming in. Either way, we were so grateful to see Wanna at its best.
Not far from Stony Creek lies a Gorge that will blow your mind in terms of natural beauty. We’d read that it’s a quiet version of Karijini, and that comment isn’t too far off the mark. There’s a loop walk you can do here if you are prepared to get your feet wet that is truly epic, and whilst we didn’t manage to do all of it as the water was flowing considerably, its one of the most beautiful gorges I’ve been to.
If there’s a place in South Australia that has a huge reputation, its Arkaroola. I was sceptical as to whether it would live up to the great reputation it has, and from the moment we arrived I was quietly impressed.
The scenery around Arkaroola is shockingly beautiful, and the 4WD tracks are up there with the best that we’ve done. They are a far cry from the gravel station tracks that I was expecting, and combining them in with the amazing views took this place to a very high position on our favourite places in South Australia.
We spent a couple of nights at Willow Springs in a bush camp, and were lucky enough to experience a heap of rainfall whilst we were there. At one stage we were camping in the clouds, and on an island with water running all around us.
The people running Willow Springs are amazing, the amenities are by far the cleanest I’ve ever seen and its just an incredible place.
By complete chance, we ended up spending two nights at a property not too far out of Quorn, known as Argadells. The owner had said to me that there were 4WD tracks to Mt Ardon on the property, but neglected to tell me how truly stunning the whole place was.
I’ve never seen so many green, rolling hills, beautiful creeks and pristine views in all of my life. I was utterly shocked on several occasions at how beautiful this place is, and we had a heap of fun exploring the different 4WD tracks and walking the trails. Argadells and Arkaroola were our most favourite stays in the Flinders Ranges by a country mile.
After deciding to skip a pretty average roadside stop, we pulled into Queen B at Fitzgerald Bay for a few nights and fell in love with the place. The camping is free, the views are divine and there’s plenty to drive around and see.
We had some pretty average weather here and still loved it; if you went when it was warm and with little wind, it would be absolutely stunning.
South Australia conjures images of pristine beaches, turquoise water and blue skies, and Carrow Wells met this to an absolute tee. We did get pretty good weather when we visited, but it’s a donation camp right on the edge of a beautiful beach and not too far from town.
We spent many hours sitting on the beach, splashing in the water and even diving around the point, and loved every minute of it.
I’ve always thought that the harder a place is to get to, the better its going to be, and this rings very true with Memory Cove. Whilst the Lincoln National Park has some other great camp sites, we thought Memory Cove was the best by a country mile.
It takes roughly 2 hours to get there from Port Lincoln, mostly along a very slow and rough track, and you arrive in a beautiful bay with only 5 camp sites that are suitable for 4WD’s with tents or a camper trailer only.
It’s private, quiet, has magic bird life, an abundance of shade and you can see the pristine bay from your bed; its impossible not to love it.
If you like the idea of seeing Koala’s in the wild, you can’t go past Mikkira Station. We actually got really lucky here as they’d normally be closed by late November, but due to a heap of rain the owners kept it open, and we spent a magic night camped amongst a heap of Koala’s.
We literally had 3 within shouting distance of our camper, saw them climbing, fighting, jumping and even walking on the ground. Our kids (and us) absolutely loved this place, and would go back in a heartbeat.
The weather plays a huge role in whether you like a place or not, and we scored an amazing day and evening at Wauraltee Beach on the Yorke Peninsula, and would go back again any day (if the weather was good).
If you camp on the beach, its completely free as you are outside of the council campground, and when there’s good weather it can be warm, still and the sunsets are next level. We only stayed one night as we could see the weather was going to pick up, but it’s a magic spot.
At the top of the Innes National Park lies Gym Beach, which is a quiet and beautiful location. We were advised to get into site number 5 if we could (and we just fit), and we spent two nights here, tucked away from the wind in great shade.
The two beaches that you can quickly get to are absolutely magnificent, and with only 5 camp sites available the area stays nice and quiet. We did move further into the Innes National Park later on, but Gym beach was a favourite of ours.
A last minute decision to pull into Swincer Rocks proved to be one of the best choices that we made on the Yorke Peninsula. This is a quiet, hardly well known shire run camp ground that was absolutely spectacular. We’d go as far as to say it was our favourite camp site on the Yorke Peninsula, and that’s a pretty big call to make.
You can camp metres away from the water, which is absolutely stunning, and perfect for a swim.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
We’d heard great things about Deep Creek National Park, and booked 3 nights to check it out, at Trigg Campgrounds. We had an absolute ball at Deep Creek. From stunning hikes, through to great 4WD tracks (like Blowhole Beach!), and coastline that is nothing short of magnificent, you really can’t go too wrong here.
Rapid Bay Campground
We expected to have to deal with a lot of people at Rapid Bay, and weren’t wrong. What I didn’t expect though, was to see a place so beautiful that it literally took my breath away on a number of occasions.
The big, rolling hills that dip down towards pristine, turquoise water is hard to explain, and a place that is so spectacular. We had some others camp insanely close to us, but it didn’t take away from it being a magic place, and possibly the most picturesque in South Australia.
We called into Southend to have a look, and fell in love with the town. It’s easily as picturesque and beautiful as Robe and Beachport, but without the crowds of people.
It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with Mount Gambier. It’s a truly magic spot, with more amazing parks and attractions than you can poke a stick at. The blue lake is so blue (at the right time of year) that it seems fake. Little Blue Lake is worth a visit, and I was shocked at Umpherston Sinkhole and gardens.
The views from Centenary tower are incredible, and we loved the playground at Valley lake, and the entire area in general. It’s a beautiful place, and one that you’d be mad to skip. We free camped in 3 places; Burrem Hotel, Kromelite Road rest area and Lake Leake, and liked them all.