Stay in the outback town of Hawker and spend your days exploring the rugged, majestic Flinders Ranges. Walk to the rim of Wilpena Pound, a huge natural amphitheater, or soar over it on a scenic flight. Hike to the top of Parachilna Gorge on part of the Heysen Trail. See fossils in ancient sea beds at Brachina Gorge and Aboriginal art at Arkaroo Rock. Explore the area’s pastoral past at Wilpena Pound Station. Deeper in the desert, you can search for opals in the quirky underground town of Coober Pedy or in the frontier town of Andamooka. Drive the Oodnadatta Track along a traditional Aboriginal trading route and the old Ghan railway to salty Lake Eyre. Or take the Strzelecki Track past awesome desert landscapes and scenic wetlands such as Coongie Lakes and Dalhousie Springs. Keep in mind this is remote country, so a four-wheel drive and thorough preparation is essential.
Dive or snorkel with leafy sea dragons from the jetty at Rapid Bay. Swim through the sunken engine room and turrets of the ex-HMAS Hobart in a dive off Yankalilla Bay. Watch migrating whales and waddling little penguins in Victor Harbor. Swim and boogie board from Horseshoe Bay in Port Elliot, where you can also bike ride or walk the top of the cliffs. From Goolwa, you can chug down the Murray River or canoe past wetland birds in the Coorong’s shimmering, shallow lagoons. Walk on the white sand of Goolwa, Cape Jervis, Christies and Middleton Beach, where you’ll also find great fishing and surf breaks. Visit wineries, almond orchards and art and craft galleries in the McLaren Vale wine region.
Next: The Limestone Coast and Murray River