With the colder weather making an appearance lately, we’ve been daydreaming of fireplaces, red wine, and cosy cabins. And roadtrips. The travel bug has bitten, and this time we’re looking at dreamy winter getaways in South Australia.
After all, while most international travel is still halted, what better time to travel like a local? We might not be able to go skiing in the Alps or escape the winter with a tropical island escape, but we can certainly take some time to appreciate the local gems that are right on our doorsteps.
Known as one of the country’s best destinations for food and wine, you’ll soon be planning the kind of trip that will have you dreaming of, not dreading, winter days.
To encourage your wanderlust, here’s our guide to the top winter getaways in South Australia.
Wine region winter getaways in South Australia
One of the most memorable winter getaways South Australia has to offer is a long weekend trip to the cool climate wine regions. While we’ll admit that sipping on a chilled Sauvignon while enjoying an al fresco lunch in the sunshine is far from a bad afternoon, there are other ways to enjoy a wine getaway.
Picture yourself tucked into an armchair on a grey and wintery weekend, the cellar door closed to protect from the raindrops drumming against the walls. There’s a glass of spicy Shiraz which you can enjoy one sip at a time while you shelter from the elements. Dreamy, right?
And even if cold and wet really isn’t your thing, you can always choose a crisp and clear day and absorb the winter sunshine while you catch a misty sunrise over the vines.
The best winter getaway destinations in South Australia for wine lovers
South Australia has no shortage of wine regions to choose from. 18 of them, in fact. So wine aficionados really are spoilt for choice. And most of them are within easy driving distance of Adelaide.
If you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the options, maybe these guidelines can help you choose one or more stops to make on your South Australian winter staycation.
- Clare Valley. About an hour outside Adelaide, and home to some of Australia’s best Riesling. Plus there’s the bubblegum-pink Lake Bumbunga to marvel at.
- Adelaide Hills. Only 20 minutes outside Adelaide, this cool-climate wine region produces the kind of spectacular Pinot Noir that warmer climates struggle to emulate. If you go in autumn or early winter you’ll be treated to spectacular landscapes swimming with reds, browns, and oranges.
- McLaren Vale. Around 45 minutes outside of Adelaide, the Mediterranean climate in this wine region makes it a stellar producer of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as other typically Mediterranean varietals like Grenache. If you’re a fan of bold reds, you’ll be in heaven.
- Barossa Valley. One of the most famous wine regions in Australia for good reason, the Barossa Valley is one of the world’s greatest wine-growing areas. It’s home to more than 150 wineries, and one of their specialties is a deep, earthy Shiraz which will warm you to your core this winter.
Of course, no matter which wine region you drive into or the weather you’re in for, wine is completed by excellent food. Luckily, South Australia has both of those in spades. Wherever you find yourself sipping a glass of tipple, you’ll never be far from good local produce, delis, restaurants, cafes, and farmers markets.
Other winter getaways in South Australia
Wine aside, there are plenty more reasons to take your car through South Australia in winter. Even in the coastal areas, which are usually reserved for summer tourism.
If your (or your kids’) idea of a holiday doesn’t involve sipping wine next to a fire, here are some other ideas.
You might think that a coastal trip is reserved for warm summer days only. But there’s a special kind of magic about coastal winter getaways in South Australia.
Robe pulls the crowds in the summer months, thanks to crystal clear aquamarine water and startlingly white sands. But in winter, you can walk coastal trails and warm yourself in quaint coffee shops, ramshackle boutique shops and old-world pubs. Don’t leave Robe without getting your hands on some of the best coffee you’ll ever drink at Mahalia Coffee.
Similarly, Mount Gambier is fun for the entire family over winter. The Blue Lake doesn’t get any less majestic as the weather turns colder, and nor does the Umpherston Sinkhole. And let’s not forget Ghost Mushroom Lane. Dress warmly and enjoy the green glow that the mushrooms emit after dark. Yep! Due to a natural reaction between the mushrooms and the air, they glow green. It’s close to real life magic as a forest can get.
While you’re there, make sure to stop in some of the lesser-visited tiny towns around the Limestone Coast too. Port MacDonnell, Tantanoola, Millicent, and Penola are all fun to explore. Just take to the roads, enjoy some scenic drives around the area, and stop where you want.
Want to burn off some of those wine and food calories with an outdoorsy winter getaway in South Australia? Flinders Ranges was practically purpose built for winter trips. You have loads of walking and hiking trails to choose from, and won’t have to battle the extreme summer heat.
As you explore, you’re treated to Aboriginal rock carvings, ruins, and panoramic mountain vistas. Pack up the camping gear and prepare for a long weekend of fireside stories, barbeques, rugged peaks, and glimpses of wallabies and kangaroo.
And hey, if you’re really lucky, maybe you’ll even catch some snowfall.
If camping is your jam, find out our favourite destinations for caravan travel in Australia. And read up on the best towing cars too. There’s no better way to get the best of both worlds while you’re on the open road than with a caravan and a flexible itinerary!
And while we’re sharing local gems, check out our article on a West Coast Australia road trip too.
With all that roadtripping on the cards, you’re going to want comprehensive car insurance. Or maybe you want it for the car you’re leaving at home? That way it’s protected from theft, flood and fire and your friend or family member can drive it without worry (if they’re listed on your policy, of course).
Luckily, PD Insurance has got you covered. Check out our car insurance plans here.