Discover the beauty of South Australia on an exciting day trip from Adelaide. Surrounded by stunning natural scenery, world-class wine regions and adorable wildlife, there is no shortage of epic adventures to choose from here!
The good thing about all of these day trips is that they can easily be reached in under 2 hours by car from Adelaide. You can either rent a car and explore on your own or book an organised tour and let a local guide take you to the best spots.
I’ve put together this detailed guide to help you to find the best Adelaide day trips to suit your preferences. You’ll find useful tips and info on the best things to see, how to get there and the most highly-rated tours to book.
Whether you’re into beaches, nature, wine tasting or wildlife parks, you’re certain to find something to your liking in this list!
Spending some time in Adelaide? Plan your time in the city with this detailed 3-day Adelaide itinerary.
Table of Contents
12 Best Day Trips from Adelaide
The Barossa Valley truly lives up to its name as Australia’s most well known wine region. With outstanding wines and incredible scenery, this is definitely the most popular day trip from Adelaide. There’s enough to do in the Barossa that you could easily stay longer and turn it into a weekend getaway from Adelaide!
There are so many vineyards to choose from here, it can seem a bit overwhelming to know where to begin. The best way to get a feel for this region, learn all of its history and taste the best wine is to book a guided Barossa wine tour.
The Barossa Valley is an easy 1 hr drive north of Adelaide. Allow a bit of extra travel time and follow the scenic route through the Adelaide Hills.
If you choose to drive there yourself, you will unfortunately have to limit the number of wine tastings you do. Take the stress out of your day trip and see below for my recommended wine tour option.
Full-Day Barossa Valley Wine Tour From Adelaide – Sit back and relax while an expert guide shows you the very best of the Barossa Valley. Departing Adelaide in the morning, this popular small group tour will visit 4 of the region’s most iconic wineries: Château Yaldara, Jacobs Creek, Peter Lehmann Winery, Lambert Estate and Wolf Blass.
Travel through the picturesque landscapes of vines growing among the hills while enjoying delicious wine and food throughout the day. This 8 hour tour includes hotel pick up and drop off, all wine tastings, lunch, tour guide, transportation for the day.
Known as one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, the Clare Valley is located around 150km north of Adelaide. While it may not be as famous as the Barossa, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit this gorgeous wine valley.
The Clare Valley is home to around 50 different wineries and is primarily known for its Riesling production. The major highlight for tourists here is following the Riesling Trail. It’s a 35km cycling route that leads you through the rolling hills to various cellar doors between the towns of Clare and Auburn.
All you have to do is hire a bike, grab a map and be on your way! I should mention there are a number of hills in this area so if you’d prefer a more relaxing day, it’s well worth it to get yourself an e-bike. This is a very popular activity in the Clare Valley so it’s best to book your bike online in advance.
Full-Day Clare Valley Wine Tour From Adelaide – Discover over 100 years of history and admire the vineyard covered hills on this full day trip from Adelaide to the Clare Valley. Get picked up at your accommodation in the morning and enjoy stops at a number of historic wineries and quaint towns throughout the day.
Some of the highlights of your day will be strolling among the heritage listed buildings of Auburn, tasting wine at Sevenhill Cellar (the region’s first vineyard!), and stopping for lunch at the picturesque Skillogalee Winery. This tour lasts for 8 hours and includes hotel pickup/drop off, lunch, and all wine tastings.
Adelaide Hills & Hahndorf
Located only 30 minutes east from the city centre, the lush Adelaide Hills will have you feeling worlds away from city life. With cute historic villages, award-winning wineries, breathtaking views and gourmet food, it’s easy to spend a full day soaking up the laid-back vibes of the Adelaide Hills!
Stroll along the tree-lined main street of Hahndorf, the adorable German themed heritage town located in the hills. The village was founded by German settlers in the 19th century. With its traditional buildings and pubs selling German food and beer, you’ll feel instantly transported to a true Bavarian village.
If you’re into hiking, the Adelaide Hills offers many great options for short walks or longer hikes surrounded by stunning nature. The Morialta Conservation Park was a personal favourite spot for us to explore some scenic trails with waterfalls and caves. Find more info about hiking trails in the Adelaide Hills here.
Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Day Tour – If you don’t have a car, this full day trip from Adelaide gives you a great into to the hills, taking you to all the main points of interest on a small group tour. Spend the day tasting delicious food and wine, admiring the amazing scenery and exploring the town of Hahndorf.
The highlights of the tour includes stopping at cheese and chocolate factories, wine tasting at a few wineries, a 2 course lunch at the German Arms Hotel in Hahndorf, and the Mount Lofty Summit to see the incredible panoramic view over Adelaide.
Located 45 minutes south of Adelaide, the McLaren Vale wine region is set near the stunning Fleurieu Peninsula coastline. Known for its production of top quality wines and gourmet food, you certainly can’t go wrong with spending a day sipping wine and taking in the beautiful scenery!
Of all the wine regions near Adelaide, McLaren Vale has the most scenic landscapes in my opinion. With rolling green hills, picturesque vineyards, and pristine beaches nearby, McLaren Vale is pretty hard to beat. One of the highlights of your day trip will be tasting wine in the 3 storey Rubix Cube at the famous d’Arenberg Winery.
Full Day Trip from Adelaide to McLaren Vale Wineries – See the best of the McLaren Vale wine region on this popular small group tour from Adelaide. Take the stress out of the wine tasting and allow a guide to drive you to the top rated wineries in the area.
Start the day with a pickup at your accommodation followed by a scenic drive along the coast. Visit 4 different wineries throughout the day including a stop for lunch at Leconfield & Richard Hamilton Wines.
The day trip includes a stop at the d’Arenberg Winery to admire the quirky cube structure. Lunch and all wine tastings are included in the tour price.
Mount Lofty & Cleland Wildlife Park
The best view over Adelaide and the coastline is found at the summit of Mount Lofty. At 710m, this is the highest point in the Adelaide Hills. The good news is that you don’t have to climb any mountains to get there!
A scenic drive from the city centre along a winding mountain road will bring you to the top in just 20 minutes.
There are plenty of great things to do while you’re there which makes it worthy of a full day trip from Adelaide. Have breakfast with a view at the popular Summit Cafe and then spend some time strolling through the colourful Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.
There are some lovely walking trails in this area for those who are keen to get their daily step count in. From the easier Discovery Trail to the more difficult Waterfall Gully hike, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. See this website for more info on Mount Lofty walking trails.
Set within the picturesque forests of the Adelaide Hills, Cleland Wildlife Park is an iconic Adelaide attraction that cannot be missed! What makes this park so unique is that there are very few enclosures, the animals are free to roam around in their natural habitat.
Most of the animals aren’t shy of people, this means you can get up close to pat and feed them! As you walk around the park you’ll come face to face with all of the Aussie icons such as kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and so much more.
The Cleland Wildlife Park provides the ultimate experience to interact with native animals, free of cages or small enclosures. You’ll even have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to hold a koala!
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 5pm daily (except Christmas Day)
Tickets: Adults/$30, Concession/$25.50, Child/$15.50
Book your ticket online before you go or see below for the best Cleland Wildlife Park tour from Adelaide.
Cleland Wildlife Park & Mount Lofty Tour from Adelaide – This fully organised day tour picks you up at your Adelaide hotel and takes you to the summit of Mount Lofty to admire the panoramic views.
Next up will be a visit to the Cleland Wildlife Park where you’ll have 4 hours to explore the park at your own pace. Follow the trails through the bushland meeting a variety of animals as you go. Feed kangaroos, hold a koala and get up close to a huge range of animals in their natural habitats.
This tour lasts for 5 hrs 30 mins and includes round-trip by minivan, entrance fee to Cleland Wildlife Park, close-up Koala experience, see the link below for more info.
Just off the coast of South Australia lies a nature lover’s paradise. Kangaroo Island is abundant in wildlife and untouched wilderness. This is arguably the best place to see Australian animals in nature.
Explore one of the many walking trails on the island and you’ll likely come across kangaroos, koalas, echidna, wallabies, sea lions and much more. Some of the island’s must-see attractions include the Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Vivienne Bay (one of Australia’s best beaches), and the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (where you’ll see wild koalas).
There is so much to see and do on Kangaroo Island, it’s common to spend upwards of a week exploring all that it has to offer. Visiting Kangaroo Island on a day trip from Adelaide is possible but it will make for a long, adventure filled day. It’s definitely worth it though!
If you’re pressed for time and still eager to see this natural wonder of South Australia, booking a full day tour is the best way to go. See below for the top rated Kangaroo Island day trip.
Best of Kangaroo Island Full Day Tour – Spend the day surrounded by stunning natural scenery and cute animals on this exciting day trip from Adelaide. Tick off all of the island’s major highlights in this fully-packed Kangaroo Island day tour.
Get up close to wild sea lions, see the historic Cape de Couedic Lighthouse, marvel at the spectacular Admirals Arch, snap a photo at the Remarkable Rocks and finish the day with animals at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park.
Departing Adelaide at 6:30am, the coach will begin the 90 minute journey toward Cape Jervis where you’ll board a 45 minute ferry. The day trip lasts for 16 hours including travel time to and from Adelaide. This tour includes lunch, hotel pick up/drop off, wildlife park admission, and guided tour of the island.
Aside from the McLaren Vale wineries, the Fleurieu Peninsula is home to many great attractions that will easily fill an entire day’s worth of activities. Spend the day at one of the many pristine beaches, explore a few of the charming seaside towns and enjoy world-class restaurants, all less than a 2 hour drive from Adelaide.
With a huge amount of sights to see, the choices are truly endless here. Discover the amazing snorkelling spots in Rapid Bay, see the dramatic cliffs of Sellicks Beach, take in the beautiful scenery at Port Willunga Beach (one of the region’s most popular beaches), or head down to Victor Harbor to take a ride on the only horse-drawn tramway in Australia! Find more Fleurieu Peninsula attractions here.
The easiest way to see the Fleurieu Peninsula is by car, this way you will be free to explore the sights of your choice at your own pace. If you don’t have your own car, consider renting one for the day. You can easily book this online at Rentalcars.com. Alternatively, see the recommended tour option below.
Highlights of Fleurieu Peninsula Day Tour – This full day tour from Adelaide will give you the perfect intro to the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula. Learn about Indigenous culture and history while exploring the region’s breathtaking landscapes and spotting some wildlife along the way.
Enjoy a picnic surrounded by wildlife at the Deep Creek Conservation Park followed by a stop at Rapid Bay Beach. Spot dolphins and whales from the Victor Harbor Discovery Trail and then taste the handmade cheeses at the Alexandrina Cheese Company. Finish the day wine tasting with a view at the lovely Mt Jagged Wines before being returned to your Adelaide hotel.
This laidback beachside town is one of the most popular day trips from Adelaide. Only 1.5 hours south of the city, Victor Harbor is the ideal place to disconnect for the day. Yes, this is also located at the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, but there are so many unique things to do in this town that it deserves a day trip in itself!
Enjoy the experience of riding a horse drawn tram across the wooden causeway to the nearby Granite Island. You could also choose to walk there instead. Follow the walking trail that loops around the island for some awesome views.
Hop aboard the steam train that runs along the coast between Goolwa and Victor Harbor. “The Cockle Train” operates on one of the oldest steel railways in Australia and the coastal views are truly unbeatable!
If you haven’t had the chance to meet Australia’s iconic animals yet, head over to the Urimbirra Wildlife Park. This open-range wildlife park offers the exciting chance to pet kangaroos and koalas, feed emus, and see a wide range of animals up close.
Victor Harbor and Southern Highlights Tour – See some of the best highlights of Victor Harbor and the Fleurieu Peninsula on this 8 hour day tour from Adelaide. The day starts with a pick up at your Adelaide hotel followed by a stop in the historic town of Strathalbyn for morning tea.
Continue the day with a visit to the seaside town of Goolwa and then a quick stop at the “Whale Lookout” for a photo on the way to Victor Harbour. With 2 hours of free time to explore Victor Harbor, you’ll have plenty of time to see the best sights and grab some lunch.
Keep in mind that lunch and entry fees are not included in this day trip, see the link below for more info.
The beachside suburb of Glenelg is an easy 20 minute drive from Adelaide’s city centre and a popular spot for families to spend the day. With plenty of great activities ranging from amusement parks to beach clubs, there’s something to suit everyone here! Glenelg is the place to be on a warm summer’s day.
Some of the best things to do in Glenelg include browsing the shops and cafes, taking a walk along the jetty, riding the Ferris Wheel, taking a dip in the ocean, and even swimming with dolphins! Dive into South Australia’s history by visiting the Bay Discovery Centre, located in Glenelg’s town hall.
Seeing as Glenelg is pretty close to Adelaide, there aren’t many organised tours that take you there from the city. See below for some of the best activities on offer within Glenelg.
Wild Dolphin Cruise/Swim – This 3.5 hr dolphin spotting cruise departs from Glenelg and takes you around Holdfast Bay by catamaran. You’ll have the option to upgrade the tour to include swimming with dolphins. Wetsuit, snorkel and mask are all provided.
Adelaide City to Sea Bike Tour – Take in the lovely sights from Adelaide to the coast on this small group cycling tour. Ride to the Riverside Precinct and then Henley Beach for brunch.
Cruise along the River Torrens Linear trail and then make your way toward Glenelg where you’ll have some free time to explore the area. End the tour by catching the iconic Glenelg tram back to the city.
Glenelg Segway Tour – Explore the highlights of Glenelg on this thrilling 1-hr Segway tour. Follow your guide along the picturesque Glenelg Beach stopping at various points of interest along the way. Learn the history behind this beautiful suburb with a live commentary from your guide.
Monarto Safari Park
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the thrill of being on safari and seeing a range of wild animals up close, this day trip from Adelaide is a must! The Monarto Safari Park is the largest open-range zoo in the world, home to over 500 animals. To get there, it’s just under an hour’s drive from Adelaide.
The zoo is divided into sections based on the different regions around Asia, Africa and Australia. The park features all of the classic African safari animals like lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and rhinos as well as a wide range of Australia’s native animals.
For an extra cost, you can choose from a list of interactive experiences allowing you to get even closer to your favourite animals. See more about booking these experiences online. Being on safari without leaving Australia is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you’ll never forget!
Australia’s longest river spans over 2500km and flows through New South Wales and Victoria before finishing its journey in South Australia. Rich in Aboriginal culture and heritage, the Murray River is home to more than 130 million years of history. With stunning scenery and plenty of wildlife, this is the perfect place to escape the city for the day.
The best way to see the Murray River is to hop aboard a river cruise. River cruises depart from the historic town of Mannum which is just over an hour from Adelaide. The town itself is full of fascinating history and home to some lovely riverbank pubs. Relax with a drink while taking in the majestic river views from the Pretoria Hotel.
If you’re into hiking check out the Mannum Falls hike, a popular trail that follows Reedy Creek toward the falls. This trail is a fairly easy 3km return track with plenty of beautiful scenery along the way.
Murray River Full Day Trip From Adelaide – Get picked up at your accommodation in Adelaide and travel by coach to Mannum. Board the Proud Mary for a 2-hour cruise along the scenic Murray River. Learn the history of the region from your guide as you enjoy the surrounding landscapes and wildlife sightings.
This 8 hour day trip includes lunch aboard the boat and free time to explore the town of Mannum. Visit the Mannum lookout to see the spectacular views and take some photos. On the way back to Adelaide, stop at cheese and chocolate factories to sample some of the freshly made products.
Just under an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Strathalbyn was founded by a Scottish settler in 1839. With many historic buildings and the beautiful St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, it still holds some of its European charm to this day. The town is undeniably picturesque featuring a large park and the River Angas flowing through the middle.
Pick up a map at the visitor centre which will guide you on a walk though all of the town’s historic sites. Follow the River Angas Walkway which runs along the river and passes through the lovely Soldiers Memorial Gardens. Stroll along the High Street and check out some of the antique shops which the town is known for.
Visit the National Trust Heritage Museum to see various displays showcasing the town’s history. Before heading back to Adelaide, the Langhorne Creek wine region is worth checking out if you’re a wine lover. It’s only 15 minutes from Strathalbyn and home to a number of great cellar doors.
The best way to reach Strathalbyn is by car. There are few tour operators that offer day trips to the town on its own. However, this tour stops at a number of highlights south of Adelaide including Strathalbyn, Goolwa and Victor Harbor.
Where to Stay for These Adelaide Day Trips
Adelaide Caravan Park – If you’re travelling by camper or caravan, you’ll need to base yourself in a caravan park out of the city centre. This one is only 2km from the CBD making it easy to access all of Adelaide’s highlights and explore the surrounds.
Tequila Sunrise Hostel – Centrally located only steps from the city centre, this popular hostel is the best choice for those on a budget. With breakfast and dinner included, you can’t go wrong here!
Nightcap at Hendon Hotel – Located in Adelaide’s western suburbs, this hotel features free parking, a restaurant/bar, and comfortable rooms, all for a very reasonable price!
Hotel Metropolitan – Stay in a heritage building in the heart of Adelaide for convenient access to restaurants, bars and all tourist sites. Each room features a private balcony and there’s a restaurant/bar on-site.
Holiday Inn Adelaide City Centre – This highly rated hotel in the city centre has everything you need for comfort and convenience. There’s a gym, city views from the rooms, and breakfast is included.
Eos by SkyCity – This beautiful property caters to those seeking more comfort and luxury during your stay in Adelaide. With an outdoor pool, spa and wellness centre, room service and much more, you won’t regret booking a room at this stunning hotel!
How to Reach These Adelaide Day Trip Locations
If you’re spending a few days in Adelaide, it’s a good idea to rent a car so you can have the freedom to explore the city and surrounding day trips at your own pace. Whenever we travel we use Rental Cars to compare companies and find a car rental at the best price.
If you have limited time to spend in Adelaide, booking any of the recommended tours throughout this article is the perfect way to go. Make sure to check out more of our articles below to help you make the most of your holiday in South Australia!
Find More Things to do in South Australia
- 14 Best Wine Tours from Adelaide
- The Ultimate 3-Day Adelaide Itinerary
- Perth to Adelaide Road Trip – The Best Route & Highlights
- 10 Epic Weekend Getaways from Adelaide
- 16 Incredible Natural Landmarks of South Australia
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