South Australian Adventures
Swimming with fur seals/sea lions
Seals are the puppies of the sea. Curious and playful, they seem to enjoy the company of clumsy oafs with long tubed mouths and strange bulbous eyes.
Games of chasey invariably see these slick little rockets darting off before returning to find out what’s keeping you.
Many scuba divers and snorkelers have experienced fur seal mayhem at Haystack Island and Althorpe Island, off the Yorke Peninsula coast.
For an organised sea lion encounter, try an RAA SA Holiday Experience.
There are plenty of opportunities to see South Oz from the skies and, in some cases, it’s the only way to fully appreciate the scale of it all.
Gander at Lake Eyre from the shore and you’ll see a gleaming salt pan melt into a distant horizon. Viewed from aloft it’s still not possible to see the other side – now that’s an inland sea!
Wet or dry it’s an awesome experience.
If you’re flying out from William Creek, consider extending your trip to include the Painted Hills; an ancient crumbling seafloor spilling a palette of ochre onto the desert floor.
In the Flinders Ranges, take a flight over Wilpena Pound or the rugged northern peaks. Down at Aldinga, Adelaide Biplanes tumble about in the sky on aerobatic joy flights, or drift along the coast on gentler outings.
Simpson desert crossing
Plopped in a city café nursing a ristretto, it’s easy to forget that much of our state is comprised of ristretto-free desert.
Head north from Port Augusta and in no time you’ll find yourself in a land of mulga scrub and dry salt lakes. Head further north - and a little bit east - and you’ll bump into the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert.
Here, the family 4wd will need to perform skills beyond eight-point-turns at school pick up.
First-timers should complete an off-road driving course beforehand, and bone up on vehicle recovery, remote area communication, first-aid and all the other tricks needed to survive in this thrilling yet hostile environment...or jump aboard an organised tour and let some-one else do the worrying.
Note: The Simpson Desert is closed over summer each year due to dangerously hot weather conditions. For more information click here.
Organised tours of SA’s caves will guide visitors through roomy passageways into sizeable caverns. But the more intrepid caver may prefer wriggling through firmer fitting underground hollows.
Adventure caving tours are available at Kelly Hill Caves on Kangaroo Island and Naracoorte Caves in the south-east.
Maybe test your nerves in the wardrobe before taking this on.
Mawson Trail (cycling)
Cycling through the mid-north farmlands
At 900km in length it’s unlikely you’ll finish this trip in a day…or a month.
Connecting Adelaide with Blinman in the Flinders Ranges, the trail follows gravel roads, farm tracks and fire trails as it meanders its way north.
In the settled areas it passes within cooee of townships, where it’s possible to resupply, but in the more remote areas it would be wise to employ the company of a support vehicle.
This is no leisurely bike ride, requiring a high level of fitness and off-road cycling ability. Much of the route traverses hilly terrain and some stretches are nigh impassable in wet weather.
Most riders nibble away at sections suited to their ability.
For more information click on the Trails SA website,
Shark cage diving
Possibly represented on bucket lists and ‘no way’ lists in equal measure, this is a wildlife encounter with few peers.
Punters are dipped in an environment so alien it requires breathing apparatus, with the sole objective of coming face to face with the local apex predator.
Anticipation and suspense are heightened in this quiet underwater world, but nothing really prepares you for the arrival of a Great White.
There are only a few places on the planet with shark cage diving operations and Port Lincoln is one of them.
For a glimpse of the action, check out our blog and video.
South Australia has one biggish city, plenty of smaller towns and a heck of a lot of bush. Our national parks and wilderness areas are flush with wildlife, so why not pop up a tent in the thick of the action?
Deep Creek Conservation Park, with its mobs of kangaroos and spectacular views of KI, is just the spot to find out if camping is really your thing.
Further afield, there are some great sites along the south and west coasts of Yorke Peninsula and in Coffin Bay National Park, at the bottom of Eyre Peninsula.
For a real thrill, camp among the rugged ramparts of the Gammon Ranges in the northern Flinders Ranges.
Then, of course, there are those starlit nights between the dunes on that Simpson Desert trip.