Short breaks and weekend getaways from Adelaide
Adelaide is a picturesque, laidback city with extensive appeal, and the South Australian capital is even more desirable owing to its proximity to a wealth of alluring destinations. These spots are all ideal for a quick getaway.
Take a short break from Adelaide and discover a succession of first-rate vineyards, breathtaking coastline and beaches, charm-filled towns and villages, and sensational national parks.
Often, a short break is all that’s required to recharge the batteries. To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve highlighted several South Australian destinations with BIG4 parks to visit on a weekend getaway from Adelaide.
BIG4 parks less than 1 hour from Adelaide (all times approximate)
Journey only a stone’s throw from the Adelaide CBD and feel as though you’re on the other side of the world. Just a half-hour drive is required to reach the magnetising Adelaide Hills region, and at its heart is the captivating town of Hahndorf. This is Australia’s oldest-surviving German settlement and the links to Deutschland are many and varied. Couple this with delicious food and wine and you have the perfect spot for a short break.
Best outdoor attraction: Pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg Farm from October to April and get your hands on delicious condiments and other goodies year round.
Best rainy day attraction: The Cedars. This is the former home of celebrated artist Sir Hans Heysen and a visit here is like taking a step back in time.
Underrated attraction: Nepenthe winery at neighbouring Balhannah makes exceptional wines and is an enticing location to enjoy a pleasant afternoon.
Budget tip: Hop in your car and explore the Hills’ extensive beauty, stopping by cute villages and making the most of a stream of photo ops.
Stay at: Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park.
BIG4 parks 1-1.5 hours from Adelaide (all times approximate)
A small coastal town with an enviable position overlooking Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot is cherry ripe for a quick getaway. It’s one of those magical places where the relaxing vibe hits you in an instant; perfect when you’re on a short break. From this idyllic spot, plant your soles along one of many walking trails, or explore nearby Fleurieu Peninsula towns of Victor Harbor and Goolwa.
Best outdoor attraction: Enjoy a pleasant swim at sparkling Horseshoe Bay, just a hop, skip, and jump away from the main street.
Best rainy day attraction: You’ll forget it’s raining when you’re engrossed by the many great displays at the South Australia Whale Centre in Victor Harbor.
Underrated attraction: It’s not quite a spotlight dodger but the Cockle Train provides for a relaxing and picturesque journey as it travels between Goolwa and Victor Harbor.
Budget tip: You can’t beat a clifftop walk overlooking Horseshoe Bay and the wider coastline.
Stay at: Port Elliot Holiday Park.
Another Fleurieu Peninsula town, Port Willunga sneaks under the guard of many despite having all the right ingredients for a quick escape. The town boasts a sparkling yet oft-quiet beach, it’s just minutes from the world-class McLaren Vale wine region, and it’s an easy drive from the centre of Adelaide. Perfect!
Best outdoor attraction: Take advantage of the proximity to McLaren Vale’s many superb wineries. Start at Hugh Hamilton Wines or Wirra Wirra.
Best rainy day attraction: Soak up local history at the fascinating Willunga Courthouse Museum.
Underrated attraction: The FruChocs Shop at McLaren Vale. Although, if you’re a ‘Crow-eater’ you’ll know FruChocs are only underrated by the rest of the country. Enjoy the chance to grab these tasty treats, often at factory prices.
Budget tip: Hit the water. Enjoy a stroll or swim at Port Willunga beach or snorkel or dive the famous Star of Greece shipwreck.
Stay at: BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park.
BIG4 parks 1.5-2 hours from Adelaide
With its positioning on the banks of the Murray River in South Australia’s prized Riverland region, Blanchetown is well-suited to a short break. The township is one of the state’s first river settlements and a cluster of historical buildings provides a throwback to its early days. Relaxing is made easy with a visit to Blanchetown.
Best outdoor attraction: Spot wombats and other wildlife at nearby Brookfield Conservation Park.
Best rainy day attraction: The weather will be the furthest thing on your mind when sampling delicious treats at Havenhand Chocolates in nearby Waikerie.
Underrated attraction: A wine and wetlands tour of Burk Salter Wines is a wonderful experience.
Budget tip: Grab a copy of the Blanchetown Historical Walk brochure (available at various places around town) and admire a series of old structures.
Stay at: Blanchetown Riverside Holiday Park.
BIG4 parks 2-3 hours from Adelaide
Loxton is another example of an alluring holiday destination that enjoys a superb spot along the famous Murray River. This town mixes a laidback vibe with first-rate visitor attractions and allows for the opportunity to indulge in ample water-based recreation. Go at your own pace in Loxton – either way you’re sure to leave feeling rejuvenated.
Best outdoor attraction: The Village – Historic Loxton. Travel back in time at this first-rate attraction.
Best rainy day attraction: Take the 40-minute drive to the Overland Corner Hotel – on the Goyder Highway northwest of neighbouring Barmera – and soak up history while relaxing in front of a cosy fire.
Underrated attraction: Loxton Golf Club is a seriously impressive layout that doesn’t charge the earth for you to hit the earth (and hopefully your golf ball).
Budget tip: Bring the camera and snap away at hundreds of roses within Loxton Memorial Gardens.
Stay at: Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park.
The immense appeal of the Riverland region as a holiday destination is encapsulated with a visit to Renmark. The town has a glorious riverside setting, a peaceful vibe, and a handful of attractions that make the most of the area’s abundant sunshine. A short break from Adelaide doesn’t get better than this.
Best outdoor attraction: Ruston’s Roses. This is Australia’s largest rose garden and explodes with colour. Don’t forget the camera.
Best rainy day attraction: Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum has plenty of interesting stories to tell.
Underrated attraction: The Woolshed Brewery combines great brews with sensational views.
Budget tip: Mix history, beautiful vistas, and fresh air along the riverfront interpretive walk – all for the cost of only a few calories.
Stay at: BIG4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park.
Parks in Adelaide
If you want the feeling of being on holiday without travelling far from your front door, check out these BIG4 parks in Adelaide.