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Postcard perfect! 16 sensational scenic South Australian attractions

You don’t have to travel far within South Australia to be greeted by utterly breathtaking scenery.

And the strong variation of these vibrant landscapes increases the state’s widespread appeal.

From eye-catching natural attractions to quirky creations, South Australia’s most photo-worthy assets deserve to be celebrated.

Put these striking features on your radar.

The Fleurieu Peninsula bursts with scenic delights. Credit: Jem Cresswell.

1. Blue Lake, Mt Gambier

Mt Gambier attractions don’t come bigger and bolder than this. The massive crater lake sits inside an extinct volcano, and there are ample vantage points for admiring this engrossing creation thanks to a walking track around its circumference. From early November until late February, the lake changes from a greyish tone to a richer turquoise blue that helps create even better pics.

Nearby park: BIG4 Blue Lake Holiday Park.

The Blue Lake is a standout Mt Gambier attraction. Credit: Ockert le Roux.

2. Rapid Bay and surrounds, Fleurieu Peninsula

This section of the Fleurieu Peninsula is absolutely jaw-dropping, and the combination of dramatic coastline and imposing rolling hills is one to savour. At Rapid Bay and its surrounds there are priceless photo ops aplenty, with secluded strips of sand, beautiful blue waters, and that amazing backdrop of soaring hills. It’s easy to reach from Adelaide and yet feels so far away. Perfect.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Cape Jervis Accommodation & Caravan Park, BIG4 Port Elliot Holiday Park or BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park.

Rapid Bay and its surrounds are dazzling. Credit: Jem Cresswell.

3. Château Tanunda, Barossa

There are many first-rate Barossa Valley wineries, as you’d expect from a world-class grape-growing region. Yet perhaps none has a facade as grand as Château Tanunda. The circa 1890 bluestone building is Australia's largest chateau and makes the perfect backdrop for those #winetour Instagram selfies. Inside it is just as remarkable – tours are available – and it’s all backed by excellent wines.

Nearby park: BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park.

Grand: Château Tanunda.

4. Imposing cliffs of the Murray River

A riverside escape is not only relaxing but full of scenic wonders. The towering limestone cliffs of Big Bend, best viewed near Nildottie, are certainly a signature Murray image. But realistically there are boundless photo ops. These postcard-perfect views are made even better when aligned with those vivid Murray sunsets and sunrises. A must-visit region for all Australians.

Nearby parks: BIG4 Blanchetown Riverside Holiday Park, BIG4 Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park, BIG4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday ParkBIG4 The Bend Holiday Park or BIG4 Mannum Riverside Caravan Park.

The Murray's towering cliffs lead a wealth of incredible scenery. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.

5. d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale

Surely this is one of the funkiest creations to be found in a wine region. The contemporary five-storey structure has become a favourite for photographers to frame since it opened in late December 2017. And the views from the top are just as good. A visit here is more than a visual delight, though. With a wine sensory room, museum, restaurant and more, The Cube offers a feast for the senses.

Nearby park: BIG4 Port Willunga Tourist Park or BIG4 Cape Jervis Accommodation & Caravan Park.

d'Arenberg Cube makes for outstanding photographs.

6. Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park, near Coober Pedy

Do not forget the camera or phone – the headline features in this park make for an astounding sight. The Breakaways consist of colourful flat-topped mesas (tablelands) that stand out among an almost lunar-like landscape. The big tip for photo fans is to visit at sunset as it’s then that the rich sandstone colours are at their vibrant best.

Nearby park: BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort.

Walking on the moon: Kanku-Breakaways Conservation Park. Credit: Kobie Notting.

7. Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, Adelaide Hills

These grand gardens ooze immense appeal, particularly in autumn when a spectacular kaleidoscope of colours dominates the scenery. While absolutely gripping at this time, these botanic beauties have year-round allure thanks to their diverse offering of plant life and other features, tranquil vibe, and variable walking tracks to admire it all. A clear Instagram favourite.

Nearby parks: BIG4 West Beach Parks.

It's tough to take a bad photo in these gorgeous gardens.

8. The Bluff, near Victor Harbor

This icon of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula dishes up sparkling views from its summit. Also known as Rosetta Head, the Bluff is a must for photographers with pretty panoramas encompassing the widespread coastline, offshore islands, the Victor Harbor township, and more. It’s a rewarding walk or an easy drive to reach the top.

Nearby park: BIG4 Port Elliot Holiday Park or BIG4 Cape Jervis Accommodation & Caravan Park.

The views from atop the Bluff are breathtaking. Credit: Jesse Ehlers.

9. Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide is a goldmine for photographers and one of several underrated Adelaide attractions. This maritime suburb teems with gorgeous heritage buildings, street art, and plenty of water views. And that’s just the start. It’s also home to three major museums, a dolphin sanctuary, several excellent pubs, and much more.

Nearby park: BIG4 West Beach Parks.

There's plenty for keen photographers to frame in Port Adelaide.

10. Murphy’s Haystacks, near Streaky Bay

This collection of wind-battered boulders and pillars is one of the most photographed attractions on the Eyre Peninsula. And rightly so. The colourful ancient granite creations take on peculiar forms that easily grab attention and help produce prized pics from any angle. They’re found 40km south of Streaky Bay.

Nearby park: On a daytrip from BIG4 Ceduna Tourist Park.

Find your angle and snap away. Credit: John White.

11. Coober Pedy township

Prepare to witness wonders unlike anywhere else. Coober Pedy is filled with outstanding photo ops: Quirky finds both above ground and underground and incredible backdrops as well as truly unique experiences. This is one of those destinations that should be visited at least once in a lifetime.

Nearby park: BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort.

There are many quirky finds for photographers in Coober Pedy.

12. Naracoorte Caves

South Australia’s only World Heritage site is a feast for the eyes, led by incredible stalactites and stalagmites. But it’s the facts and figures revealed on a cave tour that are truly mind-boggling. This attraction is regarded as one of the most important fossil sites on the planet and allows a glimpse into a landscape 500,000 years past. It’s fascinating almost beyond belief.

Nearby park: BIG4 Naracoorte Holiday Park.

Naracoorte Caves are absolutely captivating. Credit: SATC/Adam Bruzzone.

13. Yorke Peninsula coastline

Adelaideans are blessed to have such a pretty peninsula in its backyard. The tip of this treasure-laden area can be reached within a 90min drive of Adelaide’s heart and from here a wealth of dazzling coastline and beautiful beaches awaits. There is endless opportunity to soak up this spectacular scenery and enjoy all manner of leisure activity, with charm-filled historical towns dotted throughout.

Nearby park: BIG4 Port Hughes Tourist Park.

Yorke Peninsula's coastline sparkles: Credit: SATC.

14. Coorong National Park

The Coorong is a gem, featuring a 130km long stretch of lagoons flanked by sand dunes that provide excellent contrast for photos. It’s also a hotspot for boating, bird watching, and walks. Note: Boat cruises departing from Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsula encompass the Coorong.

Nearby parks: BIG4 The Bend Holiday Park or BIG4 Port Elliot Holiday Park.

The Coorong's contrasting landscapes make for magical pics.

15. Organ Pipes, Gawler Ranges National Park, Eyre Peninsula

These captivating, colourful rocky outcrops were formed millions of years ago in the aftermath of volcanic activity and clearly warrant their name. The Organ Pipes are an outstanding photo subject among other rocky creations, seasonal waterfalls, variable wildlife, and more. The park is a great pitstop when travelling the Eyre Peninsula to Ceduna and beyond.

The Organ Pipes are a standout feature within Gawler Ranges National Park. Credit: SATC.

16. Umpherston Sinkhole, Mt Gambier

Here is another attraction in Mt Gambier that makes the must-visit list. In a previous life this was a limestone cave, but corrosion from seawater led to the cave’s roof collapsing. The result now is a magnificent sunken garden that can be admired night and day and framed from all angles.

Nearby park: BIG4 Blue Lake Holiday Park.

Nature and humankind have combined to create this beauty. Credit: Mike Haines.

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