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Short Breaks and Weekend Getaways From Adelaide

Adelaide is a city with extensive appeal, and the SA capital is even more desirable owing to its proximity to a wealth of exciting destinations.

Take a short break from Adelaide and discover a host of first-rate vineyards, breathtaking coastline and beaches, sensational national parks, and plenty more.

It’s time to hit the road…

City escapes quickly introduce you to whole new worlds. Pictured: Light River, Barossa region. Credit: Isaac Forman.

BIG4 parks 1-1.5hr from Adelaide CBD

(All times approximate)


Known as the birthplace of the Australian paddlesteamer, this historical town enjoys front-row access to the iconic Murray River. Soak up a relaxing ambience that’s reached easily from the South Australian capital.

Best outdoor attraction: Enjoy a moving history lesson on a paddlesteamer cruise, although options can be limited. So, we’ll also throw in the first-rate Hermann Gass Bird Sanctuary as a must-visit.

Best rainy-day attraction: Retrace a fascinating past at the Mannum Dock Discovery Centre.

Underrated attraction: Mannum Waterfalls. This area bursts with natural wonders just a short drive from the town centre.

Budget tip: Mary Ann Reserve is a delightful and spacious riverside park that’s perfect for picnics.

Accommodation: BIG4 Breeze - Mannum.

Fix your gaze on the highly rated Hermann Gass Bird Sanctuary. Credit: John Montesi.

Mt Compass

Spotted at the Fleurieu Peninsula’s heart, this charm-filled township is surrounded by rolling hills and delivers a relaxing, rural vibe. From here, a diverse array of riches is easily within grasp.

Best outdoor attraction: Mount Compass Golf Course. Ranked in Australia’s top 100.

Best rainy-day attraction: Take the 10km drive north to Willunga with its cosy pubs, bakery, microbreweries, cellar doors, and more.

Underrated attraction: Currency Creek wine region. Boutique beauties just a 20km drive away.

Budget tip: Hit the Fleurieu’s famed beaches. So much choice.

Accommodation: BIG4 Mount Compass.

Epic coastline is within easy reach of Mount Compass. Pictured: Sellicks Beach. Credit: dronedynamicssa.


This small coastal town is another brilliant base for exploring the fabulous Fleurieu Peninsula. Easy to reach, easy to love.

Best outdoor attraction: Links Lady Bay. A spectacular golf course.

Best rainy-day attraction: Sample tasty craft beers at Smiling Samoyed Brewery in nearby Myponga.

Underrated attraction: The ex-HMAS Hobart is an excellent dive site. There's a memorial and lookout close by for those who would prefer to stay above water.

Budget tip: This area swarms with sparkling beaches to plant your feet along. Normanville Beach is a solid pick in town and neighbouring Carrickalinga is absolutely gorgeous.

Accommodation: BIG4 Normanville Jetty.

More of that stunning Fleurieu Peninsula coastline is revealed from Normanville. Credit: Forest Harder.

Tailem Bend

Perched on the banks of the Murray River, this old railway town is perfect for a short break. As well as being an easy drive from Adelaide, Tailem Bend is within grasp of variable attractions, from wine regions to a prized wildlife attraction. Of course, the Mighty Murray offers endless aquatic fun, too.

Best outdoor attraction: Old Tailem Town. It bills itself as Australia's largest pioneer village and features dozens of restored buildings. Or zoom around The Bend Motorsport Park with a thrilling hot-lap experience (selected dates).

Best rainy-day attraction: Tailem Bend Railway Museum. Unearth the town’s rich rail past.

Underrated attraction: Nearby Monarto Safari Park. This massive open-range zoo is home to a vast range of animals and other creatures backed by enthralling up-close encounters.

Budget tip: Take advantage of easy access to the Murray. If you wish to stay dry, the 25km-long River Bend Heritage Trail is the way to go.

Accommodation: BIG4 The Bend.

Buzzing experience: Strap in for a hot lap at the world-class Bend Motorsport Park. Credit: Josh Geelen. 

The Barossa (Nuriootpa)

Australia’s most-recognised wine region is a beauty. The Barossa warrants all the accolades that flow its way, and the SA capital is fortunate to have this world-class precinct on its doorstep. Better yet, wine regions evoke relaxation in a heartbeat, and that just makes a weekend getaway here even more enticing.

Best outdoor attraction: Predictably, sipping wine on a deck of the many cellar doors should be at the top of the itinerary. Alternatively, Maggie Beer's Farm Shop is a must for foodies.

Best rainy-day attraction: See above, but just indoors! Seriously, the Barossa Regional Gallery will add colour to your day.

Underrated attraction: Tough to split Barossa Sculpture Park and Greenock Aviation Museum. Both are brilliant.

Budget tip: The Whispering Wall is a quirky attraction. Whispered words can be heard 100m away. Cool!

Accommodation: BIG4 Barossa.

The Barossa is perfect for a relaxing break. Pictured: Maggie Beer's Farm Shop. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission/Sven Kovac.

Port Elliot

A relaxed 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 laidback 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. It's super central.

Best rainy-day attraction: You’ll forget it’s raining when you’re engrossed by the many great displays at the South Australian Whale Centre in nearby 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. Stop by the famed Port Elliot Bakery for a treat afterwards.

Accommodation: BIG4 Breeze - Port Elliot.

Port Elliot is a crowd favourite. Credit: Trent Martin Photography.

Port Willunga

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 beach, it’s just minutes to the first-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. Check out the hyped d'Arenberg Cube, then mosey on to Hugh Hamilton Wines or Wirra Wirra.

Best rainy-day attraction: Be surrounded by colour and craft at Fleurieu Arthouse in McLaren Vale.

Underrated attraction: The FruChocs Shop at McLaren Vale. Although, if you’re a ‘Crow-eater’ you’ll know these tasty treats are only underrated by the rest of the country.

Budget tip: Hit the water. Enjoy a stroll or swim at Port Willunga Beach, or snorkel or dive the famous Star of Greece shipwreck.

Accommodation: BIG4 Port Willunga.

Want more? Here's a great guide to Port Willunga.

Port Willunga Beach has various interesting elements that add to its pulling power. Credit: Mish and Kirk.

BIG4 parks 1.5-2hr from Adelaide

Port Hughes

Perched near the top of the crowd-pulling Yorke Peninsula, this pretty coastal town and fishing hotspot is ripe for a city escape.

Best outdoor attraction: It has to be those spectacular beaches. South Beach is right there or explore loads further afield.

Best rainy-day attraction: Head straight to nearby Moonta Mines Museum. It’s filled with interest.

Underrated attraction: The Greg Norman-designed Copperclub golf course is of championship standard.

Budget tip: You can’t beat a relaxing jetty stroll at sunset.

Accommodation: BIG4 Breeze – Port Hughes.

Exploration of Yorke Peninsula's dazzling coastline starts with a stroll along South Beach. Credit: Harry and Jordan Vick.

BIG4 parks 2.5-3hr 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 40min drive to the charming Overland Corner Hotel and relax 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: Relax at picturesque Allen Hosking Memorial Garden.

Accommodation: BIG4 Loxton Riverfront.

Going old school: The Village – Historic Loxton. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.


The immense pull of the Riverland region 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 much better than this.

Best outdoor attraction: Kayaking or canoeing along the Murray River is a magical experience. Kayak hire and/or guided tours are readily available.

Best rainy-day attraction: Olivewood Historic Homestead and Museum has plenty of interesting stories to share.

Underrated attraction: The Woolshed Brewery in nearby Murtho combines great brews with sensational views. For those who prefer gin, head straight for Twenty Third Street Distillery.

Budget tip: Enjoy the views along the combined walking-cycling Matulick Riverfront Trail – all for the cost of only a few calories.

Accommodation: BIG4 Renmark Riverfront.

There's gin and games to win at Twenty Third Street Distillery. Credit: South Australian Tourism Commission.

BIG4 parks in Adelaide

If you need accommodation in the SA capital, check out these Adelaide parks.

Enjoy an Adelaide escape with BIG4. Pictured: The Moseley Beach Club, Glenelg. Credit: Nathan Godwin.

Time for a break? Choose a location above or see all BIG4 parks in SA here.

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