With sunken gardens, vivid lakes and world-renowned fossil sites South Australia’s diverse landscape is relatively untouched and often overlooked. Already seen Wave Rock? Why not visit the equally impressive Pildappa Rock or how about Lake Bumbunga which rivals the Murray Sunset National Park. Here are spectacular and beautiful natural wonders to explore in South Australia. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.
Arguably Australia’s most picturesque sinkhole is the Umpherston Sinkhole in Mount Gambier. Known as the Sunken Garden, the sinkhole was naturally created when the limestone chamber’s roof collapsed, leaving a magnificent void. In 1886 James Umpherston transformed the cavity into a lush oasis accessible via a series of concealed steps, walkways and terraces. The garden features a fountain, hydrangeas, and tree-ferns and is home to hundreds of possums.
Jubilee Hwy E, Mount Gambier SA Australia +61 8 8724 9750
Poised on the south coast of Kangaroo Island, the Remarkable Rocks are naturally sculptured landmarks formed over 500 million years by wind, rain, and sea-spray. These bizarre eroded granite boulders are stained with vibrant orange lichen which changes from rust to gold depending on the light. A wooden boardwalk with partial wheelchair access leads visitors to this Martian playground.
S Coast Rd, Flinders Chase SA Australia +61 8 8553 4450
Occupying an extinct volcano crater, Blue Lake is one of the most awe-inspiring attractions in Mount Gambier. Renowned for its colour, the reservoir is cobalt blue between December and March and turns pewter during the colder months from April to November. The exact cause is still unknown but is thought to have something to do with the temperature. Surrounding Blue Lake is a 3.6 kilometer walking track with viewing platforms.
Bay Rd, Mount Gambier SA Australia +61 8 8723 1199
Located within the Flinders Ranges, Wilpena Pound is an 800-million-year-old geological colosseum visible from space. While early 20th-century agricultural endeavours failed time and time again, the region has since proven popular with bushwalkers. Some popular trails include the Hills Homestead Walk and the Heysen Trail as well as the challenging hike to St Mary Peak which is 1,189 metres high.
Wilpena Pound Flinders Ranges SA Australia
Kati Thanda Lake Eyre
Renamed Kati Thanda in 2012, Lake Eyre, as it’s more commonly known, is the lowest point in Australia. The lake is also the largest in Australia; however, it only floods every decade or so and most of the time is a barren, flat salt pan. In fact, Kati Thanda has only been filled to capacity three times in last 160 years. The best time to visit is between April and October when the likelihood of water increases.
Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park Marree SA Australia + 61 8 8648 5300
Naracoorte Caves National Park
Recognised for its significant fossil record Naracoorte Caves National Park is South Australia’s only World Heritage Listed site. There are 28 caves within the park, four of which are open to the public. Explore the speleothem chambers in Alexandra Cave, see megafauna fossils in Victoria Fossil Cave, visit the self-guided Stick-Tomato Cave or take a Bat Cave tour. Those daring enough can also try an adventure caving tour.
89 Wonambi Rd, Joanna SA Australia +61 8 8760 1210
Two of hours north of Adelaide is an otherworldly site known as Lake Bumbunga which remains untouched by tourism. This taffy pink salt lake consists of three salt pans which have been mined since 1881. Named by the indigenous Parnpangka people Lake Bumbunga reportedly translates to ‘rain water lake.’ When visiting keep a lookout for the Loch Eel Monster who can be spotted from Highway 1 and be sure not to drive on the lake as you will get bogged.
LOT 15 Frances St, Lochiel SA Australia
Resembling Western Australia’s famous Wave Rock, Pildappa Rock is located on the Eyre Peninsula. Formed 1,500 years ago this granite outcrop is stamped with deep gnamma holes, narrow pits and rillen grooves. Those who choose to climb the wave are presented with marvelous vistas of the Gawler Ranges and the Blue Sturts from the top, meanwhile at the base, there are picnic and barbecue facilities.
Pildappa Road, Minnipa SA Australia +61 8 8680 5183
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.