Adelaide & Surrounds
South Australia boasts a diverse range of different landscapes - from the Adelaide Hills surrounding the city; to the grasslands and valleys of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island or the Barossa Valley; to the arid deserts in the north of the State in places such as the Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy. We have provided some information below on:
- the climate in Adelaide
- Adelaide landscapes, national parks and conservation areas
- places to visit in Adelaide's surrounding areas.
Bounded in the East by a mountain range (The 'Mount Lofty Ranges'), and in the West by the Southern Ocean, Adelaide enjoys what is sometimes referred to as a 'mediterranean climate' with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Adelaide lies on the Torrens River and is sheltered from the Southern Ocean by its location on the Gulf of St Vincent.Summer temperatures can exceed 35 degrees Celsius (°C). While it can get cold in winter (12-19°C), it does not snow in Adelaide.
A Guide to Temperatures in Adelaide
|Month||Average Daily Max (°C)||Average Daily Min (°C)|
South Australia is renowned as the driest state in the driest continent on Earth, though this is not apparent from the city of Adelaide. While much of South Australia's climate is Mediterranean, the semi-arid deserts in the northernmost part of the state are renowned for their high temperatures and low rainfall.
There are generally no great extremes of climate in Australia - variations in climate are due to the size of the continent. You will find tropical rainforest in the northeast of the country, more temperate areas to the south, and desert areas in the interior.
South Australia boasts a diverse range of different landforms, from hills, grasslands and valleys, to the semi-arid and arid deserts in the north of the State. Australia is one of the oldest continents on Earth, and consists of a wide variety of landforms, mostly consisting of vast ancient crystal blocks. The lowest point in Australia is Lake Eyre in South Australia, which is 16 metres below sea level.
National Parks and Conservation Areas
The Australian government sets aside areas to protect and maintain the native Australian bush and wildlife. Most of these parks encourage visitors.
Cleland Conservation Park in particular provides an excellent opportunity to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and other native animals in their natural surroundings.
Other parks such as those at Belair, Parra Wirra and Morialta are great for bushwalking and picnicking. Most of these parks can be reached by public transport.
The parklands that surround the city centre are a unique and attractive asset to Adelaide. They serve many purposes, with sporting facilities, gardens, over 40kms of walking and jogging tracks, playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas, and the Botanic Gardens.
The South Australian tourism website offers an excellent overview and photo tour of South Australia's attractions.
There is much to see and do in the historic Adelaide Hills, one of the first regions to be settled within South Australia. Twenty minutes drive from the City of Adelaide, is the historic German heritage town of Hahndorf. The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens offer beautiful scenery with views of the City of Adelaide. There is also an abundance of great food and fine wine.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is home to some of South Australia's most picturesque swimming and fishing beaches, walking trails, and wine regions. The seaside region of Victor Harbour offers many different opportunities: surfing, fishing and swimming at its different beaches, whale-watching between June and September each year, and the chance to see more than 1000 fairy penguins, nesting on Granite Island. The McLaren Vale wine region, 40 minutes drive south of Adelaide, is home to more than 60 wineries. The 'Heysen Trail', a 1200km hiking trail through some of South Australia's best natural features, begins in Cape Jervis at the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and follows some beautiful coastal scenery along the Deep Creek Conservation Park.
Located just 16km from the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island is the third largest island off the Australian mainland, accessible by vehicle/passenger ferry and by air. It offers an abundance of wildlife largely unaffected by developments on the mainland, including sea lions, koalas, wallabies and of course kangaroos! It is also home to Australia's largest sea lion colony, spectacular rock formations, and untouched sandy beaches.
Roughly 40 minutes north east of Adelaide is the Barossa Valley, Australia's most famous wine region. It is one of the world's great wine producing areas, with over fifty small and large-scale wineries. The Barossa is home to some of Australia's greatest and most well known wines, including the Penfold's 'Grange', and Orlando Wines 'Jacob's Creek'. Originally settled by German and English migrants, the Barossa has a rich European culture, and a reputation for fine food and produce.
The Flinders Ranges national park, a mountain range about five hours north of the state, covers 95 000 hectares. It incorporates rugged scenery, seasonal wildflowers, tree-lined gorges and wildlife. Wilpena Pound, in the heart of the national park, offers excellent camping and bushwalking, abundant wildlife, and dense native vegetation.
Coober Pedy is a famous mining town in the semi-arid desert area of South Australia, about 850km north of Adelaide. It is home to Opal mining in Australia, and well known for its underground 'dugouts' that are home to fifty percent of the population. Refer to the Coober Pedy website.