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Our guide to the best of South Australia

9th March 2021

A group of Travel Associates advisors were lucky enough to take a quick trip to South Australia recently to learn more about what the beautiful and diverse state has to offer.

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Travel Associates advisors from around Australia at One Kangaroo Island in February 2021.
Travel Associates advisors from around Australia at One Kangaroo Island in February 2021.


We must start by saying, we were blown away! From start to finish, every one of our senses were spoilt. And we cannot wait to share every incredible recommendation with you.


Adelaide ~


South Australia’s capital has something for everyone. And when everyone’s done their “something”, there’s even more. This city has it all - famed wineries, world-class restaurants, beautiful beaches, culture and music and even more wineries (we know it’s in here twice, but it’s for a good reason). 

Adelaide Central Market is a much-loved spot with locals, and with over 70 traders under one roof it's one of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere, buzzing with life and colour all year round. With so much to explore, you’ll need a guide. We would also recommend arriving with an empty stomach, because you’ll want to try every cheese, pastry and sweet in sight.

When it comes to dining out, you’ll wish you’d stayed for longer just to experience every mouth-watering, food-coma-inducing restaurant in the city. We mean it. The list of world-class restaurants is long, from Leigh Street’s Shōbōsho for a Japanese sensation, Sunny’s for a slice of authentic Napoli-style pizza with a retro feel, to MasterChef Australia 2019 winner Sashi Cheliah’s newly opened Gaja By Sashi for a Singaporean twist. We’d need another blog, or ten, to cover every delicious spot.

To see Adelaide in all its glory, time your trip with Adelaide Fringe Festival or a major sporting event at Adelaide Oval. The city comes alive with laughter and light and will leave you dreaming of relocating all-together (we’re not kidding - it really did happen to us after our recent visit). 


Where to stay in Adelaide ~


Mayfair Hotel

It’s historic and charming, in a prime central CBD location with a buzzing rooftop bar. The Mayfair’s 170 elegant rooms feature hand-crafted South Australian furnishings, custom-made beds and premium hotel facilities.


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Eos by SkyCity, Adelaide
Eos by SkyCity, Adelaide

Eos by SkyCity

Adelaide’s brand new destination hotel opened in December 2020 and is within steps of the city’s SkyCity entertainment precinct. But you’ll be tempted to simply stay put. The 5-star hotel epitomises contemporary luxury and has a surprisingly tranquil spa and pool overlooking Adelaide Oval.


Oval Hotel

Luxury hotels are popping up all over Adelaide this year, and Oval Hotel is a new favourite for sporting enthusiasts far and wide (as well as those not so enthused). The 5-star luxury hotel is connected to Adelaide Oval, but also offers a divine and relaxing outlook over the city’s beautiful parklands. Choose the serenity of staying in, or to enjoy one of Australia’s greatest sporting destinations literally on your doorstep.



Adelaide Hills ~


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Golding Wines, Adelaide Hills Wine Region
Golding Wines, Adelaide Hills Wine Region

We must say, one of the best bits of travelling to Adelaide is that some of the world’s most famous and awarded wineries are a 15 minute drive down the road. Yes, 15 minutes. To world-class wineries. That’s it. 

Your senses will be spoilt from start to end. As the cityscape blends into rolling hills and never ending vineyards, your tummy will dance with anticipation at what’s to come. Sip some of Australia’s best cool climate wines at Ashton Hills, Deviation Road, CRFT, Barristers Block, Art Wine, Petaluma, Shaw & Smith or Bird in Hand. And if you’re a lover of spirits, stop at Ambleside Distillery or Unico Zelo. The Lane Vineyard’s 360 Degree Hilltop Tasting will take your breath away - enjoy a flight of seven premium wines and chef-prepared goodies in The Lane’s unique tasting room with retractable walls, opening-up to stunning 360-degree views of the rolling Adelaide Hills. 

Have a fine dining experience at three hatted Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant at Mount Lofty House overlooking the magnificent Piccadilly Valley. Or, experience something completely unique at Villetta Porcina hidden in the hills of Mylor, where you’ll pull up a seat at a fairytale-esk stone hut and feast on Andre Ursini’s divine creations.

There’s plenty to discover outdoors, with Mount Lofty Summit, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and Cleland Wildlife Park offering beautiful views and nature to immerse yourself within. You can even find the home of the world-famous skin-care range, Jurlique. Go behind the scenes of Jurlique Farm where herbs, flowers and plants are all grown to create the brand’s natural products before trying and buying some of your favourites.


Where to stay in Adelaide Hills ~


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Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills

Mount Lofty House

With perfect views from sunrise to sunset, the restored home of Arthur Lofty retains its most charming elements of the historic building despite its modern makeover. Wooden four-poster beds and fireplaces are met with a welcomed and neutral contemporary bathroom that complements the generous and warm rooms. 


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Pavilions at Lenswood, Adelaide Hills
Pavilions at Lenswood, Adelaide Hills

Pavilions at Lenswood

Contemporary, private and tranquil, Pavilions at Lenswood holds only two beautiful self-contained pavilions on the property. They are both equally luxurious and perfect for a romantic escape. 


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Sequoia Lodge, Adelaide Hills
Sequoia Lodge, Adelaide Hills

Sequoia Lodge

The newest luxury arrival to the region is worth every dollar. Opening in the coming months, these stunning suites offer a private and enviable view over the stunning Piccadilly Valley. And you can enjoy this view from your oversized bathtub, comfortable bed, fireside sofa or daybed on the verandah. We cannot wait to stay here ourselves.


Barossa Valley ~ 


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Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley - ©SATC
Seppeltsfield, Barossa Valley - ©SATC

There is no better place for a lover of red wine to visit than Barossa Valley. The wine region is home to the world’s oldest vines and produces some truly brilliant bottles of Shiraz (we did try and buy quite a few, so we should know!). 

Two Hands Wines is a standout in a field (or vineyards) of many. The innovative winemaker has a stunning cellar door where you can slide on a pair of R.M. Williams, jump in a white defender and be driven through the picture-perfect vineyards. You’ll taste shiraz grapes cut straight off the vines before finding your way to a glorious peak where you’ll relax with a beautiful view of the vineyards with a glass of one of their most delicious reds in hand. Make sure you have room in your luggage to take home your own bottle (or two). 

There’s no going past Seppeltsfield with its famous branded tin roof, which is perhaps the region’s most iconic winery. You can tour the nearly 150 year old cellars and soak in the fascinating history before tasting your birth-year Port in the midst of 144 consecutive vintages still in the barrel. Stop at Fino for a beautiful regionally-inspired lunch before continuing around the winery grounds. 

We know there are some who prefer a spirit to a wine, and you can trust us when we say, there’s something you’ll obsess over from this famous wine region - Barossa Shiraz Gin. Our favourite is from Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, where the award-winning small-batch gin is distilled and bottled right on site using local botanicals sourced from just down the road. Pair your favourite finds with local cheeses and produce at Barossa Farmers Market, Barossa Valley Cheese Company or, for our sweet-toothed friends, the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company.

The famed delights and lesser known (but just as good) secrets of the Barossa are, in our opinion, best explored with a local. Mary Anne Kennedy of A Taste of South Australia was a truly wonderful guide during our visit and is an expert in not only the history of the region, but the food and wine spots you can’t miss throughout your stay.


Where to stay in Barossa Valley ~


The Louise

The region’s most luxurious accommodation is also home to an award-winning restaurant, Appellation, where you can enjoy a regional four-course degustation style menu with local paired wines while overlooking the Barossa vineyards. Spend you downtime in your elegant, comfortable suite with private views or relax by the brilliant infinity pool nestled in the middle of the surrounding vineyards with a cocktail in hand. This is, hands down, our favourite place to stay in the Barossa.



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Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island - ©SATC
Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island - ©SATC

The first thing that may come to mind when you think of Kangaroo Island is the devastating bushfires that swept through the land in January 2020. There’s no doubting the destruction that occurred even today as you drive down the dirt roads on the west half of the island. But beneath the 2,500 kilometers of black treetops are green shoots now knee-high. The landscape, wildlife and locals are perhaps some of the most resilient we’ve come across. And they’re more than ready for visitors.

During our three days on the island, we had the absolute pleasure of being guided by local, Tim, from Exceptional Kangaroo Island Tours. Tim took us to every must-see spot on the island only known to the locals, but what made our experience with him so special was his fascinating and important commentary on the island’s history. It’s a place without traffic lights, where the locals all know each other and dirt tracks are preferred over bitumen sealed roads. You feel like you’re deep in the bush, but actually are surrounded by the most glorious coastline. Tim refers to local businesses not by their name, but by their owners, who are often friends of many years. When the bushfires raged in 2020, Tim drove with mainland firefighters and media, helping them navigate back roads and introduce locals who could help. This is an incredibly tight-knit community, however they welcome visitors with open arms, big smiles and the most incredible treats to take home with you. 

The natural secrets of Kangaroo Island are known by Tim like the back of his hand. We explored the recovering Flinders Chase, the fascinating Remarkable Rocks and the mind-blowing Admirals Arch all in one afternoon. And we even got to meet the adorable seals of Seal Bay in complete privacy. Tim treated us to the most spectacular BBQ lunch under a white pavilion hidden in the bush, complete with white tablecloths, homemade dressings and local bottles of wine. We tried all types of local gin at Kangaroo Island Spirits and ate probably the best pizza we’ve ever had at Kangaroo Island Brewery.

This is a very special place in Australia that we beg everyone to visit once in their life (and if you’re like us, once will never be enough).


Where to stay on Kangaroo Island ~


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Ecopia Retreat, Kangaroo Island
Ecopia Retreat, Kangaroo Island

Ecopia Retreat

Immersed in 150 acres of natural wilderness, Ecopia’s two freestanding (and very distanced) Eco Villa’s are beautifully designed to complement the stunning surroundings. Sit back and relax on your private deck with a glass of wine in hand, enjoy daily breakfast hampers delivered to you or enjoy a long bath with a full view of the outdoors in complete privacy.


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Oceanview Eco Villas, Kangaroo Island
Oceanview Eco Villas, Kangaroo Island

Oceanview Eco Villas

These brand new villas showcase “eco-architecture” at its finest. The self heating and cooling property boasts a modern, yet comfortable, design with intoxicating views of the ocean and beyond. We were mesmerised by the peaceful silence, and again, another dreamy bathtub with an amazing view of the picture-perfect landscape (you will even see kangaroos jumping past your window morning and evening). 


One Kangaroo Island

This 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom house took our breath away at every turn. Frequented by celebrities craving a private retreat from the world, it’s the perfect place for a family reunion, group of friends or even just you and your special someone. Here you will find the most incredible outdoor bathtub we’ve ever seen, overlooking your own private beach and hidden by surrounding bush. We are starting to wonder, does Kangaroo Island have the best bathtubs in the world? We think so.

South Australia has stolen our hearts, and we cannot wait to return to explore even more of this diverse and exciting state. We would love to help you design your own personal itinerary tailored to your needs and wish list, so please get in touch with your nearest advisor to begin. 

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