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The 3 Best Day Trips in Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Day Trips | Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Walks | Lists
by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published June 21st 2013
Take a day for yourself
Security professionals – or bodyguards, as they're more commonly known – warn their clients that falling into a routine can be deadly. Doing the same things each day and each week doesn't just help assassins set up an ambush, though. It breeds a sense of complacency and ennui that, over time, can do almost as much damage to your life as a nefarious team of secret agents. The best antidote to habit is spontaneity: deciding on the spot to do something different. You can't be too spontaneous about a proper holiday, since that requires planning, but all you need for a day trip is a day off and a mode of transportation. Here's a list of three interesting places to visit on the spur of the moment in Adelaide.

Watch the Whales at Victor Harbor

Who doesn't love whales? They're enormous, sing haunting whale songs to each other across the deep, and occasionally do impossible jumps for the camera. It's no surprise they've inspired artists across the centuries – most famously Herman Melville's great American novel "Moby Dick". They can inspire you as well. From May to October, Southern Right whales swim up to Victor Harbor for the birthing season, and thousands of Australians wrap up and drive down to watch them.

southern right whale victor harbor
A very science-fiction looking Southern Right whale.


There are boat tours available for those brave enough to get in the water with these behemoths, or you can save your money and stand on the shore with a pair of binoculars. It's the perfect trip if you're restless during the long winter months – the whales only come down for a short time, so you can't make excuses.

Take a Walk at Waterfall Gully

About ten kilometres out of the Adelaide CBD is the beautiful Waterfall Gully in Cleland Conservation Park. The road in – imaginatively named Waterfall Gully Rd – gives a brief taste of the scenery, with walls of greenery rising up on each side before you get to the car park. The falls themselves are a short walk along the trail. For those who aren't keen on a bushwalk the first waterfall is visible from Utopia café, which can be reached easily from the car park. If you can, though, it's worth taking a stroll into the gully itself: the trail runs along one of the steep banks, and you can see the curve of the gorge kilometres ahead and behind. There's a well-used shot at the beginning of movies set in the jungle, where the cameraman's helicopter swoops along an overgrown valley. Walking through Waterfall Gully gives the same impression: past the first bend, the car park and café is no longer visible and the trees seem to stretch forever in every direction.

Greenhills Adventure Park

For those who like their adventure a little more structured, Greenhills Adventure Park in Victor Harbor is designed to provide a fun day for families or younger people. There are too many activities to list, but the highlights include go-karting, rock climbing, mini golf and the famous paddle boats in the large lake at the centre of the park. It's a good place to have a barbeque lunch or a picnic – and if you're in a larger group, you can book a shelter all to yourselves. Check the website for a full list of things you can do there (it's winter now, but in summer the waterslide is very popular) or just swing by if you're in the area. Whether you're into archery or modern art, there's bound to be something for you.

greenhills adventure park
Even if they haven't updated their logo since the seventies.


Do you know a good place to break up your routine near Adelaide? Share it in the comments. And if you've had a terrible experience at one of these places, share that too: a bad day can put you off day trips for years, and knowing is half the battle.
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Why? Because habit is the mind-killer.
When: Whenever you can
Where: Near Adelaide.
Cost: Prices vary
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