The southeast is a region rich with pine forests, wineries and a spectacular coastline. The state capital, Adelaide, is a vibrant city, whose surrounding hills abound with vineyards from the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale. To the east, the great Murray River meanders from the Victoria border down to the Southern Ocean. Just off the Fleurieu Peninsula lies Kangaroo Island, a haven for wildlife.
Adelaide and the southeast area encompass the most bountiful and productive regions of South Australia. Adelaide, the state's capital city and the most obvious base for exploring the region, lies on a flat plain between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the popular white sandy beaches of Gulf St Vincent, to the east of Cape Jervis. The city itself is green and elegant, with many historic sites to explore. To the northeast, beyond the Adelaide Hills, are quaint 19th-century villages and the many wineries of the Barossa Valley region. To the east and south lie Australia's largest river, the Murray River, and the rolling hills of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Further to the southeast the beauty of the coastal Coorong National Park and the Southern Ocean coastline contrasts with the flat, agricultural area inland. Offshore lays the natural splendour of Kangaroo Island, with its abundance of native wildlife and striking rock formations.
The inner city of Adelaide is best explored on foot; it is compact, well laid out and flat. There is a public transport system of mostly buses, and some trains, throughout the metropolitan area, although services are often restricted at weekends. However, for those with a car, the city's roads are good and the traffic generally light. Outside Adelaide, public transport is very limited, although coach tours are available to most areas.
A car provides the most efficient means of exploring the region, with a network of high-standard roads and highways. In addition, a domestic air service operates between Adelaide and Mount Gambier. Kangaroo Island is serviced by air from Adelaide and also by ferry from Cape Jervis. The predominantly flat landscape also makes this a popular area for cyclists and walkers.
Sights at a Glance
» BelairNational Park
» Mount Lofty
» Murray River
» Warrawong Sanctuary