Pink lakes, hidden cave beaches, wineries, fields of lavender and crazy rock formations; South Australia had so much more than I originally thought. If you love the outdoors then you need to add this trip to your bucket list!
Ever since I moved to Melbourne I promised myself I would eventually do a road trip to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. We did this trip over a four day weekend and spent two nights in Adelaide and two on Kangaroo Island however, our first day was some intense sightseeing and we drove from 6am – Midnight (taking turns driving of course because I don’t think a mere human could possibly do that). If you plan on doing this drive I recommend you stay somewhere on the great ocean road overnight and give yourself more time to see this beautiful part of the world. I have separate posts on the The Great Ocean Road and The Best of Kangaroo Island so this post will focus on Adelaide and the rest of our drive to South Australia including our hunt for the pink lakes!
We spent quite a bit of time exploring the city as it was close to our Airbnb however, in hindsight I would definitely recommend spending the majority of your time in Glenelg. The Saint Kilda or Manly of Adelaide, Glenelg has a ton of restaurants, clubs and rooftop bars all alongside the beach. While we went out in the city instead, I’ve heard (from friends of mine that live there) that Glenelg is the place to go for nightlife. Also make sure you grab some acai bowls from Bomdia Bowls <3. This alone is worth the trip to Glenelg… Delicious!
Only an hour from Adelaide this is one of the best wine regions not only in Australia but in the world. I recommend doing a tour or staying out there the night as one of the girls I was with had to be designated driver which isn’t super fun. They also brew beer and cider so theres something for everyone! When you get there you can go to an information centre and see what they suggest doing depending on your tastes and on what you want to get out of the experience. We went to a mix of famous and lesser known vineyards but the ones that stood out to us the most were Peter Lehman, Yalumba and Seppeltsfield. I hope all you wine lovers out there are excited!
On our way to Adelaide we had a quick stop in Mount Gambier for dinner and to see the Blue Lake that the town is known for. The lake was such a striking colour the photos don’t do it justice especially since the sun had already started setting and wasn’t really on the water anymore. It was definitely worth the stop though. Mount Gambier is a cute little town and would be another good place to stay the night if you are doing the drive from Melbourne.
Not many people know that South Australia and Western Victoria actually have a ton of pink lakes! If you do this drive you should definitely try and hunt one down. Formed by salt eating bacteria, these lakes are salt flats that turn pink when they fill with water. The depth of colour will depend on the time of year you go. In the winter (June, July & August) they will often completely dry up so it is best to go in the summer (December, January & February) or after rainfall. We went in April and even then everything was pretty much completely dried up and they were more like salt flats than lakes. That didn’t stop my excitement though! You can imagine how impressive this would look after rainfall ❤
If you are short on time or there in the winter than I wouldn’t waste your time searching for the lake at Tailem Bend & Meningue that everyone talks about. We drove so far out of our way to find this lake but when we finally found it we were sorely disappointed as there was nothing there but some grey sand. Our last hope was the pink lake across the border in Victoria just out of Dimboola. I know this is cheating a little bit as this lake is in Victoria not South Australia but when we got there it was far better than what we had seen in SA!
While I can’t make any promises as it depends on the time of year and recent rainfall, your best bet in my opinion, is the lake near Dimboola.
There was so much to see and do on this trip that I can’t actually believe we did it all in four days. If you plan on doing this trip stay tuned for my upcoming posts on Kangaroo island and the Great Ocean Road and please reach out if you have any questions 🙂
Amberlee Jane xx