You don’t need to travel far from Adelaide to discover the relaxed graciousness and raw beauty that South Australia is so loved for. Rolling vineyards, ancient mountain ranges, wild untamed coastlines and a night sky so brilliant it will leave you speechless… Here are six of our favourite South Australian campsites just a few hours drive from the capital.
1. Edgehill Farm
Just an hour north of Adelaide, off the beaten track between the Barossa and Clare Valley is Edgehill Farm. The sheep and cropping farm has several private and peaceful campsites dotted throughout their open pasture paddocks. The sites are all unpowered, with plenty of options for shade under the gums. All sites are suitable for swags, campers or caravans and there is a long-drop toilet close by.
There are a number of beautiful walks straight from camp, including a short uphill path to the Heysen Trail. It’s a great base camp for exploring nearby wineries, particularly on two wheels. Riverton is only 7km away and is the starting point for the famous Riesling Rail Trail which is a beautiful bike ride meandering to the Clare Valley.
Dogs are also welcome, so long as they don’t bother the wooly residents.
2. Ivy’s Cottage
Located in the pretty Fleurieu Peninsular, an hours drive south of the capital is Ivy’s Cottage campsites. At 360mtres above sea level, and a northerly aspect, the views are stunning. From your cosy campfire, cast your eye over the rolling hills from Myponga through to Back Valley, and watch ships steaming across the St Vincent Gulf. There is plenty to explore on foot too, with great bushwalking tracks through the bordering pine forest, including the hike to the Ingalalla Waterfall.
The campsites are flat, but the track to get there is quite technical so a 4WD and a confident driver is essential. Despite its remoteness, there is a composting toilet and a rainwater tank which is handy.
An hour north of Adelaide, on the way to the Clare Valley, is Serenity. Located just off the Horrocks Highway, this beautiful 42-acre property is dotted with peppermint gum scrub and sheltered by the ranges west of Tarlee. There is plenty of wide-open spaces for caravans and campers, so you’re guaranteed privacy, plus there are toilet facilities too.
The sheep and horse that roam the property are friendly and love a pat, and they don’t mind if you have your friendly dog in toe. This is a great place to take the kids on their first camping trip, for stopovers, or for groups looking for a quick escape out of the big smoke. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful, and the conveniences of town – Tarlee – are only 10km away.
4. Pine Ridge
Ok, this beauty is the furthest south on our list, near Mt Gambier, around 4.5 hours drive from the capital. We know, we know – a bit of a stretch from Adelaide, but it’s worth it. This 90-acre farm is smack bang in the middle of an incredibly beautiful part of South Australia.
The camping sites are large (approximately 20m x 20m) and located in the peaceful, tree-lined back paddocks. Each site is accessible for all types of campers, be it a tent, caravan or even bus! But you will need to be fully independent, as there are no facilities.
Just a short drive from camp, is popular swimming attraction, the Little Blue Lake, as well as vibrant pine and native forests, ancient caves, volcanic craters and lakes, award-winning wineries, rich farmland and spectacular coastlines. You’ll want to stay longer than a weekend here!
5. Breakaway Farmstay
Kids love camping, and even more so when there are goats and chooks to feed! Breakaway Farmstay is a small farm located in the heart of the Fleurieu Peninsular just outside of Victor Harbor in Waitpinga. With powered and unpowered campsites, bathroom facilities, games room and a swimming pool, it has all the features of a tourist park, minus the crowds.
This place is a great option for families, as there’s a huge variety of things to do both on the farm and in the region. The famed McLaren Vale wine region, as well as some of South Australia’s best surf beaches, top fishing spots, sightseeing and walking trails, are all nearby.
6. Orchard View Barossa Valley
Orchard View is nestled into the Cockatoo Valley, an hour north-east of Adelaide. It offers an easy bush-camping experience, with the magnificent Barossa Valley at the doorstep.
The campsite is tucked into the gums on the edge of a winter creek, with occasional visits from friendly roos, koalas and native birds. With only one booking at a time, it’s peaceful and private, and you also have use of a clean composting toilet and shower nearby.
Want to go camping but don’t have the gear? The host also offers a Trackabout camper trailer for use on-site. It’s fully kitted out, with fridge, cooking facilities, hot water and even ducted heating! All you need to bring is your own linen or sleeping bag, and you’ll be one comfy camper.