South Australian Icons & Must-See Attractions for Locals and Visitors

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Periodically I will ask on our Facebook page for views and opinions of what is their “must-see” attraction when they have visitors or what is their family’s top places they love to go to. I also recently asked what, in their eyes, is a true South Australian icon.

Many of the answers aren’t a surprise – most of the places were mentioned time and time again and it’s obvious they are well loved by us all. But asking these questions can also uncover some “little-known” places and some surprising answers. I always love the diversity of the answers as well as the reasons behind the answers too – it’s good to hear personal stories and of course everyone is so passionate about our wonderful Australian state.

I have put together this "Guide to South Australian Icons and Must-See Attractions for Locals and Visitors" which is basically a compilation of answers and comments from our social media accounts by you, our readers.

Many of the places listed below are on our website where you can find out more information - you can also use the star ratings and rate your favourite attraction or place to go while on a day out and let other people know how great it is!



Operated by Zoos SA, Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo were both stated by many of our readers as perfect places to visit with interstate or overseas visitors, as well as being great ways to spend a family day out and/or meet with friends for playdates and group outings.

Adelaide Zoo - Adelaide Zoo is the only major metropolitan Zoo in Australia to be owned and operated by a not for profit organisation and governed by a volunteer board in behalf of its members. Home to Wang Wang and Funi, the only Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere and the first to live permanently in Australia. Adelaide Zoo is Australia's second oldest zoo and home to more than 2,500 exotice and native animals.

Monarto Zoo - Monarto Zoo is largest open range zoo in the world and is home to over 500 animals roaming in vistas as far as the eye can see. It’s an escape from the city that immerses visitors in a natural safari style setting.

Platform 1 Heritage Farm Railway - This historic farmyard is suitable for a wide range of ages - children love the train ride out into the open paddock, the hands-on railway displays and patting and feeding the animals. Adults love the history of the property and the devonshire tea and homemade scones.

Adelaide Botanic Garden - Located in the heart of the city Adelaide Botanic Garden is a sanctuary of exotic and native plants, iconic cultural collections and historic buildings. Enjoy relaxing with friends and family, having a coffee in one of the cafes or indulging your gardening habit in the Diggers Garden Shop.

The Big Rocking Horse - The world's biggest Rocking Horse is located in Adelaide Hills and you can receive a certificate of achievement if you climb it! You can also feed the animals and birds in the wildlife park and see how quality wooden toys are made in the working Toy Factory. 

The Mall's Balls - can anyone disagree that the Mall's Balls are an icon of South Australia?

Barossa Valley - one of the world's premier wine areas

Flinders Ranges - "I was told that Flinders Ranges was something beautiful and not to be missed on our trip - it was an understatement"!! - Reader

Whispering Wall - The Whispering Wall is the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir built between 1899 and 1903. Words whispered at one side can be heard at the other side over 100 metres away. 

Gorge Wildlife Park - One of the largest privately owned collection of Australian exotic animals, birds and reptiles in the country.

Ayers House - Ayers House is one of the last grand 19th century houses remaining on the southern face of North Terrace, Adelaide. 

South Australia Museum - Boasts five floors of natural history artefacts including the world's largest collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural material. 

Art Gallery of South Australia - the Art Gallery of South Australia is home to one of Australia's great art collections, housed in one of Adelaide's most beautiful buildings. 

Cleland Wildlife Park - 35 hectares of open bushland habitat where visitors can interact with Australian wildlife.

Waterfall Gully - Located in Cleland Conservation Park, Waterfall Gully is home to the largest of seven waterfalls in the park. 

Mount Lofty Summit - Mount Lofty Summit, the majestic peak of the Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills, provides spectacular panoramic views across Adelaide's city skyline to the coast.

South Australian Whale Centre - The SA Whale Centre is South Australia's largest marine focused interpretative centre where visitors can experience the natural wonders of the deep, explore the world heritage listed railway building, and gain further knowledge about Victor Harbor and South Australia's marine treasures. 

Old Adelaide Gaol - Step back in time and walk the hallways and cells of South Australia's first inmates. Experience what daily life in prison was really like. Wander along, lost in your own imagination and visit our interactive exhibition. If you're really lucky, you may catch a glimpse of one of our ghostly residents. 




Port Noarlunga

Dolphin Cruise on either Dolphin Explorer or Port Princess

National Motor Museum

Fru-chocs Shop

Melbas Chocolate

Haighs Chocolates

Himeji Japanese Garden

The Beachouse

Central Markets

Beerenberg Farm - strawberry picking (when in season)

Belair National Park

Alexandrina cheese factory

Cockle train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor

Bonython Park

Clarendon Bakery

Big Galah

Mt Gambier

Limestone Coast

Coober Pedy

Kangaroo Island



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  • City
  • Hills
  • Out of Town