Adelaide Hills & Murray River [ST-SD27]
6 Days: Adelaide Hills & Murray River [ST-SD27]
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Highlights & Inclusions
  • Accommodation - Hahndorf (1 Night), Adelaide (2), Renmark (2)
  • Rental Car - For Self-Drive though South Australia. Base Rate only. Does not include taxes, insurance, fuel levies, drop off fees, or environmental fees
  • Day Tours are Optional (not included), but can easily be included on request
  • Visa Issuance for entry into Australia (US$15.00 per person) available on request
  • F.I.T. (Free & Independent Travel, i.e. this is not an Organized Group Tour)
  • Additional Accommodation, Sigthseeing Day Tours, International & Domestic Flights are available on request
  • Customize? Tell us what you want & our Travel Experts will design your vacation and give you a no-obligation Quote.
Itinerary Details
(Days 1 to 2) - Self Drive - Adelaide Hills, South Australia

This scenic country drive will take you through the Adelaide Hills. With blue skies, quaint villages and breathtaking views, this drive is all about the beauty of South Australia.

Day 1: ADELAIDE / STIRLING / HAHNDORF (approx 30 mins)

Depart the big city and head out to the charming Adelaide Hills. Make your way to Stirling, where you can stop in for some coffee on the main street and maybe enjoy a meal at the unique Stirling Hotel Bistro. You can also stop into the Cleland Wildlife Park where you can get up close with so many native Australian animals. If you’d like to take some time out of the car, stop for a leisurely walk through St Githa’s Garden in Bridgewater. German heritage is everywhere in Hahndorf. This is the oldest surviving German influenced village in Australia. Here you are offered traditional architecture, German cuisine, specialty shops and a myriad of cafes. Take time to explore the abundance of galleries, artisans at work, gourmet food and even wineries! Visit The Cedars, the once home and studio of Sir Hans Heysen, a famous Australian landscape painter. Chocolate @ No.5 is a little cottage chocolate shop that allows you to indulge with some of the most delicious & artistic chocolates and treats. Beerenberg Strawberry Farm & Udder Delights cheese cellar are just a few of the places where you can enjoy local foods and produce.


Gawler Street in Mount Barket is home to many cafés, pubs and unique shops. Macclesfield is home to the Longview Vineyard, a great place to stop and enjoy the views and cool climate wines. Antique shopping is what you can find in Meadows. Just outside of Meadows is the Kuitpo Forest where you can hear the songs of the yellow-tailed black cockatoos. In Jupiter Creek you will find the old Gold Mine, stop in and learn the history. Stay in Hahndorf.

Day 2: HAHNDORF / BIRDWOOD / ADELAIDE Depart Hahndorf and head towards Birdwood. Along the way you can enjoy some amazing and award winning wineries such as Shaw + Smith (Balhanna ), Bird in Hand (Woodside) and Nepenthe (Charleston). Woodside Cheese Wrights is the perfect place to sample cheeses and Balhannah is home to Cocolat. Homemade apple pies are available at The Olde Apple Shed, Balhannah. Lobethal Bierhaus is a great place to stop for lunch and try an award winning beer while you’re there. Adelaide Hills Market in Lobethal is a great place to purchase art and local produce. In Birdwood, you can learn and see all the old cars at the National Motor Museum. On the way back to Adelaide, swing by The Big Rocking Horse. Gumeracha is home to the largest rocking horse in the world, stop in and climb onto it. End this drive back in Adelaide.

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(Days 1 to 6) - Car Rental, Adelaide Hills & Murray River regions

Discover Australia as you travel by rental car for six days.

As part of your vacation self-drive Australia and explore our stunning landscapes, coastlines, regional towns and wildlife. Stop and meet the locals, maybe enjoy a counter meal at a local Aussie pub, or relax on the beach while sampling some takeaway fish & chips from the local deli or servo. During one of your rest stops try to spot a kangaroo, emu or even a Koala in the wild.

Please bring a valid American driver’s license with you and be aware that the Australians drives on the left hand side of the road.

Base rate only paid by About Australia. GPS, Insurance, Premium Location Surcharge, Fuel and Fees to driver’s credit card.

(Days 2 to 4) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Adelaide

Travel to your accommodation in Adelaide, Australia, where you will be staying whilst on vacation for 2 nights.

Your 4 Star boutique style hotel, is located in the heart of Adelaide’s central district. The hotel is within walking distance to the city’s major cultural attractions, shopping precinct’s and entertainment centres.

Adelaide is known as the city of food and wine, a place to experience the buzz, culture and convenience of a big city without big city frustrations. The city centre, surrounded by parklands, is a charming blend of historic buildings, wide streets, numerous shops, street cafes and restaurants.

Optional Tour (Not Included) - Kangaroo Island Discovery

Discover the magnificent flora and fauna of Kangaroo Island. Tour through several different island habitats to see wildlife in its natural environment.

Your day begins at the Adelaide bus terminal for a scenic coach trip down through the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis.

You’ll then board a fast and comfortable ferry for the 45-minute crossing to Kangaroo Island. On arrival, settle back in comfort and let the scenery slide past on your way to Seal Bay. Here you will enjoy a beach walk among a breeding colony of Australian sea-lions. Guided by a National Parks Guide, this really is the experience of a lifetime. Bring your camera!

After a two course lunch, head on down to Flinders Chase National Park for the rest of the afternoon. Flinders Chase is internationally renowned as a sanctuary for a host of native Australian animals – kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, goannas and more.

Walk along the rugged southern coastline (on specially constructed walkways to protect both you and the environment!) to Remarkable Rocks and Admiral’s Arch. Remarkable Rocks provides a spectacular backdrop for all you creative photographers so bring plenty of film.

Admiral’s Arch boardwalk takes you down a rugged cliff face to confront a spectacular rock arch and a nursery haven for fur seals. Watch the fur seals diving, playing or just lolling about on the sun-drenched rocks, warming up again after swimming in the surf. Your Kangaroo Island Highlights experience comes to a conclusion at the airport or ferry terminal for your return journey to Adelaide.


Daily, excluding December 25. Departs at 6:45am from Adelaide and returns at 10:40pm, lasting approximately 16 hours. Departs between 9:45am and 10:15am on island and returns between 6:30pm – 6:45pm.

Need to Know

Minimum of 4 passengers required. Maximum of 48 passengers allowed. Pickups from Adelaide, Fleurieu Peninsula, Cape Jervis and on island available.


– Selected Hotel pick up / set downs from Adelaide and Glenelg.
– Return travel to Kangaroo Island either by coach/ferry or air.
– Seal Bay Conservation Park guided beach walk.
– Flinders Chase National Park including Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.
– Koala viewing at Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
– 2 Course Lunch at Vivonne Bay Bistro.
– Expert Commentary by a local driver/guide.


Upgrade with one-way or return flights from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and cut down on transfer times.

Photo Credit: Sealink

Optional Day Tour (Not Included) - Adelaide City Tour - ½ Day Morning

The city of Adelaide in South Australia is one of the most cosmopolitan cities that you’ll come across. One of the best ways to experience all that this wonderful city has to offer is through the Adelaide City Half Day tour that highlights the wonderful things about this city.

This half-day tour is filled with the sights and sounds that make this coastal town one of a kind. You’ll start with a morning pick up from area Adelaide hotels, and enjoy some wonderful commentary as you are driven through the city. You’ll get to see many of the places that Adelaide is famous for, including stops at the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory, the University of Adelaide, and even the world famous St. Peter’s Cathedral.


This tour operates daily, except for Christmas Day.

Need to Know

The itinerary can change without notice. Haigh’s Chocolate Factory does not offer tours or tastings on Sunday and South Australia Public Holidays. The National Wine Centre will be closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Years Day


The tour starts from either the Adelaide Central bus station, or select area hotels at 9:15am. You will be returned at 12:15pm.


A chance to see some famous Adelaide city sights.
A visit to Adelaide’s Cultural Boulevard of North Terrace, including the University, Library, Art Gallery and Museum.
A chance to see the heart of Historic North Adelaide.
A visit to St. Peters Cathedral.
A view of the famous Adelaide Oval.
Either a tour of Haigh’s Chocolate factory, a visit to the National Wine Centre, or a chance to explore the heart of the city.

Insiders Tip: Adelaide Central Market

Be sure to visit the Adelaide Central Market, the largest fresh produce market in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Adelaide Central Market is a community of people: traders, artisans and shoppers, who share a passion for food. It buzzes with life and colour all year round.

The range of fresh food is extensive! You can find fruit & vegetables, meat & poultry, seafood, gourmet cheeses, cakes and more all under one roof. People love to return again and again for the delicious aromas, vivid colours and atmosphere of this international and cultural melting pot.

Hours of Operation: Closed Sunday & Monday; Tuesdays – 7:00am to 5:30pm; Wednesdays* – 9:00am to 5:30pm; Thursdays – 9:00am to 5:30pm; Fridays – 7:00am to 9:00pm; Saturdays – 7:00am to 3:00pm

*Be sure to visit their website for their most update to date hours and current events:

Photo Credit: Adelaide Central Market

(Day 4) - Self Drive - Murray River Region, South Australia

The best place to experience the Murray River is in Renmark, South Australia.

Day 1: Adelaide to Renmark

From Adelaide you will head north east towards Gawler. Once at Gawler, if you are a wine connoisseur, don’t miss this opportunity to detour through the famous Barossa Valley wine region home to Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Seppeltsfield, Bethany and Wolf Blass wineries to mention a few. Most wineries are open daily for wine tasting and cellar door sales. Continue on to Truro where the environment changes from vineyards and gardens into the farming lands which cover the Adelaide Hills. Lush and green during the rains, or very stark & dry when in drought. In Truro, maybe stop at the local Sunrise Bakery for lunch and try some of their yummy local fare: eat a meat pie or sausage roll and wash it down with a cold iced-coffee (our favorite is “Farmers Union Iced Coffee”).

Leaving the Adelaide Hills is marked by the drive down Accommodation Hill where you are presented with another abrupt change in landscape to flat sparse farm lands which stretch as far as the eye can see. Both the fences separating the fields and the roads are framed with a smattering of small gum trees and salt bushes. Before you reach Blanchetown is home to the Brookfield Conservation Park, which is a breeding ground for the southern hairy-nosed wombat.

The first crossing of the Murray River is at Blanchetown where the Murray River’s system of weirs and locks begin. Lock 1 can be viewed on the left as you cross over the bridge. The locks were constructed along the entire length of the Murray River in the 1920s and 1930s to help control water levels for the then thriving river transport system. The historic paddle & steam boats of those early years were the only life source for commodities and trade for developing communities along the Murray River. Some of these boats have since been restored and can be seen throughout the Murray River towns. As you cross the Blanchetown Bridge you’ll also see many original River Red Gum (Eucalyptus) trees that drowned when the locks & weirs were commissioned and the surrounding lands were flooded.

Further along, as you enter Waikerie, the Murray River will be on your left. Stop to appreciate the view of the river because here, it’s a great lookout point to see the windy river curving around the landscape. Impressive rusty golden limestone cliffs line the river and are brightly contrasted with green trees and bamboo at the river’s edge. Continue on to Barmera, which is a small township on Lake Bonney, then onto Monash – home to Monash Playground built for both adults and kids. Continue to Renmark. There’s plenty of accommodation here in the form of hotels, motels, houseboats and caravan parks with fully self-contained cabins. The BIG 4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park is a favorite spot with fantastic river views, big shady trees, convenient location, lovely cabins and lots of facilities for both adults and kids. Stay 1 Night.

Day 2: Tour The Riverland

While in the region there are lots of things to see and do. River activities include houseboat cruises, camping, boat hire, skiing (learn to ski), fishing, canoeing, kayaking, catch yabbies (like crawdads), swimming and BBQs.

Wildlife spotting is a fun activity. Many Koalas have made their home in the gum trees lining the river. They are a little tough to find, but if you are determined you’ll have a good chance of spotting a Koala in the wild here. It’s easiest to spot them when you are in a boat that cruises slowly along the river banks. The best place to spot Kangaroos in the wild is at the Renmark Golf Club. Plan to have dinner at the Golf Club Bistro one night and enjoy true Aussie fare along with a glass of local wine as you watch 10 or more Kangaroos come out onto the golf course at dusk. Also after it gets dark one night, take some apples or carrots to hand feed the local possums that live in the big palm trees along the river out front of the Renmark Hotel.

Experiencing the river environment is a must, and the best way to do it is from the water. Murray River houseboat cruises showcase the jaw-dropping beauty of the river’s diverse & contrasting sun-burnt yet lush landscapes. With all the modern conveniences at your fingertips you can explore the region at your leisure. One minute you’re close to civilization the next you’re incredibly remote. It’s truly a unique Australian experience not yet discovered by the tourist masses. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being so close to nature in this peaceful and beautiful environment. There’s something very special about being near the water that allows you to quickly wind down and reconnect with yourself, family and friends.

If you’re short on time and unable to hire a houseboat for a few days, then a day trip cruise or a two hour river cruise is a must. A boat ride along the river is sincerely the only way to get a true appreciation of the stunning and distinctive beauty of the Murray River and surrounds. If you are unable to get on a boat, a fantastic view of the Murray River and its spectacular cliffs can be found at Headings Cliffs Lookout which is located off Murtho Road north of Paringa (small town near Renmark).

The McCormick Centre for the Environment is worth a look too, it’s a public facility designed to support environmental education, research & nature based tourism. Here they have a small number of local wildlife including the unusual Blue Tongue Lizard which you can see up close and personal. Renmark’s Ruston Rose Garden is the largest rose garden in the southern hemisphere, with modern and heritage roses of all kinds and colors. In October the town celebrates the ‘Rose Festival’.

If travelling on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, make sure you dine at the “Mallee Fowl Restarant” a truly Australian themed outback country treat. It is located in the middle of the sticks, literally. It’s hidden amongst a bunch of gum trees and salt bushes and is so isolated that it is not on the power grid (it’s actually powered by a generator). The food is exceptional and has received awards for best themed restaurant in Australia.

The Murray River is one of Australia’s oldest living cultural landscapes. Aboriginal tribes still reside along the more isolated regions of the Murray River. If your touring the river by boat and look hard enough, you can find Aboriginal artifacts such as canoe trees, fish traps and boundary markers.

Enjoy the walking trails at National & Conservation Parks such as Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre. Experience the self guided walking trails through the wetlands (seasonal), or relax on the spacious deck and enjoy local cuisine with a glass of Banrock Station wine.

Local museums and historic sites that showcase the heritage of the region include Olivewood in Remark and the award winning Historical Village in Loxton. The village is home to over 45 buildings and exhibits that enable you to stroll down memory lane and experience the lifestyles of the early settlers. Three times a year staff and volunteers dress in period costume bringing the village ‘alive’ so visitors can experience the life of the regions pioneers. Also in Loxton is Lock 4 and the ‘Tree on Knowledge’ which has date markers for the Murray River flood levels over the years. Be sure to see the resorted paddle steamer “PS Industry” at Renmark. It was built in 1911 and was re-commissioned in 1995. Stay 1 Night.

Day 3: Return to Adelaide

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(Days 4 to 6) - 2 Nights Accommodation in Renmark

Stay in Renmark at your vacation accommodation for 2 nights.

Your vacation accommodation in Renmark is within walking distance to the main shopping area and the Murray River, offering fishing, water skiing and boating. This Renmark hotel is minutes from the Almondco Almond Hut, the Chaffey Theatre, the Goanna Hill Gallery and Bulyong Island.
If visiting in October, the city of Renmark hosts the Renmark Rose Festival. The city is known for its cultivation of grapes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetable, wheat and wool. Several orange groves and vineyards are located minutes from the hotel.
Nearby recreational activities include river cruises, biking and hiking. A variety of restaurants and cocktail lounges are located in the surrounding area.
Laundry facilities available onsite.

Customize your Self Drive to Regional South Australia via Adelaide Hills & Murray River?

Remember, this road trip is fully customizable. Combine it with other destinations, add accommodation, sigthseeing tours and flights (international &/or domestic).

Just let us know what you want and our Travel Experts will design your complete itinerary with a ‘no-obligation’ quote.

  • a) All prices are USD$/person (including all Taxes). Subject to availability and seasonality. Other Conditions Apply (see Terms and Conditions).
  • b) Land Content Only represents the pricing for the full itinerary as detailed, except the International Flights from the USA (and return) are NOT included.
  • c) An Infant (Lapchild) must be less than 2 years old on the date of departure. Infant must travel with at least one adult. An infant with a seat pays the price of a Child.
  • d) A Child must be aged between 2-11 years on the date of departure. Child must travel with at least one adult.