South Australian local Dan March shares some of his favourite places in SA – there are so many treasures, you’ll need to live there to experience it all!

South Australia is fast becoming a hotspot for places to visit for 2017, and has earned the only listing for Australia on Lonely Planet’s world guide for places to visit in 2017.

Nursing opportunities in the state are plentiful, it has a much cheaper cost of living than other Australian capital cities – and it doesn’t stop there.

Lonely Planet author Chris Zeiher described the state as “Australia in a nutshell”. South Australia offers everything from pristine beaches, to world renown wine country, to the stunning open stretches of the Outback.

Local photographer Dan March has curated a shortlist of his favourite spots to visit in South Australia.

Deep Creek Conservation Park

Wrapping around the Southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Deep Creek Conservation Park and surrounding beaches are undoubtedly some of the most rugged and beautiful sections of coastline within a couple hours of the city. A favourite spot for weekend adventures – extensive walks and camping spots that weave through dense natural forest ranges and then pop out at one of a selection of secluded beaches only accessible by foot. Don’t forget to drive the car out to Tappanappa lookout at sunset to catch dozens of Kangaroo’s as they feed on the open grass.

The early stages of the Heysen Trail runs through here from Cape Jervis, and if you’re lucky, you can spot small pods of Dolphins on this stretch as you look out across Backstairs Passage toward Kangaroo Island.

Deep Creek Conservation Park

Barossa and Eden Valley

Australia’s premier wine region for popular Shiraz and Cabernet varieties, the beautiful Barossa is worth a drive any time of year. This region is totally unique and has country-feel community. The Barossa Vintage festival, held in mid-April biannually is the perfect time to visit, with vintage in full swing – with Summer-Autumn weather, and cellar doors open around every corner of vineyard block, it’s a great time of the year to experience everything the Barossa has to offer. Complete the weekend with a drive back through the higher altitudes, into the lesser known Eden Valley towns of Eden Valley and Mount Pleasant. The gum lined roads and rolling farmland valleys make this some of South Australia’s most breathtaking scenery.

Grape pressing in the Barossa Valley

Flinders Ranges National Park

Well worth the 5 hour drive up to Wilpena is the world famous, and much loved Flinders Ranges National Park. Home to vast and beautiful desert ranges and formations, it’s natural amphitheatre deeply rooted in Adnyamathanha Aboriginal identity and history. Mountain bikes are a great way to explore the dirt roads that weave through the valleys. Bunyeroo Gorge Scenic Drive is a favourite track, but you can also ask for advice at Wilpena Pound Resort if you fancy the road less travelled. Bike hire is available locally, and remember to take plenty of water. Just north of the park, near the small country town of Parachilna lies the northern trailhead of the Heysen Trail.

Vivid hues of reds, pinks and yellow

Caroona Creek Conservation Park

A largely unknown and understated area of reserve in the mid-north regions of the state is Caroona Creek Conservation Park. It’s a place to go with friends for a quiet night with a campfire under the milky way. Here you can experience a real ‘bush’ landscape, only 3.5 hours from Adelaide. Home to a whole troop of Australian wildlife – kangaroos, emus, possums, birdlife, and in summer, also snakes. With appropriate gear, the day walk up the nearby gorge is a favourite.

Caroona Creek wildlife

Rapid Bay

A well-known Summer camping hotspot that can’t be overlooked. This deep-water beach with the clearest water on the peninsula, is an Instagram favourite. Take a Kayak, swim or rock-hop up the 5 or 6 little caves and private beaches between the bay along to Second Valley.

On the way to Rapid Bay

The Open Highway

Australia’s landscape is vast and wide. There is hardly a more liberating feeling than hitting the open road for the weekend. Have no trouble in clocking up 1,500km in a couple days just exploring the vastness of our country. Few states hit the heart as soon as SA does, so get on Main North road and don’t stop until there’s orange sand and saltbush at your feet!

Exploring dirt tracks

If you’d like to see more of Dan March’s adventures in South Australia and beyond, you can check him out on Instagram at @danmarch_ or check out his website at www.danmarch.org

Dan March

Local photographer Dan March has been capturing his love for South Australia since falling in love with its’ natural beauty whilst hiking the internationally known Heysen Trail walking trail. This much loved terrain spans the entire backbone of the SA – following the Mount Lofty Ranges, continuing all the way up to the mighty Flinders Ranges, 1,200km to the north. Based in the Adelaide Hills, Dan has ventured to and photographed all corners of the state.