This country drive takes in a wide range of different landscapes in one day. Heading out of Adelaide on the South Eastern Freeway, you’ll first sweep across the plains to Murray Bridge (Monarto Zoo is nearby, but that’s for another day), then cross the river to head to Tailem Bend. There’s plenty of places to laze over a late lunch around the area and it’s just a short trip home to the city through Strathalbyn and Mt Barker.
The Murray River is at its closest to the city in Murray Bridge and its the site of the first bridge to span the mighty Murray River. Take the freeway exit to Murray Bridge and make your way to Sturt Reserve. This massive space has excellent lawns right down to the waters edge and feature a heritage port precinct with riverboat tours and Riverscape Restaurant.
Cross the river and find the freeway again to head to Tailem Bend. Tailem Bend was once an important railway town, evident in it’s layout. Check out the railway station or the Uneek Animals display right next door. Both of these attractions are off the highway so take a turn into town and explore country life.
Here is where you’ll cross the river on the ferry below the cliffs and drive across the river flats to Wellington, this site of the first of the River Murray ferries with a long history. Find the ferry crossing at the base of the cliffs and cross back over the river. From here it’s a short cruise through dairy farming country down to Wellington (watch out for cows crossing!).
After this, you’ll head for Langhorne Creek. This is a beautiful region full of vineyards, cellar doors and restaurants. The cute town of Strathalbyn is nearby and offers plenty of parks, playgrounds, dining options, and antique stores to rummage around in.
Head back to Adelaide via Mt Barker and the freeway.