Stay and play in South Australia this AFL Gather Round

SA Tourism travel blog

Whether you’re road tripping with your best mates, or bringing the whole family down for a week of sporting madness, there are plenty of ways to extend your stay in SA and make the most of the Easter holidays and Gather Round festivities! From white sand dunes on the Eyre Peninsula, to leafy lanes in the Adelaide Hills, there’s no need to wait on the sidelines – catch all of the action on and off the field with our guide to staying and playing in South Australia.

Discover the natural wonders of Mount Gambier

Little Blue Lake

If you are driving from Melbourne to Adelaide for the AFL Gather Round, be sure to take the path that leads you through the ‘land of natural wonders’ – the Limestone Coast. As footy mania takes over the region, stop-in and explore volcanic sinkholes, aquamarine lakes and pristine stretches of coastline, before while sipping your way through local cellar doors and indulging in paddock-to-plate produce.

Mount Gambier is the mid-way point between Adelaide and Melbourne, so whether you’re flying or driving from the eastern states, this city is the perfect pitstop. If you’re flying, take a direct flight from Melbourne to Mount Gambier and stay a while before heading on to Adelaide.

If you’re road tripping, follow the Southern Ocean Drive road trip and give yourself an extra day or two to visit Robe (the holiday spot that locals adore), as well as taking in the Gather Round celebrations in the small towns along the way. Check out our Limestone Coast itinerary and natural wonders bucket list to help plan your trip.

Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Port Lincoln

Shark Cage Diving

Calling all thrill seekers! South Australia is the only place in the southern hemisphere where you can cage-dive with great white sharks – and what better time to face your fears than in the lead-up to Gather Round? The fate of your team’s AFL season will suddenly seem a little less daunting. If you want to discover travel the South Australian way, then you can’t go past spending a few days in Port Lincoln. Dive with apex predators, taste oysters plucked straight from the water, swim with playful sealions and discover the Eyre Peninsula’s famous beaches and rugged coastlines. Get inspired with our Eyre Peninsula itinerary, and tick off your bucket list items with the top 10 things to do on the Eyre Peninsula.

The quickest way to get to Port Lincoln is on a Rex or Qantas flight from Adelaide airport. Once aboard your flight, you’ll be on the Eyre Peninsula within the hour – hire a car and buckle up for the ultimate coastal adventure.

Keen to road trip with your pals? Port Lincoln is a little over seven hour’s drive from Adelaide, so fuel up with coffee and snacks before hitting the bitumen. On the way, make sure you check out the pink hues of Lake Bumbunga, stretch your legs at Whyalla and follow the Seafood Frontier the rest of the way to Port Lincoln.

Soak up the atmosphere in the Adelaide Hills

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Want to stay close to all the action? The Adelaide Hills will be a hive of activity in the lead-up to the Gather Round, with plenty to see and do for the whole family. Book your accommodation in Mount Barker (where the Sydney Swans will verse the West Coast Eagles on April 6) and add a couple of extra days to your itinerary, so you can explore the nearby Fleurieu Peninsula and Barossa Valley – both only an hour from Mount Barker. Discover leafy lanes and winding roads with our ultimate guide to the Adelaide Hills, then sip your way through the world-famous Barossa Valley with our must-visit wineries and cellar doors. Soak up the last rays of autumn sun and visit Fleurieu Peninsula icons like d’Arenberg Cube and Down the Rabbit Hole, with our three-day Fleurieu Peninsula itinerary.

Mount Barker is only a 35-minute drive from Adelaide’s city centre. You can book your flight into Adelaide and hire a car, or if you are driving from the east of our state. Tack an extra half hour on to your drive from Melbourne to Adelaide with a detour to Mount Barker.

Find out why Kangaroo Island is a must-visit global destination

Remarkable Rocks

Named one of Lonely Planet’s top travel spots for 2024, Kangaroo Island is enjoying the warmth of the world’s spotlight. Home to natural wonders like the Remarkable Rocks and wildlife sanctuaries like Seal Bay, set your watch to island time and make memories exploring this incredible destination, just off the coast of the mainland. Eat your way around the island with our foodie’s guide to Kangaroo Island, or check out where to stay, what to do and see with our Kangaroo Island itinerary.

You can get to Kangaroo Island via ferry or plane. If you want to take your own vehicle onto the island, book one of the 12 ferry times that run each day from Cape Jervis before you depart. Then drive two hours from Adelaide to the Cape, drive your car onto the ferry, feel the sea breeze in your hair during the 45-minute crossing before driving back off the boat and onto the island.

Prefer to fly? Direct flights to Kangaroo Island are only available from Adelaide, so if you’re coming from interstate, you’ll need to stopover via Adelaide airport. Qantas runs two flights per day to the island, so take your pick and enjoy the stunning aerial views as you come into land.

It’s time to gather round…

Looking for more information on the AFL Gather Round? Check out our dedicated hub for information on the fixture and resources to plan your trip to Adelaide.

/Courtesy of SA Tourism. View in full here.