One Hour From: Adelaide

Take a glass of chardonnay before you do the crocodiles

Crocodiles, edible crayfish and cafés lie in a historic part of South Australia.

Crocodiles, edible crayfish and cafés lie in a historic part of South Australia.

Belair National Park

Tucked away in the Adelaide Hills, the second oldest national park in Australia is made up of vast open areas and landscaped gardens. Sports facilities on offer include excellent walking trails, more than 50 tennis courts, riding, mountain bike trails and cricket pitches.

By car: Shepherds Hill Road and Laffers Road to Upper Sturt Road, and follow signs; journey time approximately 20 minutes. By bus: No 195 from King William Street to Stop 27; 30 minutes.

Barossa Valley

Founded by German settlers in the mid-19th century, the valley retains a Germanic feel, with German-style farmsteads, Lutheran church steeples and a local fondness for brass bands. The area is one of Australia's richest wine-making regions with a tradition going back 150 years. There are more than 50 wineries to visit where you can stock up on riesling, chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.

By car: Main North Road via Elizabeth and Gawler; approximately an hour. By bus: The Barossa Adelaide Passenger Service runs three times a day on weekdays; an hour-plus.

Murray Bridge

A crossing point on the Murray River, which supplies most of Adelaide's water. Feed the saltwater and freshwater crocodiles at Dundee's Wildlife Park, then hire a canoe from the Stuart Reserve and paddle away. Stop at the heritage town of Strathalbyn, founded in 1839 by Scottish settlers, which has many fine old buildings.

By car: Princes Highway and follow signs; an hour. By bus: frequent Premier Stateliner service; an hour.

Kangaroo Island

This area of outstanding beauty was sheep country until wool prices fell. Today, the islanders produce fine soft cheeses along with olives, olive oil and eucalyptus oil. The island is a wildlife paradise with penguins, sea lions, koalas, seals, dolphins, wallabies, kangaroos and platypus.

By car and boat: take the road through McClaren Vale country to Cape Jarvis then ferry: an hour-plus. By air: from Adelaide airport; 30 minutes.

Glenelg

Superb seaside suburb, also known as Adelaide-on-Sea, crammed with great restaurants, bars and cafés. Glenelg is a watersports haven: surf boards, wet suits and other beach gear can be hired next door to the tourist information office. Walk along the beach to Henley, where the Oscar-winning movie Shine was filmed.

By car: Anzac Highway and follow signs; 20 minutes. By tram: frequent service from Victoria Square; 25 minutes.

The Coorong

Coorong National Park boasts more than 230 bird species in a saltwater lagoon that curves along the coast for some 145km from the Murray. Learn about the environment on a walk with an Aboriginal guide.

By car: Highway 1, then Princes Highway and follow signs; an hour-plus.

Australian Affair (020 7616 9199; www.australian-affair. com) offers a 10-night b&b break at the Embassy Hotel from £1,119 each, including flights and car hire. Contact the Australian Tourist Commission (0191-501 4646; www.visitaustralia.com).

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