By Alissa Jenkins
South Australia’s diverse landscapes can be astonishing from above. Get a bird’s-eye view of outback mountain ranges, vibrant vineyards and dazzling coastline with these six memorable aerial experiences.
Private charter to the Flinders Ranges
For a lavish outback experience, Rossair Travel's Outback Escape tour includes a private charter flight from Adelaide to the renowned Arkaba Station, in the heart of the picturesque Flinders Ranges. Feel like royalty in your own private lounge at Adelaide Airport (with complimentary refreshments), before being escorted onto the exclusive aircraft, boasting an all-leather interior. During the one-hour flight north to this remote station, take in the mesmerising peaks and layered rock formations of the rugged ranges below. Once you land on the station, a 60,000-acre private wildlife conservancy, you’ll be treated to a personalised itinerary of hosted dinners and guided safaris, before retreating to the luxurious Arkaba Homestead to rest your head. If an outback escape isn’t for you, Rossair Travel will whisk you away to a range of locations around South Australia, including the seaside haven of Kangaroo Island, a vineyard retreat in the Coonawarra or to riverside luxury in the Riverland, the choice is yours!
Photo: Rossair Travel
Hot air balloon across the Barossa Valley
Begin your day of taste tasting in Australia’s premier wine region by floating above the vines on a sunrise hot air balloon ride. In arguably the most romantic aerial experience that South Australia has to offer, you’ll enjoy 360-degree panoramic views as dawn breaks over the Barossa’s vibrant patchwork of vineyards and rolling hills, providing an endless array of photo opportunities. Once you return to earth, indulge in a Champagne breakfast featuring some of the Barossa’s best local produce (including sparkling wine), at Harry’s Restaurant, within the award-winning Novotel Barossa Valley Resort.
Photo: Barossa Valley Ballooning
Learn to glide in Gawler
If ever you’ve wanted to glide, this is for you. At the Adelaide Soaring Club, 42 kilometres north of the city in the township of Gawler, you can learn how to fly a modern two-seat fibreglass Grob 103 sailplane. Over the course of an hour your qualified instructor will teach you the basics so you can get behind the wheel of a guided flight and try your hand at turning, accelerating and gliding 3000 feet above the lush countryside below, before executing a pinpoint landing.
Skydive over the Fleurieu Peninsula
The highest skydive experience in Australia begins at Goolwa Airport, 80 kilometres south of Adelaide, on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. There you’ll be equipped with some training, a parachute and a tandem instructor, before boarding a small aircraft. At 15,000 feet you’ll take the plunge and freefall for more than a minute at speeds of up to 220 kilometres per hour. Once your parachute is pulled, it’s a spectacular ride over the sparkling coastline before you land on picturesque Basham Beach in Port Elliot. Photography and videography is available so you can capture your bucket list experience.
Photo: SA Skydiving
Helicopter over Lake Eyre
Lake Eyre spans more than 9500 square kilometres in South Australia’s outback. The best way to see it (and its striking white salt bed) is by air. Several operators frequent Australia’s largest lake, including Lake Eyre Helicopters, which offers the Lake Explorer tour, a comprehensive one-day experience. Departing from the outback town of Marree, 660 kilometres north of Adelaide, the flight first explores Lake Eyre North, traversing the Madigan Gulf, Campbell Point and Silcrete Island, before venturing down to Lake Eyre South, where you’ll be shown Emeroo Point and Pelican Point. With a minimum of just two passengers needed on this tour, it’s an incredible way to see this natural wonder up close.
Photo: Lake Eyre Helicopters
Flyboard above Adelaide’s coastline
Try flyboarding and hover above the waves at Adelaide’s Glenelg Beach. After a five-minute training session, experienced guides will equip you with an innovative board powered by a water jet connected to a jetski, which propels you into the air. With a nozzle strapped under each foot, you can control the direction and height of your flight; even attempt flips and other airborne tricks. Flyboarding flights range from 30 minutes to four hours, either solo or in groups.
Photo: Coastal Flyboard
Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies are located at Adelaide Airport.