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South Australia’s Best Bushfire Affected Roadtrips

Road through Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Image: Rodrigo Lourezini

How can you help the bushfire affected towns? By visiting them of course!

Although it may have been a tad excessive but very much needed, the torrential rains have finally extinguished a majority of the ravaging bushfires in South Australia. But as the smoke withers away, we must not forget the struggling towns yearning for a boost to their economy. And the most effective way to help out is with a road trip through the most affected areas.

Each road trip comes with a Google Maps itinerary, along with our own weekender guides and articles hyperlinked throughout each section.

A comprehensive list of affected areas in each state has been linked at the end of the article.

Adelaide Hills Hopping – The Road Trip 

Adelaide Hills. Image: Earth Art Photography

Adelaide Hills. Image: Earth Art Photography

Woodside | Lobethal | Cudlee Creek | Birdwood | Mount Torrens | Adelaide

While the major catastrophe in South Australia hit Kangaroo Island, we mustn’t forget about the Adelaide Hills region that did see damaging fires too. The promising thing is this world-renowned wine region still seems to be holding on. And, the tour could easily take just a day to do. Of course, feel free to stay longer – the locals will love you more!

Woodside is the first destination, with two prominent wineries that need some love. Along the northern end of town there’s also a locally-celebrated chocolate store called Melba’s, who are ready to serve up delectable treats for visitors.

Inch a few kilometres north to Lobethal, which was at one point completely surrounded by bushfire. The town itself was saved, along with plenty of local trade. Golding Wines on the outskirts of town was in the middle of the bushfire zone but thankfully saved some crops for harvesting. There’s also Almondcart Wines on the eastern end of town.

Cudlee Creek sits on the northern edge of the bushfire area, and the small town is now looking for a little bit of love. Make a stop for the best coffee in the area at Cudlee Cafe and a nice wander through Gorge Wildlife Park nearby.

Now head on a few clicks west to Gumeracha for a good stuffing of lunch at one of the local eateries. While you’re here, consider a spot of shopping at Peregrine and snag a picture or two at Australia’s lesser-known large icon, the Big Rocking Horse.

It needn’t be said that a lot of the business owners and workers live in some of the affected areas. For Birdwood, the National Motor Museum along with a few other local businesses, had workers who lived around the Cudlee Creek bushfire. Show your support at Birdwood by visiting the local attractions and eateries.

The final stop before heading back to the city is Mount Torrens, which was also surrounded by bushfires at one point. The most notable attractions are Lobethal Road Wines and the local pub, Mt Torrens Hotel.

The Weekender Guide to Kangaroo Island – The Road Trip, part 1  // The Road Trip, part 2 

Road through Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Image: Rodrigo Lourezini

The road through Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. Image: Rodrigo Lourezini

Cape Jervis | Penneshaw | Dudley Wines | Cape Willoughby | False Cape Wines | Sapphiretown | Pennington Bay | The Oyster Farm Shop |
Kingscote | Emu Bay | Stokes Bay | Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park |
Raptor Domain | Clifford’s Honey Farm | Pelican Lagoon

Kangaroo Island has lost nearly half of its land to bushfires – most of which was land that was protected either by state or federal governments. Thankfully, a lot of the commercial businesses have survived, but the bushfires have made their impact economically. So come and visit one of Adelaide’s greatest treasures.

Hop on a ferry and transport yourself to a new world, docking at Penneshaw, featuring the most hospitable cafes and eateries. From Penneshaw, traverse the eastern end of the island, stopping at notable local businesses like Dudley Wines, Sea Dragon Lodge, False Cape Wines, and the quaint attraction Cape Willoughby Lighthouse all before centralising yourself at Sapphiretown. There are a few places to accommodate yourself here if you wish to stay the night (which is highly recommended).

From Sapphiretown, head south to Pennington Bay for a gorgeous swim, before making your way to the best oyster farm supplier on Kangaroo Island. Once you’ve had your lunch fix, head out to Kingscote where you can rest up for the night at Aurora Ozone Hotel.

There are two marvellous things about Emu Bay: the first is the lavish lavender farm and the second is the long, white sandy beach that hugs Emu Bay. It’s also another perfect place to stay overnight, especially recommended for families.

Cruise 30 kilometres west and find Stokes Bay – don’t forget to bring your swimmers. Stokes Bay Beach is a hidden gem that is slowly making a name for itself thanks to the cool entry via a rock tunnel.

Now we’re heading into the centre of the island where you’ll find the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. This main attraction sustained damage during the bushfires, but the animals were saved, at least, as well as the wildlife that was affected in the surrounding area.

The next destination is Raptor Domain, an education institution on predatory birds. This place makes for great photo opportunities, where their birds are not caged but shown off in educational tours and shows.

Before we head back towards the east, it must be said there are businesses further west on the island, however, most of them were caught in the bushfires which means we’re unsure if they will be opening for business soon. 

On the way back to the starting point, you’ll find Clifford’s Honey Farm which is the only honey farm on the island.


For a more comprehensive list of places and to research bespoke road trips to suit your needs, visit Roadtrip For Good.

Wanting to explore bushfire affected New South Wales and Victoria? Check out our New South Wales and Victoria road trip guide for the five best trips you should be taking.

Looking for other ways to donate? Here are two other ways you can help firefighters and bushfire victims.

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