From McLaren Vale's The Vineyard Retreat to Kangaroo Island's luxurious Southern Ocean Lodge, these are the most romantic getaways in South Australia. 

Jimmy Smith’s Dairy

Port Elliot

There’s no road number and the GPS struggles to pinpoint the address: two indicators of the style of seclusion at Jimmy Smith’s Dairy. And although it’s ultimately easy to find – and still close to the hubs of Port Elliot and Victor Harbor – part of the appeal of this B&B lies in the fact that it’s a little incognito. The rest of the attraction is pure aesthetics. Owners Noel and Robyn Akmens spent years transforming this derelict bluestone dairy. Now, it’s all eye-catching artworks, polished bamboo floors, luxe bathrooms and Noel’s finely handcrafted furniture. The light-filled master bedroom faces a charming native garden, perfect for contemplation while sipping a morning coffee. Outside, the wooden deck has views that extend across the fields and out to the ocean – just the spot to spend the day in each other’s company. The barbecue and kitchen mean it’s easy to spend a night in: think dinner and a nightcap in the courtyard.


Noel and Robyn will happily suggest local eateries for dinner; most likely that’ll be the Flying Fish in Port Elliot or Eat @ Whalers in nearby Encounter Bay.

You’ll love this…

The ensuite has his-and-hers showers.

By Jo McKay

SEE ALSO: 10 Most Romantic Islands of the Great Barrier Reef

Southern Ocean Lodge

Kangaroo Island

If your idea of romance involves absolute luxury in the most stunning of settings, congratulations – you’ve found your personal nirvana. Southern Ocean Lodge may just be Australia’s best getaway, thanks to everything from the modern minimalist interiors in the beautifully appointed suites to the personal but never intrusive service. It doesn’t hurt that this architectural masterpiece is plonked on the south-western edge of untamed Kangaroo Island, which offers unique animal encounters (sea lions lazing on the beach just metres away) and mind-blowing scenery (the vivid orange of the Remarkable Rocks against the bluer-than-blue sea). Refined food, mostly local wines and guided excursions are included in your tariff. As you might expect, a stay here is wildly expensive. But what price love?

A Luxury Hiking Holiday in Kangaroo Island South Australia


Have a drink in your room or in the lounge, aptly called the Great Room because of its spectacular views of the Southern Ocean. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the adjoining restaurant, where executive chef Alastair Waddell sends out exquisite plates featuring as much Kangaroo Island produce as he can source.

You’ll love this…

Splash out on the Remarkable Suite or the Osprey Pavilion and you’ll be able to watch the sun set from your private spa bath on the terrace.

By Kirsten Galliott

The Vineyard Retreat

McLaren Vale

You could easily drive past the four cottages of The Vineyard Retreat without spotting them – they barely rise above the surrounding vines laden with grapes.
But once you’re inside, they command your attention through their sheer size and opulence – particularly The Highland, which features a vast living room with velvet curtains, plush rugs, an open-plan kitchen and two bedrooms with 1200-thread- count linen. The wraparound verandah is the pièce de résistance, offering sweeping views of McLaren Vale’s interlocking vineyards, less than an hour south of Adelaide. Raid the pantry packed with regional produce (eggs from a free-range farm up the hill, say, or red-gum- smoked bacon from the local butcher) and cook a hearty breakfast. Then wander around the six-hectare property, which even has a hot tub among the vines.

A Weekend In… McLaren Vale, SA


Besides the breakfast supplies in the pantry, some of McLaren Vale’s finest restaurants are found nearby, including d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant for lunch and The Salopian Inn for an Asian-inspired dinner.

You’ll love this...

Take a scenic flight in a helicopter that collects you from the retreat and flies
you over Onkaparinga Gorge, the Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale’s wineries.

By Akash Arora

The Louise

Barossa Valley

A romantic weekend away calls for the three things The Louise serves up in spades: privacy, luxury, indulgence. Each of the property’s 15 suites is a kind of self-contained compound, with a courtyard in the front and a rear deck looking out to rolling hills. There’s no schlepping to a communal dining room for a buffet breakfast – just fill out a form and breakfast is brought to your door. And you’ll find complimentary house-baked biscuits and Nespresso machines, plus lavish robes and slippers for lounging about. Things become especially cosy when the weather is inclement – if howling winds begin to batter the vines outside, a roaring re and heated tile floors will keep things toasty inside. And when you’re ready to venture out, staff can organise balloon rides over the vineyards, wine- tastings and Breakfast with the Kangaroos at dawn.


The Louise’s own Appellation is one of the Barossa’s best restaurants, seating 52 in an intimate dining room. Executive chef Ryan Edwards and his team smoke fish, cure meat, forage for wild greens and pickle the excess harvest from the kitchen garden. Opt for the four-course tasting menu matched with wines.

You’ll love this...

You can watch the steam dissipate into the clear blue sky while taking an outdoor shower
in the private courtyard.

By Alex Greig


Flinders Ranges

The views alone are enough to seduce: craggy mountain ranges, hills punctured with the unique grey-green of Australian vegetation, a vast blue sky overhead. But Arkaba doesn’t rely on striking views. This is a magical slice of the outback that you don’t have to share, thanks to personalised experiences such as guided bushwalks, 4WD wildlife-viewing excursions (kangaroos, wallaroos, skinks, lizards, birdlife: it’s all here) and, for lovebirds, dining under the stars. Then there’s the homestead featuring five bedrooms that nod to the 24,000-hectare property’s sheep station past with reclaimed fence posts, sheepskin detailing and an elegant palette of creams and browns. Bliss out in the communal areas: cosy library, spacious poolside deck and airy verandah. There’s no doubt Arkaba has nailed laid-back luxury. But if you need another reason, well, just take a look at those views.


In-house chefs prepare decadent breakfasts, lunches and three-course dinners. Every meal is paired with South Australian wine – even brekkie.

You’ll love this...

A ridge-top drive at sunset. The sky is ablaze, the wildlife is out in force and your guide will ensure there are canapés and wine to enjoy in the wilderness.

By Jo McKay

The Kirche @ Charles Melton


History buffs and wine-lovers will be truly enchanted: what was once a small church (kirche in German) has been transformed into a unique retreat by winemaker Charlie Melton and his wife, Virginia. The character of the original 1864 structure remains – a vaulted ceiling, antique furniture and lancet windows give it a hallowed air – but The Kirche is far from austere. A fully equipped (and generously stocked) kitchen makes self-catering easy. On arrival, a local cheese platter and bottle of wine are waiting. There’s an honour bar, too, with spirits and a range of Charles Melton and international wines. Outside are two bikes for exploring the region. Inside, the bathroom features Aveda and L’Occitane products, while the bedrooms (upstairs and downstairs) have plush robes. Soak in the tub, which has vineyard views, or just hunker down beside the wood-burning re.


If you want to leave the cooking to someone else, head to the Charles Melton cellar door for a hearty casual lunch.

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Sampling some of the best wines of the Barossa on foot is a cinch; as well as Charles Melton, Grant Burge and Rockford are
a short stroll away.

By Jo McKay  

The Dairyman


Michael Wohlstadt’s delightful farmstay is off a quiet gravel road in the Barossa. There are two options on site: The Dairyman’s Cottage sleeps four, while The Cha House (our pick) is perfect for two. The oblong space blends bedroom, sitting room and kitchen seamlessly, with décor that masters a rural- meets-industrial aesthetic. Whitewashed stone walls are off set by glass and steel, floors are polished concrete, the furniture wouldn’t look out of place in a city loft
and a spicy orange wall adds a cool kick of colour. The cottages are close to the farm operations but are private. If you fancy a slice of the good life, join Wohlstadt to feed pigs, herd cows and do the nightly milking session. His 32-hectare property is also ideal for bucolic rambling at sunset, hand in hand.


The pick of the local restaurants is FermentAsian, 
just a 15-minute drive away in Tanunda.

You’ll love this...

Leave time to spend a romantic night in. Wohlstadt is generous to a fault, stocking his cottages with complimentary provisions such as his own smoked bacon, fresh butter and eggs, sensational lime-and-chilli almonds, local cheese and even a bottle of Barossa wine.

By Jo McKay

SEE ALSO: The Most Romantic Getaways in Western Australia

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