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18 Natural Wonders You Won't Believe Are In South Australia

From sinkholes to stalactites to hidden volcanoes, South Australia has it all.

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1. Umpherston Sinkhole

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As far as sinkholes go, Umpherston is pretty damn impressive. Situated in the heart of Mount Gambier, the naturally formed limestone cave was turned into a garden late in the 19th century, and it's been a drawcard for tourists ever since.

2. Maslin Beach

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Known for its never-ending white sands, towering cliffs, and crystal-clear waters, Maslin Beach is less than an hour's drive from the Adelaide CBD. The 3-kilometre stretch has been named one of the best beaches in Australia AND has a crusty corner solely for nudists. What's not to love?

3. Seal Bay

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If the name didn't give it away, this is quite literally a bay full of seals. Stroll down onto the white sands of Kangaroo Island's south coast, and you'll find yourself surrounded by the adorable sea creatures lazing on the sand. They'll come right up to you and even pose for a photo – but remember, they are wild, so don't try to boop the snoot.

4. Magnetic Hill

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The peak of Magnetic Hill is internationally renowned for causing an optical illusion where your car rolls upwards. Don't believe me? Journey there and experience the gravity-defying trickery for yourself. You'll find this rugged landscape a seven-hour drive northeast of Adelaide, and it's well worth the road trip.

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5. Kilsby's Sinkhole

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Another of Mount Gambier's quirky sinkholes, this beauty contains more than 60 metres of crystal-clear water to explore. Bizarrely located in the middle of a paddock on a farmer's property, it's certainly not for the faint of heart. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies hidden in the darkness down in this other-worldly underwater cave.

6. Talia

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You're likely to have the beach and caves all to yourself in the tiny town of Talia. Waves have worn away the granite cliffs to create this beautiful seaside destination on the Eyre Peninsula, which is popular for rock fishing, hunting for fossils, and for simply enjoying the southern turquoise sea.

7. Sellicks Hill

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These luscious rolling hills could be anywhere in the world, but that's right, folks – they're in lil' old South Australia. Only a few kilometres from the ocean, Sellicks Hill is known for its simple yet awe-inspiring beauty (and close proximity to a lot of bloody good wineries).

8. Bunda Cliffs

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Tucked away in the Great Australian Bight, Bunda Cliffs are truly a sight to behold. Once part of an ancient seabed, millions of years' worth of erosion and natural drift has brought these limestone giants to life. It's the longest uninterrupted line of sea cliffs in the world, and it's a great spot for whale-watching, too.

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9. Lake Eyre

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Is a lake still a lake if it almost never has any water in it? Apparently so. Despite only filling up once every decade, Lake Eyre remains one of South Australia's most well-known natural landscapes. The often barren, salty basin crosses the borders of three states and becomes an oasis of wildlife once the rains do begin to fall.

10. Remarkable Rocks

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Overlooking the south coast of Kangaroo Island, Remarkable Rocks are undoubtedly some of Australia's wackiest boulders. You can climb underneath or atop the natural playground whilst watching some of the best sunsets the world has to offer.

11. Murray River

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Australia's longest river isn't solely packed with inedible fish and questionable old houseboats. This 2,500 kilometre-stretch of water is partly housed in South Australia and offers up a smorgasbord of breathtaking sights to see from the break of dawn 'til the dead of night.

12. Blue Lake

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The crater to a dormant beast, Mount Gambier's Blue Lake was once home to Australia's last-standing active volcano. The reservoir is best visited in warmer weather, when its waters become the bluest of cobalt blues. But don't stress, the volcano hasn't erupted for thousands of years – and probably isn't due to do so again anytime soon. Hopefully.

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13. Cactus Beach

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A favourite with surfers, Cactus Beach can be found on the easternmost edge of the Great Australian Bight. It's surrounded by dusty white sand dunes and untouched wildlife – and you'll have many a pipeline to yourself at this coastal paradise.

14. The Breakaways

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Arid, ochre, and utterly majestic, the Breakaways is one of the state's most fascinating landscapes. You may believe you've landed on Mars once you step foot inside the 16,000-odd hectares of deep valleys and towering desert hills, just north of underground town Coober Pedy.

15. Lake Bumbunga

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Instagrammers are like flies to honey at this seasonally pink-salt lake – and who can blame them? When filled with rainwater, Lake Bumbunga holds the perfect mirror to the sky; once dried out, it offers the most glorious pastel abyss. Don't forget to bring your best camera for the ultimate social media shot.

16. Admirals Arch

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Covered in stalactites that date back centuries, Admirals Arch is like a giant's peephole to the southern ocean. Another of Kangaroo Island's unreal natural attractions, it also houses a colony of New Zealand fur seals, which you'll spot frolicking in the waves and feeding their far-too-cute pups.

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17. Wilpena Pound

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More than 800 million years old, Wilpena Pound is a geological bowl in the depths of the Flinders Ranges. The natural amphitheatre of mountains is covered in free-growing scrub and is a favourite for both bushwalkers and those craving to get in touch with some of Australia's most spectacularly rugged landscapes. The best view? From above, of course!

18. Innes National Park

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You can have a coastal lagoon all to yourself at Innes National Park. This gorgeous natural playground on the Yorke Peninsula is packed with beaches, bushwalking trails, and secluded fishing spots, with views of the stars that are second to none.

CORRECTION

A previous version of this post used an incorrect photo for the Murray River and the Blue Lake. We're so sorry, SA!