A diverse state where red rugged outback and lush rolling hills meet dramatic coastline, South Australia offers incredible opportunities for wildlife encounters, set in some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the country.
From admiring sea-lions on pristine beaches in Kangaroo Island, to whale watching along the Fleurieu Peninsula, all the way to spotting yellow-footed rock wallabies amid the red landscapes of the Flinders Rangers, here are the top four locations in the state where you can get up close with some of Australia’s most unique wildlife – together with expert travel photographer and Olympus Visionary Lauren Bath’s tips on how to capture the perfect image with the help of the brand-new Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
Image Credits: Lauren Bath
Big and surprisingly diverse, Kangaroo Island offers a majestic display of soaring cliffs, rich bushland and impressive sand dunes – all surrounded by the bright blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Easily reachable from the mainland via plane or ferry, Kangaroo Island is a wildlife sanctuary brimming with native animals: with over a third of the island considered a natural reserve, this is one of the best locations in the state (and in Australia) to enjoy some really close encounters with wildlife, from sea lions to kangaroos.
A trip to the south coast will see you reaching the white-sand shores of Seal Bay Conservation Park, a must-see when on Kangaroo Island, the ideal location to spot sea-lions in the wild. This protected area is home to the third, largest sea lion colony in the country and it’s the only place in the world where visitors can enter a colony of approximately 1,000 Australian sea lions – setting the stage for memorable sights of these beautiful creatures as they enjoy some downtime by the shore, shelter amid the dunes and play in the water.
Expert tip: It can be tricky to capture the perfect moment when taking photos of animals, but with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X ultra-high-speed sequential shooting – allowing you to capture up to 60 frames per second – you are set to take once-in-a-lifetime images without missing a second of the action. And if you think you’ve missed something… there’s always the Pro Capture feature that captures up to 35 images the moment you half-press the shutter!
Going under water to swim with dolphins, just like Sophie Falkiner did in the brand new series of Luxury Escapes: The World’s Best Holidays? The perfect companion for your underwater adventure is the Olympus TG-6 and PT-059 Underwater Housing – waterproof to 15 meters, and freezeproof to temperatures as low as -10.
Image Credits: Lauren Bath
Just forty-minutes south of Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula is one of the best locations to catch glimpses of the striking Southern Right Whales as they migrate to warmer waters during winter. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, whale watching requires a lot of patience, warm clothes and hot drinks to keep you warm!
While you keep an eye out for these peaceful animals, you will probably spot other familiar faces as well: dolphins, sea lions, fur seals and penguins are all residents of the Fleurieu Peninsula, making it a one-stop destination for wildlife encounters.
Even if whales can easily be spotted from the rugged cliffs along the coast, boat tours are also available to get an even closer look – and to snap the perfect photo as these giants make their way through the water, or as dolphins come out to play.
Expert tip: Whether you are on the road, in the heart of the desert or in the middle of the ocean, you want your camera to be as resistant as possible. The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is totally weatherproof, dustproof and splashproof so you can take it with you as you go whale watching – or even on a mountain expedition, as it’s freezeproof down to -10 °C.
Image Credits: Lauren Bath
The largest mountain range in South Australia, an icon of the state offering a spectacular backdrop to adventures in the wilderness, the red landscapes of the Flinders Ranges stretch for over 430km, with surprises and wildlife hiding around every turn. Dramatic landscapes, rich Aboriginal history and a vast array of wildlife are all on display here: follow the scenic roads, tracks and walking trails that cross this wild expansion to witness some of nature’s most impressive wonders, together with stunning sunsets and clear nights where star gazing is at its finest.
Sure to deliver a real taste of the Australian outback just five hours north of Adelaide, Flinders Ranges has another little secret to share with its visitors: it’s only here and in a remote area of New South Wales that you can come face to face with the unique yellow-footed rock wallabies, a small and brightly-coloured wallaby that was almost driven to extinction following the introduction of foxes and livestock. While you are keeping an eye out for these cute little animals, don’t forget to look out for kangaroos, emus and brushtail possums as well.
Expert tip: When you are travelling into the heart of the outback, you want to travel light – and be able to charge your camera’s battery wherever you are. You can leave your tripod behind with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X, thanks to its incredible image stabilisation, great for capturing clear shots even when you are moving around – or trying to shoot an elusive wallaby. This ultra-compact camera also boasts an USB cable charger, so you can charge it easily with a battery pack anywhere you are – even under the bright skies of the outback..
A quick, 25-minute drive from Adelaide will see you arriving in a natural oasis, brimming with woodlands, lakes, hiking and biking trails and wildlife, one of the few remaining areas of native vegetation in the Adelaide Hills. Considered the oldest national park in South Australia, Belair National Park is the ideal destination to get active in the great Australian outdoors and spot wildlife in its natural habitat.
Sitting within the Mount Lofty Ranges and visited by over 250,000 people per year, Belair National Park is one of Australia’s 15 biodiversity hotspots where you will be able to admire some of the country’s most loved animals, including kangaroos, koalas, emus, birds and more – without having to venture too far away from the city.
Expert tip: Getting the perfect image of a kangaroo or a koala is tough, so you really want your camera to be as responsive as possible: animals won’t wait for you to snap a photo. No matter what angle you are trying to shoot, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X has you covered with its fast focusing, allowing you to shoot landscape or portrait with ease.
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