Best Places to Elope in South Australia

Sandy Hill Forest | Photo by Glenn Alderson Photography

Best places to elope in South Australia! This is your planning guide to having an elopement in the amazing state of South Australia (SA). We did all the research for you and found the best places for you across South Australia. We want you to get inspired for your elopement because you have a lot of awesome choices for a South Australian elopement.

South Australia is a state located on the central southern part of Australia. It is surrounded by Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. The city of Adelaide is its capital city.

It is the fifth most populated state of Australia, with close to 2 million people. And 77% of those people live in Adelaide. The remaining majority of people live south-east near the River Murray, where the temperates are cooler and the land is more fertile. The majority of the state, towards the north, is extremely arid, with little to no rainfall.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are close to 8,000 marriages each year in South Australia.

South Australia some really stunning places for you to have a beautiful elopement. There are some breathtaking landscapes and scenery and there are plenty of smaller wedding venues which work perfectly for an elopement.

You can elope in Adelaide city, in the Hills, on a farm, in a castle, in the desert or on the coast. So you have a lot of choices available to you, it just depends on the style of elopement you are after. So here are the best places to elope in South Australia.

1. Adelaide Elopements

best places to elope in South Australia

Also known as the city of churches, Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and where the majority of the SA population lives.

It is a cosmopolitan city, bursting with culture, cafes and restaurants. There is a bustling arts and festival scene as well as museums and Art Galleries.

Adelaide also has many parks and gardens which surround the city that can make beautiful options for an intimate elopement ceremony. Here are a few in Adelaide that are worth checking out.

Adelaide Botanic Park – Located right beside the Adelaide Botanic Garden is Botanic Park, a 34-hectare park just a short distance from the Adelaide CBD. The botanic park is used as an open public space for various events and functions, from concerts to fetes, and of course weddings.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens – Right in the heart of the city, Adelaide Botanic Gardens boasts 9 places to host the ceremony. During each season of the year each site has its own particular charm and ever-changing character.

Mount Lofty Gardens – Situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Lofty Ranges, Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens is less than half an hour away from town. The gardens were built in 1952 followed along the Piccadilly Valley and first opened to the public in 1997.

Wittunga Botanic Gardens – Located in Blackwood, Wittunga Botanic Gardens was bestowed by the Ashby family who established the gardens with displays of Native Australian and African plants.

The Adelaide Park Lands – The Adelaide Park Lands include a total of 29 parks and squares around the city of Adelaide and North Adelaide. Veale Gardens, Brougham Gardens, Bonython Park River Bank, and other River Torrens sites, in particular Angas Gardens and Grundy Gardens, are some of the most stunning settings and popular ceremony sites. The stunning Adelaide-Qingdao Rose Garden was recently made available as a location for the wedding.

2. Sandy Hill Forest

If you are looking for an enchanted forest to say your vows in, then it doesn’t get any better or as beautiful as the amazing Sandy Hill Forest!!

Sandy Hill Forest is an enchanting and totally private forest elopement location. It is located in Yankalilla, which is just one hour south of Adelaide on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.

The amazing thing about this location is that you can say your wedding vows in this amazing Pine Forest, in front of an incredibly old Gumtree that looks like ancient sculpture. It is one of the most spectacular ceremony locations I have seen and perfect for elopements.

The forest and the trees are beautiful for your wedding photos afterwards. Plus there are also rolling hills, the epic coastline and beaches close by. They cater to elopements and small weddings for up to 30 people and are one of the best places to elope in South Australia

3. Adelaide Hills

best places to elope in South Australia

The Adelaide Hills is a beautiful and mountainous area located on the east of Adelaide. It is best known for it’s vineyards and cool climate wines, its conservation parks and stunning gardens.

The villages of Aldgate, Stirling, Oakbank, Birdwood, Crafers, Mount Barker and Hahndorf are all about one hour from Adelaide and are full of experiences with nature and cultural insights.

Within the Adelaide Hills, there are many properties, homesteads, farms, estates and wineries which cater to elopements. It is a very popular destination for weddings and beautiful photos making it one of the best places to elope in South Australia

Adelaide Hills also has some beautiful National Parks and reserves that are ideal for elopements. Many people think of only wedding venues, but these parks have some amazing scenery and all you need to do is apply for a permit and pay a modest fee.

A few that come to mind are Belair National Park, Morialta Conservation Park, Mount George Conservation Park, Black Hill Conservation Park and Onkaparinga River National Park. Go exploring yourself and see if you can find somewhere unique and beautiful.

4. Lake Eyre Salt Flats

Photo by Brett Sayles

I love elopements that are a little different, and I don’t know too many couples that have had an elopement on a salt flat. South Australia has one of the best salt flats around and I think a Lake Eyre elopement would look amazing for an elopement ceremony.

Lake Eyre is located in the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, 697 kilometres north of Adelaide. It is very remote. I wouldn’t elope here in Summer. There is no shade and temperatures can reach 50°C.

5. The Barossa Valley

best places to elope in South Australia

Located about an hour northeast of Adelaide is the stunning Barossa Valley. The Barossa Valley is an internationally renowned wine region that includes the cities of Tanunda, Angaston and Nuriootpa.

It has more than 150 wineries and vineyards and over 80 cellar doors so you have no shortage of potential elopement locations to choose from

The Barossa Valley would have to be one best places to elope in South Australia if you love good food, good wine and amazing scenery.

6. Remarkable Rocks, Kangaroo Island

The Remarkable Rocks at Kangaroo Island is one of the most impressive works of nature and definitely one of the most beautiful places to elope in Australia

The Remarkable Rocks sits above the ocean in the Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island. The rocks have been shaped by the wind, ocean and rain for over 500 million years. It is an impressive location for an elopement.

7. Umpherston Sinkhole

How about eloping in a sinkhole? Umpherston Sinkhole, also known as The Sunken Garden was once a cave that was created by dissolving the limestone. The sinkhole was formed when the chamber top collapsed downwards. Now the topsoil down on the ground is the ideal place for the sunken garden. A very unique and awesome place to have an elopement.

8. Clare Valley

Places to Elope in Australia

Located one hundred kilometres north of Adelaide is the Clare Valley region, which is one of the oldest wine regions in South Australia.

There are quite a few really good options for an intimate elopement in the Clare Valley. There are rustic country farm properties and over thirty wineries located on some beautiful surroundings. The Spring Gully Conservation Park is also located here and is another great option for an elopement.

9. Sand Dunes at Coffin Bay

Elope on some of the biggest sand dunes in South Australia and then walk over to the ocean and swim. Finish with a platter of local oysters while you watch local emu’s and kangaroos walk by. Sounds like an awesome elopement to me.

Coffin Bay located is 46 kilometres northwest of Port Lincoln on the western tip of the Southern Eyre Peninsula. The Coffin Bay National Park has some massive sand dunes which would be amazing for an elopement and for wedding photos.

10. Bumbunga Lake

Bumbunga Lake, SA
Photo by Chaz McGregor

How amazing would it be to elope at a pink lake? Bumbunga Lake is a salt lake about two hours from Adelaide.

The water is not always pink however. It changes colour throughout the year. It is more likely to be pink in late summer when the water salinity is high and extra salty. Algae and pink bacteria know as halo bacteria cause the water to appear pink.

11. Coober Pedy

Get married underground in an outback town where 80% of the population live underground. Or tie the knot on a hill in Kanku Breakaways Conservation Park.

12. Mortlock Chamber, State Library of South Australia

Places to Elope in Australia

Elope with and ceremony and dinner in the middle of this beautiful historic library.

The Mortlock Chamber at the State Library of South Australia is a historic chamber dating back to 1879. They do events and weddings here and I think a long table in the middle of the room would look stunning.

13. Naracoorte Caves

Elope in a World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, South Australia’s only World Heritage site.

Naracoorte Caves are located close to the Victoria border about four hours from Adelaide or five hours from Melbourne.

The caves are available for hire and a marriage ceremony here would be moody, romantic and maybe a little gothic. It would be incredible.

14. Great Australian Bight Marine Park

Get married in the middle of nowhere, but in a pretty awesome location. The Bunda Cliffs located along the Nullarbor Plains along the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.

It’s only a 12 hour drive from Adelaide or a 16 hour drive from Perth.

15. The Manor Basket Range, Adelaide Hills

The Manor Basket Range is a stunning old stone castle which is located in the Adelaide Hills. It is a pretty spectacular property and they are popular with weddings.

If I were having an elopement here, I would get married in the garden and then have one long table outside under the stars with the castle as the backdrop.

16. Gawler Ranges National Park

This National Park is quite stunning and has a few lovely sites that would be perfect for a wedding ceremony or wedding photos.

The park is renowned for its magnificent Organ Pipes, created as a result of volcanic eruptions over 1500 million years ago. ,At Yandinga Falls and Kolay Mirica Falls you can find similarly breathtaking rocky outcrops which are not waterfalls

17. Kuitpo Forest

The Kuitpo Forest Reserve was established in 1898 and was one of the first forest plantations in the Mount Lofty area. It is a huge forest plantation that is run by Forestry South Australia. And it would be beautiful for a forest elopement.

It’s also worth checking out Burbrook Forest for an elopement or small wedding. It is located on private property but they do have a huge tree which looks beautiful for weddings. Contact them directly for a viewing.

18. Flinders Ranges

best places to elope in South Australia

The Flinders Ranges is South Australia’s largest mountain range, which starts some 200 km north of Adelaide. It goes for over 430 kilometres over huge expanses of desert, beautiful natural wonders and lots of Australian wildlife.

The towns of Coober Pedy, Arkaroola, Leigh Creek and Andamooka are set around these huge mountain ranges. This could be some of the best places to elope in South Australia if you are looking for a desert or outback elopement.

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park and the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park are two amazing options for elopements. Explore these places and find an awesome location that speaks to you.

With these places it’s always best to avoid the heat of the day. Elopements at sunrise or sunset will give you the best light for the landscape and will be a much better experience for you.

19. Yorke Peninsula

best places to elope in South Australia

The Yorke Peninsula is located west, about two hours drive from Adelaide and it is a huge 700 kilometres of stunning coastline and Australian bushland. Some of the most scenic landscapes, the whitest sands, Hampton Style cottages and best beer make this one best places to elope in South Australia.

The Innes National Park is also located there on the southwest edge of the Yorke Peninsula. And this is another breataking park which has many locations that would be beutiful for an elopement.

The whole area is very popular during school holidays, so that is something to be aware of when planning an intimate elopement.

20. Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island and it consists of 509 kilometres of coast and it is 155 kilometres from one side of the island to the other. So it is huge. 210,000 hectares of land to be exact. And trust me when I say there are some amazing locations for an elopement on Kangaroo Island.

There are 26 National Parks, conservation areas and wildlife protection areas on Kangaroo Island and some of them are open to the public and some are closed. The 2020 bushfires burnt up a lot of land so please check their website for the latest information.

Some elopement locations on Kangaroo Island include:

Cape Willoughby Conservation Park Elopement – Located on the eastern point of the Island, it is home to Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. You can even stay in the lightkeeper’s cottage! It is a rugged coastline which would make a great location for an elopement.

Flinders Chase National Park – Is a beautiful and rugged park that is home to two iconic features of Kangaroo Island. The Remarkable Rocks and Admiral Arch. It is worth eloping to Kangaroo Island just for these two features.

Lashmar Conservation Park – Beautiful park with a long sandy beach and lots of trees. It also has a lovely rocky coastline which would look beautiful in elopement photos.

21. Fleurieu Peninsula Elopements

The Fleurieu Peninsula offers some of the most spectacular scenery, which makes it one of the best places to elope in South Australia.

It is located an hour from Adelaide and is also a large wine region, most notably McLaren Vale. There are beaches, countryside, lots of wonderful places to eat and there is plenty of accommodation. A beautiful region to check out for your elopement.

22. Riverland Elopement

The Riverland is a large region of South Australia that covers 9386 kms around the Murray River.

For an elopement, there are six national parks to explore and choose from. One location I think would be amazing for a sunset elopement would be Heading Cliffs Lookout in Murtho. The landscape is amazing and it is up high looking down at the river, which will be beautiful in photos

23. Limestone Coast

The Limestone Coast holds some of the most impressive natural attractions with crystal clear waters and beautiful coastal landscapes. Which make it one of the best places to elope in South Australia.

There are some really amazing options for an elopement that you should check out. The large crater lake of Blue Lake. Experience the underground oasis of the Umpherston Sinkhole. The caves at Naracoorte Caves National Park. Or elope at one of the many vineyards and wineries in the region.

National Parks in South Australia for an Elopement

  • Marine parks
  • Cleland Wildlife Park
  • Seal Bay
  • Naracoorte Caves
  • Mount Lofty Summit
  • Botanic Gardens of South Australia
  • Adelaide Gaol
  • Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail

Climate in South Australia for Elopements

The climate in South Australia does vary quite a bit depending on where in the state you are eloping. It is generally hotter in the north and a bit cooler down south.

But overall the climate is described as a Mediterranean Climate. With warm and dry summers and mild winters. Which means you will have lovely weather for a South Australian elopement.

Frequently Asked Questions About South Australian Elopements

What does an elopement mean?

Elopements these days, especially in Australia, have a totally different meaning to what they used to. In our parents day, an elopement meant to secretly run off and get married without anyone knowing.

There was also some level of secrecy and definitely some shame linked with it. still defines it that way. And it is not really the modern definition or the correct use of the word these days.

These days, in South Australia and in Australia, an elopement has a much more positive and adventurous meaning to it. It doesn’t mean to secretly get married and it doesn’t mean that your parents and family can’t come.

Our modern definition of elopement is:

“An elopement is to get married with a small number of guests, in a beautiful location, where the ceremony and the day is all about the two of you.”

What are the benefits of Eloping in South Australia?

  • There are so many benefits to eloping and one of the big benefits is that you can potentially have an inexpensive wedding. Because you are not hosting a large event with dinner and drinks involved, you are immediately saving a tonne of cash.
  • Eloping also doesn’t mean you are having a dirt-cheap wedding. It means that you can spend your money on the items and services that really matter to you. Get your fairy-tale wedding dress, stay in a castle and definitely book your dream photographer to capture it for you.
  • Families, in general, can have some drama. And for some couples, this can be one of the most stressful parts of a wedding. Negotiating the delicate maze of family politics. By eloping, you can escape some of this negative family politics and just enjoy your day.
  • Fewer people at your marriage ceremony means that it will be much more intimate and personal. The ceremony itself becomes less of a show and a theatrical performance and more of an intimate exchange vows.
  • A small intimate wedding or elopement means far less stress for both of you. It is so much easier to plan an event for less than twenty people that it is for one hundred plus.
  • When you elope, you don’t need to do all those strange wedding traditions that people do. And most people don’t know why they even do these traditions.
  • By having an elopement it means you can your elopement ceremony just about anywhere. Pick a location that either has some great personal meaning to you or is in an absolutely stunning location. You aren’t restricted to where a hundred plus people can get to.
  • What I love best about elopements is that there are no rules. The day becomes all about you and your relationship.

How do you make an elopement in South Australia special?

  • Choose a visually stunning location. It may be tricky to get to, it may be tricky or organise and get permits for. But trust me… it is still far easier than organising a big wedding. And it will be more spectacular.
  • Spend you money on the things that are important to you. An elopement doesn’t mean that you are a budget couple. You could still spend the same amount of money as you would on a big wedding, but you are spending the money on things that you really want. And by eloping, you can probably get the best of everything and still save money.
  • A “First Look” is a great idea for elopements. Particularly if you are getting ready at the same property and have to travel together to get to the ceremony location. We put you in some nice light and get you both to see each other in your wedding gear for the first time. It can be a really fun and sometimes emotional moment.
  • An elopement is not just a quick ceremony and some photos. To make it really special for you, make it a whole day event for you. Do something together as a couple during the morning. Go for a walk, a swim, a picnic or have a nice brunch together. Make it special, don’t just sit around your property looking at the clock all day.
  • To make an elopement special you should definitely write your own vows. Write personal promises to each other. It doesn’t have to be poetry or particularly well written. It just has to be written and spoken from the heart.
  • After you have said your wedding vows, kissed, and signed all the legal documents, there always comes a moment of “what happens now?”. To make your ceremony extra special I recommend that you celebrate to moment is some way. Do whatever works for your personalities. Something like a ‘champagne spray’ or just a romantic slow dance together to your favourite song. Whatever works for you.
  • Not everyone can attend your elopement, so get those people to write you a small letter or message and you can read after you are married. Read them out together after your ceremony somewhere. It can just be the two of you reading them but sit down somewhere, read them out and have a laugh or a cry.
  • Make your elopement special by inviting your closest family and friends. It is always special to share huge moments with the people that care about you the most. So bring your people with you.

SA Elopement Information

As with all marriages in Australia, there are some legal proceedings you have to follow to ensure that your marriage is totally legal. Your marriage celebrant will go over all these with you, but in a nutshell, they are:

  • You both must be over the age of 18.
  • You cannot be already married to someone else.
  • And you also are not in a prohibited relationship. So not related to each other.
  • You need to understand what marriage means and freely consent to marry.
  • At least one month before the elopement, each spouse must sign Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This is done through your celebrant authorised by you. (So yes it does take at least one month to get married in Australia).
  • A registered civil celebrant must conduct the marriage ceremony and then submit all the legal paperwork for you.
  • At your ceremony you need two witnesses over 18 to sign your marriage certificate and other legal documents. (So that means there needs to be at least 2 other people, not including the celebrant at your elopement. You can use your photographer, videographer, stylist or someone from your elopement venue).

Other Information About Eloping in South Australia

  • If you are an overseas couple dreaming of eloping in South Australia, you can absolutely and legally get married here. You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident to legally get married.
  • Same-sex marriage in South Australia is officially legal .. Woohoo! On December 2017 Australia passed a law that gave everyone marriage equality. It now says “the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
  • At your elopement ceremony, you and your witnesses will need to sign all the relevant papers with your marriage celebrant. Your celebrant then turns in the papers to the ‘registry of birth, deaths and marriages’ in the state where you got married, within 14 days.
Best Places to Elope in New South Wales

South Australia Elopements

So to conclude, there are so many beautiful locations for your South Australian elopement. South Australia has so many different landscapes, climates, properties so you have a huge variety of choices for your dream elopement.

Check out each elopement region and hopefully, this will help you narrow down your choices for the best places to elope in South Australia.

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