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It’s a 3.5-hour drive to Kingston SE from the international and domestic hub of Adelaide Airport (ADL). You’ll need your own car to explore the rest of the Limestone Coast and inland towns, so grab a rental at the airport. Or you can fly to regional Mount Gambier Airport (YMTG) from Adelaide or Melbourne. From Mount Gambier you can rent a car for the drive, which will take around an hour and 50 minutes. If you’ve landed at Adelaide Airport and you’re keen on going car-free, head over to Adelaide Central Bus Station in the city centre. Here you can take a coach; the trip to Kingston SE takes around 3.5 hours. Note that there are no car rental or bike rental options once you’re in town.
South Australia has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. The beachside towns of the Limestone Coast, however, are exposed to the winds of the Southern Ocean. So you’ll find Kingston SE is much cooler than towns further inland. Expect warm days and brisk nights in summer, although you might still experience occasional heat waves with days above 38 degrees Celsius from November to March. Late summer — once the school holiday crowds have departed — and early autumn are ideal for exploring nearby Coorong National Park. If you’re keen on fishing, the town holds a surf fishing competition each January. Also in January, the Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Festival celebrates the wines of the Mount Benson region paired, of course, with fresh seafood.
Head to Agnes Street, the main shopping strip in town, to find Wind Dance, an augmented-reality street artwork best experienced on your phone via an app. And on the creek bed not far from Larry the lobster, the Sundial of Human Involvement uses the shadow cast by your body to tell the time.
You’ll find wineries scattered around the Limestone Coast, most notably in the renowned wine region of Coonawarra, a 90-minute drive away. But there are less well known wineries much closer to town. The small Mount Benson district, a 30-minute drive from Kingston SE, produces robust red varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Shiraz. Here you’ll find three cellar doors, including a winery specialising in biodynamic wines.
The lagoons of Coorong National Park, to the north of town, are home to more than 200 species of birds, including pelicans, cormorants, and terns. You’ll need a four-wheel drive to navigate the sandy tracks and beaches through the park. Otherwise head to the scenic hiking tracks through coastal scrub at Butcher’s Gap Conservation Park, which is less than 10 minutes by car, or an hour’s walk, from Kingston SE.