9 Things to do in Wilmington

Last updated:

This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission. Read the full disclaimer here.

Stopping in Wilmington on your road trip? Why not spend a day or two exploring the town and the surrounding area? Here are all the things to do in Wilmington, South Australia.

Have Questions? – Come and join the Facebook Group and ask any questions you may have about travel in South Australia. We can provide answers, make further suggestions and update you with the latest information. Click here to join now.

Introducing Wilmington, South Australia

Located around 300km north of Adelaide, Wilmington is a crossroad of sorts.

It lies on the main highway coming from Broken Hill through to Port Augusta, and it is also one of the gateway towns into the northern part of the Flinders Ranges.

It is a small farming community of a little over 500 people, a one-pub town, but it sits nestled amongst the picturesque rolling hills of the Southern Flinders Ranges.

There are two caravan parks in town, and it’s the perfect place to stop, relax and revive as you are passing through the area. There’s just enough to do in Wilmington to keep you busy while you are here.

Things to Do in Wilmington, South Australia

Wilmington’s charm comes from the slow pace of life here. Most of the Wilmington attractions revolve around the natural landscapes in this area.

Remember to slow down and enjoy the little things while you are here, like the sunrises, sunsets and the plethora of native animals and birds that are everywhere.

If you’re looking for a break from the city bustle, this charming town is well worth a visit. Let’s explore some of the highlights of Wilmington.

Alligator Gorge Adventure

Start your journey in the Mount Remarkable National Park with a visit to Alligator Gorge. Marvel at the incredible rock formations shaped by nature over the centuries.

The vivid colours of the rocks set against the blue sky create a stunning landscape that nature enthusiasts will appreciate.

There are some great hiking opportunities through the gorge, from short walks to a 10km loop. It is particularly spectacular when there has been some rain and there is water in the creek running through the gorge.

There are BBQ facilities at the Blue Gum Picnic area and toilets can be found there and at the main car park.

Access to Alligator Gorge can become impassable in wet weather and it is not suitable for towing caravans or camper trailers.

A National Parks Pass is required before visiting Alligator Gorge. Get it online here beforehand as there is no phone coverage once there. Note that dogs are not permitted in the National Park.

Museums to Explore

The front of a toy museum with lots of vintage Toyota Landcruisers parked

For a town this size it is surprising to find that Wilmington has a trio of unique museums to offer.

They are all run by locals and open at various times. entry to each is just a few dollars and you will get to chat with an interesting local, all of whom seem to have fascinating tales to tell.

The Sansouci Puppet Museum and Gallery showcase the art of puppetry. The Dawes Brothers Geological Museum houses a diverse collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and bottles.

Meanwhile, the Toy Museum will transport you back in time with vintage cars and collectible Land Rovers.

Sports and Outdoor Activities

A playground

Like all small country towns, sports play a huge roles in life here in Wilmington.

Sports lovers can enjoy an 18-hole golf course, synthetic bowling green, tennis and netball courts, a BMX track, a children’s playground, and an outdoor gym at the town oval. Billiard enthusiasts can also find a home here.

Historic Treasures

A small rural park

Take a stroll through Centenary Park to see pioneering farm implements and the Dignan Stripper, a precursor to modern harvesters.

The Heritage Trail, starting at the Information Bay, leads you past historic buildings like the Wilmington Hotel (built in 1876) and the former police station (built in 1880).

Hit the Hiking Trails

The white wrought iron gates to the Mount Maria Walking Trail

Hikers can tackle the Mount Maria Summit Walk, which offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscapes.

The Heysen Trail is also a favourite for many hikers, often found on bucket lists.

The whole trail runs from Cape Jarvis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to the Parachilna Gorge in the northern section of the Flinders Ranges, but walking a short section makes for a nice day hike around Wilmington.

Scenic Vistas

A sunset view from a scenic lookout towards the ocean

For a scenic view, drive to Hancocks Lookout via Horrocks Pass and enjoy views of Spencer Gulf and the Southern Flinders Ranges.

This is one of my favourite places to go as the sun is setting over the gulf. Look out for the signs just a couple of kilometres out of town.

Local Events

As sign announcing the Wilmington Rodeo

Country towns swell with visitors and have a completely different atmosphere when an event comes to town.

If you happen to be nearby, don’t miss Wilmington’s annual Agricultural and Horticultural show in September or the Night Rodeo every January.

Road Trips

If you’re up for a scenic drive, explore the ranges via Horrocks Pass or take a trip along Gunyah Rd. You can visit the neighbouring towns of Melrose and Quorn, or venture across the ranges to port Augusta.

Cycling and Walking Trails

While the Heysen Trail is predominantly for hikers, cyclists can make use of some of the other trails around the town. Cyclists can explore trails like the Mawson Trail and the Rail Trail that run though Wilmington.

Look out for the trail near the silos.

This trail was once the rail corridor leading to the neighbouring town of Melrose, a mecca for mountain biking. Now it is a dedicated gravel track linking the two towns.

In a nutshell, Wilmington is an adventure-packed destination in South Australia that offers something for everyone, whether you’re into nature, culture, sports, or history.

So if you are going past, stop in and take a look around now that you know what to do in Wilmington.

Where to Stay in Wilmington

The Wilmington Hotel - a two storey building with a wide verandah

There are not a huge amount of options here in Wilmington, but you can get basic rooms at the Wilmington Hotel.

If you are looking for a Wilmington Caravan Park, there are two to choose from.

Beautiful Valley Caravan Park is located right on the main highway on the southern side of the town. They have basic cabins as well as powered and unpowered sites available.

They are pet-friendly, and you can leave your dog there while you explore the National Park.

Stony Creek Bush Camp Caravan Park is located 3km outside Wilmington in a leafy bush setting.

They have some budget bunkhouses and ensuite cabins and plenty of powered and unpowered sites for your caravan or RV. Pets are welcome too.

Wilmington Services

There is really only one “shop” here in Wilmington, and that is the service station, where you can get fuel and many other basics.

If it’s after hours and you just want a snack, there is a range of vending machines in a small building on the main street to get you through.

There is also the Beautiful Valley Op-Shop which could be home to just the thing you are looking for – I always check out their range of second-hand books.

The Wilmington Hotel does meals every night, and Rustikate’s Feedlot (Cafe) is open from Thursday to Monday for lunch, and dinner on Friday and Monday.

Before you go…
…read these posts next
23 Great Things to do in Flinders Ranges
Visiting Quorn
Flinders Ranges Station Stays

Don’t forget to come on over and join the Facebook group for more South Australian inspiration and to get all your questions answered. Click here to join now.

Please share this post with your friends and pin it for later

Pinterest pin for "Things to do in Wilmington, South Australia" showing the town sign
Pin Me
Josie sitting cross-legged in a garden
About the author

Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred, living here for her whole life. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.