Adelaide is a great city and there is a lot more to do here than meets the eye. If you have visited multiple times and are looking for lesser known things to do in Adelaide, or if you like to get a little more off the beaten path, then you will love this list of 100 Adelaide experiences.
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- Adelaide Zoo
This is the only place in Australia that you can see Pandas, so pop in for a visit to see Funi and Wang Wang. For something different, take a look at the Adelaide Zoo After Dark tour.
- South Australian Museum
This free museum conveniently located on North Terrace has the biggest collection of Aboriginal Cultural artefacts anywhere in the world. Look out for the daily free tours to learn more about the museum (currently on hold for Covid-19)
- Art Gallery of South Australia
Visit the Art Gallery and enjoy all types of art, from traditional to modern. With over 38000 pieces in the collection, those on display change regularly. Entry is free
- Migration Museum
Come and learn about immigration to South Australia, one of the few colonies in Australia that was settled without convicts. Read interesting stories and see some of the memorabilia related to all those people coming to SA and calling it home. Entry is free.
- Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute
Tandanya is the hub of Aboriginal culture in Adelaide. There are often exhibitions of Aboriginal culture and art, or workshops and demonstrations. A great place to buy a unique Australian gift and support local communities.
- Adelaide Central Market
The largest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere. The Adelaide Central Market is full of colour and activity. Enjoy great fresh food of all types. Great for breakfast.
- Eat a Pie Floater
You may have heard about this unusual South Australian meal – a meat pie covered in tomato sauce floating in a bed of mushy peas. Taste one at Cafe de Vili’s at any time of the day.
- Haigh’s Chocolate
Pick up some delicious local Haigh’s chocolate in the original Rundle Mall store or visit the Visitor Centre at Parkside and for some seconds. Do a factory tour while you are there to see the chocolate being made.
- See the Rundle Mall Statues
Adelaide has some rather interesting statues in Rundle Mall. The best known is called “Spheres” – but everyone knows it as “The Mall’s Balls”. Look out for the infamous pigs, and the newest addition, the pigeon.
- Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Come and see the Bicentennial Conservatory, the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere. Take the free tour or simply relax in this fantastic free space right in the city.
- Watch a Show at the Festival Centre
Adelaide’s performing arts centre is a unique building on the banks of the Torrens and known as the Festival Centre. Take in one of the many shows while you are in Adelaide. There is everything from musical theatre to dance to opera and comedy, even things for kids.
- Port Adelaide Dolphin Cruise
Catch a train to Port Adelaide and enjoy a cruise along the Port River on the Dolphin Explorer. Watch the antics of the Port River dolphins as they cavort around the boat.
- South Australian Maritime Museum
Located in Port Adelaide, this museum is a treasure trove of all things maritime. Learn about the history of saling in South Australia and the marine life of the area. Look out for interesting tours including the Torrens Island Quarantine Station.
- National Railway Museum
Learn about all things railway-related, see dozens of engines, model railways, train memorabilia and enjoy a ride or two on a steam train while at the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide
- South Australian Aviation Museum
After the boats and trains, of course you have to take a look at the planes too. Visit the aviation museum in Port Adelaide to see a variety of planes, including an F-111. You can take a tour, sit in the cockpit and live out your Top Gun fantasies.
- Do some Plane Spotting
If stationary planes are not enough, go plane spotting. Park in one of the dedicated parks along Tapleys Hill Road and watch the planes go right over your head
- Walk along the Torrens Linear Park
Linear Park runs along the banks of the River Torrens from Athelston, through the city centre to the sea at West Beach. Walk tits whole 30km length, or just walk a section of it.
- See the City from Mount Lofty
Go to the Mount Lofty summit and enjoy views over all of Adelaide.
- Morialta Conservation Park
Take a break from the bustle of the city and walk to the waterfalls in Morialta Conservations Park. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
- Find the Furbies
A few years ago a local artist decorated the city with Furbie stickers and artworks in an effort to make people smile as they went about their everyday activities. Keep a look out as you move around the city and see how many Furbies you can see.
- Taste Penfolds Wine at Magill
Visit one of South Australia’s best known wine brands at one of the world’s few urban vineyards, right in the city. Eat at their acclaimed restaurant or participate in one of their experiences.
- Drink a Cocktail at a Rooftop bar
Enjoy an evening drink watching the city skyline as the sun goes down in a rooftop bar. Try 2KW, Merrymaker, the Hennessy Rooftop Bar, or Sôl at Skycity
- Watch an AFL Game
If you are visiting during the season, make sure you watch an AFL game live at Adelaide Oval. Don’t forget the girls either, they play earlier in the year than the boys so you should be able to catch a game from February until September.
- Adelaide Oval Roofclimb
You can watch that AFL game from the rooftop during an Adelaide Oval Roofclimb – or you can do the climb at any other time that suits you too.
- Swing from the Branches at TreeClimb
Billed as an aerial adventure park, enjoy climbing and swinging through 70 obstacles in the south parklands. Great for kids, or even adults, who want to get active.
- Hire a BBQ Buoy
Have lunch in a comfortable BBQ Buoy while floating around on the River Torrens. Bring along your own picnic (but no drinks) or order a platter. This is great for groups of up to ten people.
- Try Your Luck at the Skycity Casino
Visit the newly redeveloped Skycity casino and try your luck on the games and pokies. If gambling is not your thing, there is often great live music at the bars, or try the new rooftop bar for views over the city.
- Come for the Adelaide Fringe Festival
It’s worth coming to Adelaide just for this. From mid-February to mid-March Adelaide becomes the location of the second biggest fringe festival in the world.
- Try Fritz
A South Australian specialty, try some fritz while you are here. This is a processed luncheon meat and can be found in most supermarkets or look for it in the Adelaide Central Market
- National Wine Centre of Australia
Part museum, part cellar door, part restaurant. Take a look through the great displays on wine making in South Australia and then taste some of the local produce with a tasting platter and wine or a proper meal.
- Walk the Hallett Cove Boardwalk
Up for a challenge? Enjoy a scenic walk along the cliff at Hallett Cove. Just ensure you are ready climb up and down hundreds of stairs along the way. It’s worth it though for the stunning views and sense of achievement once you reach the end.
- Do a Ghost Tour
Haunted Horizons offer ghost tours in some of Adelaide’s haunted places like the Old Adelaide Gaol, Z Ward at the old asylum, Adelaide Arcade and more.
- Take a Segway Tour
Segway Sensations SA offer segway tours of the Adelaide Riverbank, Glenelg and one in the Barossa Valley at Seppeltsfield Winery. These are great fun and easy to get around on while learning about the area
- Do a Food Tour
There are dozens of food tours available in Adelaide, but I recommend tours by Flamboyance Tours (especially the F Factor Food Tour of South Australian favourites) and Foodi (although they are currently paused due to Covid)
- Get your Bearings with a Free Walking Tour
Run by Flamboyance Tours, the free walking tours are a great way to learn about the city. Tip at the end what you think the tour is worth. (Unfortunately another tour that is currently not running as normal, but can instead be booked as a small group tour)
- Test your Fitness with a Mount Lofty Hike
A favourite local hike is from Waterfall Gully up to the summit of Mount Lofty. It’s not for the faint hearted as the path is upwards all the way. Watch the fit people running up it as you pull yourself along.
- Moseley Beach Bar
During summer you will find Australia’s first European style beach bar on the sands near the Glenelg jetty. This is a great location for evening cocktails as the sun goes down.
- Mega Adventure
An aerial adventure park that looks a bit like again Meccano set is a great place to have some fun. Enjoy the 70 obstacles and take have a good on the giant swing
- Ride the Semaphore Steam Train
The little Semaphore Steam Train run along a 2km track from Semaphore to Fort Galnville. It mostly runs during school holidays and the occasional weekend, so check their website before visiting.
- The Sorcerer’s Bar
For all your Butterbeer and Cauldron Cocktails, head to The Sorcerer’s Bar in Bank Street. Drink amongst the wizardy décor and nibble on the matching snacks. This is also a great place for interesting German craft beers.
- Discover the Street Art
Adelaide has street art all over the place. Take a street art walk around either the city centre or Port Adelaide to enjoy the incredible murals. Bowden is another area with lots of street art.
- Shop at the Birthplace of RM Williams
RM Williams began making his iconic boots in a garage at the back of his parents house. Today you can visit the showroom and small factory located on the same site. Pick up a bargain at factory prices and learn about RM’s fascinating life.
- Ride the Popeye on the River Torrens
The first Popeye cruises on the River Murray started in 1935 and most locals remember taking a ride on it as part of their childhood. Now as well as a regular cruise, there are Devonshore Tea, High Tea and Gin Tasting cruises.
- Kayaking with Dolphins
Spend a couple of hours paddling around in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Ship’s Graveyard. Take either a guided tour or just hire a kayak and look around yourself.
- Hot Air Ballooning
Make your way up to the Barossa Valley to go hot air ballooning at sunrise. It’s a bucket list adventure that will be remembered for life.
- Wine Tasting
I couldn’t write a SA list without including wine tasting! Head to one of the nearby wine regions – Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills – and spend a day tasting the many different wines available.
- Explore Africa at Monarto Safari Park
Sixty minutes along the freeway is the largest safari park outside of Africa. Visit Monarto Safari Park to see animals roaming the plains as they would in the wild. Perhaps sign up for the Lions 360 experience for a unique view of the kings of the jungle.
- Play at The Beachouse in Glenelg
This family amusement centre has everything from waterslides to dodgem cars to pinball machines. Great for little kids and big “kids” alike. Relive those childhood memories.
- Ride the Handlebar Beer Bike
Pedal your way through the streets of Adelaide while enjoying a glass or two of the local beers on Australia’s first “pedal pub“. Also now doing progressive dinners along with the “pub crawls”.
- State Library of South Australia
Take a look at one of the most beautiful libraries in the world in the Mortlock Wing. You will think you are in the Hogworts Library. Take a look at the great displays on the ground floor, then wander into the main library building for other exhibitions.
- The Centre for Democracy
While Technically part of the State Library, the entrance is around the corner on Kintore Avenue. An interesting collection of information about our political system, the history and how it works.
- Take a Coastal Walk
With around 70km of coastline, there is plenty of opportunity to take a walk along the beach somewhere in Adelaide. Most areas have a dedicated path along the beach for walking, and the plan is to be able to travel the whole length uninterrupted at some time in the future.
- Cleland Wildlife Park
Located just up near Mount Lofty, Cleland Wildlife Park is great for seeing and learning about many of Australia’s native animals. There are many animal experiences too, including the opportunity to hold a koala.
- d’Arenberg Cube
Looking for something quirky or different? The d’Arenberg Cube is a cellar door with a twist. Come here to test the wine, visit the Alternate Realities Museum, dine in the restaurant and explore the latest exhibitions.
- Enjoy the City Laneways
Visit the laneways filled with tiny bars, great restaurants and outdoor seating, bringing the party to the street. Try Peel Street, Leigh Street, Gilbert Place or Bank Street
Visit this museum of discovery to learn about all things futuristic. The exhibitions here are often based around technology and could be anything. It’s always fun to see what is on display.
- Cool Off at Adelaide Aquatic Centre
Located in North Adelaide, the Adelaide Aquatic Centre is the place to go for watery fun or to do some laps in the Olympic-sized main pool. Kids will love the water slides.
- Have some Time Out at Adelaide Himeji Garden
Relax in these peaceful Japanese gardens located on South Terrace in the city centre. This is a lovely space to enjoy a few moments of downtime during your visit.
- Eat Fruchocs
Another South Australian favourite is Fruchocs. These are balls of fruit covered in chocolate, with a few different flavours available. You will be able to find Fruchocs all over the city, including supermarkets and convenience stores.
- Take a Paddle boat on the Torrens
Hire a paddle boat in front of the Festival Centre and paddles up and down the River Torrens between the dam and the Adelaide Zoo. A nice relaxing way to spend an hour or two.
- Visit the Mary MacKillop Museum
Mary MacKillop has been made a saint by the Catholic Church for her work in South Australia. The new museum in Kensington uses interactive displays to inform about her life and mission.
- Old Treasury and Tunnels Tour
There are many tunnels under the Adelaide City centre built for various reasons in the past. Do a tour of the Old Treasury building and go into and learn about the tunnels
- Have Tea in the Adelaide Arcade
There are lots of little tea shops in this historic shopping arcade that runs off of Rundle Mall. Sit and enjoy tea and scones while you are imagining life in the past.
- Shop in Rundle Mall
Rundle Mall in South Australia’s premier shopping precinct. Find big international brands here – like Apple and H&M – that you will not find elsewhere in the state
- See the Bradman Collection
When Adelaide Oval was recently renovated, a dedicate space was built to house the personal memorabilia collection of Don Bradman, arguably the best cricketer ever.
- Eat at Chinatown
Eat up a storm in Chinatown located between Gouger and Grote Streets. Here you will find plenty of exceptional Asian restaurants, little cafes, Asian grocers and more.
- Try out a Flight Simulator
Located in North Adelaide, test your skills at flying a commercial Boeing 737 or a F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet.
- SA Pinball & Arcade
This pinball arcade is frill with old-style pinball and video games. Relive your childhood and introduce your kids to these classic games. Can you beat your high score?
- Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens
While the gardens are a great place to stroll any time of the year, they are also the best place in South Australia to enjoy autumn foliage. Visit in March/April/May to see every shade from green to red.
- Port Elliot Bakery
You won’t find many lineups in South Australia, but you will almost certainly find one outside of Port Elliot Bakery, renowned to be the best bakery in the state. Take a drive down to the Fleurieu Peninsula for one of their tasty meat pies.
- Watch a Beach Sunset
There are not too many cities in Australia where it’s possible to sit on the beach and watch the sun sink into the ocean. Adelaide’s west-facing beaches are perfect for this. Choose a beachfront bar or cafe to enjoy while you wait.
- Swim with Dolphins
Jump about a catamaran at Glenelg and cruise out to find the local dolphins. Jump in the water and enjoy snorkelling with dozens of these incredibly curious creatures.
- Old Adelaide Gaol
Adelaide Gaol closed in 1988 but it is open now for visitors to explore. Either go and wander around by yourself, or book a guided tour to learn to stories of the 147 years gaol was open.
- Visit Historic Carrick Hill
This is one of the few historic houses in Australia that still has the gardens and contents intact. Take a guided tour of the house, or just enjoy exploring the gardens.
- Skydive over Semaphore beach
You don’t even need to leave the city to do an incredible skydive. Jump from 15000 feet and enjoy amazing views along the coastline before landing on the beach at Semaphore.
- Drink Craft Beer
There is a burgeoning craft beer scene in Adelaide. Try one of the well known places such as Pirate Life or Big Shed Brewing or look of for some of the up and coming microbreweries.
- Learn about Beer-Making during a Coopers Brewery Tour
South Australia’s favourite beer is Coopers Pale Ale and visitors can do a tour of the factory that makes it. At the end of the tour, you also get to taste a variety of the Coopers beers.
- Abseiling in Adelaide Hills
Spend a day abseiling and rock climbing in the Adelaide Hills
- Visit Hahndorf
Take a day trip to the stunning German town of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. Shop for unique gifts, eat pork hocks, wurst, schnitzel and sauerkraut, pick your own strawberries and taste the local wine.
- Sleep in a Castle in the Adelaide Hills
Live out your princess fantasies by staying at Thorngrove Manor. This small luxury hotel is exquisitely decorated and will really make you feel like you are in a fairy tale.
- Experience the Fun of the Royal Adelaide Show
Each year, in late August/early September, the Royal Adelaide Show comes to town. Spend nine days enjoying the rides, the sideshows, the animals, and the show bags!
- Admire St Peter’s Cathedral
Adelaide is known as the city of churches so you should visit at least one while you are in town. Located adjacent to Adelaide Oval, St Peter’s Cathedral is the most impressive church to go and take a look at.
- Visit the National Motor Museum
The National Motor Museum can be found in Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills. Visit to see hundreds of vehicles and motorbikes and all sorts of memorabilia about the car industry, racing, history of cars and much more.
- Pick Your Own Strawberries at Beerenberg
During the warmer months visit the strawberries fields of Beerenberg at Hahndorf and pick your own punnet to take home. Try not to eat more than you put in the punnet though!
- Pick up a Unique Piece from Jam Factory
The Jam Factory is a not-for-profit gallery that supports of crafts like ceramics, glassblowing, furniture and metal work. Come in the pick up a one-of-a-kind piece for your home
- Hike in Kuitpo Forest
This pine forest is a great place to hike. There are plenty of trails amongst the trees. In Autumn go in the early evening and look out for the glow-in-the-dark ghost mushrooms
- Visit a Market
During summer in particular there are markets held all over Adelaide. Look out for the fantastic Gilles at the Ground Farmers Markets, or the Fishermen’s Wharf Markets year round at Port Adelaide.
- Grab a Free Bike Hire
Most of the council areas in Adelaide have bikes available to hire for free to help you explore. Look out for information at visitor information centres, libraries and council rooms.
- Fig Picking Glen Ewin Estate
Between February and April, enjoy a day of fruit picking at Glen Ewin Estate. Pack a picnic or order one from them and relax in the orchard
- Visit Maslin Beach (If you are Game)
Maslin Beach is South Australia’s only designated “clothing optional” beach. This is the place to go to work on that all over tan. It’s also big enough to enjoy if you prefer to keep your clothes on.
- Rock Out at The Gov
The Gov is an iconic place to watch live pub music in Adelaide. Go there to enjoy a local band, or perhaps you will get lucky and see a well known Australian or international act. It’s recommended to buy tickets in advance as it often sells out.
- Ride the Nostalgic Semaphore Carousel
First opened in 1928, this historic forty-horse carousel will bring back childhood memories and fill your children with memories of their own. Open weekends, public and school holidays.
- Eat a Frog Cake
They’ve been around for almost 100 years and are now a South Australian Icon. Pick up a frog cake from the Balfours Cafe in City Cross Arcade off Rundle Mall, or keep an eye out in supermarkets as they are occasionally found there.
- Do a Hot Lap at The Bend
This one is for the adrenaline junkies! Go to The Bend Motorsport Park and do a hot lap in a variety of vehicles, from a V8 Mustang to a Formula 3 car, even a Superbike.
- Attend a Festival
South Australia is not known as the Festival for nothing, there seems to be some kind of festival on every weekend. Take a look at what is on during your visit and go along
- Saint Kilda Playground
This free adventure playground has a multitude of huge slide, a pirate ship, plenty of swings and climbing frames. There’s BBQ facilities so you can stay for the day.
- Ride a Gondola on the Torrens
It might not be Venice, but the gondola is just the same! Enjoy a ride on the Torrens while sipping some great South Australia wines and enjoying the serenity
- Have a Cuddle at a Cat Cafe
Do you miss your pets while travelling? Go to the Hashtag Meow Cat Cafe for a furry fix while you are in Adelaide. Make a reservation in advance to avoid finding them booked out
- Taste Wine Made in Your Birth Year
I know I’ve mentioned wine tasting already, but this one is fun. Make your way to Seppeltsfield winery in the Barossa Valley and join the “Taste Your Birth Year Tour“
- Snorkel at Rapid Bay and see Leafy Sea Dragons
Leafy Sea Dragons are only found along the Southern Coast of Australia. Snorkelling under the Rapid Bay jetty is one of the best ways to try to see them
Visiting more great South Australian locations? These posts might help
Adelaide 3 Day Itinerary
Best Places for South Australia Whale Watching
Glamping South Australia – The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Style
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Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred. She has lived in the state for almost her whole life, just one short stint away as a teenager with her family. 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.