Welcome to Adelaide, the vibrant and captivating capital city of South Australia! While it may not have the same instant recognition as Sydney or Melbourne, this hidden gem has plenty of exciting opportunities for both locals and tourists alike. Make your stay unforgettable with these fun things to do in Adelaide!
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TL;DR? Here's the outline
- Explore the Adelaide Central Market
- Take a stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Garden
- Visit the Adelaide Zoo
- Enjoy a wine tour in the Adelaide Hills
- Take a day trip to Kangaroo Island
- Take a bike ride along the River Torrens Linear Park Trail
- Climb to the roof of Adelaide Oval
- Attend a show or concert at the Adelaide Festival Centre
- Visit the South Australian Museum
- Walk through the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory
- Take a dip at Glenelg Beach
- Visit the Art Gallery of South Australia
- Visit the National Wine Centre of Australia
- Take a cruise down the River Torrens
- Check out the street art in the Adelaide CBD
- Explore the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail
- Attend the Adelaide Fringe Festival
- Get the adrenalin pumping with a Semaphore skydive
- Walk through the Himeji Garden on South Terrace
- Take a tour of the Adelaide Gaol
- Visit Port Adelaide for the Dolphin & Shipwrecks Cruise
- Take a day trip to Barossa Valley for wine tasting
- Get active in the Adelaide Parklands with TreeClimb
- Check out the Adelaide Arcade for shopping
- Take a hike in the Adelaide Hills to Mount Lofty Summit
Feature image photo credit: Che Chorley, Adelaide, Adelaide
Adelaide is a city that knows how to captivate your senses and leave you with lasting memories. Picture yourself strolling through its picturesque parks, where nature embraces you in its warm embrace.
The air is filled with the fragrant aroma of blossoming flowers, and the gentle breeze whispers sweet melodies in your ears. It’s a sanctuary of tranquillity and a playground for the curious.
But don’t be fooled by its serene charm, for Adelaide is a city that knows how to ignite the fire of excitement within you. Step into its vibrant cultural scene, where creativity thrives and passion knows no bounds.
From art galleries that showcase breathtaking masterpieces to theatres that transport you to other worlds, Adelaide pulsates with an energy that is contagious. You can feel the heartbeat of creativity resonating in every corner.
Now, let’s talk about food. Oh, the delectable delights that await you! Adelaide is a haven for foodies, where every bite is an explosion of flavour and every meal is a celebration of culinary excellence.
Indulge your taste buds in the local delicacies and experience a symphony of tastes and textures.
From world-class restaurants that blend international flavours with local ingredients to vibrant food markets that take you on a gastronomic adventure, Adelaide is a food lover’s paradise.
And let’s not forget about the wine culture that Adelaide proudly embraces. Just a stone’s throw away from the city lies the breathtaking vineyards that produce some of the finest wines in the world.
If you’re seeking outdoor adventures, Adelaide has you covered. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders that surround the city.
Feel the adrenaline rush through your veins as you conquer hiking trails that lead you to breathtaking viewpoints.
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of nearby beaches, where the golden sand tickles your toes and the waves invite you to embrace the joy of life. Adventure awaits at every turn!
But what if indoor entertainment is more your style? Adelaide has an array of options that will keep you entertained. Lose yourself in the exhibits of museums that bring history to life.
Engage your mind in interactive science centres that awaken your curiosity and inspire the next generation of innovators. And let’s not forget the nightlife that invites you to dance the night away and create memories that will last a lifetime.
So, my friends, it’s time to pack your bags and embark on a journey to Adelaide. Get ready for an experience that will leave you craving for more.
Adelaide is waiting to welcome you with open arms and show you the time of your life. Let’s make this visit truly unforgettable!
We acknowledge that Adelaide sits on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.
Explore the Adelaide Central Market
Discover the Adelaide Central Markets, one of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere.
It’s a lively and diverse hub where you can find a wide range of fresh produce, unique artisanal products, and a variety of multicultural food options.
Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and explore the stalls that offer a delightful shopping experience for all your culinary needs. This is also a great option for breakfast, lunch or even dinner on Friday at one of the gourmet food stalls.
Adelaide Central Market’s opening hours vary, so check in advance. They do tend to be closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is free.
Take a stroll through the Adelaide Botanic Garden
The Adelaide Botanic Garden is a wonderful destination in the heart of the city. This expansive green space is home to a wide variety of plants, from colourful flowers to towering trees.
As you wander its paths, you’ll encounter beautiful displays of vibrant blooms, spacious lawns perfect for picnics and peaceful corners to relax in.
Be sure to visit the two different glasshouses, where you can explore a fascinating collection of carefully nurtured plants from different climates.
The Bicentennial Conservatory is the largest single-span greenhouse in the Southern Hemisphere and the Palm House dates back to 1875. It’s the perfect backdrop for a stunning Instagram photo or two.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil retreat, the Adelaide Botanic Garden offers a delightful experience for all visitors.
The Adelaide Botanic Gardens are open every day of the year, with longer hours over the summer to take advantage of the cool mornings and balmy evenings. Admission is free.
Visit the Adelaide Zoo
The Adelaide Zoo is a fantastic place to visit and discover a wide variety of animals. Located in the heart of the city, this popular attraction is home to a diverse range of species from around the world.
As you explore the zoo, you’ll have the opportunity to see monkeys, lions, koalas, and many other incredible creatures up close. You can also Funi and Wang Wang, the only pandas in Australia
The zoo also offers educational programs and interactive experiences that allow visitors to learn more about the animals and their habitats.
With its well-maintained enclosures and knowledgeable staff, the Adelaide Zoo provides a memorable and enjoyable experience for animal lovers of all ages.
Adelaide Zoo is open from 9:30 am until 5 pm every day of the year.
Enjoy a wine tour in the Adelaide Hills
Discover the beauty of the Adelaide Hills on a wine tour and immerse yourself in the region’s renowned wine culture.
Known for its cooler climate wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the Adelaide Hills produce very different wines from the nearby Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale.
Visit some of the local vineyards, taste a variety of wines, and learn about the winemaking process. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes and friendly atmosphere as you explore the rolling hills and vineyards.
Either put together your own tours and visit some of the cellar doors yourself – I recommend including Hahndorf Hill for their Gruner Veltliner and their chocolate and wine matching class – or book a tour.
Take a day trip to Kangaroo Island
Embark on an exciting day trip to Kangaroo Island, a captivating destination just a short ferry ride from Adelaide. While I do recommend more time on KI, if you can only spare a single day, then it is still possible to visit.
This island is known for its unique wildlife, pristine beaches, and stunning natural landscapes. Explore the island’s Flinders Chase National Park, where you can spot kangaroos, koalas, and other native animals in their natural habitats.
Take in the breathtaking coastal views, visit iconic landmarks like Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch, and enjoy the tranquillity of untouched nature.
With its diverse range of attractions and accessible proximity to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island offers a memorable day trip experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
You could do the trip by yourself, but it will be an incredibly long day so I recommend instead taking a tour.
Take a bike ride along the River Torrens Linear Park Trail
Enjoy cycling along the River Torrens Linear Park Trail, a scenic pathway that follows the banks of the River Torrens for 30km from the suburb of Athelstone in the foothills to the ocean at West Beach.
Rent a bike and pedal your way along a section of this picturesque route, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and lush greenery. The trail offers a smooth and well-maintained surface, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels.
As you ride, take in the beautiful views of the river, spot local wildlife, and pass by iconic landmarks such as the Adelaide Oval.
It’s a refreshing and leisurely way to explore the city and enjoy the natural beauty that the River Torrens has to offer.
Climb to the roof of Adelaide Oval
When looking for fun stuff to do in Adelaide you can’t go past this! Take part in the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb, an exciting experience that lets you explore the famous sports venue, and perhaps even watch a game from the top of the stand.
Join a guided tour and climb up to the stadium’s roof for stunning views of the city and the Oval.
Walk along specially designed pathways and learn about the history of the Adelaide Oval from knowledgeable guides. It’s a unique chance to see the stadium from a different angle and make lasting memories of your visit.
If the roof climb is not for you, take an Adelaide Oval tour instead, or even just stop in to learn about the great Donald Bradman at the dedicated museum.
If there is an AFL or cricket game during your visit, go along to enjoy the atmosphere.
Attend a show or concert at the Adelaide Festival Centre
When it opened in 1973, the Adelaide Festival Centre became Australia’s first multi-purpose arts centre, beating its more famous neighbour, the Sydney Opera House, by just months.
The iconic venue hosts a wide range of performances, including theatre, music, dance, and comedy shows. With its multiple theatres and event spaces, the Adelaide Festival Centre offers something for everyone.
From world-class productions to local talent, visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse and dynamic arts scene of Adelaide.
Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast, a music lover, or simply seeking a memorable night out, the Adelaide Festival Centre likely has a show to suit.
Visit the South Australian Museum
The South Australian Museum is located in the cultural precinct of Adelaide on North Terrace. Stop by to learn about the region’s history, culture, and natural heritage.
This museum has a wide range of exhibits and artifacts, including the largest collection of Aboriginal cultural artefacts anywhere.
Discover the Aboriginal cultures, ancient fossils, and the unique plants and animals of South Australia as well as natural history from further afield.
The museum has interactive displays and informative panels that make learning fun for everyone.
Look out too for special exhibitions such as the current “Relics: A New World Rises” or “A Little Bit of Justice – The Drawings of Charlie Flannigan”.
The South Australian Museum is open from 10 am until 5 pm every day except for Christmas, and Good Friday, and opens at 12 pm on ANZAC Day.
While in the area, also visit the Art Gallery of South Australia, The State Library of South Australia, the Migration Museum and the Centre of Democracy.
Walk through the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory
Indulge in a sweet adventure with a tour of Haigh’s Chocolate Factory, another of the fun activities in Adelaide. This popular attraction offers a behind-the-scenes look at the chocolate-making process.
During the tour, you’ll learn about the history of Haigh’s, from bean to bar, and witness the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into creating their delicious chocolates.
Watch as skilled chocolatiers work their magic, tempering, moulding, and hand-finishing each piece.
And, of course, no tour is complete without a tasting of their delectable treats. Immerse yourself in the heavenly aroma of chocolate as you explore this iconic factory and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Take a dip at Glenelg Beach
If the weather is warm, dive into a refreshing experience with a swim at Glenelg beach. This popular coastal destination offers a perfect spot to cool off and enjoy the sun.
Take a dip in the clear blue waters, feel the soft sand beneath your feet, and let the gentle waves wash your worries away.
In summer, book a daybed at the Moseley Beach Club, enjoy the scenery on the foreshore ferris wheel or simply browse the shops on Jetty Road.
Whether you’re an avid swimmer or just looking to relax by the shore, Glenelg Beach provides a picturesque setting for a day of fun and relaxation.
Visit the Art Gallery of South Australia
Located in the heart of the city, the Art Gallery of South Australia houses a diverse collection of artworks from different periods and styles. Explore the galleries and encounter a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and installations.
From classic masterpieces to contemporary works, the Art Gallery of South Australia offers something for every art enthusiast.
Learn about the artists and their creative expressions through informative displays and interactive exhibits. Join in with one of the free tours that run throughout the day.
The Art Gallery is open from 10 am until 5 pm every day except Christmas. Entry is free, but there are occasionally paid exhibitions.
Visit the National Wine Centre of Australia
Don’t have time for a full wine tour? Instead (or also) experience the rich flavours and culture of Australian wine at the National Wine Centre.
Located in the heart of the city, this renowned destination offers a captivating journey through the world of winemaking.
Discover the history and artistry behind Australia’s finest wines as you explore interactive exhibits and displays. Learn about different grape varieties, wine regions, and winemaking techniques through informative presentations.
Take part in wine tastings and broaden your palate with a variety of wine styles. The restaurant is also a delightful place for lunch.
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply curious about the world of wine, a visit to the National Wine Centre is an opportunity to deepen your appreciation and knowledge of Australia’s remarkable wine industry.
The National Wine Centre is open most days of the year. Entry is free, but tours and tasting prices vary according to the activity.
Take a cruise down the River Torrens
Embark on a leisurely Popeye cruise along the River Torrens. Hop aboard this Adelaide icon and relax as you glide along the tranquil waters.
Take in the picturesque views of the riverbanks, lush parklands, and iconic bridges that dot the landscape. Learn about the history and significance of the River Torrens from informative commentary provided during the cruise.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful outing or a unique perspective of the city, a Popeye cruise on the River Torrens offers a delightful and relaxing experience for visitors of all ages.
Check out the street art in the Adelaide CBD
Discover the vibrant street art scene in Adelaide as you stroll through the city. Admire the colourful murals and graffiti on buildings and laneways.
Each artwork tells a unique story and showcases the talent of local and international artists. Explore the streets to find hidden gems and popular spots filled with captivating artwork.
Whether you’re an art lover or simply curious, checking out the street art in Adelaide offers an exciting and visually engaging experience.
Learn more about one of the most prolific Adelaide artists with this Jimmy C tour.
Explore the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail
If you are looking for a fun way to explore the Adelaide Hills, grab a map of the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail and use it as the base for a scenic drive where you can explore outdoor artworks amidst the beautiful landscapes and picturesque hills towns.
Each of the 26 sculptures has its own story and fits in harmoniously with the environment. From interesting designs to thought-provoking pieces, the trail offers a variety of sculptures that inspire imagination and reflection.
Whether you love art or nature, the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail is a wonderful experience that combines both in a beautiful setting.
Attend the Adelaide Fringe Festival
You can’t visit Adelaide in February/March without experiencing the Adelaide Fringe Festival, a huge celebration of arts and culture.
The festival features a variety of performances like comedy, music, theatre, dance, and visual arts. Artists from all over the world participate, showcasing their talents and creativity.
The festival atmosphere is lively and there are many shows and events to choose from. Whether you’re watching established acts or discovering new talent, the Adelaide Fringe Festival is a fun and vibrant celebration of artistic expression.
Not visiting at the right time? There is always a festival going on somewhere in Adelaide, especially over the cooler months.
Get the adrenalin pumping with a Semaphore skydive
Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush with a skydiving adventure over Adelaide, landing on the beach at Semaphore.
Take the leap from a plane and feel the exhilaration as you freefall through the sky. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and coastline and the vast ocean below as you gracefully parachute down to the sandy shores.
With expert instructors and state-of-the-art equipment, Coastal Skydive offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience for adventure seekers.
Whether you’re a first-time jumper or a seasoned skydiver, this breathtaking activity will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Walk through the Himeji Garden on South Terrace
Need some downtime? Head to the tranquillity of Himeji Gardens, an oasis that offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city.
Located in the South Terrace Parklands, these Japanese-style gardens are designed to provide a serene and harmonious environment.
Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, and enjoy the calming sound of flowing water from the traditional stone lanterns and cascading streams.
Find a quiet spot to sit and reflect, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Whether you’re seeking a moment of relaxation or an opportunity to immerse yourself in Japanese aesthetics, Himeji Gardens is a serene haven that transports you to a place of serenity and beauty.
Take a tour of the Adelaide Gaol
Visit the Old Adelaide Gaol with either a self-guided tour, or join one of the many ghost tours. This former prison offers a captivating glimpse into the harsh realities of 19th-century penal life.
Explore the well-preserved cells, gallows, and exercise yards as you learn about the lives of prisoners and the significant events that took place within these walls.
Discover the stories of notorious inmates and the punishments they endured. Tours provide historical context and shed light on the gaol’s intriguing past.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the darker chapters of Australian history, a visit to the Old Adelaide Gaol offers a thought-provoking and educational experience.
Visit Port Adelaide for the Dolphin & Shipwrecks Cruise
Catch the train to Port Adelaide to on an unforgettable adventure with the Dolphin and Shipwreck Cruise. Sail along the scenic waters and get up close with playful dolphins as they swim alongside the boat.
Learn about the fascinating history of the area as you pass by iconic shipwrecks and hear captivating stories from knowledgeable guides.
The cruise offers a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat and explore the remnants of maritime history.
Take a day trip to Barossa Valley for wine tasting
Discover the joy of wine tasting in the beautiful Barossa Valley, one of the most famous wine regions in Australia.
Visit vineyards and try different wines at cellar doors. Learn about winemaking and the history of the region. Taste a variety of wines, like Shiraz and Chardonnay, and enjoy their unique flavours.
The Barossa Valley is a picturesque destination with great wineries, making wine tasting a wonderful experience for everyone.
Get active in the Adelaide Parklands with TreeClimb
Adelaide is known for the parklands that ring the city centre, so take advantage of them and experience the thrill of TreeClimb, an exciting adventure that allows you to climb high among the treetops.
This unique attraction offers a range of elevated challenges and obstacles for all ages and fitness levels.
With the guidance of friendly instructors and the safety of harnesses and equipment, you can conquer aerial courses and zip lines while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding parklands.
It’s a perfect activity for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a fun family outing, TreeClimb in the Adelaide Parklands offers an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.
Book your tickets to Adelaide TreeClimb here
Check out the Adelaide Arcade for shopping
Discover the charm of Adelaide Arcade, a historic shopping arcade in the heart of the city. Step into this architectural gem and be transported to a bygone era with its beautiful heritage features.
Explore a variety of boutique stores, specialty shops, and unique boutiques offering a wide range of products.
From fashion and accessories to artisanal crafts and gourmet treats, Adelaide Arcade is a treasure trove for shopping enthusiasts.
Take a leisurely stroll along its elegant passageways, admire the stunning architecture, and indulge in some retail therapy. Just keep an eye out for the friendly ghosts that are said to also walk the arcade.
Whether you’re looking for a unique gift or simply want to soak up the atmosphere, a visit to Adelaide Arcade is a delightful experience that combines history, shopping, and a touch of nostalgia.
Take a hike in the Adelaide Hills to Mount Lofty Summit
Up for a challenge? The popular hike from Waterfall Gully to the Mount Lofty Summit is sure to get the blood pumping and the muscles aching.
The hike offers a decent challenge, allowing you to connect with nature while enjoying a great workout.
Begin your journey at Waterfall Gully, where you’ll be greeted by the sights and sounds of cascading waterfalls. Follow the well-marked path as it winds its way through lush greenery and native bushland.
As you ascend towards the Mount Lofty Summit, be prepared to be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Adelaide and its surrounding landscapes.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply seeking an outdoor adventure, hiking from Waterfall Gully to the Mount Lofty Summit is a memorable experience that combines breathtaking scenery, fresh air, and a sense of accomplishment.
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