Are you looking for something to do in Adelaide? There are a huge range of different tours that can be done with a spare hour or two without travelling outside of the city centre. From ghost tours to food tours, kayaking and street art, there are many options to choose from. Both locals and visitors alike can enjoy these fun tours in Adelaide city centre.
Note: Feature image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone. North Terrace Precinct.
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Ghost Tours Adelaide
There are some great spooky locations with questionable history around Adelaide that make the perfect location for a ghost tour. You can explore the Adelaide Gaol while looking for ghosts on a paranormal investigation, or just learn about the macabre history in a Ghost Crime Tour. You can do a Dark History Tour of the Adelaide Zoo and learn about some of the less savoury parts of the Zoo’s history – and it wasn’t always the animals that were the losers! Learn about the three significant deaths in the Adelaide Arcade and the ghosts that now regularly haunt this busy shopping mall.
There are some more ghosts tours further afield – such as Z Ward at the Asylum – but you will need to leave the city centre to get to them.
Walking Tours Adelaide
When I travel, one of the first things I like to do in a new city is a walking tour to get the basic lay of the land, learn a little of the history and pick up some local tips for the rest of my stay. Sadly, due to covid, Adelaide no longer has a tips-based walking tour. That same tour has been extended and is instead offered as a bookable tour to comply with the Covid regulations. Take a look at it here.
For self-guided tours around the city centre, the State Library has a selection of tours that can be downloaded to your phone for free. They provide you with a route based on a certain theme and information about each of the stops along the way.
Another option which is great if you are travelling with kids or just want to try something different is a Scavenger Hunt! This app-based tour will take you around Adelaide while you solve puzzles and find clues.
Bike Tours Adelaide
Jump on a bike and take a tour around the city and parklands with PureSA. This three hour tour will take you past some of the best known city attractions, but you also get the chase to explore a little further afield and see parkland sites like the Himeji Japanese Gardens and some of the wetland areas.
For a different type of bike tour, take a look at The HandleBar. This is a bike and a bar, all in one! Jump on board to do a pub crawl, pedalling between pubs on they fun vehicle. They also offer lunch and dinner tours and other special events, and a bike can be booked as a private party if you have a good size group too.
If you prefer to explore the city by bike by yourself, there are low-cow bikes (and scooters) available in many locations across the city. Remember it’s illegal to ride a bike without a helmet in South Australia.
Food Tours Adelaide
My favourite food tour in Adelaide to recommend is the F Factor Food Tour because this one showcases some of our unique South Australian foods – Fruchocs, Fritz and Frogcakes! There’s more than that though, with explorations of Rundle Mall and the Adelaide Central Market included too.
Food Tours Australia also run a range of food tours in Adelaide, from basic Adelaide Central Market tours to occasional themed tours (such as Italian food) and combined tours with bikes and Segways. They also do tours of the Adelaide Showground Farmer’s Market with are only just outside the city centre.
Segway Tours Adelaide
Enjoy a Segway tour along the banks of the River Torrens, learning about some of the Adelaide buildings and history, before making your way to a flat, open area and zooming around and having on these cool little machines. Segways are easy to ride and there is no age limit for having fun so have a go next time you are in the city centre.
Photography Tours Adelaide
Photographers, and those like me who aspire to be photographers, will love this photography tour. You can choose either an afternoon tour, or an evening tour, or you can do both, and learn some camera tips and tricks while visiting some great photographic locations around the city centre.
Boat Tours Adelaide
The River Torrens runs through the centre of Adelaide which is the perfect opportunity to learn a little about Adelaide while enjoying some time on the water. That means jumping aboard Popeye! Popeye has been cruising up and down the Torrens since 1935. Today visitors can do a basic forty-five minute sightseeing tour, which is the tour that has been operating for years.
Recently, there have been some new tours added. There’s Devonshire Tea available every day, and on various days find High Tea, Kangaroo Island Spirits Gin Tasting, and general Gin Tours. Look out too for specialised tours at different times, such as during the Adelaide Fringe.
Kayak Tours Adelaide
Another way to get onto the water is by kayak. You could hire a kayak and go for a paddle yourself, but why not take a guided tour and learn about the River Torrens and the surrounding areas too! This 1hr45m tour is great for all abilities as instructions as given beforehand, the river is a calm place for beginners, and your guide will be with you the whole way. Both double and single kayaks are available.
Underground Tour Adelaide
How about making your way below the streets of Adelaide to learn about the intricate tunnel system linking many of the buildings? The tours are currently running only on Sundays and offer a great opportunity to see a part of this city that not many people see. You will likely need to book this one in advance, so if you are coming to Adelaide in the cooler months, perhaps consider booking it now on the website here.
Chocolate Tour Adelaide
Adelaide is well known for the delicious chocolate made here, and finally, after almost two years, the Haighs Factory Tour is back. Go along to watch the beautiful chocolates being made by hand. This self-guided tour is currently quite short at only 15 minutes, but you do then get to head into the factory outlet store and pick up some bargains. You will need to book this tour in advance.
Art Tours Adelaide
If you love visiting art museums, then rather than just wandering around the Art Gallery of South Australia, take advantage of their tours. They are run by volunteers, twice a day, and the best part – they are free! The tours happen at 11am & 2pm, and because the volunteers change, every tour is different.
Adelaide Oval Tours
Just across the River Torrens, is Adelaide Oval. Known as one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world, it also becomes a vibrating cauldron during the AFL season when the Crows and Power are playing. It’s not just a stadium though, there is also a hotel on site and the Sir Donald Bradman Museum is here too. A great way to learn about the history of Adelaide Oval, go behind the scenes into the change rooms and media rooms, and even go inside the beautiful old scoreboard is to take the Adelaide Oval Stadium Tour.
Street Art Tours
There is plenty of street art to be seen on the streets of Adelaide, and if you want to learn a little more about it, then joining a tour is the perfect way to do that. For a general tour, just in an EcoCaddy and spend 90 minutes zooming around the streets and laneways admiring some of the incredible artworks. This tour will allow you to see quite a bit as you will be moving quicker than if on foot.
For a specific look at one of Adelaide’s best known street artists, join the Jimmy C Street Art Walking Tour. This is also a ninety minute tour and it will show you some of the artworks Jimmy C has done here in Adelaide over the years from when he was a university student in the 1980s and helping to start the local street art movement. Now he’s an internationally renowned artist living in London, and paints worldwide with his distinctive 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.