You’ve read about what to see when you visit Adelaide, and Rundle Mall always makes the list. But what is there to do there? Here are suggestions for things to do in Rundle Mall.
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TL;DR? Here's the outline
- About Rundle Mall
- Things to do in Rundle Mall
- Where is Rundle Mall
- How to Get to Rundle Mall
About Rundle Mall
Found right in the heart of Adelaide, Rundle Mall is a bustling shopping precinct that has attracted locals and tourists for decades.
Renowned for its vibrant ambience, diverse retail offerings, and lively atmosphere, this iconic destination is an integral part of Adelaide’s cultural fabric.
The pedestrian mall boasts an extensive range of shops, boutiques, cafes, and entertainment options, Rundle Mall is a haven for fashionistas seeking the latest trends or families looking to spend a day exploring the city’s treasures.
Whether it’s indulging in retail therapy or simply immersing in the lively street performances and events that frequent the area, Rundle Mall offers an unforgettable experience that embodies the essence of Adelaide’s thriving cosmopolitan spirit.
Rundle Mall is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.
Things to do in Rundle Mall
Being right in the heart of Adelaide, Rundle Mall is just a stone’s throw away from the museums and galleries of the North Terrace Cultural Precinct and if you are exploring the city you will almost certainly pass through.
Make the most of your time by learning about what to do in Rundle Mall.
Shop Until You Drop
Explore a diverse range of shops and boutiques, offering everything from fashion and accessories to souvenirs and gifts. There are almost 300 different shops in Rundle Mall. That should keep even teenagers busy.
If you are looking for a brand-name store in Adelaide, it is likely that you will be able to find it right here in Rundle Mall. This is where you will find the only Apple Store in South Australia, along with H&M and Uniqlo.
Historically though, this has been the domain of the large department stores.
Today you can still find David Jones and Myer, along with Harvey Norman and Kmart in the mall. Coles, Woolworths and Romeos all have large supermarkets here too.
Most stores are open from 9 am until 5:30 pm during the week and from 9 am until 5 pm on the weekends. Friday night is late night shopping and the stores are open until 9 pm.
Explore the Arcades
Running off of Rundle Mall is a variety of arcades and alleyways. Here is where you will find the smaller, boutique stores, tiny coffee shops and cafes and even some long-time Adelaide institutions.
One of the best-known is the historical Adelaide Arcade. Built in 1885, this architectural gem has a sense of timeless elegance with its ornate design and heritage. It’s home to a variety of specialty shops, boutiques, cafes, and eateries.
As you stroll through the arcade’s passageway, you’ll find an assortment of unique and locally-owned stores, showcasing an eclectic mix of products, from fashion and accessories to artisanal goods and antiques.
Adelaide Arcade is a photographer’s dream and is often seasonally decorated, especially around Christmas. Stop into the small museum to learn about its history.
Other arcades to explore are City X (“City Cross”), Regent Arcade and Rundle Square.
Watch the Street Performances
Watch entertaining street performers showcasing their talents and adding a lively atmosphere to the mall.
There are always a variety of buskers spread along the mall. Some of them are incredibly talented performers, others are best known for their enthusiasm. They are always entertaining, often drawing a crowd.
Grab some Lunch
Sample a variety of cuisines at the mall’s restaurants, cafes, and food courts.
While there are not a lot of restaurants in Rundle Mall itself, if you duck into one of the arcades you will find everything from tea shops to fast food.
You can also find food courts downstairs in the Myer Centre and Rundle Place, in City X Arcade.
There is also an ever-changing array of food vans and coffee shops scattered around the mall. I like to look out for Jonny’s Popcorn (I know it’s not South Australian, but that stuff is delicious!) and the tiny Portuguese egg tart stall.
For a sweet treat, visit the Balfour’s store in City X and try a Frog Cake, a unique South Australian creation.
Wonder at the Rundle Mall Sculptures
And by “wonder”, I mean scratch your head and wonder who approved these quirky and unique statues that are ubiquitous with Rundle Mall and we now all love!
The first, and most iconic sculpture is “The Sphere’s”, or as everyone knows them, the “Mall’s Balls”. They’ve been here since 1977 and are simply stainless steel balls sitting on top of each other.
You can’t miss them, they are 4m tall. “I’ll meet you by the Mall’s Balls” has been the catchcry of generations now.
The next set of sculptures to create a stir in Rundle Mall were the pigs! Yes, there are four bronze pigs in the mall, in various poses. One is even eating out of a bin.
The life-sized Rundle Mall pigs – Horatio, Oliver, Truffles and Augusta – are officially called “A Day Out” and they were a huge talking point when they were first installed in 1999.
Kids love to crawl all over them, and everyone loves a selfie with them.
After the pigs, I think there was a discussion about what to add that could stir up even more debate, and the next major sculpture was a giant 2-metre-tall, shiny pigeon in 2020!
There are a number of other sculptures and artworks in Rundle Mall to keep your eye out for too, including a huge temporary Dali “Triumphant Elephant”. And who knows what might pop up next!
Browse a Beautiful Bookshop
In April 2022 Dymocks book shop moved into their new location in Rundle Mall. While they have been in various Rundle Mall locations for many years, this move saw them take up residence in the renovated Regent Theatre building.
Built in 1928, the Regent Theatre boasts a stunning art deco design and was a centre for entertainment, hosting a diverse range of performances, from classic films and theatre productions to live music concerts and special events.
It closed in 1967 and the building became the Regent Arcade, although a smaller modern cinema operated downstairs until 2004.
Now Dymocks has refurbished the upstairs area, keeping many of the original features intact, including the beautiful ceiling. It is Adelaide’s largest bookstore and home to over 25 000 titles.
Stock up on Souvenirs
Rundle Mall is a great place to pick up your South Australian souvenirs. For all your general Australiana, head to “Australia The Gift”, or for something a little more special try “Essence of Australia” in Adelaide Arcade.
For gifts that include Aboriginal designs, have a look at “Gallery 33”, also in Adelaide Arcade.
For iconic South Australian stores, shop at “RM Williams” in Gawler Place or “Haigh’s Chocolates” (two locations).
Pick up some Coober Pedy opal at “Unique Opal Mine” and take a look at their replica dugout and a short film about opal mining.
Take up an Escape Room Challenge
If you have an hour to spare, one of the most fun things to do in Rundle Mall is to take on one of the escape rooms.
If you enjoy puzzles and love a challenge, then you will love this. There are many different themed rooms that require you to solve puzzles, generally working as a team, to help you escape within the one-hour time limit.
Our recent experience was in a Gaol Break room and we all started handcuffed in two different cells.
Take a Tour
While there are no tours just of Rundle Mall itself, there are a few tours that incorporate a visit here into a larger city tour.
My favourite is this city highlights walking tour, which meets as the locals do, next to the Mall’s Balls! The first part of the tour will be in Rundle Mall, then you. will explore other nearby icons of Adelaide.
If you are in Rundle Mall in the evening, then perhaps you would like to find out if those ghosts really do exist with this Adelaide Arcade ghost tour
Look Out for Special Events
If there is going to be a special product launch, a public appearance, a fashion show or an art exhibition, in Adelaide then it will probably be here in Rundle Mall.
Special events often happen under the Gawler Place canopy, but they can also occur all along the mall.
Pop-ups are common throughout the mall too. For example, during the Adelaide Fringe there is usually a pop-up ticket office set up. During big sporting events, there could be a merchandise stand
Where is Rundle Mall
The Adelaide city centre has a grid-like structure. Rundle Mall is in the northeast section, just one street south of North Terrace, and running between King William Street and Pulteney Street.
How to Get to Rundle Mall
Thanks to the central location, getting to Rundle Mall is simple. It’s a short walk from many of the city’s main hotels and other accommodation options
While there is no public transport in the mall itself, the tram runs along King William Street and has a stop right where it intersects with Rundle Mall. The tram also runs parallel to Rundle Mall on North Terrace.
The central train station is only a few minutes walk from Rundle Mall, and buses can be found all around it, on North Terrace, King William Street and Grenfell Street.
The best place to find a taxi is on Pultney Street, just to the south of Rundle Mall.
If you are driving, there are numerous multi-storey car parks you can enter from North Terrace, Grenfell Street or Rundle Street (the extension of Rundle Mall to the east).
Otherwise, you could try to get a park on the street in Hindmarsh Square. You will still need to pay for parking here (credit cards are accepted by the ticket machines) but it is usually cheaper. After 7 pm it’s free.
Rundle Mall Essentials
Free wifi can be found throughout all of Rundle Mall with the Free Adelaide Wifi network – but it does tend to be a little slow.
Instead, head to one of the shopping plazas – like Rundle Mall Plaza or Adelaide Central Plaza to get better service. If you’re looking for somewhere with wifi to work or study, the Adelaide City Library is a good option.
Need to hire a wheelchair or stroller for your visit to Rundle Mall? First, go to the Visitor Information Centre on Pirie Street during business hours and you can hire one for free.
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