Winter in Adelaide (and even sometimes in summer) comes with a good chance of rain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy the city. Here are some ideas for what to do in Adelaide in the rain.
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TL;DR? Here's the outline
- Explore the Adelaide Central Markets
- Get Underground with the Old Treasury & Tunnel Tour
- Go Wine Tasting the Easy Way at the National Wine Centre
- Live Out Your Top Gun Dreams on the F/A-18 Flight Simulator
- Visit one of the Museums
- Experience Virtual Reality
- Get Fancy with an Afternoon High Tea
- Head to Holey Moley for Mini Golf with a Difference
- Take up the Escape Room Challenge
- Watch a Movie
- Relax with a Good Book at Bibliotheca
- Take a Class at the Adelaide Chocolate School
Explore the Adelaide Central Markets
Make your way out of the rain and into the Adelaide Central Markets. You can spend all day here browsing the huge range of fresh foods on offer, enjoying a great coffee or a delicious meal (I recommend Souk!).
There are plenty of photo opportunities amongst the colour and clamour, and lots of samples as you wander around. Look out for cooking demonstrations and other events too.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the markets and find some of the more obscure products or information, why not book a tour? There’s a highlights tour if you are short on time, or one that includes lunch for those who can linger.
Get Underground with the Old Treasury & Tunnel Tour
You can’t get more out of the rain than underground, so 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.
Go Wine Tasting the Easy Way at the National Wine Centre
Since Adelaide is one of the Ten Great Wine Capitals of the World, why not indulge yourself and spend some time at the National Wine Centre?
This is especially good if you don’t have time to do a day trip to one of the wine regions, or you are looking for a fabulous place to have some lunch, taste some wine and learn a little about the South Australian wine industry all at the same time.
I recently took some interstate friends here and we had a very enjoyable few hours tasting wine and having a delicious lunch that was much better than what we were expecting.
There are over 120 different Australian wines to try, and if you are really up for a challenge, even some blind tastings too. If you want a little more, take a basic guided tour (at 11 am) or a guided tour with tastings (at 2 pm).
Live Out Your Top Gun Dreams on the F/A-18 Flight Simulator
This one is for all the Top Gun fans out there. Get your inner Tom Cruise on and enjoy flying a jet fighter simulator. Not only can you try out the basics, but you get to try some of the manoeuvres that an actual jet pilot would know.
If you are really game, you can try landing on a moving aircraft carrier – can you do it? Located in North Adelaide, this is within easy reach of visitors to the city.
Visit one of the Museums
There are dozens of museums in Adelaide, so there is always something to see on days when you want to stay inside and keep warm.
For first-time visitors to Adelaide, the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia, both located next to each other on North Terrace, are must-sees.
For something a little different, try MOD, or for Aboriginal art go to Tandanya. If you want to venture into the suburbs, Port Adelaide is a good option with the National Rail Museum, the South Australian Maritime Museum and the South Australian Aviation Museum all there.
Read more about museums here >> Best Adelaide Museums
Experience Virtual Reality
Have you tried out this new way to see the world yet? This is great fun for all the family with more than twenty different experiences to choose from.
Spend sixty minutes battling zombies or exploring far-off worlds, even walking the plank (which is apparently harder than it looks!). Kids will love this! Click here to book or buy as a gift.
Get Fancy with an Afternoon High Tea
There are lots of places to enjoy a relaxed afternoon filled with scones, little sandwiches and cups of tea (or variations on that!). One of the most popular is High Tea at the Mayfair Hotel, which is exactly as you would expect it to be.
For something a little different, try high tea at La Boca Bar and Grill. Their sweets and savouries come with an Argentinian twist.
Enjoy delicious food as you meander along the River Torrens in one of Adelaide’s icons. Covid has limited the weekday options, but for a weekday high tea, try Bracegirdles.
There are five different locations and three different high tea options, including one with fondue.
Note: Please check all times in advance. I have discovered lots of places have changed their times to mostly only offering weekend high teas during covid, but it is possible that those times could again be extended.
Head to Holey Moley for Mini Golf with a Difference
Located in the heart of the city, Holey Moley is mini golf, brought into this century.
There’s no windmill or castle on this course, instead, you will find themed holes from Bedrock, the game “Operation”, one to grab “dollars-doos” and ET phoning home.
While kids love Holey Moley, it’s also great for adults too with an onsite bar and cafe.
Holey Moley is currently expanding to include a vintage games arcade downstairs, so after your game of mini golf, indulge in some nostalgia with Mario Cart or Pacman. Book your round of golf on their website.
Take up the Escape Room Challenge
Escape rooms are so much fun and the perfect way to spend a wet afternoon in Adelaide. In fact, I did this recently myself with some friends. 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. There are four different locations in Adelaide to give this a go.
Watch a Movie
This is a fairly standard option, but originally listed here was a visit to Adelaide’s only drive-in that sadly closed in 2022. (There is now only one Drive-in left in South Australia. Can you guess where?)
That doesn’t mean you can’t still visit a traditional cinema.
In the Adelaide city centre, I recommend the Palace Nova Cinemas on Rundle Street. They show a great variety of popular mainstream movies as well as some arthouse or foreign films.
Relax with a Good Book at Bibliotheca
Adelaide has some great little bars that are perfect for whiling away on a rainy day.
One of my favourites is the Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange, where it’s perfectly acceptable to snuggle up in a comfy chair with a glass of wine or a cocktail and the latest juicy bestseller.
And when you finish the book, swap it for one of the hundreds of others on offer.
Or perhaps try one of the rooftop bars. 2KW Bar has a great new temporary roof for winter and is warm and cosy with gas heaters, lambswool and throw rugs.
Take a Class at the Adelaide Chocolate School
You could take a standard cooking class, but why not indulge yourself and attend a chocolate class instead? The Adelaide Chocolate School has a range of classes to suit all abilities, from beginners to more experienced.
The classes vary depending on the time of year (Christmas in July) and school holidays see more family classes. Some of the other themes are Nutella creations, truffles, and even one called Unicorn Utopia.
For more details and class timetables, see their website.
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