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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- 1 Explore the Adelaide Central Markets
- 2 Get Underground with the Old Treasury & Tunnel Tour
- 3 Go Wine Tasting the Easy Way at the National Wine Centre
- 4 Visit one of the Museums
- 5 Get Fancy with an Afternoon High Tea
- 6 Head to Holey Moley for Mini Golf with a Difference
- 7 Take up the Escape Room Challenge
- 8 Watch a Movie
- 9 Relax with a Good Book at Bibliotheca
- 10 Take a Class at the Adelaide Chocolate School
Explore the Adelaide Central Markets
Make you 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? For the early birds, there are breakfast tours as the market is bustling with early morning activity. Or there’s an evening tour that includes a four course progressive dinner based around the freshest foods and local wines.
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 11am) or a guided tour with tastings (at 2pm).
Visit one of the Museums
There are dozens of museums in Adelaide, so there is always something to see on days where 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
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. Alternatively, you could try for an unconventional location – high tea on Popeye. 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. My favourite is Adventure Rooms, but there is also Escape Hunt, Mindshift Escape (which looks like it’s got some great themed rooms!) and OACE Escape Rooms which are Asian themed, offering the clues in both English and Chinese.
Watch a Movie
This is a fairly standard option, but fit’s not raining too hard, you could step back in time and make your way to the Drive In at Gepps Cross and enjoy a movie the way it used to be done. This is especially great for families as kids love the fun of watching from the car. Most days there is an early session showing a kids movie, and a later one showing an adult movie. The best part – its much cheaper than a traditional cinema. A family of five can see a movie for only slightly more than a regular adult ticket.
If the rain is too heavy or you don’t have a car, you can always 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 too.
Relax with a Good Book at Bibliotheca
Adelaide has some great little bars that are perfect for whiling away a rainy day. One of my favourites is the Bibilotheca Bar & Book Exchange, where it’s perfectly acceptable to snuggle up in a comfy chair with a glass of wine of a cocktail and the latest juicy bestseller. And when you finish the book, swap it for one of the hundreds of others on offer.
If books are not your style, then perhaps try another themed bar such as The Sorcerer’s Bar, which has a Harry Potter theme, or Hains & Co, a nautical themed gin and whiskey bar. 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 beginner to more experienced. The classes vary depending on time of year (Christmas in July) and school holidays sees more family classes. Some of the other themes are Nutella creations, truffles, or even one called Unicorn Utopia. For more details and class timetables, see their website.
Do you have any more great ideas for things to do in Adelaide in the rain? Let me know in the comments below.
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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.