Adelaide is a destination for the senses. Expect world class wineries in the Barossa Valley, shopping hotspots at Rundle Mall and Adelaide Central Market, natural wonders found on Kangaroo Island, and so much more. Whether you’re in town for a festival, sporting match, or any other reason, check out these recommendations for the perfect Adelaide adventure.
The City of Adelaide
Functioning as a home for some of South Australia’s most notorious criminals over the span of 147 years, the Adelaide Gaol is full of unique architecture and history. The site can be enjoyed on a self-guided tour, or take a history or ghost tour to learn more about its more sinister side.
The iconic Adelaide Oval has been around since 1871, and since then has gone through a number of makeovers to make this a truly state of the art stadium. From sporting matches to international musicians, there’s always something exciting happening.
Check out their guided tours, museum and for more excitement, the popular RoofClimb, to really see this stadium from all angles.
Catch the tram from the city to visit Glenelg, the beachside town with a charming atmosphere. Enjoy the many restaurants dotting the shorefront, ride the observation wheel for a beautiful seaside view, go swimming in the ocean and finish off with a cocktail on the sand. Soak up the sunset on the promenade or on a sailing boat. Glenelg is a must see when in Adelaide.
Providing a huge selection of fresh produce with over 70 stalls trading under one roof, Adelaide Central Market is the place to go for seasonal delights. Choose and taste from its wide selection of seafood, meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables, bakeries, smallgoods, health foods, cafes and eateries.
Retreat to the heart of the city for a surprising oasis. The Adelaide Botanic Garden spans over 50 hectares of manicured gardens and impressive architecture. Enjoy a huge variety of botany, from rose gardens to ancient native flora. For a bit of shopping visit the cafe or the garden centre.
The River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri
The “river of the Red Gum forest” as called by the Kaurna people, is considered the most significant river of the Adelaide Plains, extending 85 km across the city centre and far beyond. It’s a fantastic place to unwind along the river banks, or get active and explore with some kayaking, canoeing and paddle boating.
Just 20 minutes outside of Adelaide is the Dolphin Sanctuary, a marine park home to 30 bottlenose dolphins and visited by over 400 more dolphins from time to time. View their habitat of a 10,000 year-old mangrove forest with seagrass, tidal flats and saltmarsh. The sanctuary is also a great place for birdwatching, and spotting other wildlife such as seals, sea lions and stingrays.
For a bit of variety in how you explore, take up some kayaking or paddle boarding as well.
Set 25 minutes from the city in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, and the charming village is packed to the brim with cultural delights. Enjoy German dishes and drinks at its many restaurants, bakeries, pubs, wineries and cafes. Browse arts and crafts, from candle makers where you can DIY, to woodwork stalls for a traditional German Cuckoo Clock.
The Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills is a great nature escape just outside the city. The Summit provides fantastic sweeping views of the coastline and across the Adelaide city skyline. There are multiple walking trails, such as Waterfall Gully and through Cleland Wildlife Park. Stop by the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden for sculptures, artworks and even more flora.
Head 50 minutes north east of Adelaide to reach the Barossa Valley region, home to one of the best wine labels, the Penfolds Grange. With over 80 cellar doors offering not only award winning liquor sourced from some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines, but superb local produce and delicacies to pair.
Take part in a wine tour or a hot air balloon ride to really witness the fruits of the local’s labour, alongside learning the history of this iconic region.
Taking the opposite direction and going 45 minutes south of Adelaide, will place you in McLaren Vale. Boasting high quality and sustainable winegrowing, McLaren Vale is a slice of paradise complimented by its gorgeous coast. Expect more award winning wine, farm to plate meals and a warm climate that suits the beach lifestyle just fine,
For a unique experience, visit the d’Arenberg winery, home of the d’Arenberg Cube, and marvel at its five levels of enticing installations. A wine sensory room and Alternate Reality Museum are just the beginning.
Known as nature’s playground, Kangaroo Island is marked by rugged coastline, clear beaches and breathtaking views at just about every turn. The variety of activities such as quad-biking, bushwalks, enjoying a coastal cruise or a sip of locally grown wine, can make it hard to leave. Make sure to check out the local wildlife, such as seals resting on the shore, and, if you can believe it, even kangaroos.
Visit the island yourself or take a day tour from Adelaide to see the highlights.