Explore Adelaide’s attractions and experiences in this list of top 10 things to do.
Nestled between the hills and the ocean, Adelaide is quickly becoming the lifestyle capital of Australia. Already celebrated for its wine and food culture, this elegant city is undergoing a rapid transformation with a burgeoning small-bar scene, world-class festivals and amazing eco-adventures.
Stroll through Adelaide’s laneways where warehouses and shops are being transformed into bars serving everything from tapas to Serbian cuisine. Hit the Peel-Leigh Street precinct, kicking off with a wine at Clever Little Tailor before dropping in BarBushka for a cocktail. Don’t miss Proof, a buzzy little joint.
Marvel at South Australia’s rich bounty of produce – from farm-fresh fruit and vegetables to hormone-free meats, artisan cheeses, smoked meats and seafood. It’s all at the Central Market, where you can stop for an espresso or a bite. Better still, join Mark Gleeson’s early morning tour, sample the produce and chat to the people behind the market stalls.
Discover Port Adelaide’s wealth of 19th-century buildings, classic Australian pubs and atmospheric old wharves. Pick up a self-guided walking map from the tourist office, kayak along Port River (home to a dolphin colony) or drop into the Maritime Museum on Lipson Street. Afterwards, visit the Port Dock Brewery Hotel for a craft beer or two.
Visit Adelaide’s most elegant boulevard, North Terrace, home to the city’s most important cultural institutions. Apart from State Parliament, Adelaide Casino and the Convention Centre, this tree-lined street hosts the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and The University of Adelaide. Round off your walk by visiting the Botanic Gardens, a legacy of Adelaide’s past with historic buildings and three striking glasshouses on site.
When the mercury rises, head to one of Adelaide’s many popular ocean beaches. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Glenelg, or the laid-back vibe of Henley and Grange with wooden piers, beachside cafes and old-school pubs. For the ultimate retro beach experience, drive down to Semaphore. There’s an esplanade, fish’n’chip shops, safe swimming and a park for the kids.
Hop on one of the free bikes available for daytime hire at a number of depots in the CBD, including Bicycle SA in Franklin Street and a number of local council offices. They are a fun way to explore the city, which is mostly flat, but there’s also a lovely ride to Henley Beach along Linear Park. The trip takes 40 minutes each way.
Long regarded as the prettiest cricket stadium in the world, Adelaide Oval has recently undergone an AUD $610 million make-over. The result is pretty spectacular. Join a guided tour which takes you behind the scenes of this iconic ground. Visit the Bradman Collection, featuring objects and photographs from the private archives of Sir Donald Bradman, the world’s greatest batsman.
Head to the Adelaide Hills — a tranquil place to recharge the batteries. The hills are much more than a geographic backdrop for the city; they provide much of its food and they are major wine-growing district with some 50 cellar doors. Stop for lunch at The Lane Vineyard or Bird in Hand.