Sometimes, you can’t really judge a place until you come in person to see it for yourself. Same goes for Adelaide. It is not just a city of churches – like what some would say. Adelaide has lots of things in store for all kinds of people, be it hikers, shoppers or the cultured. Here are 14 things that you can do in Adelaide.
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1. Mount Lofty Summit Hike – Possible Wildlife, or Head Down to Cleland Wildlife Park!
Take the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty summit hike. It is the most popular walk of them all, and there is a good reason for that. With well-made paths, waterfalls, and a cafe on each end, this hike is easily the best choice.
Don’t be fooled. The hike only took around 3 hours return for us but crikey, the hike was really very steep!
The Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty walking trail is also currently under major restoration work, which is expected to finish at the end of 2019. This means that there will be detours every now and then, which will require greater care to traverse as they may be longer and/or steeper.
Side note: We actually hiked up Mount Lofty twice and took the Mt Lofty from Chambers Gully hike instead. We managed to spot lots of kangaroos on our way down via Chambers Gully, albeit with a not so picturesque view. It is also NOT recommended for the inexperienced hiker.
Not a keen hiker? Not to worry, take a public bus up (bus intervals to be advised) to the summit and experience the same panoramic views of the city, Adelaide Plains and the Picadilly Valley.
Once at the summit, be sure to check out the Cleland Wildlife Park, where you will get lots of hands-on time with tons of Potoroos, Kangaroos and more at an affordable regular entry ticket of $30.
2. Morialta Conservation Park – Koalas Spotted!
Take another hike at Morialta Conservation Park. You may choose to take the walks or hikes, depending on how adventurous you are. There’s also a good chance that you will get greeted by a koala near the carpark. It might even take a selfie with you!
The Guidesify team took the Three Falls Grand Hike at the park.
Surprisingly, the hike, which begins at either carpark, felt shorter and less steep as compared to the Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit Hike. Not to mention, you get to enjoy picturesque views of the cliffs and the falls.
Don’t forget to take a short walk down after finishing the hike to check out the magnificent Giant’s Cave.
3. Hallett Cove – A True Hidden Gem
We mean it when we say Hallett Cove is a hidden gem of South Australia. This tourist spot is painfully underrated, which means now is the best time to visit it while it is not overly commercialised yet. It is easily accessible via a scenic train ride starting from Adelaide Railway Station.
The boardwalk is fairly simple and there is also stair access to the rocky shorelines.
Hallett Cove was once deeply buried under thick sheets of ice. That was 280 million years ago. This is why a rocky beach exists, which is filled with glacial markings and scratches.
Subsequently, erosion took place at Hallett Cove, uncovering unusual features such as The Sugarloaf – a colourful blob of sand and clay that reveals various layers of lake sediments. Where did the (disappeared) lake come from?
The melted ice of course.
4. Adelaide Farmers’ Market – Every Sunday
As you may or may not know, Australia boasts a robust agriculture culture who is not only capable of feeding its own population but a good proportion of the world as well. This means that everywhere in Australia, including Adelaide, will almost without a doubt hold a vibrant weekly farmers’ market.
The market is free to enter! And that’s just the icing on the cake. The Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market opens 9 am – 1 pm every Sunday and is South Australia’s largest farmers’ market, which receives around 6,000 guests every Sunday.
Everything here is sold by the farmers, bakers and creators themselves and products are thoroughly inspected to meet market standards.
5. Stirling Market – Once a Month
The Stirling Market is a long-established market that has earned its reputation with the locals here. It is renowned for its diversity and quality of goods and craft.
Image Source: South Australia
Here you will find hand made and homemade items, covering a comprehensive range of art pieces, local produce, and even DIY polymer clay jewellery.
After taking a stroll at the Stirling Market, why not spend some time exploring the area too? The street radiates a chill village ambience and you can even relax over coffee at well-known cafes, e.g., Red Cacao.
6. Royal Adelaide Show – Once in a Blue Moon
The biggest and most happening event in Adelaide all year round would be the Royal Adelaide Show. It is usually held right after Winter at the showgrounds too.
Be sure to catch it when you are in Adelaide at that time of the year.
Historically, the show started off solely an agricultural show to promote rural production and bring people together. This includes but not limited to livestock, wine and food.
Over time, the core of the show expanded into entertainment.
Royal Adelaide Show now has sideshows featuring motorbike stunt shows, a mini theme park, irresistible showbags and even a show where baby pigs fly!
Who knew there would be a day where pigs could finally fly?!
Overall, it’s kinda like Art Box in Singapore but with much more vibes.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Universities in Adelaide, such as the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia, hold their examinations at the showgrounds? Those students definitely do not know what to feel about that place!
7. Rundle Mall – Great Place to Unwind
Ask any local where to explore first in Adelaide and Rundle Mall probably comes first to their minds (even if it’s as a joke).
This pedestrian street mall has become the centrepiece of the city centre, where it houses numerous flagship stores. Enjoy a relaxing walk down the street with numerous buskers performing their hearts out – from singers to violinists to yo-yo professionals.
Quite often, there will also be events and roadshows held at Rundle Street. It is really quite a lively scene out there!
Don’t miss out the Adelaide and Regent Arcades, where they feature smaller independent store-owners.
8. Central Market or Chinatown – Cheap & Fresh Food Here!
The Chinatown here surely feels of a different class as compared to the rest.
For starters, the iconic Adelaide Central Market has over 70 stores under one roof, with a huge range of fresh produce. Not to mention some of Adelaide’s most popular eateries are situated here.
You can often find Asian food and veggies for sale here.
Next, Chinatown has lots of Asian supermarkets, shops and restaurants for travelers who miss home. You will find your favourite bubble tea, hot star chicken and anything Asian right here. The Guidesify team, in particular, loves the Mala food there and some of us even think that it has surpassed our own local Mala food store.
9. Adelaide Railway Station – Also the Casino
Not far from Rundle Mall (one tram stop away) is the Adelaide Railway Station that you should check out if you have time. Or, if you are intending to visit Hallet Cove, you will definitely use the railway here.
Image Source: Tech-Dry
It is a classic looking station with a helpful information centre for tourists.
A side note – Visit the Casino if you’re keen on gambling! It is located right at the railway station right at the section no longer needed for railway travel. There are always free events for anyone to enter, which usually includes lucky draws.
10. Adelaide Harbour Town – Outlet Shopping for the Shopaholics
What’s a holiday without outlet mall shopping? Good news to you, fellow shopaholics. You should and must include Adelaide Harbour Town into your itineraries. It is the only premium outlet shopping mall in Adelaide.
Image Source: Tripadvisor
It is easily accessible by bus and there’s IKEA on the way too.
Adelaide Harbour Town houses lots of premium brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, Converse, Calvin Klein and many more. There’s even a Chemist store there.
11. Adelaide Botanic Garden – Nature in the City
It may be in the heart of the city but the Adelaide Botanic Garden has much to offer.
Discover the beauty and rich diversity of plants at the beautifully maintained gardens. It has many stunning architecture too, such as the Bicentennial Conservatory, Palm House, Amazon Waterlily Pavilion and the Santos Museum of Economic Botany.
Want to take a rest here? There are cafes and restaurants scattered around the garden for you to dine at.
12. Glenelg Beach – Henley Beach Also Recommended!
Tired of the city? Take a tram out of the free tram zone (for once) and head your way down to the end of the line. The tram drops you right at the beach.
Image Source: South Australia
Glenelg is a popular tourist destination for you to spend your lazy afternoons at. The beach stretches for miles and you will be amazed at how quiet it can be sometimes.
Enjoy the peaceful sea breeze and unblocked sunsets, coupled with a nice glass of wine and fresh seafood. Unforgettable memories will be made here with your loved ones.
13. Adelaide’s Cultural Boulevard, North Terrace – For the Artsy Fartsy
Are you into abstract and modern art? Or, maybe you are keen on learning more about the Kaurna People of South Australia?
If your answer is yes, come to the South Australia Museum and Art Gallery to do so. Both museums are free to enter and host lots of stunning collections. These collections are usually of national and international significance.
The South Australia Musuem is great for kids too! There is a whole section on wildlife and your kids will absolutely immerse themselves with the wildlife displays.
14. Hahndorf – Timeless German Town in the Adelaide Hills
Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and currently also an important tourism spot.
There are no words to describe this little picturesque village. Hence, experience the beautiful village of Hahndorf with this short film.
These are just a few of touristy things to do in Adelaide. South Australia is a vast place with lots more to discover and we are open to suggestions to any new additions that you may have.
All this travelling is sure to make your tummy rumble! Here’s a list of food spots in Adelaide that you may want to dine at (coming soon).
Last updated on March 15th, 2020.
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