Things to do in Adelaide
Written by Esther Johnson
Adelaide is one of the best cities to visit in Australia if you’re someone who enjoys a bit of everything but doesn’t want a sensory overload on your holiday. Located along the southern coastline of Australia, Adelaide is home to stunning sandy beaches that are never overcrowded and the most amazing natural light for photography or simply boosting your levels of vitamin D! The city is just big and busy enough to get your city holiday fix of shopping, luxury hotels, architecture, theatre and music performances, bars and restaurants, but not so big that you can’t enjoy a quiet, mindful stroll along the Torrens river, Linear Park or the Adelaide Hills. You can even swing from the trees in the Adelaide Parklands with TreeClimb Adelaide if you fancy a treetop adventure in Adelaide’s beautiful gum trees.
Want to know the best places to visit in Adelaide and what to do in Adelaide? Whether it’s shopping, the Arts, sport, the beach, gourmet food, nature or history you’re interested in, Adelaide has all this and more to offer.
Adelaide Places to Shop 🛍
Adelaide is a great place to stock up on some pretty cool surf and swim wear. You will find all the brands you know and love in the city’s main shopping precinct, Rundle Mall. For luxury brands, pop into David Jones. Adelaide is the home of iconic Australian fashion brand, RM Williams. Visit the RM Williams store on Gawler Place, just off Rundle Mall, or if you have a car, take a short drive out of the city to the RM Williams Outback Heritage Museum and Store in Percy Street, Prospect, where it all began for RM Williams.
Love chocolate? Make sure you pop in to Haigh’s Chocolates on Beehive Corner, Rundle Mall. In the 1990s the good name of Haigh’s was synonymous with our gourmet food brand, Ditters. They are both brands that Adelaide locals know and love. Historically there was a Ditters store on Gawler Place, however, our products are now exclusively available online or at Icons South Australia at the Adelaide Airport. We are renowned for our Ditters Gourmet Cake, a whole fruit and nut cake full of premium glacé fruit, dried fruit and nuts.
Adelaide Arts Scene 🎸
Adelaide is known as the Festival State of Australia, hosting Australia Day in the City (26 Jan), Crush (Jan), Adelaide Fringe (Feb/Mar), Adelaide Festival (Mar), WomAdelaide (Mar), Tasting Australia (Apr), South Australia History Festival (Apr/May), DreamBig Children’s Festival (May/Jun), Adelaide Cabaret Festival (Jun), SALA Festival (Aug), Adelaide Guitar Festival (Jul), and OzAsia Festival (Sep/Oct) which features the Moon Lantern Festival in Elder Park. Find out more about Adelaide’s festivals.
Adelaide boasts its own world class symphony orchestra. Be sure to look up their concert calendar when you’re in Adelaide. The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performs at the beautiful and historic Adelaide Town Hall, so you can enjoy both music and architecture when you attend a concert. Be sure to also check out Adelaide’s jazz music scene at The Governor Hindmarsh.
If you love music theatre and plays, don’t leave Adelaide without visiting the Adelaide Festival Centre, South Australia’s principal performing arts venue and presenter of theatre, dance, music and exhibitions. There are so many shows to choose from, including Disney’s hit broadway musical, Aladdin, and old favourites like West Side Story. Do try the Adelaide Entertainment Centre too for even more live performances and pop music concerts.
Adelaide Sport 🏉
Any visit to Australia should include a taste of Australian Rules Football. In Adelaide, there are two main rival teams: Adelaide Football Club (Adelaide Crows) and Port Adelaide Football Club (Port Power). You may be lucky enough to be visiting Adelaide during one of our famous Showdowns at Adelaide Oval. Even if there isn’t a match scheduled during your holiday, you may like to experience Adelaide Oval by going behind the scenes on a Stadium Tour, embarking on a thrilling RoofClimb adventure, or sampling the best of South Australia’s food and wine at Hill of Grace Restaurant.
Adelaide Beaches 🌊
The easiest beach to get to from the city centre is Glenelg beach, easily accessible by a direct tram. Plan your journey and download the metroMATE app so you can look up when the next bus, tram or train will get to your stop. If you have more time, go where the locals go and visit Port Noarlunga, Seacliff Beach, Henley Beach and Grange Beach. Remember to wear a hat in spring and summer.
Adelaide Food 🍳
Adelaide locals love heading out for brunch. Here are some of Adelaide’s best brunch spots. For lunch, dinner or late night snacks, head straight to Gouger Street, Chinatown, in the city centre (Victoria Square tram stop) for a wide variety of foods, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Korean and Argentinian. While you’re there, try Adelaide’s award winning gelato from 48 Flavours, Adelaide’s best ice cream shop. You should also stroll through Adelaide Central Market, Adelaide’s premier food destination for multicultural cuisine and fresh produce.
Adelaide Nature Experiences 🌳
Remember that mindful stroll we mentioned at the start? You can do this at one of the beautiful Botanic Gardens of South Australia. Or walk amongst dozens of kangaroos and cuddle a koala at one of Adelaide’s top tourist destinations, Cleland Wildlife Park. We recommend taking a rental car or Uber to get there and back because tourists often get stranded at Cleland due to a lack of public transport back to the Adelaide CBD. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Adelaide Historical Places 🏛
There are over 180 places of historic value for you to visit in South Australia. These range from stately historic homes in the heart of the city to beautiful nature reserves. Want to know about five ways to connect with history during your next holiday? Read this post.
Australia’s hidden gem 💎
So, next time you plan a visit to Australia, be sure not to bypass Australia’s hidden gem, Adelaide. If you have a few days in Adelaide, you could even visit Kangaroo Island or take a day trip to the Barossa to sample some of Australia’s finest wines and spirits. Come visit us in South Australia! Give Adelaide some time on your next Australian holiday and you will end up loving it just as much as the locals do.
About the author
Esther Johnson is an Australian mother of three with Malaysian-Chinese heritage. She lives in Adelaide, South Australia, and is the owner of Ditters Nuts.