Best things to do in Adelaide for the ultimate getaway

Indulge, scare and jump into action with the wide range of activities worth booking in Adelaide.

Adelaide is an often-overlooked city in Australia but it shouldn’t be! Whether you’re looking for adventure activities, stunning views, nature and wildlife or scrumptious food, Adelaide is for you. We share our favourite things for you to try – no matter what you’re in Adelaide for.

Top things to do


Fine wines

No trip to Adelaide is complete without visiting one of Australia’s largest wine regions, Barossa Valley. Don’t miss out on tasting the region's fine wines, touring a winery and getting spoiled with a savoury meal at a chateau.

Alternatively, you can make your way through the rolling Adelaide Hills and learn about the area’s wine with a basic wine education introduction with a view.


Image: Adelaide Oval

See a game at Adelaide Oval

Cricket or AFL? Join thousands of die-hard fans and watch the Adelaide Crows, Adelaide Strikers or Southern Redbacks in action.

If you're not in town for a local game, international cricket matches are also played at the oval, so you can watch Australia take on top cricket teams from around the world.


Murray River

Start with a scenic drive through Adelaide Hills before hopping on the riverboat for a cruise down the Murray River.

While on board, look out for wildlife and birds as you are served a buffet lunch and are taught about the history of the paddle steamers that journeyed along the Murray River. Afterwards, indulge yourself at the local chocolate factory and consider this a day well spent.


Adelaide Central Market

Tantalise your tastebuds at the Adelaide Central Market. One of the best ways to explore its multicultural cuisine is with a tour. Many include a free breakfast and tastings of the freshest produce and highest quality coffees.

The tour comes to a sweet ending with a chocolate treat. Made in Adelaide, naturally.


Mount Lofty

Get your adrenaline pumping with a downhill bike ride downhill bike ride from the summit of Mount Lofty.

Stop at Cleland Wildlife Park to get hands-on with the animals on your way down. During the ride your guide will also help you spot native wildlife such as koalas, kangaroos and emus.

Image: Ben Goode

Kangaroo Island

Australia's third largest island is packed with activities, native animals and long stretches of pristine white beaches.

Hop on a tour to walk with the seals, toboggan down sand dunes and quad bike through the island’s unspoiled landscape.

Beach lovers can sprawl out on Vivonne Bay which is one of Australia's best beaches while history buffs can head to The Enchanted Fig Tree to dine amongst the branches of a tree planted by the early settlers.

Then, cap the day off at Admirals Arch, catching the sunset as it spills through the natural formation.


Adelaide Gaol

Get involved in some paranormal activity at the Adelaide Gaol with a ghost tours that’s sure to spook you.

As Australia’s longest operating gaol, it’s said that 12 spirits lurk within the grounds of the building that’s 147 years old. While here, you’ll even get the chance to make contact with some of the ghosts using the provided paranormal tools.


Shark dives

Only for the brave, take a trip to Neptune Islands to get up close and personal with great white sharks.

For those seeking a thrill that doesn’t involve being underwater, there is the option to watch from the spectator decks. On your way to the island keep your eyes open for dolphin pods and maybe even a whale!

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Top things to do in Adelaide for families

Murray River Paddle Boat Cruise Tour
Murray River Paddle Boat Cruise Tour


Adelaide Gaol Ghost Tour South Australia
Adelaide Gaol Ghost Tour South Australia


Market Breakfast Tour of Adelaide Central Market
Market Breakfast Tour of Adelaide Central Market


Top outdoor adventure tours in Adelaide

Top tours in Adelaide for food and wine lovers

Family Friendly Gourmet Food and Wine Tour Fleurieu Peninsula
Family Friendly Gourmet Food and Wine Tour Fleurieu Peninsula


Small Group Child-Friendly Food and Wine Tour McLaren Vale
Small Group Child-Friendly Food and Wine Tour McLaren Vale


Best events to attend in the year:

  • Adelaide Fringe: This arts festival is the second largest in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Held over a month, it features a local and international lineup of comedians, musicians, magicians, circus acts, actors and cabaret performers. Various venues, 17 February - 19 March 2017.
  • Adelaide Festival: A mix of performances, exhibitions and workshops, Adelaide Festival has been entertaining audiences for over 55 years. It includes a Writers’ Week of workshops and talks. Various venues, 3-19 March 2017.
  • WOMADelaide: This feel-good music and dance festival is an icon of Adelaide and attracts international and local indie artists. Adelaide Botanic Park, 10-13 March 2017.
  • The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Celebrating Australian art, the Biennial features works by contemporary artists across a variety of exhibition spaces throughout the city. It’s held every two years with the next Biennial being due in 2018. Various venues, February - May 2018.
  • Tour Down Under: Australia’s premier cycling race is a nine-day affair comprising of various events for various capabilities. While there are competitive stages, it also hosts family ride days and street parties that everyone can enjoy. 14-22 January 2017.
  • Clipsal 500: This is the largest domestic motor sport event in Australia and draws thousands of petrol heads to the sidelines every year to witness the professionals put the pedal to the metal. Adelaide Street Circuit, 3 March 2017.

Top 5 things to do for free in Adelaide

  • Walk Adelaide’s many food and craft markets such as Adelaide Central Market, Summer Sunday Night Markets and Original Open Market.
  • Cycle the Linear Park Cycle Track which passes by Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Zoo.
  • Visit the Botanical Gardens and its Bicentennial Conservatory. This building is the largest single-span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere, is free to enter and includes Jurassic displays.
  • Educate yourself at the South Australian Museum. Like many of Adelaide’s museums and art galleries, it’s free to visit the general exhibitions.
  • Splash around at one of the city's gentle surf beaches -- perfect for young children

Top Adelaide travel deals

Stephanie Yip

Stef is the Travel Editor at finder.com.au and has been writing about travel for over a decade. She's visited over 50 countries and has had some incredible experiences, including hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, hitchhiking across Romania and seeing the Northern Lights (twice!). And while she’d never say no to a luxury escape, she's far more likely to stretch her travel dollars as far as they can go by keeping her ear to the ground for unbeatable travel bargains. And she'll tell you all about them, too! Stef has had articles featured on Travel Weekly, Escape and Hostelworld.

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