Adelaide, the coastal capital of South Australia, is an easy-going city with a lively arts and culture scene, an inviting local community and a ton of postcard-worthy spots to explore for nature lovers. As one of Australia’s smaller capitals, Adelaide is a great city to live in for people who enjoy a slower pace of life. The affordable cost of living, well-connected public transport system and eco-friendly lifestyle only contribute to the long list of reasons why Adelaide has been named the most liveable city in Australia.
Nestled among the impressive 30km-long coastline on the one side and the colossal Flinders Ranges along with the scenic wine regions of the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale on the other, Adelaide will never leave you scratching your head about what to do over the weekend!
If you’re looking for new ideas for how to stay busy on this side of the country, take a look at these unique things to do in Adelaide.
Climb the Adelaide Oval
The Adelaide Oval stadium is a landmark in the city and one of the most beautiful sporting grounds in the state. Aside from the sports action happening inside the venue, the Adelaide Oval is known for its climbing tours where visitors can scale the 50m-high stadium roof. At the top, adrenaline seekers are rewarded with panoramic views over the city below, from the stunning St Peter’s Cathedral to the gorgeous Adelaide Hills. The roughly two-hour guided climbing tours are available throughout the day so everyone can enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience, whether you’re an early riser or a sunset chaser. Sports fans might also be interested in the backstage tours hosted at the Adelaide Oval to learn about the stadium’s history and most memorable moments to date.
Sign up for a ghost tour
Although this is not for the faint-hearted, going on a ghost tour can be a lot of fun if you’re looking for unusual things to do in Adelaide. The Adelaide Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours have made quite a name for themselves among South Australia’s community of ghost story fanatics. Featuring some of the spookiest venues with the most chilling stories in the city, these two-hour ghost tours guarantee an unforgettable experience. Among the list of (haunted) locations to pick from are the Adelaide Arcade, the National Railway Museum, the Old Tailem Museum and the Z Ward Asylum.
Visit a traditional Japanese garden
As one of Australia’s greenest capitals, it comes as no surprise that Adelaide has a big selection of public parks and gardens, each as charming as the next. The Adelaide Himeji Gardens is a standout outdoor gem to visit in the city. Located in the southern parts of Adelaide, this Japanese garden was a gift to the city from its sister city, Himeji, in the 1980s. Combining the lake and mountain garden style with that of the dry garden, Himeji Gardens encapsulates the beauty of Adelaide’s natural landscapes. If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the city, a stroll through the tranquil Himeji Gardens will recharge you in an instant!
Embark on a tree climbing adventure
Another activity for tree lovers and adventurers in Adelaide is tree climbing. Unleash your inner child at Treeclimb Adelaide, an inner-city aerial adventure park with eight elevated treetop climbing courses and more than 70 obstacles along the way. In addition to other fun activities such as ziplining, the park also offers public BMX bike tracks and a range of sporting fields and courts. Surrounded by the woodlands and lush vegetation of the Adelaide City Park Lands, outdoor enthusiasts will feel right at home among the birds in the treetops! The park’s climbing courses are open to people of all ages and fitness levels, making this the ideal family activity for a sunny day in Adelaide.
Shop at the Adelaide Central Market
The Adelaide Central Market is a must-visit in South Australia. One of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the world, the Adelaide Central Market has been around for more than 150 years and sells around one million kilograms of fresh produce each month! The market is housed in an iconic Australian landmark building and combines a diverse collection of vendors selling every dish and cuisine you can imagine. Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, German, Italian, French, Mexican… Your tastebuds will thank you for the culinary delights you’ll experience under this roof. This market is also a great place to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.
Travel by tram
As part of the city’s public transport system, Adelaide has a free tram that runs in the CBD and select suburbs. The tram presents a fun alternative to driving or taking the train for a day of sightseeing, from the Adelaide Central Market to the Botanic Gardens and the Adelaide Zoo. If you want to explore a different part of Adelaide, hop on the tram to Glenelg, a beach-side suburb with a vibrant social, shopping and entertainment scene. Along with its boutique shops, health eateries and seaside cafes, Glenelg also has one of Adelaide’s most popular beaches!
Explore the wine valleys
Residents of Adelaide are blessed to be living in one of the finest wine regions in the country. The nearby Barossa Valley is a national treasure, famed for its picturesque landscapes and award-winning wines. If you consider yourself a wine connoisseur, a day trip to the Barossa Valley is a must! Treat yourself to a wine tour to explore the area’s myriad of wineries where some of the best wines in Australia are produced. Roughly the same distance to the other side of Adelaide lies the breathtaking McLaren Vale, another prized wine region with a lovely selection of wineries, restaurants and cafes to wine and dine at.
Join Adelaide’s festivities
Adelaide has an exciting calendar of festivals and cultural events throughout the year. You’ll find some form of art or music event happening almost every week around here, but there are a couple of amazing festivities that only take place once a year. The annual Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Family Carnival, Adelaide Fringe and Adelaide Fashion Festival are just a handful of the many arts and cultural celebrations each year. The famous Adelaide Cabaret Festival only comes around once every two years, presenting the biggest and most spectacular cabaret show in the world. The Garden of Unearthly Delights and the Nature Festival are also favourites in the outdoor events category. Nature lovers, band groupies, theatre kids and foodies — Adelaide’s festival calendar has something for everyone!