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Best Things To Do in Adelaide

Adelaide's activities and attractions draw in a wide array of travelers. The city offers superb shopping (Rundle Mall), abundant wildlife and nature sanctuaries (Adelaide Botanic Garden, Kangaroo Island and Waterfall Gully) and a plethora of cultural activities (the South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia). But a trip to Adelaide is all about the top-notch cuisine and wine. For a free glimpse into Adelaide's food culture, peruse the stalls found at the Adelaide Central Market. Then, travel outside the city to wine regions like McLaren Vale and Barossa.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated September 9, 2017

  • #1
    Adelaide Botanic Garden
    View all Photos
    #1 in Adelaide
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Adelaide Botanic Garden offers eight gardens, a wetland and a forest, as well as architectural marvels like the Bicentennial Conservatory and the Santos Museum of Economic Botany. Noteworthy features include the Garden of Health (an area devoted to plants with healing properties) and the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden (where kids can learn about fruits, vegetables and herbs).

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  • #2
    Barossa
    View all Photos
    #2 in Adelaide
    Cafes, Wineries/Breweries, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Wineries/Breweries, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Adelaide boasts an array of top-notch wine regions, but for some of Australia's best vino, visit Barossa. Located about 40 miles northeast of the central business district, Barossa features more than 150 wineries, as well as multiple farm-to-table eateries and two farmers markets. Family-friendly activities like cycling and hot air balloon rides are also available.

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  • #3
    McLaren Vale
    View all Photos
    #3 in Adelaide
    Beaches, Wineries/Breweries, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Wineries/Breweries, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    To see where South Australia's famous wine industry began, head 25 miles south of Adelaide to McLaren Vale. Roughly 65 wineries call this region home, where grapes have been turned into shiraz, grenache, cabernet and more since the first vines were planted in 1838. Travelers will also find six white-sand beaches, two walking and biking trails, five art galleries and a farm-to-table food scene that includes locally produced olive oil, fresh produce and an array of cheeses and chocolates in McLaren Vale.

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  • #4
    Kangaroo Island
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    #4 in Adelaide
    Beaches, Hiking, Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Recreation, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    More than Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Situated 130 miles southwest of Adelaide, this lush island features 316 miles of coastline and more than 24 protected areas. Animals commonly found on Kangaroo Island include koalas, sea lions and an array of birds. Hikers will appreciate the 23-plus trails nestled throughout the island, while adrenaline junkies can explore the area by kayak, bike, horse or all-terrain vehicle. What's more, you can climb a lighthouse, dive near shipwrecks and sample local specialties like honey and marron (Australia's version of a lobster).

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  • #5
    Adelaide Central Market
    View all Photos
    #5 in Adelaide
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you enjoy sampling local cuisine, a visit to the Adelaide Central Market is a must. This sprawling market – which has serviced Adelaide's residents and tourists since 1869 – features more than 80 vendors selling everything from seafood and meat to produce, cheeses and baked goods. An array of cafes serving sushi, pizza, juices and more are also located on-site.

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Waterfall Gully
    View all Photos
    #6 in Adelaide
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Waterfall Gully is the largest of seven waterfalls situated in Cleland Conservation Park. At this popular outdoor attraction, photographers can snap jaw-dropping photos while fitness buffs traverse the nearly 3-mile-long Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Summit path, a challenging hiking trail that starts at the base of the waterfall. Hikers report occasionally spotting kangaroos, echidna and koalas here as well.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    South Australian Museum
    View all Photos
    #7 in Adelaide
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a bit of science and history during your stay in Adelaide, consider visiting the South Australian Museum. An Egyptian mummy, animal fossils, Pacific islander artifacts and aboriginal boomerangs are just some of the items found in the museum's permanent collection. Rotating exhibits, which have included animal prints by Francisco José de Goya, opals and award-winning flora and fauna photographs, are also on display inside.

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  • #8
    Art Gallery of South Australia
    View all Photos
    #8 in Adelaide
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Tucked between the South Australian Museum and the Museum of Classical Archaeology in the central business district, the Art Gallery of South Australia houses one of Australia's largest art collections, with approximately 38,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, ceramics and more. Standout pieces include works by Renoir, Claude Lorrain and Napier Waller.

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Adelaide Oval
    View all Photos
    #9 in Adelaide
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Adelaide Oval is Adelaide's primary sports and entertainment venue. The stadium – which is located just north of the city center – hosts cricket, soccer and rugby matches seasonally, as well as various concerts. Available facilities include a restaurant; food, drink and merchandise concessions; restrooms; and a free museum dedicated to Sir Donald Bradman (an Australian cricket icon).

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Rundle Mall
    View all Photos
    #10 in Adelaide
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Cafes, Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This mall – which is made up of 15 buildings and plazas – is the longest and one of the busiest found in Australia. You'll have access to the city's best shops here, including David Jones, Jay Jays, Ted Baker London and Haigh's Chocolates. Plus, Rundle Mall is home to a variety of restaurants, food concession stands, grocery stores and banks, so you can grab a quick bite or exchange currency while taking a shopping break.

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  • #11
    Adelaide Zoo
    View all Photos
    #11 in Adelaide
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located approximately halfway between the Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Botanic Garden, the Adelaide Zoo gives families and animal lovers alike an opportunity to spot unique Aussie creatures, including echidnas, red kangaroos, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils. But travelers can do more than ogle at the zoo's critters. Experiences like feeding giraffes, holding meerkats and zoo sleepovers are also offered (for extra fees).

    ...Read More »

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