We have travelled to Adelaide a couple of time and just love the place! This blog will tell you all about the top things to do in Adelaide. However, you will also read about the surrounding regions – places like Kangaroo Island and the Barossa Valley.  But first, let’s have a look at central Adelaide.

Adelaide Tram

Top 7 Things to do in Adelaide

What most travellers find really appealing about Adelaide, is its calm vibe and great layout. It is a modern, yet very easy city to find your way around. The whole of Adelaide can actually be divided into two parts –  these two parts are separated by Torrens River. The landscapes within the wider area are incredibly diverse and will delight you. Another interesting travel fact about Adelaide, is that much of ‘authentic’ Australia is just a short distance away. By that, I mean places like the famous Barossa Valley wine region, which is a just a short drive away.  Then of course there is Kangaroo Island, which only takes half an hour from Adelaide by plane.  

Vineyard in the Barossa Valley in Autumn

1. Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The Adelaide CBD has a superb botanical gardens and is a great place to unwind after a long international flight. Plus its only a short walk from most inner city hotels.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The Adelaide Botanic Garden is home to three architecturally designed glass houses – the Palm house, the Bicentennial Conservatory and the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. You’ll love the Palm House – the architecture is really beautiful. Here’s a handy thing for visitors to know – the Adelaide Zoo is right next door to the Botanic gardens! So if you wish, you can explore the two in ‘one hit’.

Palm House Botanic gardens

2. Adelaide Central Market

An absolute must-do if you’re Exploring Adelaide Australia, is a visit to the Adelaide Central market. The market vibe here is a real buzz. What is so appealing, is the friendliness of the stall owners.  They are genuinely really nice people. And there is no ‘hard sell’ here. If you are a ‘foodie’ (and let’s face it, most people are), you’ll be in heaven! After sampling all the amazing cheeses, small goods and street food, you probably won’t need to eat out that night. There is so much variety – just when you think you’ve come to the end, you will discover something even more tantalizing to sample.

Adelaide Food Market

3. Day tour to Kangaroo Island

If you are lucky enough to discover amazing Kangaroo Island, it is worth investing in a private day tour – you will discover so much more. We used Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours. We were so glad we did, as it gave us a good layout of the land for when we drove around independently the next day. Plus we got to see things that other generic tours don’t get to show you. Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours has a special concession to see these hidden spots. And don’t for a moment think that the recent bush fires are keeping people away. The flames have been well and truly doused and much of the island remains as beautiful as ever.

With our guide from Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours

4. Barossa Wine Valley day touring

If you are into food and more especially wine, then you really must include the Barossa wine region in your South Australia bucket list.

It was not until we arrived at the Barossa Region, that we became aware that there are actually 2 parts to the Barossa. One part sits in the Barossa valley itself and the other, is to be found in the Eden Valley. The Eden Valley has a higher elevation and is much cooler. So it stands to reason that it will produce a different type of wine. Yes, there are those famous luscious red wines in the Barossa, but this area also has Rieslings. And as most wine lovers know, Rieslings generally require a cooler climate.

Australia wine growing areas
wine growing region

One of the many enchanting aspect of the Barossa, is its beautiful leafy villages. One such village is Angaston. Angaston, is a small settlement right on the edge between Barossa and Eden Valley. And it was at Angaston that we spent a great time at the Taste Eden Valley tasting room – a gorgeous little villa that showcases 14 Eden Valley wine producers.

The Barossa Valley is only about 1.5 hours drive from Adelaide Central City. If you prefer to travel independently by getting a rental car, you will find that it is an easy drive along the highway. Many travellers do a guided day tour from Adelaide as well.

5. Art Gallery of South Australia

For starters, the Art Gallery of South Australia is a beautiful historic building. It holds one of Australia’s most stunning art collections. In fact, it has a collection of 38000 works. These works cover Australian, European, North American, and Asian art. So as you can imagine, the art here pretty much caters to everyone’s taste.

South Australia Art Gallery (in Adelaide)

6. Adelaide Guided Walking tour

We are great fans of city walking tours. There is no better way of getting a practical layout of the grid with a knowledgeable guide.

St Peter’s Cathedral & Pennington Gardens

And its not just specialty shops and meandering through the business hub. You’ll find a great mixture of the old with the new. In fact, most Australian cities have fascinating histories attached to them. Adelaide is no exception.

7. Hahndorf and Murray River Day tour

Although Hahndorf is a very pretty area, it will be pretty busy, especially in the tourist season. But at those times, you can always expect a great vibe. The village of Hahndorf was established by Lutheran migrants from the 19th-century. So naturally, it is quite famous for it’s original German-style architecture. And of course their artisan food is legendary

Hahndorf Village near Adelaide

You’ll find a totally different landscape if you visit the Murray River. Although the Murray River cruise caters to large groups at any one time, it is still worth thinking about. The reason for considering this option is that the cruise also includes a scenic bus ride, which is pretty relaxing. The cruise on the beautiful historic Steamboat, also includes a buffet lunch.

Murray River Paddle Steamer

Travel Tips For Adelaide

Adelaide is a fairly ‘compact’ city to visit. Once you base yourself in the city centre you can explore many sites – all within a comfortable walking distance to each other. You can also use the tram, which is complementary within the inner city area. How convenient for those travellers who do not want to drive!

Adelaide Weather Conditions

Adelaide typically has mild winters and a warm, dry summers. The maximum temperature for the summer season (December-February) is 29°C (84.2°F) and in winter (15 – 16°C (59 – 60.8°F).  In Autumn, the weather is pleasant with an average temperature between 12.7 – 22.7°C (55 – 73°F. There is very little rainfall in Autumn. Winter is of course quite different. This is when the average temperature drops to between 8 – 16°C (46.5 – 60.8°F. Frosts will be quite common in the Adelaide hills nearby. The month of Spring brings warmer temperatures between 11.8 – 22°C (53.2 – 71.6°F).

Adelaide/ South Australia weather chart

Accommodation Options Adelaide

Your accommodation options will largely depend on where you want to base yourselves.  If you wish to be in central Adelaide, then you do have good hotel options. Most hotels in Adelaide are located in the central hub, within walking distances to the main attractions. However, you may want to base yourselves in the Barossa Valley or on Kangaroo Island.  In these places you will get gorgeous eco and luxurious boutique accommodation away from mass tourism.

Central Adelaide city hotels

Playford Hotel

Some people might consider the Playford outdated, but we found it charming with it’s old world style. Check-in is absolute ‘breeze’ at the Playford and the staff really friendly and helpful. But perhaps what guests are really impressed with, the Playford’s sumptuous breakfast buffet. It would have to be one of the best in town. The rooms are generic in style, but with a good standard of maintenance.

Mayfair Hotel Adelaide

I think this hotel is rather luxurious and absolutely perfect for couples. Nestled within the Heritage Listed Colonial Mutual Life (CML) Building, the Mayfair Hotel is one of Adelaide’s iconic buildings. All the amenities you could wish for, are provided. You’ll get 3 restaurants to choose from, one of which is a rooftop restaurant, the Hennessy.

Mayfair Hotel Suite

Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide

The Adina Apartment Hotel is also very luxurious and is set in what used to be the old Treasury building. Not only does it have a heritage status, but it has a perfect location. That means, you will have quick access to the Art Gallery of South Australia and be just minutes away from the Adelaide Convention Centre and parliament house. The Adina’s style is contemporary and elegant. There are 79 luxe guest accommodation options – all quite generous in size. If you wish, you can even have groceries delivered to your kitchen – how convenient is that!

Adina Apartments Adelaide

Here are some more travel hints while travelling Australia:

Happy travelling Adelaide!

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