We discover South Australia’s capital city has been dubbed Radelaide for 10 very good reasons.
Laze in the sun, meander through a national park or visit Australia’s premier chocolate factory – Adelaide delivers the goods all year round. But if you really want to experience the best of the city tick off these top 10 experiences on your visit.
Housed on Kuarna (pronounced ‘Garna’) land, Tandanya is Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre.
The visionary and vibrant space serves as a community outlet, where all visitors can experience contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural expressions through both visual and performing arts.
Their operations are multi-faceted and offer several opportunities for attendees to explore an ongoing commitment to honour and respect the traditional owners and custodians of this country. A must-visit for anyone in Adelaide.
All of the city’s best and brightest culminate at the Adelaide Central Market. Attracting over nine million visitors every year, and celebrated as one of the oldest markets in Australia, the Central Market connects the entire country with fresh South Australian produce.
It also showcases Adelaide’s proud multiculturalism; you can find every cuisine under the sun here.
There are shops devoted to health food, organic produce, herbs, spices and more. From Eastern European delicatessens to Asian grocers.
Adelaide Central Market is open every day except Sunday and Monday, located in the city’s CBD.
Check out more of our favourite Adelaide markets here.
In 1976, when the opening ribbon was cut at Rundle Mall, the then Premier Don Dunstan (who initially green-lit the project) arrived on horse and cart. Ten thousand people lined the streets, toasting champagne to a new era in Adelaide retail.
Over 40 years later, Rundle Mall remains the home of shopping, dining and entertainment in Adelaide, with over 24 million people a year visiting the car-free shopping strip.
It hosts over 700 retailers and 300 services, combining leading retail brands, a huge selection of things to eat and drink with rich history, prominent landmarks and a steady stream of vibrant buskers.
South Australia is responsible for almost 50% of Australia’s annual wine production. It’s also home to some of our most famous wine regions, historic estates and the oldest vines in the country. And if the state is wine’s motherland, then its headquarters is The National Wine Centre of Australia.
Housed within the famed Botanical Gardens, this free, public exhibition building showcases winemaking and its surrounding state industry. Visitors can roam an interactive permanent exhibition on winemaking for an introduction to the technology, varieties and styles of Australian wine.
To immerse yourself fully in the experience, follow it up with a visit to the Wined Bar and take your pick from over 120 wines dispensed from the Enomatic wine system, then finish it off with a meal from the seasonal menu.
While you’re in the area – and perhaps a tad tippled from an afternoon of wine tasting – take the time to wander through the surrounding Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
Comprised of a 51 hectare public garden, this is a wonderland for those with a green thumb, and for anyone who just likes to marvel at lush outdoor spaces.
Wander through whimsical rows of blooms at the International Rose Garden, follow the winding path along the First Creek Wetland, marvel at the rainforest in the Bicentennial conservatory and visit the Victorian-era Palm House greenhouse.
Soak up the state’s art, history and culture at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Housed in the iconic North Terrace building in the city’s arts precinct, the gallery showcases carefully curated exhibitions for a unique and memorable experience.
Roam the huge collection of over 40,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, sketches, photographs, textiles and design works from all around the world.
7. Visit one of the beautiful beaches
Adelaide has so much food, culture, art and wine to offer, that many forget it’s also home to some A+ beaches.
Family-friendly Glenelg Beach is one of the most popular and is accessible via tram from the city to Moseley Square. Henley Beach is a high-end option, with the surrounding restaurants, cafes and shops catering to the luxury traveller. For history buffs, Semaphore Beach is surrounded by Art Deco architecture. Be sure to check out the iconic 1920s Palais bathing pavilion while you’re there.
You’ll find Morialta Conservation Park just 10 km north-east of Adelaide city centre.
The park is home to three striking waterfalls, all linked by three hiking trails ready to be explored at your leisure. If you’d like to tick off all three, the 7.5km hike will take about four hours.
Kids will love the brand new Mukanthi nature play space, or the chance to climb the Birds Nest, discover an Aboriginal fire pit at Frog Island, find the secret tunnel at Great Snake, and reach the peak at Eagles Perch.
Morialta is also one of the state’s most popular spots for rock climbing, with options that vary in difficulty for both beginners and experts.
9. Take a walking tour around Port Adelaide
Self-guided walking tours are a great way to explore and get a feel for a place, and Port Adelaide is an exceptionally beautiful place to do just that.
It may be renowned for its mighty AFL team, but Port Adelaide is also the city’s rejuvenated industrial district, home to the South Australian Maritime Museum, South Australian Aviation Museum and National Railway Museum.
The suburb’s central hub, Hart’s Mill, plays hosts to music and art events and a Sunday food market, as well as the Fishermen’s Wharf Markets which sells collectibles and vintage clothes.
A self-guided tour allows you to take in all of this, plus the 1800s buildings and heritage pubs, along with art galleries and the chance to catch a glimpse of the only inner-city dolphins in the world.
Maps can be downloaded from the tourism authority, here.
10. Taste Adelaide’s greatest export
It was 1st May 1915, when Alfred E Haigh opened the doors of the very first Haigh’s Chocolates store at 34 King William Street, Adelaide. In 1917 Alfred bought a family home and land at Parkside, where he built a small factory.
Fast forward to today: Haigh’s is one of Australia’s world renowned chocolate companies, and that modest factory is now a Visitors Centre, open to the public for free tours and tastings.
Chocolate lovers are able to see the team of confectioners in action, using artisan skills to create and hand finish the delicious range of chocolate. There are opportunities for tastings (thank god) and also an extensive gift shop to ensure you leave with a bag full of edible souvenirs.