If you’re after immersive experiences, experience these top tours in the South Australian capital.
The South Australian capital offers a range of inspiring tours for everyone from families to couples looking for romance. Be it a gondola ride up the River Torrens, a hands-on cooking class, a climb to the top of Adelaide Oval, you’ll find something for all in Adelaide. Here are 10 tours to book in Adelaide.
Do you want to learn to master pasta? Perhaps you prefer the thrill of grill? Maybe you want to learn to make the most of everyday seasonal ingredients? Sprout Cooking School has been offering hands-on cooking classes since 2011 and locavores will love the fact they get to wander around the Adelaide Central Market before returning to their place behind a cutting board to prepare a Market to Plate feast.
Want a new outlook on life? Climb to the top of the Adelaide Oval and make your way to the Riverbank Platform as the sun sinks in the sky over the SA capital. The Roofclimb Twilight Tour is aimed at everyone from sports tragics, to adventurous couples and families, all of whom will appreciate the 360-degree views over the city. After the 90-minute climb, participants are rewarded with a complimentary beverage while they watch the stars start studding the sky.
Adelaide is a long way from the canals in Venezia in north-eastern Italy. But you can, nevertheless, enjoy a romantic ride up the River Torrens in a gondola complete with a guide in trademark black pants, stripy shirt and jaunty hat. The authentic Venetian vessels can carry a couple, group of four or party of up to six and are an elegant way to travel, day or night, up the waterway, located in the heart of Adelaide.
Australia’s leading red wine producer, Penfolds, has almost singularly embedded Magill on the outskirts of Adelaide on the map for discerning oenophiles. An Ultimate Winery Experiences tour loops in Grange Cottage, the original residence of Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold, and the Magill Estate winery and cellar and includes an intimate tasting of wines (which includes one vintage of Grange).
Listen to dark tales about scary spirits and encounters with ghosts with Adelaide Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours. The after-dark tour takes visitors through some of Adelaide’s most famous haunts such as Adelaide Gaol, Adelaide Arcade, the National Railway Museum and Old Tailem Town or the Z Ward Asylum. There’s something extra chilling about Parkside Lunatic Asylum for the criminally insane, billed as the ‘darkest and scariest tour in South Australia’.
If you’ve booked accommodation in Adelaide’s city centre, which surely you must, you should embark on an intimate 90-minute walking tour with Flamboyance Tours to experience the city’s real flavour. The F Factor food tour visits a cluster of shops and includes samples of everything from fritz, Fruchocs and frog cakes. Haigh’s Chocolates is also a highlight.
There’s a high chance you will see a few of the 40-odd bottlenose dolphins that call the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary home while on an Adventure Kayaking SA tour. If that’s not enough, The Dolphin Sanctuary & Ship’s Graveyard Tour takes keen kayakers to Garden Island near the north arm of the Port Adelaide River where, in addition to being a haven for birdlife, you will see one of the largest and most diverse ship’s graveyards in the world.
Lose yourself with like-minded folk on an Adelaide Artscape tour curated by Renaissance Tours and led by Joyce Morgan, who has been writing about arts and culture for more than two decades. The tour highlights include a private tour of Tarnanthi 2021 at the Art Gallery of South Australia, a performance by the Australian Dance Theatre, and a visit to the d’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale to admire the works of Salvador Dali.
The city of Adelaide’s architectural, cultural and culinary ambitions are on display on an Adelaide City Tour. After starting in grand Victoria Square in the heart of things, in the city centre, the whirlwind tour steers visitors towards some of the city’s treasures, such as vibrant Gouger St, a foodie wonderland, and a look at stunning examples of French Gothic architecture such as St Peter’s Cathedral. There’s also a tour of Haigh’s Chocolates to enjoy.
Adelaide’s flourishing foodie scene is on show during a Food Tours Australia eat-and-run excursion around Adelaide Central Market. The market boasts scores of cafes, stalls and independent providores specialising in everything from tomatoes to cheese and olives. Do yourself a favour and sign up for a Market Exclusive Tour of the labyrinthine market, where you will get to see just why this place is such an institution.
Find more travel tips in our Ultimate Adelaide holiday guide.