With its festivals, city beaches, a thriving small bar scene and attractions like the Clare Valley and Kangaroo Island on its doorstep, there’s plenty to love about Adelaide.
The original plan for Adelaide when it was founded by Colonel Light in 1836, was a one square mile city centre with lots of open space. Adelaide's streets are laid out in a grid and are surrounded by State Heritage Listed parklands. The Adelaide Hills and major beaches are less than half an hour away by car.
Take a deep breath and… relax. Here are some of our top picks to see Adelaide city at its vibrant, arty best.
- Take the tram to Glenelg BeachOpens external site in a new window and stroll the promenade
- Visit crowded Central MarketOpens external site in a new window and feast on laksa, chicken rice or yum cha
- Drop into the Haigh’s chocolate factoryOpens external site in a new window to pick up treats from this heritage brand
- Visit Maggie Beer’s Farm ShopOpens external site in a new window in the Barossa for her famous produce
- Take the Shipwreck trailOpens external site in a new window along the Kangaroo Island coastline
- Camp under the stars in the 540 million year old Flinders RangesOpens external site in a new window.
Get the lowdown on the different areas of Adelaide and popular destinations in South Australia.
Adelaide city and beaches
It's easy to get around Adelaide city's one square mile grid layout. The pedestrian mall of Rundle StreetOpens external site in a new window offers a collection of department and chain stores to wander through, while the wide boulevard of North Terrace is home to the University, State Library and the South Australian MuseumOpens external site in a new window in their historic sandstone buildings.
Just a 20 to 30 minute drive from Adelaide's city centre are a number of attractive beachside suburbs. Glenelg has breathtaking views and functions like a beachy satellite city to the CBD. There are shops, good restaurants and bars along Jetty Road and at the Holdfast MarinaOpens external site in a new window. It's also a lovely spot to enjoy sunset at the end of a day of sightseeing.
The northern beaches of Semaphore and Henley are nearby: Henley Beach has a cluster of good cafes and an appealing long jetty, while Semaphore has white sand, dunes and a green foreshore. There’s also a 1920s bathing pavilion and the oldest working carousel to admire.
There's also West Beach which is close by Glenelg and Henley beaches.
Adelaide hills and valleys
A 30 minute drive from the City Centre, but with a distinctly European ambience, are the towns of HahndorfOpens external site in a new window, Stirling and Mount Barker. Here it's both a cool climate wine area and a fruit growing district with strawberry fields, apple groves, cherries and figs. There are spectacular views of the city from here as well as stately homes and manicured gardens.
Sample more than 40 cellar doors with highlights such as lunch at SkillogaleeOpens external site in a new window, a picnic at Annie’s LaneOpens external site in a new window or a visit to the 1851 Sevenhills CellarOpens external site in a new window which was established by the Jesuits. You can also cycle along the Riesling and Rattler trails around Riverton.
Keep travelling north from the Clare Valley and you’ll discover the stark beauty of the Australian outback. See the ghost towns along Goyder’s Line and then move into the dreamlike landscape formations of Wilpena Pound and the magnificent Lake EyreOpens external site in a new window.
Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula
A gourmet food destination, the location of the luxurious Southern Ocean Lodge and other luxury accommodation amongst populations of native Australian animals... it's no wonder that the 155 kilometre long Kangaroo Island has become one of Australia’s hottest tourist icons. Take a ferry from Cape Jervis or a plane from Adelaide and enjoy a world class holiday amidst untouched wilderness and pristine beaches.
Host to one of Australia’s richest landscape art competitions, it is little wonder the rolling hills around the coastline to Adelaide’s south attracts artists in droves. Enjoy beautiful produce, a gorgeous landscape and plenty of wildlife in this laidback weekend destination.
The Barossa is considered Australia's largest wine growing area and wins accolades for its superb wines year after year. Here are just a few of the great wineries you can visit:
- Barossa Valley EstateOpens external site in a new window
- HenschkeOpens external site in a new window
- Jacobs CreekOpens external site in a new window
- PenfoldsOpens external site in a new window
- Peter Lehmans WinesOpens external site in a new window
- Wolf BlassOpens external site in a new window
But it's not all about wine. This charming region also has great markets, expansive national parks and is littered with art galleries.
Australian Dollar (AU$)
220-240V / 50Hz
The weather in Adelaide is moderate year round with typically blue skies and low humidity. Summer (December to February) averages are around 28°C but it can get extremely hot, reaching 40°C and higher. Winters (June to August) can be cold but average approximately 15°C. Autumn and spring are great times to visit and enjoy mild conditions.
From the airport
Just seven kilometres from the city centre, a taxi ride from Adelaide Airport takes about 10 minutes.
Adelaide MetroOpens external site in a new window offers an express bus service called JetExpress between the airport and the city and also offers a convenient JetBus service direct to Glenelg, West Beach and the City, servicing all stops en route.
In and around the city
Adelaide has a small and picturesque city centre which is easy to walk or cycle around. The city has an integrated transport system of trains and buses with a range of ticket options. Glenelg is just a 30 minute ride away. Taxis are also an easy way to get around.
Adelaide car hire
Take off on a road trip around the Clare Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula or Kangaroo Island after you fly to Adelaide.
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