The secret is out. Nestled between a lush coast and fertile wine country, Adelaide is not only home to diverse landscapes but also to a thriving city that has recently taken renewed pride in the beauty of being small. Here, we round up 10 of the best things to do in and around South Australia’s capital.

Play at Glenelg 

Sun, sand, bars, restaurants, water slides, a Ferris wheel and more ice-cream than you can poke a popsicle stick at can be found at Glenelg. Home to a relatively safe swimming beach that features gentle waves and an area patrolled by surf lifesavers in summer, Glenelg is Adelaide’s summer playground.

Swim at Semaphore Beach

With its old-high-street feeling, laid-back cafés and healthy dose of quirkiness, Semaphore is Adelaide’s hidden beach gem. Like Glenelg, there’s a wide stretch of sand and family-friendly waters. But where Glenelg is slick, Semaphore is low-key, with a jetty for fishing, a small water slide and skate ramp, plus an undercover barbecues that are popular on sunny days.

Join a Foodie Walking Tour

If golf is a good walk spoiled, Foodi tours are a good walk made even better. Take a knowledgeable guide, a friendly tour group and a choice of indulgent food and drink experiences – and you’re on the way to being spoilt rotten.

Visit Adelaide Botanic Garden

Adelaide Botanic Garden has a charming series of meandering paths that are perfect for a jog or walk. Venture down the avenue of Moreton Bay fig trees and past the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion – which holds the Victoria amazonica waterlily that flowers only at night – and the prehistoric Wollemi pine, one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants.

Have a Wild Encounter at Adelaide Zoo

Answer the call of the wild in the heart of the city at Adelaide Zoo, one of South Australia’s most popular attractions. An ark-load of curious residents awaits in the lush surrounds, including star attractions Wang Wang and Fu Ni, the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Get on your Bike for a Lofty Descent 

Take two lungfuls of fresh air and get set for the Lofty Descents Tour by Escapegoat Adventures. This guided mountain-bike mission is suitable for all experience levels and begins with a showcase of Adelaide’s stunning skyline, as seen from Mount Lofty’s peak.

Enjoy a Daytrip to Penfolds

Peek into Penfolds’ Barossa engine room and taste premium wines, including the world-renowned Grange. The cellar-door experience can be crowded so book into a tour for a personal experience. A Taste of Grange – a one-hour tasting selection – offers the chance to discover the philosophy and spirit of what is arguably Australia’s greatest wine.

Take High Tea at the InterContinental 

What is it about tiny foodstuffs that make them even more delectable? The best way to answer such a question is to take high tea at the InterContinental Adelaide. Book 24 hours in advance, gather your posse and get ready to spend all afternoon tasting beautifully presented small sandwiches, pastries, scones and cakes. The hotel’s high tea is held in the relaxing Riverside Restaurant and is served daily. Make yourself at home as a pianist tinkles the ivories, the wait staff offer sparkling service and the champagne and tea is poured.

Drop in to the Market Shed on Holland 

Do you know how to pronounce quinoa; prefer your smallgoods nitrate-free; seek out organic, gluten-free, raw and vegan food; or just like amazing coffee? Let us introduce you to The Market Shed on Holland. Held each Sunday between 9am and 3pm, the market is held in, well, a shed – a rustic space filled with a small yet colourful bunch of stallholders that attract large crowds.

Indulge at Adelaide Central Market

Holding a special place in the hearts and stomachs of locals, Adelaide Central Market is one of the country’s finest fresh-produce hubs that buzzes throughout the year. The vibrant atmosphere attracts locals doing their weekly shop and curious tourists, drawing around eight million people annually. Find paddock-to-plate butchers, organic fruit and veggies, fresh seafood, international cheeses and the most delicious range of breads for carb-lovers, coeliacs and everyone in between.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Penfolds. 

Shop the Penfolds Collection at Qantas Epiqure.

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