Adelaide has quickly become one of the most popular places to visit in the country and for good reason. So when is the best time to travel there? With a relatively dry climate, Adelaide’s weather tends to be cooler than you’ll find in our northern states, with average temperatures reaching a high of 29°C in the summer months and a frosty 8°C-16°C throughout winter. 

If you’re planning a beach getaway, January and February are the best times of year to make the most of the warm weather. Or if you prefer more temperate weather, try visiting during spring and autumn, when the temperature ranges between 14°C and 24°C.

For the perfect family-friendly school holiday activity, Adelaide in June is prime whale watching season, while summer and autumn are when the local vineyards are harvested so there will be plenty to see (and drink) on your wine tour.

In addition to these holiday staples, Adelaide boasts a wide range of exciting events throughout the year. To help you make the most of the city, here’s our line-up of the best events to experience during the year...

South Australian Living Artists Festival – visit Adelaide in winter
Image credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

What’s on in winter

Red wine and roaring fires are the centrepiece of the toasty Winter Reds festival in the Adelaide Hills. Cellar doors and restaurants all over the Hills offer specials on their best reds, as well as hosting masterclasses, fetes and live-music sessions.

The South Australian Living Arts Festival is a month-long event celebrating contemporary visual artists who are working today and you’ll find exhibits and events popping up across the city, from galleries to bookshops and churches.

The Adelaide Festival of Ideas, which happens biennially, investigates how we think. This year it’ll run from 15 to 18 July and features panel discussions and workshops, with ticketed and free events. It’s in partnership with the city’s light festival, Illuminate Adelaide, which kicks off on 16 July and ends on August 1.

Palm House Adelaide Botanic Garden in spring
Image credit: Frankie The Creative

What’s on in spring

One of Australia’s four major queer festivals, Feast Festival, in November, is a joyful collection of films, performances, spoken-word events, workshops and more, centred on South Australia’s LGBTIQ+ community.

The Adelaide Botanic Garden is beautiful year round but spring is the time to do the Wisteria Walk – take a wander through the arched wisteria arbour, which forms a sweet-scented mauve-and-white tunnel.

Presented by the Art Gallery of South Australia, the three-day Tarnanthi Art Fair in October gives art-lovers the chance to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from around the country, to learn about and purchase their works. 

SEE ALSO: The Best Restaurants & Markets in Adelaide to Visit Now

Santos Down Under Adelaide
Image credit: South Australian Tourism Commission

What’s on in summer

Since it burst to life in 1960, The Adelaide Fringe has grown to become the largest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere (and second only to the Edinburgh Festival worldwide). It runs for four weeks every summer and you can expect music, dance, circus, cabaret and an air of unmatched excitement.

South Australians love their cricket almost as much as their footy and this December the fierce Australia versus England Ashes battle takes place on Australian shores, including five days at the Adelaide Oval. Pimm’s all round!

The Santos Tour Down Under, held in January, sees cyclists speed around the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia over 11 days. It draws some of the world’s top peddlers but it’s not all about the professionals – there are also events for amateurs and kids.

WOMADelaide festival
Image credit: WOMADelaide

What’s on in autumn

Starting a fortnight after Adelaide Fringe, the Adelaide Festival includes WOMAdelaide and Adelaide Writers’ Week. It’s no wonder Adelaideans call the festivities at this time of year “Mad March”.

In 2021, Tasting Australia attracted Australia’s topnotch cooking talent to a sold-out series of dinners and masterclasses in its Town Square Kitchen hub with everyone from Ester’s Mat Lindsay to culinary icon Cheong Liew. It’s due to return in March 2022.

Top image credit: Meaghan Coles

SEE ALSO: Perfect Weekend Getaways in South Australia

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