Three of the state’s biggest cultural hits sit side by side on North Terrace: the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia. Their central location and free entry make it easy to drop in ad hoc. The Versus Rodin exhibition (March 4 to July 2; $18) at the art gallery is worth checking out.
South Australia has 18 wine regions and more than 200 cellar doors are within an hour’s drive of Adelaide’s CBD. Penfolds Magill Estate is one of the closest, just 20 minutes away. Give yourself half an hour for a casual tasting of reds and whites (midweek before lunch is quietest) or two hours if you book the Ultimate Penfolds Experience, which runs daily at 11am and includes a tasting of Grange. The fine-dining restaurant here is outstanding.
South Australians are fiercely proud of their produce and Adelaide Central Market is a testament to that. Peruse fare from butchers, bakers, fishmongers, chocolatiers, cheesemakers, fruit and vegetable sellers and even a dedicated “mushroom man”. To avoid the crowds, visit on a weekday morning (closed Monday).
In the leafy Adelaide Botanic Garden, just off North Terrace, is the largest single-span conservatory in the Southern Hemisphere and the last remaining glasshouse of its kind. The Bicentennial Conservatory is 100 metres long and 27 metres high, while the Palm House is a Victorian edifice imported from Germany in 1875. The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion is also pretty impressive. All three are open from 10am to 4pm daily. Even if botany and ecology aren’t your thing, the structures are striking and the gardens serene.
In the mood to exercise? Join the locals for an early-morning charge up Mount Lofty. The starting point is about 20 minutes’ drive from the CBD, in Waterfall Gully. The incline will get your blood pumping and the views from the top are sensational. Allow two to three hours for the round trip.