It is true that when in Australia, you’ll surely be confused with where you should go and what you should include in your itinerary. It becomes even more pressing when you’ve got only a few days to spend here. After all, Australia is filled with modern cities that boast not only of skyscrapers, malls, and parks, but also of hills, beaches, and coastlines that define the country. More than these, its rich and diverse culture, flavours, events, and entertainment scenes make it one of the must-visit places in all of Australia and the world. All-year-round calendar of events and entertainment wow both locals and tourists alike.
Adelaide is every wine lover’s heaven, with world-famous wine regions just minutes away from it. In fact, it is considered as Australia’s wine capital with its more than 200 cellar doors and 18 world-renowned wine regions that are just a short drive from the city. If you’ve heard of the McLaren Vale and the Barossa, then, you’ve already tasted Adelaide’s finest wines. However, there is so much more to explore in this beautiful city.
Additionally, Adelaide is also recognised as one of the Great Wine Capitals of the World. It is a network of nine major global cities sharing a common asset—internally-renowned wine regions.
In the city, you can find the National Wine Centre of Australia. Visiting the place is a must with its more than 120 different wines to sample in its tasting room, which is the largest tasting room in all of Australia.
Then, just 15 minutes out of the city is the home of the iconic Penfolds Grange—the Penfolds Magill Estate. It’s home to many awards, including the most loved wine brand in the 2016 Australian Drinks Awards and being in the top 3 of Wine Ark’s Australia’s 50 Most Collected Wines.
Adelaide definitely never disappoints its visitors with its many destinations. It can really be challenging choosing which ones you should include in your itinerary, so we’ve made it simpler for you by recommending this list of the top places to see in the city.
Enter a wonderland of botanical treasures in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, established in 1855. This attraction features Australian native species, educational-themed plantings, a Mediterranean garden, and a wetland that can impound enough water to irrigate the entire gardens.
While here, it’s a must seeing the Santos Museum of Economic Botany to gain an insight into the role of plants in everyday life. It features a series of permanent collections, as well as a palm house, the night-flowering Amazonica water lilies, the Bicentennial Conservatory, and Australia’s oldest avenue of Moreton Bay fig trees.
If you want to see one of the finest art collections in Australia, you’d have to go to the Art Gallery of South Australia located right in the heart of the cultural precinct of the city. Out front, you’ll see a fascinating and elegant, collonaded Victorian building that was established in 1881. Inside are collections that cross all mediums such as sculptures, textiles, paintings, metal works, jewellery, furniture, and ceramics. It also houses European works from the Renaissance to the present day, Asian exhibits, and important North American pieces.
You’d know that Adelaide has a fascination for the arts through its other museum, the South Australian Museum. Just adjacent to the State Library, it is a top research facility famous for its Aboriginal heritage collections. You will need a few hours to explore its exhibits such as the artefacts from the South Pacific Islands in the permanent Pacific Cultures Gallery and the South Australian Biodiversity Gallery. If you’re travelling with children, they will definitely be in awe of the natural history exhibits featuring fossils, stuffed specimens, and skeletons. But the best thing about the South Australian Museum in Adelaide is its free entrance!
We all know that shopping is one of the best parts of any excursion, which is why are featuring the Adelaide Central Market. Situated just a few steps from Victoria Square, this market is the favourite shopping spot of the locals and is one of the world’s oldest indoor markets. Your eyes will surely feast on the multi-coloured array of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flowers, cheeses, and everything in between. Afterwards, you can proceed to Chinatown to enjoy a delicious meal at one of the area’s many cafes and restaurants. If you think you have amazing haggling skills, then, this is the best chance to put that to the test.
Glenelg is one of the most famous destinations in Adelaide, a seaside village situated in the surf-free Gulf St. Vincent. To get here, you need to take a 25-minute ride on the only surviving tram of Adelaide. You will definitely love the vibe of Glenelg as it is lined with boutique hotels, sidewalk cafes, and a lot of lively summer entertainment. And, of course, you can let the kids have their own kind of fun too at The Beachouse where they can enjoy rides, bumper boats, a Ferris wheel, and a giant waterslide.
Love animals? Adelaide’s got you covered with its fabulous Adelaide Zoo. It adjoins the Adelaide Botanical Gardens on the northwest and boasts charismatic collections of animals and educational focus. And if you think pandas can only be seen in China, you’ll be surprised to see them as the stars in this zoo. Alongside them are orangutans, aviaries, and the interactive visitor centre called the Envirodome.
We’ve mentioned Victoria Square earlier on, so it’s worth including it in our list. Victoria Square is an event venue that bursts with beautifully laid out gardens. You can admire its statue of Queen Victoria, as well as a charming fountain by John Dowie.
So, we’ve also mentioned how Adelaide is known as the wine capital of Australia. While in the city, it’s a must spending a day trip to Barossa Valley and Clare Valley. Barossa Valley is an hour away from Adelaide Airport and is one of the oldest grape-growing regions of Australia. But don’t assume it’s all just about wines because the area is also a foodie’s heaven with its fabulous restaurants.
If you go a little farther, you’ll reach the rolling green hills of Clare Valley that also boasts a thriving gourmet food culture.
Located 20 minutes from the city centre is Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. Walk on tree-lined streets with views of half-timbered houses. Inside its 1857 schoolhouse are the visitor centre and the Hahndorf Academy, which is an art gallery housing local artists’ work.
One of the most popular coastal day trip destinations in Adelaide is the Fleurieu Peninsula located just less than an hour’s drive from the city centre. It’s a perfect destination for your last day of stay in Adelaide because of its laidback atmosphere, farms, hills, fantastic surf beaches, and upscale dining. On this rugged peninsula is Victor Harbour, which is its most famous town. And if you haven’t seen whales up close, you can join a seasonal whale-watching cruise or fishing charter. And if you’ve got time, a ride on a horse-drawn tram to Granite Island is also a great idea.
These are just 10 of our favourite destinations in Adelaide, but there are lots more waiting for you to discover. So, don’t hesitate to spend a few more days in the city.