things to do in adelaide

Here's the thing: Adelaide is often considered to be a boring city, but it's just not the case! The city is teeming with life and there are plenty of things to do! If you want to go the beach, then you have not one, but two options! Need a break from city life? Then you can head to the Adelaide hills to see some wildlife or a cool little German town! Not bad for a supposedly boring city! These are just the tip of the iceberg. Below I list some of the best things to do in Adelaide, in my opinion, one of the best cities in Australia! Let's get into it!

1. Visit Glenelg beach

Without a doubt one of the best things to do in Adelaide is to visit the beach at Glenelg. It's easily accessible from the city centre as you can hop on the tram until it terminates at Glenelg waterfront.

I believe the beach is one of the best in Australia, as it's got everything you need. It's long enough that you don't feel like there's too many people around. There's great cafes and restaurants nearby if you're peckish. If you're feeling a bit adventurous, you can try your hand at jumping off the jetty as well! Glenelg is one place you shouldn't miss!

glenelg beach tom stevenson

2. Visit Morialta Conservation Park

If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then you can't do much worse than visit Morialta Conservation Park. Only 10km from the city centre, Morialta has beautiful scenery, including three waterfalls, fantastic hikes and even rock-climbing!

The rugged cliffs and beautiful waterfalls are a real sight to behold. The hiking trails were among some of the best that I did in Australia, which is some statement, considering the hikes available in the country! Be sure to check out Morialta, you won't regret it!

3. Go to the Botanic Gardens

Each big city in Australia has a botanic gardens, but, as far as I'm concerned, Adelaide's is the best! What I loved the most about them was that they were so diverse and big. You could easily spend a good two hours wandering looking at all the different flora and fauna!

One of the highlights of the Botanic Gardens for me was the rainforest room. This is an indoor enclosure that mimics the climate of a rainforest. The wildlife and plants in there were incredible, it was a joy to behold!

With its location near the city centre, visiting is a must!

adelaide botanic gardens tom stevenson

4. Cycle to Henley beach

This was one of my favourite things to do in Adelaide while I was there. Henley beach is not as easy to reach as Glenelg, but if you rent a bike then you can cycle there in about 20 to 30 minutes. The cycle itself is great as you pass by some cool neighbourhoods and parkland in the suburbs.

The beach itself is long and spacious with great sand and surf. There's plenty of cafes if you get hungry and a walk along the beach is worth doing to take in the beautiful surroundings! Henley is a great place to spend a day away from Adelaide and bask in the South Australian sunshine!

5. See kangaroos at Cleland Conservation Park

Adelaide may have a zoo, but apart from the pandas I don't think it represents value for money. Cleland Conservation Park, on the other hand, certainly does. As you can get up close and personal with the various animals here!

The animals are tame at Cleland so you don't have to worry about getting too close. You can literally walk up to the animals to pet and stroke them! Among the animals you can see are the aforementioned kangaroos, emus, dingoes and koalas! Cleland is a great day out!

kangaroo at cleland tom stevenson

6. Visit the museums

If you're a museum lover, then Adelaide is definitely the place for you. The city has a number of museums and art galleries that are definitely worth checking out. If you're a bit of a culture vulture then these places will be high on your list.

I particularly enjoyed the South Australian museum, a big plus for me was that entry was free. Once inside the exhibits were really diverse and interesting. I learnt a lot about South Australia and just things in general!

The art gallery next door is also worth a look and has some interesting pieces of art. There's also the Migration museum and Ayers House which go into more detail about the past of South Australia!

7. Shop till you drop in Rundle Mall

Make sure you check out Rundle Mall in the middle of the city centre. It's a pedestrianised street with multiple shops and cafes dotted about. There's also a number of interesting sculptures lining the street as well, which spice up the location.

Being located right in the middle of the city means that if you're bored and want to wander around shops or get something to eat, you only have to go a short distance to get there!

adelaide street view tom stevenson

8. Go on a wine tour

South Australia is perhaps the most famous wine producing region of the country and there's numerous vineyards in close proximity to the city.

With over 15 wine producing vineyards in the area, you really are blessed with choice. The Barossa Valley is the main hub near Adelaide for vineyards and there are numerous tours you can do here.

If you're a wine lover, or just a lover of alcohol in general, this is a great way to spend a day. You'll learn a lot about the industry and the views across the vineyards aren't too bad either!

9. Take a trip to Hahndorf

Outside of Adelaide there is one of the more curious places to go in Australia. Hahndorf is a small village in the Adelaide Hills, but what makes it different is that it's one of the few remaining German settlements in the whole of Australia! The name is kind of a give away!

Although it's only small, Hahndorf is extremely charming. The shops and restaurants are built in the style of German houses and they are definitely worth exploring. I loved the food in some of the cafes and would highly recommend sampling the array of food on offer here.

Hahndorf is only a bus ride away from the centre, so it's definitely worth a visit!

hahndorf tom stevenson

10. Hike Mt Lofty

If you like a good hike, then you'll be pleased to know that as well as Morialta you can also go hiking at Mt Lofty. It is the highest point in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges and is only 15km from the city centre. Which means it's a great place to go if you want to get out of the city for a bit!

There's a few different routes you can take to the summit, with the most popular one starting at Waterfall Gully. Yes, there is a waterfall there, hence the name. Once you reach the summit, you're treated to panoramic views of Adelaide and the surrounding hills! It's a good 4km hike, but it's definitely worth it!

Concluding thoughts

There's plenty of things to do in Adelaide, but as far as I'm concerned, these are the cream of the crop! Despite its reputation as a boring city, the opposite is definitely true, it's a lively and vibrant city. It may not be multicultural like Melbourne or have the incredible sights that are in Sydney, but it more than makes up for it, with a diverse range of things to do!

If you want to visit an interesting city in Australia, you could do far worse than visit Adelaide!

Need somewhere to stay? - Check out Adelaide Travellers Inn then check in!

Guest post from Tom Stevenson - http://www.thetravellingtom.com. Images are authors own.

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