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1 Week in Adelaide

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Wining, dining, culture and adventure – while being surrounds by stunning parks and greenery. Adelaide is sure to surprise and delight you. 

Read on for our suggestions on the best things to do in Adelaide and the greater regions. 

Day 1 - Discover the Best of Adelaide

Morning

First up: Welcome to Adelaide! Start your adventure in our wonderful city with a visit to the Adelaide Central Market, the largest under-cover market in the Southern Hemisphere. It is bustling with vibrants sights and the smells of beautiful, fresh food. Peruse the stalls for a nibble or pick up some pressies for foodie friends. Go on a guided tour to hear the rich stories of the Market and stallholders, many who have been there for decades.

Gouger Street and China Town are just a short stroll away. Here you’ll find authentic Asian eats at deliciously good prices.

After breakfast has settled, navigate the city and its luscious Park Lands on two wheels with our Explore Adelaide by Bike map. Head to one of many locations all around town to pick up a free bike and be on your way. Pedal along the beautiful River Torrens Linear Park Trail where you might get a glimpse of the Popeye, a boat that has been conducting cruises for over 75 years. Soak in the verdant surrounds and continually evolving architecture when you cross the footbridge to the Festival and Convention Centres. Continue all the way down to the experience the heritage buildings of the University of Adelaide, and Adelaide Zoo.


Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

Afternoon

Indulge in an afternoon of culture and shopping at the Northern Side of the city. Mix and match from the list below to make up your perfect afternoon. It’s up to you and there’s plenty to do at each pitstop.

Rundle Mall – One of the busiest malls in Australia, with more than 700 retailers.

North Terrace Cultural Precinct – Home to the Art Gallery of South AustraliaSouth Australian Museum and Migration Museum. Indulge curious minds and your imagination at one of these cultural gems.

Adelaide Botanic Garden – This leafy oasis spans over 20 hectares and is filled with flora, architecture and museums.

Evening

Wrap up your day by finding out why Adelaide’s considered such a foodie paradise. With over 70 pubs in the city alone, hole-in-the-wall institutions, and an emerging bar and restaurant scene that is making its mark Australia wide, there’s something for every mood and every palette.

Lonely Planet named Adelaide’s West End as one of the top three coolest neighbourhoods in Australia, with good reason. Hindley Street and the sprawling laneways off it are an eclectic melting pot of cuisines and experiences. Make your way through Peel Street, Leigh Street or Bank Street to discover eclectic bars and restaurants.

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Day 2 - Head for the Hills

The Adelaide Hills encapsulates all the charming elements of your idyllic country getaway... and is only 20 minutes from the city! It is a gorgeous and sprawling region pebbled with bustling small towns, quaint villages, vineyards and plenty of farms and agriculture.

Take a car or public transport to any of the following spots in the Hills, conveniently located just off the freeway.

Mount Lofty

As the highest point in greater Adelaide, Mount Lofty easily boasts the best panoramic views of the city to the coastline.

Cleland Wildlife Park

Cleland Wildlife Park provides an immersive, up-close-and-personal experience of our State’s most loved animals. You’ll even get the chance to feed kangaroos and emus while learning about the importance of conservation.

Stirling and Aldgate

Stirling and Aldgate are two of many delightful spots in the Adelaide Hills. You’ll find them alongside each other, just at the top of the freeway from the city. These gems are filled with unique shops and delicious eateries in serene settings.

Hahndorf

As Australia’s older surviving German settlement, Hahndorf is full of odes to its heritage. The main street is stacked with cute little cafes, winery cellar doors and German pubs. 

Day 3 & 4 - Bounce over to Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island’s natural beauty, unique wildlife and authentic experiences make it one of South Australia’s most enduring and popular attractions. Trips are available to the Island every day of the year but since you only have a week in town, we recommend a 2-day trip so you can enjoy all it has to offer.

KI, as the locals know it, is a pristinely preserved Australian bush habitat - making it the ultimate place to unplug and reconnect with nature.

Some of KI’s most spectacular sights include the Remarkable Rocks, a huge granite headland whittled into a fascinating structure by eons of the elements, Vivonne Bay, named the best beach in the Australia in 2002, Seal Bay, an enormous beach colony of sea lions, and of course, the kangaroos which abound all over the island.

Kangaroo Island’s wonderful produce includes wine, fresh food, woollen products and Ligurian Bee honey from the only pure-bred, disease free Ligurian bees left in the world! The Island is highly quarantined from the mainland so be careful about what you bring ashore so as not to pollute or disrupt KI’s ecosystem.

It’s worth having a look over KI’s calendar of events too. Time your trip to fit with the Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival for all of the frivolity a horse racing carnival brings.

Getting to and from KI can only be done with the SeaLink ferry. There are tour-package options to get from the city to Kangaroo Island which include accommodation, ferry and tour costs, or you can drive yourself to the island and explore at your own pace.

For more information on Kangaroo Island, and to make bookings for the SeaLink ferry across, visit tourkangarooisland.com.au or sealink.com.au.

Day 5 - Wine Time!

Now that you’ve experienced the natural wonder of Kangaroo Island, get acquainted with Adelaide is known for all over the world – our wine regions. South Australia is one of the nine of the Great Wine Capitals of the World, alongside Bordeaux in France, Napa Valley in the US and Bilbao Rioja in Spain.

There are various wine regions in South Australia. McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley are our most visited regions and you can easily enjoy the fruits of their labour in a day trip from the Adelaide CBD. Take a drive out and explore at your own pace or indulge the senses and let someone else navigate on a professional wine tour.

South Australia accounts for more than 60% of Australia’s total wine exports so you may have already come across a few of the local cellar doors!

Here’s a quick run-down of each region:

The Barossa Valley

The Barossa is one of South Australia’s oldest wine regions and sits north of the city. It is made up of a series of small towns spread across gorgeous rolling hills of vineyards, pastures and Australian bush. The Barossa is infamous for its Shiraz, a bold variety of red wine, which comes from some of the oldest continuing Shiraz vines in existence. Having originally been home to the Peramangk Aboriginal language group, the area was explored by the English and settled mostly by Prussian and Cornish communities. These roots run deep in the Barossa today, with differences between these communities still being evident in the architecture, food and names of the valley’s towns.

While you’re there, be sure to pick up some of the other beautiful local produce like fruit, veggies, cheeses and olive oil.

Learn more about The Barossa Valley, or take a look at the tours on offer.

McLaren Vale

You’ll find McLaren Vale south of the city, overlooking the ocean and neighbouring beach towns of Willunga and Aldinga.

McLaren Vale is known for its dry red wines, but also for a spirit of renewal and experimentation across its many wineries. Don’t expect to find one or two stand out varieties in McLaren Vale. Here you’ll find a huge range of types and blends from all over the world including Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Barbera.

Learn more about McLaren Vale, or take a look at available tours.


Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

Day 6 - Hit the Beach

If a day-long wine tour has left you feeling a little dusty, take a breather and relax with a day on the beach. Head to Glenelg, a 30-minute tram ride away from the city, or one of the many surrounding beaches which are only a short bus or car ride away.

Find your spot along Glenelg’s pretty stretch of sand and settle in for some people-watching while you soak up some sunshine. Explore the jetty and check out what the fishermen are catching at the far end. You might make it in time to catch a local beach volleyball competition or get the chance to play yourself. If you have the energy and are feeling adventurous, book a cruise to swim and play with dolphins!

You’ll find an array of shopping boutiques, bars and restaurants minutes from the beach. Take a stroll around Moseley Square or up Jetty Road to peruse what’s on offer. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat. There are plenty of ice cream shops along Jetty Road that are bound to satisfy the biggest of cravings.

For more information on what to do in and around Glenelg, click here.


Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

There are plenty more beaches around Adelaide that are a short bus ride from the city including GrangeSeacliffWest Beach and  Henley Beach. Head to Adelaide Metro to find bus timetables to each of these beaches.

If you're feeling more adventurous and have your own transport, check out the beaches and seaside towns all along the Fleurieu Peninsula which are 1- 3 hours from the city.

Day 7 - Rediscover Adelaide!

Morning

After brekky, head down King William Street until you get a glimpse of Adelaide Oval. As the third largest oval in Australia, it’s hard to miss. Adelaide Oval run ‘RoofClimbs’ across the curved roofline that give you spectacular stretching views across the city, the Adelaide Hills and beyond. With a RoofClimb Leader, full briefings and safety equipment - you’re in good hands. Cricket fans can also check out The Bradman Collection, a collection of Sir Donald Bradman’s personal cricket memorabilia.  


Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

After your adventure, continue to the leafy streets of North Adelaide and take in all the stunning colonial architecture. Make your way to Melbourne Street or O’Connell Street to discover the culinary cool kids on the block, beloved institutions and plenty of pubs.

Afternoon

For the culturally inclined, head to the JamFactory in the West End. The globally-renowned JamFactory has been championing outstanding design and craftsmanship and empowering creatives since 1973. Wander the current exhibitions or take a behind-the-scenes tour where you may catch a glimpse of glass blowers in action! The shop is filled with treasures by local artists that make for truly one-of-a-kind gifts.

If you want to relive the wonders of the wine regions, pop over to the National Wine Centre . It has the most expansive showcase and largest tasting room experience in Australia. Expand your horizons with the self-guided Wine Discover Journey where you can learn about the challenges of winemaking, explore how food and wine speak to one another, the role wine plays in Australian culture and more. 

Evening

The East End is the perfect stomping ground for those looking for a gastronomic adventure. Rundle Street and its surrounds are brimming with hotspots that will cater for all palettes. Head to Andre’s Cucina & Polenta Bar for authentic Italian or give District 4 or Lemongrass a go if you are craving Asian. Heavy hitters in the East End include Africola and Orana who made the top 25 of AFR’s Top Restaurants in Australia 2018. Ebenezer Place is the perfect laneway for a post-dinner tipple where Mothervine, East End Cellars, NOLA and William Bligh serve up some of the best drinks in town.


Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

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