Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and the fifth largest city in the country.

It is known as Australia’s “festival state”.

Adelaide also has some of the finest wines, museum, galleries and gardens.

We’ve picked out the best fun things to do in Adelaide so you can maximise your experience in this quaint city. 

Table of Contents

1. Kangaroo Island

Australia’s third largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island, Kangaroo Island is located 112 kilometres south-west of Adelaide.

The island has become a tourist destination in the last few decades, popular for its natural state and large population of interesting wildlife.

Around one quarter of Kangaroo Island is conserved in National Parks, Conservation Parks and five Wilderness Protection areas.

Most visitors go to the Flinders Chase National Park where they can see the Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch.

Kelly Hill Caves is another interesting stop where you can see underground caves lead by a tour guide.

To see wildlife, go to Seal Bay or Raptor Domain.

Kangaroo Island is also a growing wine region so there will be some opportunities for wine tasting.

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2. Murray River

The Murray River has long been a place of great significance for South Australia.

It was linked to Indigenous Australians.

While non-Indigenous settlers relied on the Murray as a source of clean water.

The Murray River stretches some 2,508 kilometres and is Australia’s longest river.

It winds through three states before emptying into the ocean at Lake Alexandria.

Along the river, you will find unique small towns, Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park, wildlife, fine wines, and more activities. 

With so many attractions on the Murray River, joining a multi-day tour would be the most convenient way of exploring this region.

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3. Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve

If you plan on visiting the Murray River, you won’t miss the amazing Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve.

A guided walkway tour will showcase the range of historic Aboriginal art on rock cliffs.

The unique paintings is something you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

You’re also likely to see local wildlife like koalas, kangaroos and kookaburras.

Best way to see the reserve is on a 4 night cruise down the Murray River. 

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4. McLaren Vale Wineries

Located around 35 kms south of Adelaide, the McLaren Vale wine region is renowned as an area of natural beauty.

It is one of the wine hubs of South Australia.

In the last decade it has become internationally recognised for the quality wines it produces.

McLaren Vale is a popular place to visit for domestic and foreign wine enthusiasts.

You will find a large range of wine cellars, the best local produce for dining, and beautiful beaches to relax.

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5. Barossa Valley

Renowned all over the world, the Barossa Valley is another one of Adelaide’s famous wine producing region.

Located just one hour from the Adelaide airport, the Barossa Valley is popular with visitors looking to sample the regions delightful wines and gourmet food options.

You can also experience the area’s unusual cultural heritage.

Distinctly European in many ways, the Barossa Valley offers lush landscapes and natural scenery along with local fresh food and rich wine.

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6. South Australian Aviation Museum

The South Australian Aviation Museum is located in Port Adelaide,

It was started by a group of enthusiasts with an interest in aviation history and aircraft restoration.

The museum is now home to a number of aircraft and a series of aircraft engines.

You will also find a range of displays and a collection of heritage rockets.

Some exhibits even allow visitors to climb on board!

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7. Rundle Mall

A major shopping centre of Adelaide, Rundle Mall hosts about 400,000 customers every week.

More than 80% of visitors to the city end up here at some point.

With hundreds of retailers and a uniquely Australian history, it isn’t hard to see why the mall is so popular.

Visitors come to peruse the many stores and sample food from various outlets.

Alternatively, you can simply wander around and take in the atmosphere of this heritage landmark.

There may even be a few buskers entertaining the crowds during the day.

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8. Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo is Australia’s second-oldest wildlife park and is located in parklands north of Adelaide’s city centre.

It is operated on a not-for-profit business model.

The zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals of 250 different species.

They have strong focus on conservation and run extensive breeding programs.

See the modern open exhibits housing Giant Pandas, Sumatran Tigers, Chimpanzees, Galapagos Tortoises, Pygmy Marmosets, a range of Australian native animals.

Talks are feeding sessions are held throughout the day.

However, for the ultimate wildlife experience, book a behind the scenes tour with some of the cutest animals on the planet.

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9. Mount Lofty

Located 20 minutes from Adelaide’s city centre, Mt Lofty is the highest point in the southern Mt Lofty Ranges.

It is a popular location for travellers and residents.

From the summit, visitors can enjoy beautiful vistas of the surrounding area.

You may even see as far as Kangaroo Island.

However, there’s more to the summit than just the views.

You can also try a walking trail and experience Australia’s native wildlife while enjoying the unique natural atmosphere of Mt Lofty.

If you want to be guaranteed animal sightings, visit the nearby Cleland Wildlife Park.

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10. Cleland Wildlife Park

The Cleland Wildlife Park, located 20 minutes from Adelaide’s city centre, is a wildlife sanctuary home to South Australia’s most iconic animals.

Situated inside the Cleland Conservation Park, the Cleland Wildlife Park is home to 130 individual native animals.

Visitors flock to the wildlife park to see koalas up close and to have a chance to cuddle them.

There are also feeding shows, talks and activities around the park.

Of course, there are plenty of other animals to see, including reptiles, butterflies, wombats, and kangaroos. 

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11. Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval is a stadium located in the city of Adelaide, between the parklands and city centre.

This historic oval, which first opened in 1871, has played an integral part in the community of Adelaide.

It is a central stage for the area’s sporting history.

Sports played at the oval are primarily Aussie Rules Football (AFL) and cricket, but you can also see rugby sevens, rugby union, rugby league and soccer.

Join a tour to learn more about the stadium and historic sporting moments.

Or take a risk and climb the rooftop for scenic views of Adelaide.

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12. Migration Museum

Adelaide’s Migration Museum is a social history museum located in the heart of the city.

It is one of three museums that History SA operates, but the only one with a specific focus on the immigration and settlement history of South Australia.

The Migration Museum offers both permanent and rotating collections of historically significant objects and documents

It is the oldest museum of its kind in Australia.

Their goal is to promote cultural diversity and a greater understanding among visitors as to the history of the state.

For an even better understanding of Adelaide, join a complete culture tour of the city.

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13. Victor Harbor

Victor Island might be less than 100 kilometres from Adelaide, but it feels a world away.

Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula just south of the city, Victor Harbor is an ideal location to experience the natural beauty of South Australia.

The area is historically and environmentally significant, with whale watching and little penguins easily visited alongside colonial buildings and attractions.

An attraction for all the seasons, Victor Harbor serves up a range of experiences, guaranteed to suit every visitor’s taste.

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14. National Railway Museum Port Adelaide

The National Railway Museum, located in Port Adelaide, is the largest railway museum in Australia.

With hundreds of exhibits on display, and a special focus on the Commonwealth and South Australian Railways, the museum is a haven for rail enthusiasts.

It has an expansive collection of historic rolling stock and even a track to ride renovated trains.

Kids will love climbing onto the different trains while grownups can relax at the cafe.

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15. Art Gallery of South Australia

The Art Gallery of South Australia has been the centre of artistic creativity and inspiration in Adelaide since 1881.

More than half a million people visit every year.

The Art Gallery of South Australia is home to some of Australia’s greatest art collections.

With a diverse permanent collection and a range of temporary exhibits, the gallery is an attraction not to be missed.

Join a free tour run by volunteers or get your kids involved in the children’s activities organised on site.

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16. South Australian Museum

Founded in 1856, the South Australian Museum has become an important part of the cultural landscape of Adelaide.

With six floors of exhibits ranging from fossil collections to the life of an Antarctic explorer, the South Australian Museum is a place to learn about a variety of fields.

There are also free tours available so you can ask more questions about South Australia’s history.

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17. Adelaide Central Market

For more than 140 years, the Adelaide Central Market has been a place for visitors to have their fill of shopping and fresh food from local produce.

With over 80 stalls selling a variety of items direct from wholesalers, the Adelaide Central Market is a must-see on any visit to the city.

You can expect an enormous range of gourmet foods.

Unique classes and events are also held during the year so keep an eye out when you arrive. 

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18. Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens is a 125-acre public garden.

It is located in the north-eastern corner of the city within the Adelaide parklands.

Established in 1857, Adelaide Botanic Gardens contain a number of historic buildings, gardens and unusual native and international flora.

The design was influenced by the Royal Gardens at Kew, England and Versailles in France.

It is also a popular picnic spot for locals.

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For more attractions in Adelaide, check tours, tickets and activities on offer.

Prebook a tour to get the most out of your experience in Adelaide. 

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echo
For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!