What to do in Adelaide – our top five

As we were just passing through to get to the Great Ocean Road, we only had a short time and had to carefully choose what to do in Adelaide. Here are our top five things we managed to squeeze in!    

Adelaide

South Australia Museum

A great place to start if you’re in the city centre. We managed to potter round for a couple of hours as the museum spans over three floors and includes a discovery centre and tea shop. There are really interesting exhibitions on aboriginal culture and its history, something that we hadn’t learnt enough about in our travels in Australia. We spent ages in the discovery centre, bombarding the lovely James with heaps of questions and showing him all the photos of wildlife we’d taken. He patiently and very kindly answered all our questions and he really was a fountain of knowledge!  

South Australian Museum
South Australian Museum
South Australian Museum
South Australian Museum

The discovery centre has loads of live animals for everyone to look at and ask questions about as well as loads of specimens and displays. Our favourite was a live beehive with a tunnel leading to the outside, so they could go and collect pollen and bring it back to the hive, all while educating the museum’s guests.  

South Australian Museum
South Australian Museum

There are interesting displays on South Australia‘s wildlife, precious gemstones and ancient Egypt. Well worth a visit if you’ve got a spare couple of hours or a rainy afternoon, plus it’s free! All they ask for is a small donation.  

South Australian Museum

More info and opening times here.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Probably the most impressive botanic gardens we’ve visited in Australia so far. Covering 126 acres it has lots to explore and learn about. Unfortunately, the palm house and the main attraction (a large decorated greenhouse, imported from Germany in 1875) was under reno so we couldn’t go in. It’s set to reopen in a few weeks time so tourists can take as many Insta-worthy photos as needed!

Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The rest of the site is still really picturesque and beautiful, we loved the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion and Bicentennial Conservatory (rainforest dome). There’s also an international rose garden and a botany museum, as well as a gardening shop and a nice cafe situated in the middle of the grounds.  

Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Adelaide Botanic Gardens

We managed to get in approx. 1756 wedding photos the day we went as we counted six different brides having their wedding photoshoots in amongst the green.

More info and opening times here.

Central Adelaide markets

Central Adelaide Markets

An absolute must see of Adelaide. There are so many great stalls (and so many tasty free samples!). The large meat stall in the middle does a really tasty kranksy sausage skewer for just $3. There are loads of fruit and veg stalls which actually work out cheaper than the local Woolies/Coles.  

Central Adelaide Markets
Central Adelaide Markets

There are also flower stalls, hidden bookshelves/stores, tapas options and various popup juice/alcoholic bars. You could spend ages wondering about and filling up on good food, which is exactly what we did!

Central Adelaide Markets
Central Adelaide Markets

Adelaide has quite a few different markets on different days and even a night market in the summer. If you have more time than we had, check out Gilles at the Grounds, Plant 4 Bowden and The Market Shed for a good taste of what Adelaide markets have to offer.

More info on Adelaide central markets here.

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty hike

Waterfall Gully walk to Mount Lofty

A good way to work off all that food you’ve eaten the night before. We rocked up on a sunny a Sunday morning and it was packed! It seems to be a hot spot for the active and the fitness fanatics. Starting at the Waterfall Gully you can hike the 4km trail all the way to the top of Mount Lofty. It took us about an hour with a few little stop offs for water and to admire the views on the way up.   There’s also so much wildlife to spot, we saw lizards, colourful birds, caterpillars and frogs.  

Waterfall Gully walk to Mount Lofty
Waterfall Gully walk to Mount Lofty
Waterfall Gully walk to Mount Lofty

The trail is really well maintained but is steep at parts so can be challenging if you’ve got any injuries or if you’re with little ones. Fortunately the 10 minute drive up to the top is just as scenic and you can see all the houses perched on the hill top.  

Mount Lofty drive

Both lead you to the same beautiful vantage point with incredible panoramic views. There’s also a lush cafe to recharge (and order nachos…) before heading down the 4km trail back to the car park. A great way to get the blood pumping and the legs moving after sitting in a van for a week!  

Mount Lofty
Mount Lofty Cafe
Waterfall Gully Mount Lofty

Read more info about the walk here.

Hahndorf

After your climb up and down Lofty, make sure you drive the extra 25 minutes onto Hahndorf. It’s an absolute gorgeous German settlement hidden up in the hills. A massive thank you to our friend Jon who recommended this to us, his travel knowledge knows no bounds and you can check his blog out here.  

We arrived late afternoon which was just enough time to have a look around the boutique shops and buy a couple of souvenirs. We loved the 3 Wishes Candle Barn candle shop where you can pick up all your Christmas candles already (heaven) with a make your own station for the perfect gift.  

Being there at the start of October meant the Oktoberfest signs were up and the music was still in full swing. It would have been rude not to sample some German beer. We chose to go for the Bavarian taster selection which gave us a bit of everything.  

Hahndorf is the perfect place to spend the afternoon or even take a couple of days to relax, dine on good food and drink the odd beer.

More info on Hahndorf here.

We’d love to hear what your favourite bits of Adelaide were. Leave us a comment below!  

Adelaide street art
Booking.com

3 Comments

  1. MommaG
    October 13, 2018 / 3:20 am

    I wanted to run across the Lilly Pads 😂 The markets look great fun to explore. Wish I was there xxx

  2. October 12, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    So much to do here. Just one of my favourites would be Central Market Books – add a sofa and coffee counter and leave me there!

    • restlesspair
      Author
      October 12, 2018 / 3:29 pm

      If we had more time that’s what we would have done! Thanks for reading John, hope you are well 🙂

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