Things to do in Australia | An Adelaide Vacation with All the Australia Highlights

Posted on: July 15th, 2016 by Melissa Maxwell No Comments

How to see the best of Australia on a short vacation to Adelaide.

Today we continue our Things to Do in Australia blog series. In this series we outline how you can see all the major Australia Highlights in a short vacation, staying in just one or two Australian cities. We’ve shown how you can see Beaches & Aquatic Life, Wildlife, Rainforest, Outback, Food & Wine, Modern City Culture & Art and Indigenous Culture in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne. Today we take a look a the little capital city with a big heart in South Australia, Adelaide.

Adelaide is a safe, clean, compact and well planned city with a vibrant food and art scene. Outside of Adelaide, you’ll find the best Australian wine region and a most amazing wildlife sanctuary – Kangaroo Island.

Here are things you can do in Adelaide to see all the major Australian highlights.

Beaches & Aquatic Life

Situated on Gulf St. Vincent, Adelaide provides access to a number of excellent swimming beaches.

Glenelg is a short (free) tram ride from the city’s center.

Dat coastline. #straya #latergram #adelaide #sa #southaustralia #australia #seeaustralia #coast

A photo posted by Melissa (@pulloutmyinsidesagain) on

Still close to the city, but often a bit quieter is Brighton Beach with its old fashioned jetty, cafes and restaurants. Get away from it all for a few hours.

#Australia A photo posted by Arie Partouche (@arie1partouche) on

Henley is another option, close to Adelaide and child friendly.

For a little surfing and/or adventure head to Southport Beach.

SA is alright ☀️ A photo posted by Eden Harper (@edenharper) on

Beach visits offer opportunities to see a variety of aquatic life.

How fantastic to get so close up to this lovely creature off Semaphore jetty. Fab by @cazavi14

A photo posted by Play & Go for Families in SA (@playandgoadelaide) on

Head to Kangaroo Island to see even more! Like this little sea lion pup.

Or these guys…

Or even dolphins!

Visit Port Noarlunga reef aquatic reserve, just 45 minutes from Adelaide.

We love this photo by @dhdarts who spotted this dolphin duo cruising the Christies Beach reef, just off coast of one of Adelaide’s most popular southern beaches. Part of the Port Noarlunga reef aquatic reserve – just a 45 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD – the reef is also home to more than 60 species of fish and is an amazing place to snorkel or scuba dive – especially when you have these beautiful creatures joining you. Closer to the city at Glenelg beach, join a cruise with @temptationsailing and you’ll see even more pods of dolphins just off shore from the popular swimming beach. [Location: Port Noarlunga is a 45 minute drive from #Adelaide in #SouthAustralia. Glenelg is just 25 minutes drive from the CBD ]​

A photo posted by South Australia (@southaustralia) on


Adelaide wins the wildlife category in this series. Adelaide is your gateway to Kangaroo Island, one the world’s great nature-based destinations with sea lions basking on unsoiled white beaches, koalas dozing in lofty trees, pelicans gliding across shimmering lagoons and kangaroos wandering on rolling hill. It’s a zoo without fences that any nature lover will enjoy. Stay on the island or take a day trip.

That’s what we call bright eyed and bushy tailed! . Image courtesy: @rudidownunder . #StokesBay #KangarooIsland #SouthAustralia #Australia #authenticKI A photo posted by Authentic Kangaroo Island (@authentickangarooisland) on

“Yeah. They don’t call it Kangaroo Island for nothing… When we rolled up at Stokes Bay yesterday, a few of the (furry) locals were on hand to tell us all about the epic beach below. I’m not sure what was more gob-smacking… The ridiculously perfect white sand and blue water over the rise, or the sheer volume of of our welcoming committee. Man… what a location!” Image courtesy: @swannysa …………………………. #StokesBay #KangarooIsland #SouthAustralia #Australia #seeAustralia #authenticKI #travel #holiday #vacation #adventure #instatravel #travelgram #wanderlust #igtravel #travelphotography #nature #naturelover #naturephotography #beach #lifesabeach #whereidratherbe #kangaroos #skippy A photo posted by Authentic Kangaroo Island (@authentickangarooisland) on



South Australia is one of the few Australian states without natural rainforest. If you are really keen on exploring the rainforest, be sure to couple a South Australian vacation with a visit to Tropical North Queensland or Tasmania. For an amazing and educational rainforest experience, visit the Rainforest Conservatory in Adelaide Botanic Garden. It’s FREE!

Bicentennial Conservatory. #rainforest #glasshouse #botanical #garden #architecture A photo posted by Richard Lee (@richyfancy) on

Rainforest exhibit #mist A photo posted by Michelle Craig (@roxyvinnie) on


The Outback of South Australia, just outside of Adelaide is amazing! Drive out to Flinders Ranges for a glorious outback experience. . Kangaroos, emus and wedge-tail eagles and more abound in this unexpected landscape. Aboriginal Dreamings tell the story of serpents and giants that shaped the lands. You’ll be left in awe as you explore the largest mountain range in South Australia.

#flindersranges #outback #wildflowers #holidays A photo posted by Dianne Golding (@diannemae1955) on

Let’s go. A photo posted by L✖️K | H✖️H (@krispradw) on

The Gawler Ranges

Coober Pedy This amazing outback town is the world’s opal capital. When you visit you will descend through the earth into a maze of underground houses, churches and restaurants. You’ll even stay underground if you choose to spend the night.

Take a scenic drive through the outback to Parachilna and enjoy real bush tucker at the Prairie Hotel.

Food & Wine

Foodies and Wine Lovers rejoice in South Australia. Just take a look at any list of Australia’s best restaurants and you’ll notice that many are in Adelaide, a city deeply passionate about all things culinary. Just outside of Adelaide you’ll fine 18 distinct wine regions. South Australia is home to some of the world’s most famous wine labels. In Adelaide find wonderful restaurants, food trucks and wine bars.

What a lunch spread – grab yourself the #MeatLocker and the #BeetrootSalad for starters when sampling the Bar Menu at 2KW. This menu is best eaten shared outside in a kabana & the restaurant menu is much better individually ordered. We shared the NDUJA and Salami pizza, the tartar, haloumi fried (#HaloumiForLife), the Italian meatball subs & oh so delicious French fries. Not a huge fan of French fries over chips but these were perfectly unhealthy, oil soaked & extra salty – delicious! #haloumi #feast #corporate #corporatelunch #work #werk #werkwerkwerk #2KW #adelaide #radelaide #rooftop #yummy #delicious #hangry #adlfb #BuonApetitto #crazyweather #vino #dranks #instagood #igdaily #instafood #food #city #views A photo posted by Adelaide Food Bloggers (@adelaidefoodbloggers) on

Visit the Adelaide Central Market to get a little taste of everything! Since 1869, the Central Market has been the jewel in the crown of South Australian experiences, a haven of premium food and wine products, and 2nd home to chefs and food lovers. Take a tour to get the most well-rounded experience.

Take a tour or drive yourself out to the many surrounding wine regions.

Barossa Valley

Nice day out in the Barossa Valley #redredwine #scrumptious #nottooshabby A photo posted by C A R L A (@carla.gow) on


Penfolds in Barossa

The food, wine and animal lover might like a trip out to the Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale.

Green and lush at @fox_creek_wines – winter time beauty in #mclarenvale #repost from @jobrougham A photo posted by McLaren Vale (@mclaren_vale) on

Somewhere over the rainbow at @hugowines #mclarenvale #fleurieupeninsula #rainbow #wineregion A photo posted by McLaren Vale (@mclaren_vale) on

Spend your Australia Day somewhere on the Fleurieu! #southaustralia #fleurieupeninsula #australiaday #SeeAustralia A photo posted by Fleurieu Peninsula (@officialfleurieupeninsula) on

Adelaide Hills

Exploring the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Pretty as a picture @artserieshotelgroup #AdelaideHills #SouthAustralia A photo posted by Rachel Bale (@departmentofwandering) on

#autumn #vines A photo posted by Shelley (@goodenoughs) on


Modern City Culture & Art

Adelaide is a small city, rich in culture. You’ll find historic buildings, amazing churches, small bars catering to just about every type of urban subculture, museums, street art and tons of festivals and events.

Adelaide Festival of Arts (Feb-March)

Adelaide Fringe (March)

Regram from @missemma_jane – Illumunations shine till 1am each night. Swing past and have a look after your show. A photo posted by Adelaide Fringe (@adlfringe) on

Street Art

#love #streetart #tophammall #adelaide #southaustralia #hiddengemsadl #instagramadl @adelaidewestend @ladyburrabrew A photo posted by Hidden Gems Adelaide (@hiddengemsadelaide) on

Waymouth Street

The State Library of South Australia – Just beautiful!

Found the Harry Potter room! A photo posted by Jovin Chan (@jovin26) on

Adelaide is also known as the City of Churches for the many beautiful churches throughout the city.

The beautiful St Peter’s Cathedral in North Adelaide Photo by @heyitsbillyjay

A photo posted by Glam Adelaide (@glamadelaide) on

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

#adelaide #australia #church #victoriasq #cathedral #stfrancisxavier A photo posted by Oliver Cotta (@oliver.cotta) on


Indigenous Culture

South Australia is home to a number of Aboriginal groups such as the Kaurna (Adelaide Plains), Adnyamathanha (Flinders Ranges) and Ngarrindjeri (Lower Lakes of the Murray River) people. You can find quite a few ways to experience aboriginal culture in and just outside of Adelaide.

The South Australian Museum (free) is home to the world’s finest collections of indigenous artifacts.

Tandanya National Cultural Aboriginal Institute is an art, performance and meeting space in Adelaide. Meet Aboriginal people, enjoy cultural performances of the didjeridu and shop for authentic art and craft.

A photo posted by SAChapter (@adlarchigram) on

Are you ready for your Australian Adventure? Let us help you plan a trip of your lifetime!

Get-A-Trip-Quote or Phone us Toll Free on 1-888-359-2877 (CT USA, M-F 8.30am – 5pm).

Also See:
Things to do in Australia | A Sydney Vacation with All the Australian Highlights
Things to do in Australia | A Melbourne Vacation with All the Australian Highlights

Coming Soon:
Things to do in Australia | A Brisbane Vacation with All the Australian Highlights
Things to do in Australia | A Cairns Vacation with All The Australian Highlights
Things to do in Australia | A Perth Vacation with All the Australian Highlights.