There’s an old but enduring joke all Adelaideans grow up with - last one out, turn out the light. It’s a reference to an old misnomer that there’s so little to do in Adelaide. All the natives have left - or they’re leaving. Now a part of South Australian folklore, this parochial cliché evokes a wry smile from locals - Adelaide residents and visitors alike know there are countless fun things to do in Adelaide for all ages.
And it’s true. Despite my many visits, I still have an Adelaide to-do list a mile long. From the world-famous month-long Fringe Festival to Australia’s most iconic wine country, there are definitely more than 20 fun things to do in Adelaide for all ages.
Fun Things To Do In Adelaide
There’s a litany of Adelaide must-dos. I‘ve selected 20, and broken them up into 5 categories - family fun, food and wine, for the kids, for the grown-ups, and sport and adventure.
Make sure you read on to the end. You’ll find a cool little guide with five of Adelaide’s best camping spots.
1. Feed The Lions At Monarto Safari Park
Cost: $165 per person
Time: Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 3:20pm - 4:35pm. Allow a minimum half day to tour the zoo prior to lion feeding.
Montaro Safari Park is one of Adelaide's most famous family attractions. Take your zoo trip next level and feed the lions their bedtime meal.
The lion feeding fee covers park entry, and while a little pricey, is a once in a lifetime experience where you come within arms reach of the king of the jungle. Available year-round, but only four days per week, bookings are essential.
2. Dolphin Sanctuary And Ships Graveyard Kayak Tour
Cost: $75 per person
Time: 3 hours
The mystery of shipwrecks meets the majesty of wild dolphins, as you get up close and personal with both. Take the 3-hour guided kayak tour on Adelaide's Maritime Heritage Trail. Its history, nature, and kayaking adventure rolled into one awesome Port Adelaide experience. Bring snacks and covered shoes. Bookings are essential, and a modicum of physical fitness is recommended.
3. Glenelg Beach. Adelaide’s Summertime Wonderland
Cost: The beach is always free. Moseley Beach Club has a free entry. Day beds start with a deposit of $100, which can be redeemed food, drinks & merchandise.
Time: Moseley Beach club opens 7 days December through May, 11am till late. Spend a few hours or the entire day
Adelaide is blessed with magnificent city beaches where the fringes of the Southern Ocean lap gently onto white sands. Glenelg beach is Adeaide’s most famous, and possibly the best place for the family to get a true taste of southern city/coastal culture. You’ll love the cafes and the kids will revel in the amusement park. But the whole family will delight in reclining on the surf-side deck chairs at the family-friendly Moseley Beach Club. Get a taste of the Mediterranean and stay till dusk for a magnificent sunset over St Vincent Gulf.
4. The Adelaide Fringe Festival
Cost: There are many free events. Member ship tickets cost $45 which includes unlimited events. Only limited tickets available.
Time: Allow at least a day. The festival runs for a month - Feb/March
The Adelaide Fringe Festival is Australia's most iconic cultural celebration. Held annually, the four-week event is the second biggest arts festival in the world. It’s overflowing with free family-friendly entertainment that includes comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, visual arts, music, and plenty of interactive kid's stuff. Held between February and March annually, this is Adelaide's premier event, and a bucket list priority for all Australians. Some venues and shows attract a fee.
Food And Wine
Adelaide Wine Country (Numbers 5, 6, and 7)
For me, countless Adelaideans, and her returning visitors, Adelaide’s heart beats from wine country. It’s rich in colonial history, nature, wine and regional culinary traditions. Here you’ll feel there’s time to immerse yourself in Adelaide’s cultural fabric.
Adelaide's wine country commands a must-do list numbering in the hundreds. Where do I begin? There is no one standout fun thing in wine country, there’s literally a lifetime of fun, exploration, and indulgence. Hike, fly, camp, cycle, or drive the winding roads surrounded by fields of grapevines on a road trip to remember. Cashed up, or on a shoestring budget, there are many options for all.
As you may already know, Adelaide is Australia’s premier wine producer. Regions such as the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra and Maclaren Vale are world-famous, with many labels headlining the wine lists of the world's most exclusive restaurants. Adelaide is ground-zero for countless wine-tasting tours.
5. Penfold’s Iconic Experience
Cost: $295 per person
Time: Approximately 4 hours from 11am. Allow a half day including connections from the city
Penfold’s McGill Estate is home to one of Australia's (and the world’s) most famous Shiraz reds, Penfolds Grange - bought for investment, as much as it is to cellar, drink and savour. Penfolds Iconic Experience includes a private tasting and 3-course lunch with matching wines. It’s available from Wednesday to Sunday, and bookings are essential.
6. Adelaide Hills Tasting Tours With Bike About
Cost: 4 hour tours start at $145 per person with 7 day safaris starting at $2,699
Time: Allow a full day including connections from the city
Cycling is my favourite way to tour Adelaide’s wine country. You have so much time to drink in the ambience (and the wine), gorgeous scenery, and wildlife. You can take a guided tour, or simply hire a bike and pedal off on your own. E-bikes are available, so you won’t even have to break a sweat. There’s a tour to suit all tastes and bicycling abilities. Try this sample for inspiration.
7. d'Arenberg Via Helicopter
Cost: $2225 per couple including connections from Adelaide airport
Time: Set aside a full day. Available 7 days, subject to weather
d'Arenberg is one of my favourite winemakers. For those wanting luxury with a touch of the extraordinary, the Helicopter Tour, Wine Blending & D'arry's Degustation is a must. With connection available from McLaren Vale or Adelaide airport, the fee includes your flight, an eight-course food and wine degustation, and a souvenir bottle of wine that you blend and bottle yourself.
8. Abseiling The Adelaide Hills (Before You Hit The Cellar door)
Cost: Prices start at $99
Time: Allow a full day with connections from city
Wine country isn’t all about food and wine. So, If you’d like a little adrenalin with your Reisling and Camembert, Rock Solid Adventure offers half and full-day abseiling sheer cliffs in the Adelaide Hills. Bookings are essential, and it’s open to all over the age of 10, beginners and experienced. Expect the rush of a lifetime - probably best to do this before the wine and cheese.
Now, Back to the City…
9. The Adelaide Central Market
Cost: Market entry is free. Progressive dinner costs $390 per couple
Time: Trading hours vary - generally between 7am and 5:30pm, closing 9pm Fridays. Allow at least 2 hours to see the markets. Progressive dinner is available starting at 5.30pm and finishes at approximately 8.30pm Fridays only.
For foodies, Adelaide Central Markets on Gouger Street is heaven on Earth. Steeped in history, it supports over 80 traders selling and showcasing exotic and local produce and gourmet foods. You can take a guided tour or shop like a local.
The gourmet guided tours are brilliant if you want extra fun and a deep dive into Adelaide's culinary culture. The Adelaide Central Market Progressive Dinner with Wine - For 2, is an adventure for the tastebuds. It includes a guided market tour, gourmet tastings, and a roving dinner with matching wines. Guests receive a complimentary bottle of local vino to commemorate the experience. Available Friday evenings only. Book early.
For The Kids
10. West Beach Adventure
Cost: Climbing cost start at $55, with kids under 140cm and $25 for the tiny tots climbing course
Time: Allow a minimum of 2 hours
This place is wild. West Beach Adventure is the largest aerial adventure course in Australia, and it’s just 15 minutes from the CBD. Walk A tightrope 20 meters above the ground. Risk it all by taking the daring leap of faith, or feel the Gs on the giant 3-person swing. Mum and dad can get some downtime at the cafe - and yes, of course, they sell wine. Guests are encouraged to book online.
11. Haigh’s Chocolates
Time: Allow 2 hours. Guided Tours operate Monday and Saturday between 9am and 12pm, Tuesday to Friday 9am to 3pm
Plenty of Aussie chocolate lovers have eaten Haigh’s famous chocolates unaware it’s an Adelaide institution. Yes, chocolate is for all of us. But I promise, a guided tour through Haigh’s chocolate factory will make the kids feel like they’ve just received a golden ticket from Willy Wonka himself. Self-guided tours are also available.
12. Adelaide Ice Area
Fun for the 0 to 5-year-Olds
Cost: $15 per child
Time: Every Thursday: 10:00am to 12:00pm (Ages 0 to 5). Every Sunday: 10:00am to 12:00pm (Ages 0 to 12)
Creating a special Adelaide day for toddlers is simple, right? Off to the petting zoo. Hold your baby horses, Adelaide has a better idea - and the little ones love it. Adelaide’s Ice Arena has a special area set aside for the rug rats where they can play in real snow all year round. Bookings are essential.
13. The Beachouse Amusement Park
Cost: Prices start at $43 per person for unlimited rides for 70 minutes
Time: Allow a minimum of 2 hours
Kids on holiday love theme parks. And parents love them more when there’s no entry fee. The Beachouse Amusement Park at Glenelg beach has water slides, bumper boats, dodgem cars, awesome mini golf and more. It makes for a great inclusion when spending the day at Glenelg beach. Ticket pricing is based on a time structure, so there’s an affordable option for all budgets.
For The Grownups
14. Maybe Mae Dinner And Cocktails
Cost: Cocktails from $13
Time: Open 5pm-1am Mon - Thu. Closes at 2am on Fri/Sat
Maybe Mae is a classy, sophisticated cocktail bar not to be missed. Its speakeasy design and ambience are announced by its hidden-away city laneway basement location. Maybe Mae is a 7-time winner of the “South Australian Cocktail Bar of the Year” award. For a pre or post cocktail meal, dinner is served in their sister venue the Bread & Bone Wood-grill, upstairs from the bar. The menu focus is fresh local produce. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the daring, sultry flavours of the underground during prohibition.
15. Adelaide Botanic Garden
Cost: Entry is free
Time: Allow 2 hours to a full day. Gates open at 7:15am, closing at 7pm (9pm in summer),
Adelaide Botanic Garden is a 50-hectare oasis nestled in the heart of Adelaide. The gardens are perfect for restorative solitude or shared with your significant other. Stunning architecture punctuates the magnificent flora, as the light of a travelling sun and birdsong transforms the vistas and ambience hour by hour.
16. Glenelg Sunset Catamaran Cruise For Couples
Cost: $115.00 per couple
Time: Allow 90 minutes (approx)
Departing Glenelg’s Marina Pier late afternoon, Temptation Sailing's Twilight Cruise for couples is very well patronised. The experience captures the romance of sailing and the drama of a setting sun as it disappears into St Vincent Gulf. The 90-minute cruise includes a glass of wine and an Antipasto plate. Bookings are essential.
Sport And Adventure
17. RoofClimb Adelaide Oval Experience
Cost: Prices start at $109.00 per Adult, Child (8-15 years) $75.00
Time: Climb duration 2 hours
Here’s some perspective. Sydney has the Opera House - Adelaide has the Adelaide Oval. Taking in a cricket test match or a game of footy at the Adelaide Oval is a right of passage for all Aussies. It’s not just a sport, it’s culture, and you’ll have the time of your life even if you can’t stand either game.
For those wanting hands-on adrenaline and views to the South Pole, (well...not quite) the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb has 6 great climbing options, including game day climbs, where you can view the clash 50 meters above the hallowed turf.
18. Enliven Outdoor Adventures
Cost: Prices start at $37 per person
Time: Allow 90 minutes to 2.5 hours depending on session
Enliven Outdoors is an adventure company with a dedicated focus on inspiring women and girls. Their standup paddle board adventures energised and oceans of fun. There’s a variety of sessions to suit all budgets and skill levels, with boards, life jackets and tuition provided. All you need is your swimmers, determination and a sense of humour. Bookings are essential - and this one’s girls only, boys.
19. Mount Lofty Mountain Bike Descent Tour With Adrenaline
Cost: $145 per person. $135 child (12 - 15). $525 family of four.
Time: Allow a full day. Commences 8:30am.
The Mount Lofty Ranges are a short drive from the city and stand at 710 meters high - and obviously, it makes complete sense to tear down it on a mountain bike. Stopping at Cleland Wildlife Park on the way down, you can even pat the kangaroos, emus and wallabies. Bring covered shoes and comfortable riding gear, Adrenaline supply the rest - including a lift to the start point at the top of the mountain.
20. Treeclimb Adelaide
Cost: $32 per child, $38 per student / concession, $42 per adult.
Time: Allow 80 minutes for kids, 2 hours for concessions and adults.
Treeclimb Adelaide is the best thrill-seekers adventure playground I’ve ever seen. It’s adrenaline-filled action-packed fun for all ages, where trained climbers support you to take on the impossible and push your comfort zones.
This is an experience to savour where you’ll spend much of the day suspended high in the treetops, leaping between obstacles, gripping ropes like Tarzan. It’s the perfect location for adrenaline junkies and active families.
Five Places To Camp Close To Adelaide
The fringes of Adelaide have some beautiful camping locations suitable for hikers, car camping, camper trailers and caravans. Here are five camp sites close to the city with a focus on peace, nature and seclusion.
1. Willow Creek Farm
Willow Creek Farm is a hobby farm set on 6 acres of classic South Australian farmland. Two intimate campsites are nestled in a gully surrounded by Willows and a seasonal creek. Created for self-contained campers, enjoy the sounds and sites of the flora and fauna. You won’t believe you’re only a half hour from a major city. The small historic village of Clarendon is a 10-minute walk away - and the pub’s open.
Price: From $22 for 2 guests
2. Potters Hill Farm
Potters Hill Farm is set on a small organic farm. Ideal for car campers and hikers you can drink in the valley views, swim in the water hole or go rock climbing. Enjoy biking and hiking in an intimate setting where you're assured of no crowds. Total tranquillity is just 20 minutes from the city.
Price: $120 per Adult per night
3. Ponde Campsite
Pond Campsite rests peacefully on the banks of the River Murray, surrounded by 16 acres of classic Southern Riverland. Just a few minutes from the town of Mannum, you're only 50 km from Adelaide city. There are 12 sites, small and family size. Ideal for caravans, car camping, tents, and swags, you can swim, fish, and launch your boat. There’s potable water and toilets, and the camp is pet friendly.
Price: $50 per person per night
Pymbroke offers 3 separate camping options so the feeling of seclusion is never compromised. Surrounded by the Bremer Ranges nestled on the Bremer River, you’ll experience a quiet stillness that attracts Aussie wildlife. The Pymbroke sky delivers a star show you’d think impossible only 60 km from the lights of the city.
Price: $30 per person per night. Toilet provided.
5. Hay Valley Farm
The Hay Valley Farm offers stunning views from your campsite perched high on a ridge. There’s a working farm in the valley below and mountains to the west. The theme here is peace and seclusion in nature. And you’ll be the only camper there, as they only ever book one group at a time. You’re only 35 minutes from the city, and campers need to be completely self-sufficient.
Price: $18 per person per night
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.