12 Must See and Dos in Adelaide, for your South Australia Bucket List

If you want to know what to see and do in South Australia’s beautiful capital, here goes. We were only there for three nights, but took in so much! Markets, churches, food, trams, gardens, history, culture and wine! Don’t forget the shopping. Plus we’ll give you the tip on where to camp and still be close to the city. Here’s a dozen reasons to visit Adelaide:

1. Take a tram

If you travel within the city mile, it is free to hop on and off and a great way to get your bearings as well as travel on the cheap. The free zone continues out to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre where a Park and Ride service is available. You can also visit the Visitor Information Centre. Buses are free here, too!

2. Admire the Churches

You are in the City of Churches – and they are everywhere! So much history and architecture. Enjoy.

3. Adelaide Central Markets

An absolute must. These markets are mostly about food, but it is not like a grower’s market where there is only fresh produce or foods. We found so many delights for our dinner – thankfully open until 9pm on Fridays. Delis, butchers, fish, cafes, eateries of all different cuisines. We decided on a $10 bag of 10 mouthwatering falafels, hummus and salads. But we almost had pizza by the slice, perfect quiches, massive monte carlo biscuits and vanilla slices. I was tempted to bring tulips back with me, but did buy some Haigh’s chocolates for gifts – another essential thing to do in SA. 

However, there was one stall where we lingered longest. Gewurzhaus is a fragrant sensation. It is like a lolly shop. Instead of pick your own sweets – it is fill your bags with spice concoctions. I shovelled into a few bags – with Indian spices (Bavarian Roast Chicken Spice and Greek Grilling Spice), then found teas (apple pie tea came home with me) – and paid up. To then find another section, so bought up again with Chermoula, Za’atar and Moroccan Souk Spice. Locals can BYO containers. But the little bags come with instructions for use for these exotic flavours. If I were caravanning, I would let my pantry run dry before I arrived in Adelaide – and buy up for my travels right here. 

There is a carpark above the market. Check your times first as they vary day to day, it is open Tuesday to Saturday. I also stopped at a Visitor Information stall – and checked out the lego market display nearby.

4. Botanic Gardens

What a beautiful spot to visit, and the tram drops you right outside. There really was so much to see: roses – and learning how they were named, rainforest canopy walks, cacti, turtles playing with ducks (sort of), gigantic lilypads and a vegie patch. The Million Paws Walk happened to be on the day we were – so there were loads of doggies, too! All in all, Adelaide we were very impressed with your garden, and the green spaces that surround your beautiful city. There is even a walking trail and tour so you can circumnavigate the capital.

5. National Wine Centre of Australia

What a pleasure it was happening on this place. Who knew? Wine in a Botanic Garden. A groovy museum with virtual reality tours. We loved the film of all Australia’s wine regions, and sit down after walking through the flowers. Best of all – was the computerised wine tasting. You could purchase a generous taste, a half glass or full. Charge them up on a card you swap for your driver’s licence. Then pay at the end.

6. Rundle Mall

We walked the entirety! Myer, David Jones and lots more lovely shops. Our best finds were in the RSPCA Op Shop – at 238A Rundle St. They had eclectic options – I found two sweet vintage coats. (It really was coat weather when we were there.)

7. Chinatown

Located next door to the central market – prepare yourself for more taste sensations. Delicious!

8. A Show

‘Six’ was a rollicking musical by the six wives of Henry VIII. Loved it, and am listening to the soundtrack on Spotify at home. We saw it at the Adelaide Festival Centre, easy walking from the tram to Grote St, and close to Chinatown for supper. Check out what is on when you are there.

9. South Australia Museum

Worms in kangaroo bellies, great white sharks greeting you at the door, I was thrilled to see more megafauna fossils – after our visit to Eromanga. It was also a delight to get up close to a Major Mitchell Cockatoo, something I would love to see alive, instead of stuffed!

10. North Terrace

The walk along North Terrace took in churches and statues up to the grand buildings of the gallery and museum. You’ll also find the entrance to the Botanical Gardens on this street.

11. Art Gallery

Lots of modern and older artist’s works to admire. We loved the Aussie section.

12. Adelaide Oval

We visited here on a past trip – a must for sport lovers. Did you know you thrillseekers can now climb over it?

Finally back to the tram:

You can visit the Adelaide Central Markets (alight at Victoria Square), Adelaide Railway Station/Adelaide Casino (alight at Adelaide Railway Station), the Royal Adelaide Hospital (alight at West Terrace) and the Botanic Gardens or Adelaide Zoo (alight at Botanic Gardens).

(By the way, there are still more attractions in and around the city. Visit Glenelg, the other shopping favourites, watch chocolate being made at Haigh’s Factory – and there is the zoo…)

Where to stay?

You can camp at Adelaide Showground or choose from caravan parks. Find them in the CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE App and guides.

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