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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.


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.


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!


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.

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.

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


Penfolds in Barossa

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

Adelaide Hills

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)

Street Art

Waymouth Street

The State Library of South Australia – Just beautiful!

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

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

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.

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

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