5 Cool Things To Do in Adelaide
From world-renowned wineries to beautiful beaches to the festival circuit, the compact capital of South Australia is a joy to visit year-round. There are dozens and dozens of things you can do, see, explore and taste while in Adelaide, so narrowing it down to just a handful of experiences wasn’t easy.
If you’re looking for something different to do while down south, here are five cool and unusual things to add to your Adelaide itinerary.
1. Monarto Lion 360
In the 1960s a great white shark attack survivor named Rodney Fox visited the lion enclosure at Adelaide Zoo. It was here in the South Australian capital that he was inspired to pioneer a shark cage where people could safely observe sharks in their natural habitat.
Coming full circle, Zoo SA was inspired by Rodney’s shark cage diving to create the world’s first lion cage experience, located inside the Monarto Safari Park a 50-minutes drive outside of Adelaide.
Enter the cage to get up close with Australia’s biggest pride of lions in this 360-degree experience. The lions clamber over the cage, drawing in close with the promise of snacks (which you’ll help to feed them).
Money from this experience helps support conservation projects in Kenya, helping save lions from extinction in the wild.
2. Off Piste 4WD Fork & Grape Safari
The Fleurieu Peninsula wine region of South Australia might not be as well-known as the nearby Barossa, but an epic day trip with Off Piste 4WD Tours will definitely change that.
Wear your stretchy eating and drinking pants for the Fork & Grape Safari, a tour that takes you on-road and off-road through the world-acclaimed wine region of McLaren Vale. Sip, swill and sample your way through farm gates and cellar doors with a touch of adventure.
Going off-the-beaten-track means you’ll meet producers and visit exclusive locations that others simply can’t reach. Hop between cellar doors where you’ll say g’day the winemaker and go behind-the-scenes, keep your eyes open for local wildlife, and enjoy a family-style shared lunch spread that makes the most of local produce from the Fleurieu region.
Expect to dive down off-road tracks, where you’ll reach a secret lookout with views across the entire region and the sparkling Gulf St Vincent. End the day with an exhilarating drive along the gorgeous Silversands Beach as waves break on one side. Enjoy a few moments by the sea before heading back to Adelaide.
3. Cleland Wildlife Park
More than 130 species of native Australian animals call Cleland Wildlife Park home, just a 20-minute drive from downtown Adelaide. Not far from the CBD you will meet kangaroos, wallabies, emu, wombats, birdlife, reptiles and more.
If you’re here from overseas or have international visitors in tow, this spot is a must-do when in Adelaide. Set in beautiful native bushland, it’s a real Aussie experience to enjoy. Plus, Cleland is also one of the few places in the country where you can hold a cuddly koala. Yes, you can snap a happy family photo with one of Australia’s iconic animals.
While you wander about, take note of the various animal feeding times. If you roll up to the enclosures at the free feeding times you’ll be guaranteed to sight the creatures that sometimes hide out in their enclosures (here’s looking at you mister wombat).
Throughout the day expect feeding times for the lorikeets, snakes, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and lace monitors. Some feeding times include an interactive keeper presentation so you’ll learn loads at the same time.
4. Adelaide Central Market Tour
It’s known as the best food market in the country, a one-stop destination to sample and procure the freshest South Australian cuisine. Welcome to the Adelaide Central Market!
While this special marketplace is not so big as to be unmanageable, a friendly and knowledgeable local guide from Aus Food Tours will help you quickly explore the many highlights.
Over 45 or 90 minutes you’ll taste world-class cheeses, ice-cream, produce, seafood, meats, and best of all, local indigenous bush tucker. Learn to shop like a chef and bring a bag to stock up on treats and fruit for later.
At the end of the longer tour, enjoy a relaxing coffee break with your guide where you can ask questions and get the latest intel about the best places to eat in Adelaide.
5. Adelaide Fringe Festival
The Adelaide Fringe Festival is the world’s second biggest arts festival and falls between February and March each year. Over 31 magical summer days and nights, the city’s parks, theatres, restaurants and streets turn into performance venues, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and artists from around the world.
Catch a show at one of the dozens of stages located in Rundle Park’s Garden of Unearthly Delights. This dedicated festival zone is packed with tents, food trucks, beer gardens, theme park amusements and pop-up performances that come alive after dark.
Browse the program of 1,200 plus shows to lock in a few curious cabarets or favourite comedians. Then it’s easy to fill the gaps with drinks in the park or 10-minute mini pop-up shows put on by some of the 6000 plus independent artists. Fringe is an action-packed blast, so wear comfortable shoes and embrace the wild ride.
Fringe kicks off the city’s festival season, known as Mad March, which includes the Adelaide 500, WOMAdelaide, and the Adelaide Cup.