Download GPX file for this article
-34.9267138.5991Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Adelaide from the River Torrens

Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. It lies on the eastern shores of Gulf St Vincent in the central, southern part of the Australian continent. Adelaide is Australia's fifth largest city, with a population of over 1.2 million. More than three quarters of South Australians live in the Adelaide metropolitan area.

Adelaide is on a plain between the rolling Adelaide Hills and the Gulf and is bordered by many of Australia's famous wine regions. The Barossa Valley and Clare Valley regions lie to the north, the McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek regions to the south and the cooler climate Adelaide Hills region to the east. Historically known as the City of Churches due to its new world origins as an incubator for religious freedom, much of the architecture in the inner city is retained from the colonial era. Heavily influenced by the prevailing styles popular in England at the time, the heritage architecture is similar to many European cities built in the 19th century. The city is built on a grid plan, featuring tree-lined city streets unusually wide and spacious for an Australian metropolis and six city squares bordered by parklands.

Proximity to premium wine and food growing regions, as well as waves of immigration from Germany, Italy, Greece, Vietnam, China and India have created a unique multicultural gourmet food and café culture in the City and inner suburbs. This café culture is supported by Adelaide's global reputation for the arts and particularly the arts festivals held in March including the Adelaide Festival and the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which is second only to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in size.

The city is the home of Adelaide Oval, famed as one of Test cricket's most picturesque grounds and has been redeveloped to host AFL football matches during the winter months. Australian football has a long history in Adelaide and AFL matches are played at Adelaide Oval in North Adelaide. Adelaide and the surrounding wine regions also host the Tour Down Under, which is the largest cycling race in the Southern Hemisphere and the first stage of the UCI WorldTour.


The South Australia time zone is 30 minutes behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) used in Victoria or New South Wales. It's also an hour and a half ahead of Australian Western Standard Time (AWST), used in Western Australia and 45 minutes ahead of Eucla. South Australia observes Daylight Savings Time, similar to other southern/southeastern states but unlike Western Australia, Queensland, or the Northern Territory. Broken Hill and Silverton also follows the same time as South Australia.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: BOM
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

Adelaide is Australia's driest capital city, with summers that are hot and dry, and with winters that are rainy and cool.

In summer, the average maximum is 29°C (84°F) but there is considerable variation and Adelaide can usually expect several days a year when the daytime temperatures soar above 40°C (104°F). Rainfall is light and infrequent throughout summer. The average in January and February is around 20 millimetres (0.8 inches) but completely rainless months are by no means uncommon. Given the regular hot weather, virtually every public building, indoor tourist destination and most public transport is fully air-conditioned.

In winter from June to August, the average maximum is 15–16°C (59–61°F) and the minimum is usually around 8°C (46°F). Winter sees regular rainfall with June being the wettest month of the year, averaging around 80mm. Frosts are common in the valleys of the Adelaide Hills, but rare elsewhere. Adelaide experiences no snowfall in the city centre itself, although very occasionally a small sprinkling can be observed on higher ground at the top of Mount Lofty and in the Adelaide Hills.

Autumn and spring are slow, gradual changes between the extremes of summer and winter. From mid-February to late March, Adelaide goes into its mad March festival season of arts, music and sport festivals to take advantage of the moderate weather. Spring also makes a good time to visit Adelaide, as flowers are usually in bloom following the rains of winter.


Aboriginal history[edit]

The first people to live on the Adelaide plains were the Kaurna people, whose territory extended from what is now Port Broughton to Adelaide's north, south to Cape Jervis on the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula. The Kaurna lived on the Adelaide plains in family groups called yerta, a word which also referred to the area of land which supported the family group. Each yerta was the responsibility of Kaurna adults who inherited the land and had an intimate knowledge of its resources and features. Adelaide's rich Aboriginal history and living culture can be explored at Tandanya, an Aboriginal-owned culture and history centre on Grenfell Street. Tandanya is free to visit and tours are available for a small charge.

European settlement[edit]

An aerial view of Victoria Square in the City Centre, which was an integral part of Adelaide's "grid layout" plan designed in the earliest days of the settlement.

Following the mapping of South Australia's coastline in the early 19th century by European explorers Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin, an expedition down the Murray River was held which reported favourably on land on the coast of Gulf St Vincent. At the same time, British reformers were keen to establish a colony based on free settlement rather than by the transportation of convicts, as all the other Australian colonies at the time were founded. In 1834, the South Australia Company was founded and it convinced the British Parliament to pass a law which created a colony for free settlers in South Australia. In December 1836, after a 10 month journey by a fleet of ships from England, the first Governor, John Hindmarsh proclaimed the creation of the new province in a ceremony in what is now the beachside suburb of Glenelg.

After wrangling between the colonists, Adelaide's first surveyor, William Light designed a city grid of wide boulevards surrounded by parklands, with one central square (Victoria Square) and four smaller squares (Hindmarsh, Light, Whitmore and Hurtle) set on the southern banks of the Torrens. Light's original design, with small changes, largely survives to this day.

The city's early industries were based around mining and agriculture, with England as the key export market. The relatively radical politics of many of the free settlers led to Adelaide being home to early progressive reform including the secret printed ballot, the first jurisdiction in the world to allow women to vote and run for Parliament and early trade unionisation and activism.


Following Australian federation in 1901, South Australia began to move into secondary manufacturing industries, a process which was sent into overdrive by the long term government of the conservative Premier Thomas Playford following World War II. Playford set out to actively attract manufacturing companies like General Motors to South Australia by offering cheap land and low taxes. This, along with the growing ubiquity of car transport, led to Adelaide's relatively low density as workers lived close to the factories where they worked in the outer suburbs.

Mass migration from southern Europe transformed Adelaide's Anglo-Celtic culture, with Greek migrants mainly settling in the inner western and inner southern suburbs and Italian migrants settling in the inner eastern and north-eastern suburbs. These cultural identities persist to today, with continental delis and cafés being a common feature of Adelaide's inner city.

While South Australia's economy boomed, its public and cultural life lost much of its early radicalism, with blue laws requiring bars and pubs to close at six in the evening - causing the "six o'clock swill". The White Australia policy also meant that Adelaide residents were overwhelmingly from European backgrounds.

Cosmopolitan capital city[edit]

The 1960s saw a dramatic change in Adelaide's cultural life, with the start of the Adelaide Festival of Arts and Adelaide Fringe Festival, which transformed Adelaide's arts culture and the end of the decade saw the election of the first Labor government since the 1930s. By 1970, Don Dunstan became Premier of South Australia. Dunstan was a transformational figure and sought to reshape Adelaide in the mould of a modern cosmopolitan capital city. Dunstan's government ended the six o'clock swill, pedestrianised Rundle Street creating Rundle Mall and built the Festival Centre, creating a hub for arts in Adelaide. His government enacted a range of progressive reforms, including making South Australia the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise homosexuality. This time also saw changes to Australia's immigration laws which saw Vietnamese and Chinese migrants join earlier waves of migration and the creation of communities in the north-west and western suburbs, as well as Gouger Street's multilingual Chinatown precinct next to the Adelaide Central Market.

After losing government for one term to the conservatives at the end of the 1970s, Labor returned to office under John Bannon in the 1980s. A more business friendly leader than Dunstan, Premier Bannon sought to drive the development of Adelaide's city, seeing the construction of Adelaide's tallest building now known as Westpac House and the development of the Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Casino. However, bad bank loans saw the state-backed State Bank of South Australia collapse in the early 1990s, requiring a huge government bailout and plunging the state deep into debt.

Revival after the State Bank[edit]

The 1990s under the Liberal government led by Premiers Dean Brown, John Olsen and Rob Kerin saw the conservative government undertake asset sales and reduce government services to reduce the state debt. This reduction in government spending, as well as the decline of Australian manufacturing following the abolition of the tariff wall by the federal government, led to slow growth in South Australia's economy and widespread emigration to the eastern capitals, particularly Melbourne.

Labor returned to office in 2002 under Mike Rann who sought to reshape Adelaide's industrial base to focus on education services, mining and defence industry, as well as building on its strengths in wine. Rann's government invested heavily in rebuilding the city, with overhauls to public transport, the construction of a new central hospital and the redevelopment of Adelaide Oval. Following ten years with Premier Rann as leader, Labor elected Jay Weatherill as premier in 2011, who has largely continued this agenda, but with a renewed focus on transforming public spaces in the inner city through the relaxation of planning restrictions and looser liquor licensing for small bars.

The Adelaide city centre at night, May 2013.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • 1 Adelaide International Airport (ADL IATA) (around 7 km (4.3 mi) to the west of the city centre and is close to popular tourist beaches at Glenelg and Henley Beach). Adelaide International Airport is surprisingly well connected, and has daily international flights to hubs in Asia, the Middle East and New Zealand which allow for one-stop connections around the globe. More frequent flights connecting via Sydney, Melbourne or Perth may be cheaper. Adelaide Airport (Q14302) on Wikidata Adelaide Airport on Wikipedia

Travellers from Asia can catch direct flights from Hong Kong (on Cathay Pacific), Singapore (on Singapore Airlines), Kuala Lumpur (on Malaysia Airlines), Denpasar (on Jetstar Airways) and Guangzhou (on China Southern Airlines). If you're on a budget you can fly from Denpasar and Kuala Lumpur with Malindo Air. Travellers from the Middle East or northern Africa can catch a daily flight on Qatar Airways from Doha. Travellers from Europe can take a one-stop journey to Adelaide on any of these carriers.

Travellers from South Africa can first fly direct to Perth and then connect to a domestic flight onwards to Adelaide.

Travellers from New Zealand can catch a direct flight flying daily from Auckland on Air New Zealand. Travellers from North America or South America can travel one-stop on Air New Zealand via Auckland or can transit to a frequent domestic flight after first landing in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

Domestic services within Australia include frequent services to every mainland capital city on full-service carriers Qantas and Virgin Australia. Jetstar is a budget carrier that operates less frequent, heavily discounted services mainly to Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Regional services and operations are provided by Regional Express Airlines (Rex), Alliance Airlines, Cobham Airlines and Qantaslink flights operated by both Cobham Airlines and by Alliance Airlines. These services operate mainly to South Australia's regional cities and centres including Mt Gambier, Kingscote, Port Lincoln and Whyalla.

There is only a single terminal for international and domestic departures; accordingly, transfers are relatively seamless. The airport has ATMs and currency change. Food and shopping is available both landside and airside. Lockers are available in the car rental area in the carpark, including some larger lockers that would fit bike boxes. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal.

Between the airport and the city[edit]

Adelaide Metro's regular JetBus J1/J2/J7/J8 connects the airport with the City, Glenelg and some major shopping centres. J1 Services depart every 15 minutes 8AM to 6PM every day to the City, less frequent from 5AM to 11PM. The journey to the City takes around 25 minutes during peak hour. Additionally JetBus J1X offers express service from the airport to the city Monday through Friday hourly between 5AM to 10AM and 4PM to 9PM with a circular route around the CBD for more convenience to hotels. Services to Glenelg are every half hour during the day, less at night. Services to Arndale, West Lakes and Marion shopping centre are hourly during weekdays.

Buses depart from a single dedicated stop left (west) of the Short Term Car Park outside the main terminal. All buses in all directions leave from this one stop, so check the front of the bus to make sure its heading where you want to go! Realtime bus information is available for this stop and all Adelaide Metro stops or via dedicated apps for your Smartphone like metroMATE.

The JetBus is part of the Adelaide Metro network, so the standard ticket types and fares in the public transport section apply, and a ticket used on the JetBus can be used with another bus, train or tram according to its type. Metrocards are also available for sale at the airport from a vending machine next to the JetBus stop.

Taxis are available downstairs out the front of the terminal. A taxi to the City costs around $30 during the morning peak hour and around $20 at other times, which can make it as economical as the JetBus for a group. Drivers will always use the meter, but a $2 surcharge is payable in addition to the metered amount for pickups from the airport.

Major national rental car companies operate kiosks on the ground floor near baggage claim. The car rental car park is on the ground level directly opposite the terminal.

By car[edit]

Adelaide is at least a day's drive away from the capital cities on the Australian east coast. The shortest driving route from Adelaide to Melbourne takes 8–9 hours. There are some freeway sections, but the roads are mostly 2-lane roads of highway quality.

From Melbourne, Adelaide is 736 km (457 mi)via Horsham (A8) or 901 km (560 mi) via Mt Gambier (A1/B1). The journey via Mt Gambier takes you through the Coonawarra wine region, one of the most renowned cabernet sauvignon regions in Australia and also is convenient for a side tour via the Great Ocean Road. The trip via Horsham is more direct, but has fewer tourist attractions.

From Sydney, Adelaide is 1,422 km (884 mi) via Wagga Wagga and Mildura (A20). Freeway conditions from Sydney to Wagga Wagga (the divided highway ends at Tarcutta, but it's only a mere 40 km from there) cut hours from the trip. This route also passes close to Canberra, Australia's national capital, which is 1,196 km (743 mi) from Adelaide.

Another option from Sydney is the 1,659km (1031 mi) route via Broken Hill (A32), which takes you through the Outback and one of Australia's most historic mining towns. The 2,031-km (1,262 mi) route from Brisbane also goes via Broken Hill.

While Adelaide is the closest capital city to Perth, the 2,550-km (1584 mi) journey across the Nullarbor is still arduous, though it's a unique drive through some of the most remote places in the inhabited world. Similarly, the 3,027-km (1884 mi) journey north to Darwin via Alice Springs travels through the true Outback and Uluru is only a few hours from the main highway north. However, both these drives are usually drives that ordinary Australians only do about once or twice in their lifetimes.

By train[edit]

Great Southern Rail runs long distance tourist train services to and from Adelaide. The Ghan runs to Coober Pedy, Alice Springs and Darwin, The Overland runs to Melbourne, and the Indian Pacific runs to Perth, Broken Hill and Sydney. These journeys are train experiences, and offer sleepers, and the opportunity to take your car with you on the train. However, they take considerably longer than a plane journey. The Ghan and the Indian Pacific are also generally more expensive than a plane ticket would be, but the Overland is usually cheaper — even the equivalent of a business-class Overland ticket is comparable to an economy-class Adelaide-Melbourne flight on a full-service airline. The trains also have interim stops at a number of rural locations, which may be convenient if your travel itinerary involves some smaller towns. Note that Great Southern Rail trains lack Wi-Fi.

These interstate trains depart from the 2 Adelaide Parklands Terminal just outside of the city. The station can be accessed by car or bus from Richmond Road. Since the demolition of Keswick station, there are no connections to the suburban rail network. Taxis are also available to meet all arrivals.

There are no country rail services in South Australia.

By bus[edit]

Interstate buses are operated by a number of coach companies including Greyhound, Firefly and V/Line. The journey from Melbourne takes around eleven and a half hours, with both day and overnight services. The trip from Sydney can take up to 24 hours and by definition travels overnight. Fares are less than train and most plane travel, at least on the Adelaide-Melbourne route, although if the timing lines up just right an Adelaide-Sydney budget-airline flight may be cheaper than the bus.

Regional buses to South Australian country cities and towns are also operated by the interstate bus companies, but local South Australian coach companies including LinkSA and Premier Stateliner often provide more frequent services.

Almost all interstate and regional buses depart from the 3 Adelaide Central Bus Station at 85 Franklin Street in the City. The Central Bus Station operates 5AM-9:30PM, 7 days a week. It has modern amenities as well as a café and it is just across the road from the Adelaide Central Market, a Coles supermarket and Chinatown.

By ship[edit]

A range of cruise ships call at the 4 Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal during the cruise boat season, which runs from November to April each year. A list of ships arriving in Adelaide is available from Flinders Ports.

Get around[edit]

By bicycle[edit]

Bicycle SA, 53 Carrington St (about a 15-min walk SE of the bus station), +61 8 8168-9999. Operates a free bike hire service sponsored by a group of inner city councils. Bikes are available from more than 10 locations across the City and the inner suburbs for free, but must be returned M-F before 4:30 or 5PM weekends or a $25 fee is payable. Arrangements can be made for bicycles to be hired overnight for an additional fee but all hires are stopped if temperatures are forecast to top 38°C. A list of locations for hire is listed on Bicycle SA's website Bikes are step thru-models with front baskets and a sturdy rear carrier (but you'll need to provide bungy straps or lashings). Front calliper brake, rear brake is an annoying back-pedal arrangement. Shimano 3 speed hub gear. They'll also supply you with a long sturdy combination lock and cycle helmet when you leave some photo ID.

A popular ride is to ride from the city centre along the River Torrens out to West Beach, then down to Glenelg and back. You cannot take your bike on the Glenelg Tram or any bus, even outside peak hour, however you can take them on trains. An alternative to taking the tram back from Glenelg is to ride a further 20 minutes south along the coast to Brighton Station on the Noarlunga Centre Line where there are reasonably frequent trains back to Adelaide.

Public transport[edit]

Accurate transit directions can be obtained through Google and Apple Maps. To navigate around, just enter your "to" address and "from" address (or use current location) on your device (including iPhone, Android), then select the public transport icon. Realtime arrival information is available from the Adelaide Metro website or a number of apps for smartphones (e.g. Transittimes), use the time before your vehicle arrives to have a look around the nearby area.

Ticketing and route information[edit]

Metropolitan train, tram and bus services are operated under the unified brand name Adelaide Metro and use a unified ticketing system, "Metroticket".

  • Adelaide Railway Station InfoCentre, Adelaide Railway Station, North Terrace, toll-free: 1300 311 108. Daily 7AM-8PM. Or the Adelaide Metro website are the places to visit for timetable and route information. Accurate public transit information is also available through Google Maps, which has an easy trip planner if you select 'Transit' directions either on the website or a smartphone.

Single trip tickets with unlimited transfers for two hours are sold on buses, trams and at major train stations for $5 peak and $3 off peak. Alternatively, a $9.10 daytrip ticket is available, allowing unlimited travel within the Adelaide Metro area for an entire day.

Travellers in Adelaide for longer than a couple of days should buy a Metrocard for $10 which comes with $5 of value included. Trips on Metrocard cost $3.19 peak and $1.75 off peak. Metrocards are sold at major train stations (Adelaide, Elizabeth, Gawler, Noarlunga Centre, Oaklands, Mawson Lakes and Salisbury) as well as most newsagents and corner stores. A list of locations is on the Adelaide Metro website. Metrocards can be topped up wherever they are sold as well as on trains and trams using coins or major credit cards.

There is also a $25 visitors pass that can be used for unlimited travel on the network for 3 days. After the 3-day period, the pass can be topped up and used just like a normal metrocard.


Adelaide Metro train

The Adelaide Metro train system has four main lines, with two additional branch lines.

Travelling north:

  • The Outer Harbor Line, which goes up the Le Fevre Peninsula in the north-west of the city via Port Adelaide. The Outer Harbor line is convenient for the Semaphore tourist precinct, the historic maritime district in Port Adelaide and the Queen Street cafe strip in Croydon. The Grange line branches off the Outer Harbor line at Woodville.
  • The Gawler Line, to Gawler Central in the north of the city, through Ovingham, Mawson Lakes, Salisbury and Elizabeth.

Travelling south:

  • The electrified Seaford Line, which extends to Seaford in the far south of the city, via the beachside suburb of Brighton and Noarlunga Centre. The Seaford line provides access to beaches at Brighton and Hallett Cove, and to Westfield Marion at Oaklands. The Tonsley line branches off the Seaford line and it only operates Monday to Friday until the early evening.
  • The picturesque Belair Line which extends to Belair in the Adelaide foothills through Blackwood and the inner south-eastern suburbs of the city. The Belair line is useful to access Belair National Park.


SouthLink Adelaide Metro bus

The Adelaide Metro has a comprehensive bus network, centred in the City. Full maps and information are available at the Adelaide Metro website. Most main roads including café precincts like The Parade, Prospect Road, Henley Beach Road, King William Road and O'Connell St are 'Go Zones' which have regular buses on weekdays at least every 15 minutes until the early evening. Adelaide's bus network extends out to the outer suburbs, to the Adelaide Hills in the east, down to McLaren Vale in the south (although buses there are infrequent) and as far as Gawler in the north. It does not cover the Barossa Valley. Frequencies in the outer suburbs are much lower than in the City.

The O-Bahn is a bus rapid transit line which runs to Adelaide's north-eastern suburbs. O-Bahn buses run from Grenfell Street in the City, entering the O-Bahn at Hackney and stop at Klemzig, Paradise and Modbury Interchanges. After finishing on the O-Bahn, the buses drive the same as a regular bus to reach their destination. O-Bahn services are very frequent, as often as every 3 to 5 minutes during peak hour to interchanges and every 15 minutes off peak.

Be warned that bus frequency declines sharply after 7PM, with hourly intervals being typical in the outer suburbs, half hourly along Go Zones and every 15 minutes on the O-Bahn. All services cease operation around midnight, so check your timetables and expect to catch a taxi if required if you are out after this time. Very basic After Midnight bus services along limited routes operate hourly after midnight on Saturday nights only.

The free City Loop (99C) bus runs on weekdays from 7:40AM–6PM every 15 min. On Fridays, it also runs at night 6-9:20PM every 30 min, Saturdays 8AM–5PM every 30 minutes and Sundays (and public holidays) 10AM-5PM every 30 min. It has clockwise and anticlockwise routes each with about 30 stops taking in all the major cultural and commercial centres in the City, beginning at Victoria Square and including Adelaide Railway Station. The buses feature ground-level access ramps.


Adelaide has a tram line which runs from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh along North Terrace to the Botanic Garden. A second line starts from the Royal Adelaide Hospital through the City then down through the south-western suburbs to the beachside suburb of Glenelg. The Railway Station is a convenient stop to swap between the lines. Travel in the City between the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Botanic Garden and South Terrace is free, while travel to Glenelg needs a ticket or a Metrocard. Tickets can be purchased from ticket machines on all trams or at some stops.

As well as being convenient for popular tourist destination Glenelg from the City, the tram also stops at Rundle Mall, Victoria Square near the Adelaide Central Market and at North Terrace near Adelaide Railway Station. Travelling north on the tram takes you to Hindmarsh and Bowden, the home of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre venue for stadium concerts as well as a popular cafe and restaurant strip along Port Road and the side streets alongside.

If you're driving a car, a convenient (and popular) alternative to parking in the City is to park at the Entertainment Centre and catch the tram into the City. It only costs $4 for a whole weekday, which is much cheaper than city parking.

By foot[edit]

The City centre is relatively compact and can be easily covered on foot. Most attractions are centred around the blocks between North Terrace and Victoria Square on either side of King William Street. The core Rundle Mall shopping district is entirely pedestrianised. The Gouger Street precinct and the Adelaide Central Market are also great destinations for a walking traveller.

Travellers keen to keep up on jogging while away can use popular jogging tracks along the River Torrens and through the Parklands.

By taxi[edit]

Adelaide Independent Taxis

Adelaide has three main taxi companies which operate 24/7:

Cabs in South Australia are white (even those operated by 'Yellow Cabs') and they are clearly marked. It is generally possible to hail a taxi in the street or from a major hotel during business hours in the City, but in the suburbs you typically need to call one of the company booking services listed. There are a number of cab ranks which are staffed by the Taxi Council at night on weekends. Supervised taxi ranks offer extra security with lights and supervision by a concierge and a security officer. They operate 11PM-3AM on Fridays and 11PM-5AM on Saturdays. A map of locations is available on their website.

All taxis in Adelaide are required by the State Government to charge a regulated metered tariff, according to the time that the journey commences. Tariff one is the normal tariff rate and tariff two is a higher rate that applies between Monday to Friday 7PM-6AM, and on weekends and public holidays. Drivers almost always use the meter and are legally required to do so. Payment can be made by cash, EFTPOS, debit and credit cards and Cabcharge. It's a good idea to let the driver know if you are planning to pay with a method other than cash before you start your trip, as the machines can be unreliable.

By car[edit]

Adelaide's city centre and inner suburbs like Glenelg, Norwood and Prospect are easily traversed walking and using public transport. However, if you are expecting to spend a lot of time outside of the CBD or you are planning a trip to a wine region, a car is useful to avoid long trips on public transport or in the case of the Barossa Valley, to get around at all.

Unlike other Australian state capitals, Adelaide does not have a network of freeways leading directly into the city centre. The freeways that exist begin in the outer suburbs and are for the purpose of carrying traffic to the nearby country towns. Speed limits on most major roads are signposted at 60 km/h, though the default speed limit is 50 km/h if no speed limit is posted. Speed limits are strictly enforced, and even creeping ever so slightly above the speed limit may earn you a ticket with a $350 fine.

All of Adelaide's roads as well as those throughout South Australia are toll free.

Major national rental car companies operate kiosks at Adelaide Airport on the ground floor near baggage claim including AVIS, Budget,Alpha, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, Enterprise and Redspot.


Glenelg Town Hall

Parks and gardens[edit]

  • 1 The Adelaide Botanic Garden. The gardens are quiet and relaxing even though they're in the heart of the city. They contain many large grassed areas ideal for relaxing, and just outside the gardens are the city parklands where ball games and picnics can be held. There is a cafe in the gardens and a conservatory. Free. Adelaide Botanic Garden (Q4681683) on Wikidata Adelaide Botanic Garden on Wikipedia
  • 2 Bicentennial Conservatory. This is a worthwhile place to visit, it simulates a tropical rainforest micro-eco system, complete with mist falling from the roof. The space accommodates a number of full size rainforest trees and lowland rainforest plants from northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the nearby Pacific Islands, many of which are at risk or endangered in their natural habitats. Be warned, it is warm and humid inside. All walkways have full wheelchair access. Free entry.
  • 3 Montefiore Hill (North Adelaide). Provides a spectacular view of the city, especially at night.
  • Other lookouts include Windy Point along Belair Road, and Skye at the end of Kensington Rd.
  • 4 North Terrace. Driving east from West Terrace will take you past the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the University of South Australia's City West campus, the new University of Adelaide's medical school, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), the Adelaide Convention Centre, the Casino (Railway Station below), Parliament House, Government House, the State Library of South Australia, Migration Museum (free entry), Art Gallery of South Australia (free entry), the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia's City East campus, the site of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the Botanic Gardens. It is an attractive, tree-lined boulevard in a South Australian colonial tradition.
  • 5 Cleland Conservation Park (about 12 km from the CBD). Popular with hikers and cyclists and has great views over the Adelaide Hills. Some highlights are the Cleland Wildlife Park, the Waterfall Gully and the Mt Lofty Summit. Cleland Conservation Park (Q3083320) on Wikidata Cleland Conservation Park on Wikipedia
  • 6 Morialta Conservation Park (about 10 km from the CBD). Famous for its ridges with waterfalls that are particularly impressive during the winter and spring when the water flows at its strongest. However, the waterfalls usually dry up during the summer. Morialta Conservation Park (Q6912146) on Wikidata Morialta Conservation Park on Wikipedia
  • 7 Belair National Park (south of Adelaide), +61 8 8278 5477, . Summer 8AM-9PM, winter 8AM-7PM (closed during Christmas). Here you can walk around and enjoy the green areas, and there are also some tennis courts and a playground for kids. In the park you can also find the Government House that used to be the governor's summer residence. There's a fee to enter the park by car, but it can also be accessed by the Belair train line, a 35-minute trip from Adelaide. Belair National Park (Q643818) on Wikidata Belair National Park on Wikipedia
  • 8 Rundle Lantern light display, Cnr Rundle St and Pulteney St. From dusk to midnight every night with 750 light panels.
  • 9 Adelaide Zoo, Frome Road. Daily 9:30AM-5PM. The only place in the southern hemisphere to see giant pandas. The zoo also boasts meerkats, lions, tigers, a family of capybaras and some quokkas. Adelaide Zoo (Q3244627) on Wikidata Adelaide Zoo on Wikipedia

Museums and galleries[edit]

The River Torrens passing near the University of Adelaide
  • 10 Migration Museum, 82 Kintore Ave (north of the State Library). Daily 10AM-5PM, closed Good Friday and 25 Dec. The museums showcases stories of immigrants to South Australia throughout history with photos, stories and items. Migration Museum (Q6844330) on Wikidata Migration Museum, Adelaide on Wikipedia
  • 11 Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace (half-way between Kintore Ave and Frome Rd, between the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide.), +61 8 8207-7000, . Daily 10AM-5PM, except 25 Dec. Great place to see art of all genres. Free cloakroom/baggage store. Free. Art Gallery of South Australia (Q705557) on Wikidata Art Gallery of South Australia on Wikipedia
  • 12 South Australian Museum, North Terrace (next to the Art Gallery of South Australia). Daily 10AM-5PM, except Good Friday and 25 Dec. Best collection Australian Aboriginal collection in the world and the largely Victorian Pacific cultures gallery is neat too. Free. South Australian Museum (Q2546445) on Wikidata South Australian Museum on Wikipedia
  • 13 National Wine Centre, cnr of Botanic and Hackney Rd, Hackney, +61 8 8303-3355, fax: +61 8 8303-7444, . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su & public holidays; tours & tastings 10AM-5PM. A part of the University of Adelaide, here you can learn more about Australian viticulture, wine and food in general and there's of course also wine bar. National Wine Centre of Australia (Q6979426) on Wikidata National Wine Centre of Australia on Wikipedia
  • 14 Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, 253 Grenfell St. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, closed Sunday & Public Holidays. Here you can experience many kinds of Aboriginal art and culture. There are music, dance and theatre performances and exhibitions of visual art. Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (Q7682408) on Wikidata Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute on Wikipedia
  • 15 Bay Discovery Centre, Moseley Square, Glenelg (Glenelg; take the historic tram). Museum dedicated to the culture and history of South Australia, housed in Glenelg's historical town hall.
  • 16 Port Adelaide Lighthouse. A 25-metre lighthouse that was first set up in 1869, at the entrance to the Port River, then moved to the Neptune Islands out in the sea before being moved to its current location. Nowadays it's an exhibit of the South Australian Maritime Museum, listed on the South Australian Heritage Register and lit on Saturdays just for show.
  • 17 National Railway Museum, 76 Lipson St (Port Adelaide). Daily 10AM–4:30PM. Australia's largest railway museum, housed in and around the former Port Dock goods terminal. There are trains and equipment on display, and also photos and other documents. You can take a small train ride around the premises, and there are special events when you get to take trips onboard some of the other trains. adult $12, concession $9, child $6, family $32.
  • 18 South Australian Aviation Museum, 66 Lipson St (Port Adelaide). Daily 10:30AM-4:30PM. Two hangars with aircraft (mostly military) and engines on display. There are guided tours where you can learn more about individual planes. adults $10, concession $8, children $5 (under 5 years free), family $25.
  • 19 South Australian Maritime Museum, 126 Lipson St (Port Adelaide), +61 8 8207-6255. Daily 10AM-5PM. Exhibits related to the maritime history of the region, from the first European explorers sailing the waters to immigrants arriving by boat and the Australian Navy of today. $15, concession $9, child $6, family $34.50 (2 adults & up to 5 children).. South Australian Maritime Museum (Q18165679) on Wikidata South Australian Maritime Museum on Wikipedia
  • 20 Gawler National Trust Museum, 59 Murray St (via Gawler train line). Tu-F 1-4PM. Showcasing the local history of the town of Gawler. $3 pp.
  • 21 National Motor Museum, Shannon St (in Birdwood), +61 8 8568 4000, fax: +61 8 8568 5195. Daily 10AM – 5PM, closed Christmas Day. Cars and motorcycles from all eras on display, also historical car parts, car-related items from repair manuals to petrol station signs and toys. National Motor Museum (Q15261134) on Wikidata National Motor Museum, Birdwood on Wikipedia
  • 22 Adelaide Gaol (Adelaide Jail), 18 Gaol Rd, +61 8 8231 4062. 10AM–4PM. Historic jail that was built in the 1840s, modelled on jails similar to the ones found in the UK and Ireland.



The pier at Glenelg Beach
  • 1 Glenelg beach. The historic beachside suburb of Glenelg has a jetty, the Grand hotel and many restaurants and cafés. Very popular with young and old, lots of volleyball competitions.
  • 2 West Beach. Ideal for family walks and swimming. It is reasonably close to both Glenelg and Henley Beach. At Henley Beach there is Henley square which hosts some 15 restaurants - an excellent dining venue. All the beaches along Adelaide's coastline are excellent white sand beaches, some with public toilets and cold water showers. If you want to 'wet a line' there are jetties at (suburban beaches, from north to south) Grange, Semaphore, Henley Beach, Glenelg, Brighton and Port Noarlunga.


  • 3 Adelaide Oval. During the summer months get down to the Adelaide Oval for a cricket match. Australia plays host to a couple of touring nations each summer and they will play a few matches at this beautiful ground which is just minutes from the city centre. Tickets for internationals tend to be snapped up quickly, but domestic matches are frequent and equally exciting.
  • AFL, the peak league for professional Australian Rules Football. Home games for the local teams the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power are played at Adelaide Oval in North Adelaide. Getting tickets shouldn't be a problem - check out the AFL website for more details.
  • SANFL, the state Aussie Rules league, has 5 games per weekend at a number of locations throughout the city and suburbs. Norwood Oval, home of the Redlegs, is situated on the Parade in Norwood which is home to a variety of restaurant, café and pub options for after the game.
  • Adelaide United (soccer), Hindmarsh Stadium.

Performance art[edit]

  • 4 Format Collective, 15 Peel St (off Hindley St). A two-storey performance space with a permanent zine store. Hosts small art shows, some of the more experimental gigs, discussion panels and performance art. Much of this is concentrated in the yearly Format Festival which is on at the same time as the Fringe Festival and is considered a more experimental alternative, although there are things on all year round. Known for its hipsters, Japanese beer, and nostalgic games of four-square.


One of the best times of the year to visit is during Mad March, when a multitude of festivals and events are held. These include the Adelaide Fringe, the Clipsal 500 Car race, the Adelaide Festival, WOMADdelaide and the Adelaide Cup horseracing carnival.

  • 5 Adelaide 500 (Superloop Adelaide 500). During mid-March, the Adelaide 500 supercar racing event is very popular, sporting massive street parties, huge concert line-ups and many fanatic Adelaidians. Adelaide 500 (Q4635078) on Wikidata Adelaide 500 on Wikipedia
  • 6 Adelaide Fringe Festival. During late Feb-March, the Fringe Festival (second largest of its type in the world) and Festival of Arts bring the city alive with music, arts, dance and culture from all over the world. Both are large and very popular events visited by people from all over the world. Adelaide Fringe Festival (Q4681716) on Wikidata Adelaide Fringe Festival on Wikipedia
  • 7 WOMADelaide (World of Music Arts and Dance). A hugely popular music festival now held every year in March. People come here from all over Australia and overseas. It shows Adelaide at its very best. WOMADelaide (Q7953896) on Wikidata WOMADelaide on Wikipedia


  • 8 Haigh's Chocolate Factory, 154 Greenhill Rd, Unley Park. M-Sa 11AM, 1PM and 2PM. A factory tour. Haigh's was established in 1915 and is one of the best chocolate makers in Australia. 5 minutes from the CBD, the tour will give you a glimpse on how this fine chocolate is made and they give free samples. Free but bookings essential.
  • 9 The Adelaide Casino, North Terrace (Next to Adelaide station). Adjoining the Festival and Convention centres. Adelaide Casino is South Australia's only licensed casino, and offers not just great gaming, but also three restaurants, and four bars, including the Oasis bar and Grandstand sports bar. Valet parking is also available.
  • 10 Coopers Brewery. The only remaining large family-owned brewery in Australia, well known around the world for their bottle conditioned ales. Founded by Thomas Cooper in 1862, the Brewery is run by the family's fifth generation, Tim and Glenn Cooper. Take a tour, all proceeds from the tours go to charity.


Three different universities call Adelaide home, of which the University of Adelaide is the best regarded. The other two universities in the Adelaide area are the University of South Australia and Flinders University. There are opportunities for international students to enroll in these universities, either as degree students, or as part of exchange programmes with foreign universities.


Rundle Mall
The nineteenth century interior of the Adelaide Arcade.

Unlike the "big four" Australian cities, top-end luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Prada do not have a presence in Adelaide. The Victorian 1 Adelaide Arcade that runs south from Rundle Mall has a fine collection of boutiques and specialist shopping such as numismatics, antiques and chocolatiers. Another good place to look for semi-luxury items would be Burnside Village in the eastern suburbs.

Malls and shopping precincts[edit]

  • 2 Rundle Mall, +61 8 8203 7200. A pedestrian-only shopping strip, with many arcades and side streets coming off it. Runs parallel to North Terrace. Over 800 shops.
  • 3 Tea Tree Plaza (TTP for short). A medium-sized shopping centre with over 250 shops. Tea Tree Plaza is the terminus of the Adelaide O'Bahn dedicated busway which begins in the city centre at Hackney Rd. It is easy to get there from the city centre; most of the buses that stop on the Grenfell St stops travel to the TTP interchange via the O'Bahn busway. It's easy to see from a distance as it has the large antenna and supporting pyramid type structure, well-known to the locals, on the roof of the Myer department store. Ample parking is available around, on top of, and underneath the complex. The much smaller Tea Tree Plus shopping centre is right next to Tea Tree Plaza.
  • 4 Westfield Marion Shopping Centre. Adelaide's largest shopping centre with over 400 shops. There are direct buses from the city centre.
  • 5 Harbour Town. Mid sized mall undergoing an expansion, featuring outlet shopping, situated up against the western edge of the Adelaide Airport. Only a short bus ride from the Airport, and 30 minutes from the city centre. Also, no, this is not a spelling mistake.


  • 6 The Central Market (between Grote and Gouger St, west of Victoria Sq). Tu-Sa. All your fresh fruit and veggies under one Victorian roof. You can borrow a shopping cart from Coles Supermarket next door to stop your arms being pulled from their sockets by all the goodies you'll buy. It's not just vegetarians that will salivate here since foods and non-foods of every variety compete for the best displays. Cheap multi-storey parking adjacent. Adelaide Central Market (Q4681685) on Wikidata Adelaide Central Market on Wikipedia
  • 7 Chinatown. A pedestrian-only area (Moonta St) adjacent to Central Market.
  • 8 City East IGA, 116 Hutt St, +61 8 8223 1112. Won best IGA Supermarket in SA for its amazing food range, including: Greek, Italian, Chinese and Indian.
  • 9 Gaganis Brothers, 9-13 Bacon Street, Hindmarsh 5007 (car parking on site or Grange Road Bus), +61 8 8346 5766. M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM, Saturday 8:30AM-3:30PM. A food wholesaler but sells to the public with an amazing selection of ethnic foods. Most items available in larger quantities.


The BYO culture[edit]

While fairly unusual in the rest of the world, it's common for restaurants in Australia and New Zealand to allow patrons to bring bottled wine to dinner. This practice is called 'BYO' - 'bring your own'. Originally resulting from a loophole in liquor licensing laws, BYO is now a great opportunity to enjoy some of the wine which you have bought in a wine region, or to visit a local 'bottle shop' and enjoy a wider selection at lower prices.

Nowhere in Australia is BYO more common than in Adelaide. Most restaurants in Adelaide which serve alcohol will also allow BYO, though it's a good idea to call ahead to make sure. It's common for a charge called 'corkage' to be applied to the bill. Corkage will typically be around $10–$15 per bottle, though higher charges are not unheard of. Corkage is applied even if your wine is under a screwtop rather than a cork, like virtually all recently produced Australian wine.


Central Market in the Adelaide city centre.

The City caters to virtually every different taste and price range. Adelaide has one of the largest number of restaurants and cafes per person in Australia and most of the best are in the City.

  • Gouger Street, Chinatown and the Central Market precinct is a multicultural food and wine paradise. Best known in Adelaide for good quality Asian food at a reasonable price, Gouger Street attracts a wide range of clientele from lawyers and public servants from the adjacent courts and State government precinct to new migrants. Chinatown and Gouger St is the hub of Chinese cuisine and culture in Adelaide and there are a wide range of Chinese restaurants along the strip. Other Asian cuisines are also featured including Thai, Vietnamese and Indian. On the northern side of Gouger St, the Adelaide Central Market has a great range of hawker style food stalls as well as a few older European cafes. The last decade has also seen the emergence of high-end dining on Gouger St, with a number of more expensive options joining the long standing and locally famed Argentinian restaurant, Gaucho's.
  • Rundle Street and the East End is the traditional hub of Italian and Greek cuisine in Adelaide, but there are also newer Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants. Like Gouger St, it has options across the spectrum of budgets, with the western end of the street closer to Adelaide University catering more to the budget end while the eastern end is more upmarket. The East End laneways off of Rundle Street have a range of smaller, quirkier cafes - Ebenezer Place, Bent Street and Union Street all have a few alternative options.
  • Waymouth Street and Pirie Street have emerged as new eating destinations over the last decade, particularly for an upmarket lunch. Waymouth Street, on the western side of King William Street, has a range of high end cafes, bistros and bars, while Pirie Street has a few new cafes.
  • Hindley Street is best known for its bars and nightlife, but has a range of multicultural food options, particularly Middle Eastern and Asian. The Leigh Street and Bank Street laneways have also emerged as dining destinations in their own right.
  • Hutt Street is smaller scale and offers a small variety of upmarket restaurants that please most tastes, and also has a wide variety of gourmet shops and supermarkets.
  • The South West Corner of the City's square mile, south of the Gouger Street precinct, is more residential but includes some of Adelaide's most interesting dining experiences sprinkled among the heritage homes and apartments.

North Adelaide[edit]

  • An eclectic mix of small restaurants and cafes make Melbourne Street an interesting place to eat.
  • The variety of take-aways, pubs, cafes, bakeries and restaurants that line most of O'Connell Street means you won't be wanting. A local speciality to try is the AB, a dish consisted of shredded yiros meat on top of hot chips and topped with chilli sauce, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and garlic sauce, of which there are two shops that claim to have invented the dish; The Blue & White Cafe and North Adelaide Burger Bar.


  • The Parade, Norwood has a long stretch of shopping and cosmopolitan dining. Buses from the CBD numbering 122-124 or a very short taxi ride.
  • Jetty Road / Mosley Square, Glenelg has a variety of restaurants and pubs at the end of a 30 minute tram journey.
  • Stuart Road, Dulwich features two cafes, a licensed restaurant and a very good bakery. Catch the 145 or 146 from North Ter which heads along Fullarton Rd and up Dulwich Ave.
  • King William Road, Hyde Park is an upmarket strip of fashionable cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.


There are a lot of budget eateries in Adelaide. They don't usually look like much from the outside but most have something going for them - the reason that they are still in business. It pays to look through menus plastered onto doors. Cheap eats should be anywhere from $8–14 for a main, and no more.

  • 1 Elephant walk, 76 Melbourne St, +61 8 8267-2006. Particularly interesting because it is a small, cosy cafe which is very dimly lit. Each booth is separated by straw screens so you can't really see the other patrons. It opens at 8PM and if they're full, you'll have to wait outside for a table.
  • 2 Nano Cafe, 23 Ebenezer Pl (in East End), +61 8 8227 0468. Daily. Italian home-style food, great breakfast, good coffee, value for money, breakfast & lunch only, fresh daily. $5.80-15.
  • 3 Dumpling King, 95 Grote St. Plates of 10-15 dumplings, steamed/fried, pork/chicken and prawn, for $6.80-7.80.
  • 4 Food courts off of Moonta St. Many different Asian cuisines at cheap prices. All you can fit on your plate for varying prices plus made to order food.
  • 5 Hawker's Corner, 141 West Terrace (cnr Wright St.). Much the same as the food courts but open at night. Cheap but tasty with a wide range of food.
  • 6 Cafe de Vili's, 2-14 Manchester St (off South Rd, after Richmond Rd). Vili is an Adelaide producer of pastries, especially pies and pasties. This unpretentious eatery at their factory serves full meals in addition to pastries, and is particularly known for their pie floaters (meat pies in pea and ham soup). Shift workers and night owls regularly eat there because it is open 24 hr, 7 days. It is a minor Adelaide icon. It has a second location at 426 Main N Rd in the Blair Athol district.
  • Fasta Pasta (multiple restaurants around Adelaide). The fast food version of pasta; although found in other states its popularity in South Australia is due to the chain having started in Adelaide. Expect to pay from $10 for a plate of pasta.


  • 7 Amalfi, 29 Frome St, +61 8 8223 1948. This little Italian place just off Rundle St has a loyal following and is usually jam packed. It has an inventive range of pizzas and pastas, with quality a cut above the other Italian cafes filling Rundle St.
  • 8 Chefs Of Tandoori, 292 Unley Rd, +61 8 8373 5055. As the name suggest, founded by Indian chefs who deserted the Tandoori Oven across the road. Good Indian food at a very reasonable price.
  • 9 Fellini, 102 O'Connell, +61 8 8239 2235. This St. Large North Adelaide cafe is packed to the rafters every weekend. The menu is Italian-based pasta, pizza and so on, but what keeps the punters coming back is the large size of the menu and inventiveness of the dishes.
  • 10 Hotaru Japanese Restaurant, 162 Gouger St, +61 8 8410 2838. Cosy Japanese restaurant with wonderful food, particularly the fresh sashimi, various sushi rolls and the grilled eggplant. Home-made sesame ice cream and green tea ice cream. Hotaru is off the main Gouger St area.
  • 11 Jasmin, 31 Hindmarsh Sq, +61 8 8223 7837. One of Adelaide's best Indian restaurants. Beautifully decorated, with classical music playing and impeccable service. The very hot curries (vindaloo and tindaloo) are especially good. You might also consider trying the mixed entree or orange sponge cake.
  • 12 Nu Thai, 117 Gouger St, +61 8 8410 2288. Slightly more expensive than Regent, with a more adventurous menu. They have a huge blackboard inside with a long list of specials which change regularly.
  • 13 Raj on Taj, 109 King William Rd, +61 8 8271 7755. Good, reasonably priced Indian food. There are two Raj on Taj restaurants, one in Hyde Park and one nearby in Unley. The Hyde Park one is the better of the two.
  • 14 Regent Thai, 165 O'Connell St, +61 8 8239 0927. Excellent and consistent standard Thai menu. The friendly proprietor Chang was a refugee from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Try the oysters in coriander sauce, the red curry chicken, or ask for a whole fish steamed with ginger and shallots. Its sister restaurant at Glenelg, Phuket, is worth checking out as well. Mains $13-18..


  • 15 Magill Estate Restaurant, 78 Penfold Rd, +61 8 8301 5551. Magill. While the food here is good, the real stars are the view and the wine list. This restaurant is owned by Penfolds, probably Australia's best-known premium red wine maker, and overlooks the vineyards on their Magill property, not far from the city centre. The grapes grown on this estate are used to make the Magill Estate label single vineyard Shiraz. The wine list allows you to order back vintages of the Penfolds and other wines going back 20 or more years.
  • 16 Windy Point Restaurant, Windy Point Lookout, Belair Rd, +61 8 8278 8255. Windy Point Lookout, Belair Rd. Nice ambiance, excellent service and good food prepared in a unique way with a nice view of the city skyline. For those who wish to have a less formal setting, the adjacent cafe also offers a good selection. Usually only open for dinner from 6PM onwards, though lunches are possible with prior arrangements.
  • 17 Shiki Restaurant, North Terrace (Intercontinental Hotel Adelaide), +61 8 8231 2382. Japanese restaurant with a nice atmosphere in one of Adelaide's premier hotels. Mainly known for its teppanyaki but also serves other Japanese dishes like sushi, sashimi and tempura.


There are pubs and bars dotted all around the CBD, but a few districts are worth singling out. Rundle Street and its neighbouring area known simply as "The East End" have a number of popular pubs. Hindley St used to be notorious as the seedy home of Adelaide's strip clubs and bikie bars, but it, and "The West End" have undergone a renaissance. The eastern end of Hindley Street is more mainstream, whereas the western end, west of Morphett Street has a few trendier and more alternative venues. The seedy places are still there, but so too is a university campus and a number of trendy bars and clubs. Also important are Gouger Street and its many restaurants but with an increasing number of bars and pubs. O'Connell Street is home to a few of North Adelaide's popular pubs.

There are also many bars in the suburbs of Adelaide which usually are busier on Thursday and Friday evenings. Quite a lot of the locals will go to the hotels in the suburbs on Thursday and Friday evenings, and go into the Adelaide CBD on Saturday evenings.

Smoking in pubs and clubs is banned under South Australian law. Many drinking establishments have outdoor areas where smoking is permitted.


Melbourne is not the only Australian city with a buzzing "laneway culture": Adelaide's Exeter Lane, off Rundle Street, at night. On the left is The Exeter Hotel, one of Adelaide's most well known pubs/drinking establishments.

As a rule, pubs seem to be located in hotels.

  • 1 Grandstand, North Terrace (Adelaide Casino, North Ter.), +61 8 8212 2811. Su-Th 10AM-late, F Sa 11AM-5:30AM. Situated on the 1st floor of Adelaide Casino, Grandstand is Adelaide's premier venue for watching all live sporting events. Featuring several TV screens showing all the action from Fox Sports, Setanta and Main Event, Grandstand also has full Keno and TAB facilities. A bar menu is also available, as are regular great drink promotions.
  • 2 Crown & Anchor, 196 Grenfell St, +61 8 8223 3212. M-W 11AM-3AM, Th-Sa 11AM-4AM. Situated just off Rundle St, this Adelaide institution is often referred to as "The Cranker", or less kindly, the "Crowd of Wankers" attracts those of an alternative bent. Goths, metalheads, punks and hippies all mingle in this multi-roomed venue, sipping beer. But don't worry, piercings and tattoos aren't essential to have a good time. Music playing could be just about anything.
  • 3 Worldsend, 208 Hindley St, +61 8 8231 9137. M-F 11AM-late, Sa 4PM-late, Su closed. Serves food all day. This lively pub features a beer garden and a solid restaurant. The crowd is generally early to mid 20s, many from the nearby Hindley Street campus of the University of South Australia. While it definitely has a strong pub feel, the music is more like a bar, with live jazz and funk, house and drum'n'bass (rather than rock) the order of the day.
  • 4 The Exeter, 246 Rundle St, +61 8 8223 2623. This friendly old-school pub is much frequented by students from nearby Adelaide University and TAFE. At night, it has an alternative feel drawing crowds from all areas. Two back rooms contain a great little restaurant. The curry nights on Wednesday and Thursday are popular. Small music venue, mostly showcasing live alternative bands. M-Su 11AM-late.
  • 5 The Archer, 60 O'Connell St, +61 8 8361 9300. Modern, hip feel and a large range of beers on tap. Be aware that it has to close earlier than most places (usually midnight) due to residential noise restrictions.
  • 6 The Cumberland Arms (The Cumby), 205 Waymouth St, +61 8 8231 3577. M 9AM-midnight, Tu 9AM-1AM, W-Th 9AM-3AM, F Sa 6PM-4AM, Su 6PM-2AM. In a strip of bars and clubs along the southern end of Light Square adjacent to Hindley St. The Cumberland was bought out and refurbished some years ago. Nowadays it's a cozy spot which does a good job of being all things to all people. The front bar areas conceal a dance floor within, where a DJ is invariably playing house, and an outdoor area around the side. The popularity of "The Cumby" is cyclic, but if it's not happening, one of the adjacent places will be.
  • 7 The Grace Emily, 232 Waymouth St ((Opposite "The Cumberland)), +61 8 8231 5500. The Grace has plenty of trinkets behind and around the bar to keep one's eyeballs busy whilst nursing a Coopers or bloody mary. Local, interstate and overseas bands play most nights. Every Monday night Billy Bob's BBQ Jam sees a variety of local bands strut their stuff to impress the crowd with 3 or 4 songs (though perhaps more by popular demand) whilst a sausage sizzle out the beer garden feeds the hordes - a highlight of an otherwise quiet evening in Adelaide.
  • 8 The Austral, 205 Rundle St. Rundle St. On the main street for shopping and nightlife in Adelaide, which is really the same long street as Hindley St but with a different name either side of King William Road, and the pedestrian only Rundle Mall in the middle. The Austral is the unofficial backpackers pub of choice.
  • 9 The Original Coopers Alehouse (also known by the original name still on the front facade The Earl of Aberdeen), 316 Pulteney St (10 minute walk from the Rundle St-Pulteney St intersection), +61 8 8223 6433. The only pub to hold the complete range of Coopers beers on tap, including the Vintage Ale. Also serves good food, including schnitzels and pizzas, in the attached Arnou Woodfired at the Earl restaurant.
  • 10 The Stag, 299 Rundle St (cnr of Rundle and East Tce). More up market establishment, with good views of the parklands from the al fresco seating, good range of drinks and weekly live music. The second floor balcony literally overlooked the old Formula 1 street circuit and was always crammed with race fans. With the shortened Clipsal 500 course this is no longer possible, but still a good place to go after the days races.
  • 11 The Union Hotel, 70 Waymouth St Adelaide, +61 8 8231 2144, . Open most days 11AM-1AM. Good value meals every night including cheap pizza night every Monday. On Friday nights the crazy is dialed up with Generation Pop, a mix of pop music from retro to modern and very popular with the after work crowd (7:30PM-1AM). Saturdays is Get Back, Adelaide's only weekly retro dance club playing music from the 1950s-80s (8PM-1AM). Entry is free to both nights. Crowd is a healthy mix of ages, even after dark.


  • 12 Zhivago, 155 Waymouth St. This West End bar attracts a friendly, relaxed, mid-20s crowd.
  • 13 First Lounge Bar & Restaurant, 128 Rundle Mall (in the Richmond Hotel), +61 8 8223 4044. The only nightspot on Rundle Mall. First started life as a chilled out cocktail bar, but rapidly became popular as an after-work spot on Fridays, and could now also be filed under "clubs". On weekends they are packed out and play commercial house, but on weeknights it reverts to the original cocktail bar atmosphere.
  • 14 Fumo Blu, 270 Rundle St, +61 8 8232 2533. Below ground cocktail lounge in the heart of Rundle St.
  • 15 The Unley (formerly Boho), 27 Unley Rd, Parkside, +61 8 8271 5544. Burlesque themed bar, with live music and burlesque and period performances, a 5-minute drive, bus or Tram ride South of the CBD. Half-price cocktails Wednesday and Sunday 6-9PM.
  • 16 Rocket Bar, 142 Hindley St, +61 8 8212 7433. Inconspicuously located off Hindley St (it's a door with a sign above it). Live venue hosting international/interstate and local alternative indie acts. Also home to indie/alternative Modular nights and Abracadabra on Fridays. Open every weekend until late.


  • 17 Jive, 181 Hindley St. Open every weekend and sometimes during the week.. 300-person capacity mainly live venue that hosts local and interstate rock/alternative/indie acts. Also home to indie/alternative dance club Gosh! on Saturdays after the bands.



There is a choice of backpacker accommodation around the central bus station.

  • 1 Adelaide Central YHA, 135 Waymouth St, +61 8 8414-3010, fax: +61 8 8414-3015, . $75, en suite: $90, dorm: $25.50 (YHA/Hostelling International members 10% discount)..
  • 2 Adelaide Travellers Inn, 220 Hutt St, +61 8 8224-0753, . Nomads Mad card members receive $2 off per night or their 7th night free.
  • 3 The Austral, 205 Rundle St, +61 8 8223-4660. The Austral is a pub which provides accommodation upstairs from the bar area. Rooms are clean and fairly quiet despite the bar downstairs, although the mattresses aren't great quality. Bathrooms are shared. Close to Adelaide's centre. Double $55, single $35.
  • 4 Blue Galah, 62 King William St, +61 8 8231-9295, toll-free: 1800 221 529, fax: +61 8 8231-9598, . Just one block from Rundle St Mall but no smoking rules not enforced so best to avoid if you do not carry your own gas mask/filtration system. Not the cleanest or quietest place but has a great bar with balcony overlooking King William St and CBD. Wi-Fi: $5/day, $15/wk. Dorm: $24 (weekly rates too); private single/twin/double: $70.
  • 5 Hostel 109, 109 Carrington St, +61 8 8223-1771. Small, quiet, modern, secure & centrally located. Very clean. Free internet.
  • 6 My Place Adelaide, 257 Waymouth St, +61 8 8221 5299, toll-free: 1800 221 529, . Very clean, good social vibe, free breakfast & free bus to Glenelg beach. BBQ nights, beach volleyball & soccer organised.
  • 7 Plaza Hotel, 85 Hindley St, +61 8 8231-6371, fax: +61 8 8231-2055, . Double $72, single $66.
  • 8 Shakespeare International Hostel, 123 Waymouth St (150m north of Bicycle SA free bike hire & central bus station), +61 8 8231-7655, toll-free: 1800 556 889, fax: +61 8 8211-6867, . Check-in: noon, check-out: 9:30AM. Good compromise between cleanliness and price, this hostel attracts an eclectic mix of long term residents and tour parties leaving early from the nearby bus station. Has a large lounge for socialising and the kitchen is kept surprisingly clean. Will not store passports safely so, if this is a concern, pay a bit more at the YHA a few doors down.



Stay safe[edit]

The Australia-wide emergency number is 000. The ambulance service, fire service and police are available through this number. For non-emergency police assistance, dial 131 444.

Adelaide is considered a safe city, and much more so than other Australian capitals. People should however exercise personal safety, particularly at night.

The city parklands are poorly lit and are best avoided after dark due to the presence of intoxicated people. If you need to cross the parklands to reach the suburbs, stay near the road. Catching a taxi or public transport is recommended at night.

Trains in Adelaide are generally reliable and arrive and depart on schedule. (Buses can be slightly more variable.) There are security guards on all trains after 7PM and many rail services have bus connections available.

At night, police actively patrol the city centre, especially Hindley Street, the latter being where many of the city's nightclubs and bars are. Taxi ranks are near the Adelaide Casino on North Terrace, the Hilton Adelaide Hotel on Victoria Square, and the junction of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street outside the Hungry Jacks fast food outlet. Most regular public transport services end before or at midnight, but special After Midnight bus services operate Saturday night only, travelling from the city to brightly-lit points throughout Adelaide's suburbs.

Stay healthy[edit]

Adelaide's remote location in the world's driest continent means that all of its drinking water is sourced from the River Murray or local reservoirs. Although the water is perfectly safe to drink, it does make tap water unpalatable to those not used to it and is best drunk filtered.


There is extensive free Wi-Fi access (port 80 only) in the CBD and the airport provided by Internode.



As a relatively minor city, Adelaide does not have many consulates, with the nearest consulates for many countries being located in Melbourne or Sydney.

  • Germany Germany, PO Box 90 - Rundle Mall,, +61 8-8224-068. M-F 10AM-1PM strictly by appointment. Honorary consulate only.
  • Thailand Thailand, Room 9, 144 South Terrace, +61 8 2311333. M-F 11AM-3PM, except Thai and Australian holidays. Honorary consulate.

Go next[edit]

The German settlement of Hahndorf, nestled in the Adelaide Hills, is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
Autumn colours of Stirling
  • Adelaide Hills, including the Mt Lofty Summit, provides spectacular views of the Adelaide metropolitan area. The Adelaide Hills are a series of villages, each having its own unique character. In particular, the towns of Hahndorf and Stirling are worth visiting.
  • The wine regions of the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley
  • Kangaroo Island. Explore the natural environment.
  • Flinders Ranges. Head north to explore the natural beauty and frontier history of the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound
  • Victor Harbor, just an hour or so drive south of Adelaide. Granite Island is one of the few places you can see Fairy Penguins in their natural habitat. Visit the nearby surf beaches in Pt Elliot, Middletown and Goolwa.
  • Whispering wall, at the Barossa Reservoir.
  • Yorke Peninsula is a popular holiday destination for Adelaidians, and less touristy than Victor Harbor, with towns dotted along the coast and the rugged Innes National Park at the foot of the peninsula.
  • Alice Springs, 1,500 km of driving. Main stops on the way are Port Augusta and Coober Pedy. Eventually, heading through the Northern Territory you will reach the turn off to Uluru.
  • Melbourne, via Coorong National Park, followed by the Limestone Coast and finally the Great Ocean Road before arriving in Melbourne.
  • Eyre Peninsula. Visit the historic town of Port Lincoln where you can see the massive tuna farms as well as going diving with Great White Sharks (in a cage) or swim with the dolphins and the seals.

Routes through Adelaide
Port AugustaPort Pirie  N The Ghan route icon.png E  END
Port AugustaPort Pirie  W Indian Pacific route icon.png E  → Gladstone, PeterboroughBroken Hill
END  W The Overland route icon.png E  Murray BridgeMelbourne
Port AugustaPort Wakefield  N AUS Alphanumeric Route A1.svg S  END
END  N Australian Alphanumeric State Route B23.svg S  AldingaKangaroo Island

This city travel guide to Adelaide has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel details. Please contribute and help us make it a star!