Secret Places: Things to Do in Adelaide
Adelaide and its surrounds is home to a vast array of activities – from vineyards, to mountains, beaches, cafes and historical sights. Here are some of our top picks for lesser known things to explore in this vibrant area.
Image: Henley Beach, Adelaide
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens
Shaped like a crescent moon, Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens sits proudly in the Adelaide Hills. If you're after a relaxing stroll or a more vigorous hike, the botanic gardens offers it all. With multiple walking/running paths and countless gardens that span over 97 hectares, there's plenty to explore and discover. Next time you're looking to escape the city, head to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens.
Santos Museum of Economic Botany
While we're on the topic of botanic gardens, check out Santos Museum of Economic Botany. Located in the Adelaide Botanic Garden, this gem is filled with an incredible collection of plants, many of which date back to 1881. If you want to learn about the importance of nature from the past, present and future, this is the place to satisfy your inner botanist.
Known as The Whispering Wall, the Barossa Reservoir holds a curious draw card. This century old wall allows words whispered on one side to be clearly heard on the other. This is good fun for children and, let's face it, adults too. You can get to the Whispering Wall by heading to Williamstown and following the signposts from the main street.
Stroll the River Torrens
It's not a secret, but it's something you don't want to miss. The River Torrens is Adelaide's most iconic river, stretching alongside the heart of the city. This is the perfect place to go for a stroll and take in the atmosphere of the city, without feeling the crazy rush. You can walk, run or cycle along the River Torrens and there are plenty of places to stop and have a picnic.
Although it's located in the heart of Adelaide, this cosy wine bar and café is tucked away down a side street. Don't miss the secret bar — The Barlow Room — hidden behind the fireplace!
Adelaide Himeji Gardens
Take some time out in the Himeji Gardens. This serene Japanese garden was a gift from Adelaide's sister city, Himeji. Explore the gardens at your own pace or pack a picnic with a friend for some time away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Belair National Park
You'll find Belair National Park just 25 minutes from Adelaide's city centre. Whether you're a hiker, stroller, runner or mountain biker, there's something for everyone. To give yourself the best chance to see some wildlife, get to the park early in the morning or hang around as the sun sets.
Hit the Beach
Find your own secret spot on Adelaide's beaches. Glenelg, Henley, Jetty Road and Holdfast Shore can be reached simply by hopping on a train from the city. Once there, take a dip in the sea, walk the shorelines and see what kind of adventure the ocean and sand can lead to.
If you're looking for a feed, Dulwich is a great place to go. Pop into Gilberries for a cake and coffee or check out Corner Store Café for lunch or breakfast.
Adelaide Central Markets
It's not really much of a secret, but Adelaide Central Markets is a place of discovery. This sustainable market hosts a huge range of locally sourced foods and goods, supporting the community while offering a great time for visitors.
The Road to the Flinders Ranges
If you're up for a bigger adventure, take the road to Flinders Ranges. The trip is long (over 5 hours) but along the way you'll see South Australia's wild lands and create unforgettable experiences. When you get to the Flinders ranges, there are plenty of peaks to climb where you'll be rewarded with views of the rugged South Australian outback. For more information, check out Take Shape Adventure's article about their trip to the Flinders Ranges.
Our list of things to do in Adelaide has only just scratched the surface – the best way to discover new places is to explore. Don't be afraid to go off the beaten track, ask locals about their favourite spots and go outside of your comfort zone. Your adventurous side will thank you for it.