Adelaide for Backpackers


Adelaide is the capital and main city of South Australia and the 5th largest Australian city. It has been proclaimed in 1836 in Glenelg, which is now a well-known seaside suburb of Adelaide. This city was the first to recognise aboriginal land rights and the first to give the women voting rights. Adelaide was originally established as a colony for free settlers. It has also the biggest collection of aboriginal art and artefacts. Here is a quick guide of what to visit on your first trip to South Australia.

Adelaide Central Market

adelaide central market

As a free settlers’ colony, Adelaide has welcomed immigrants with arms wide open, being also a hub for their culture and traditions. The settlers have brought with them cultural and culinary habits, which may be seen in the Central Market. It has been open since 1869 and since then remains the largest undercover market in the Southern Hemisphere. Sounds impressive? Wait until you see the abundance of fresh food and local products with your own eyes – delicious bread, fresh fruits, wide selection of cheeses – everything definitely worth trying.

South Australian Museum

Let’s feed your mind and soul now – Adelaide being a home to aboriginal people and free settlers, has preserved a great number of remaining art works and artefacts from the past. South Australian Museum is the best place to see this cultural as well as natural heritage under one roof. It’s one of the most visited museums in the country, where you can see minerals, opals, meteorites, skeletons of whales and dolphins – just to begin with. And now the best part – entry to the museum is completely free of charge! Opening hours: every day between 10 AM and 5 PM.


glenelg adelaide

It’s a seaside suburb, west of the city of Adelaide, where it was first proclaimed in 1836. Nowadays it’s best known for being the city beach and you can get there by tram in just 20 min. Make it 1-day or half-a-day trip and enjoy the beach, ocean views, as well as local restaurants. Remember about sunscreen! Interesting fact – there used to be an amusement park in Glenelg between the years 1930-1934. Upon its liquidation, many attractions were transported to Sydney’s Luna Park.

Adelaide Oval

adelaide oval

The most characteristic landmark across the River Torrens is Adelaide Oval – the city stadium, mostly used for cricket, football and rugby matches. Amazing fact – the Oval was built in 1871 – almost 150 years ago! There are guided tours that will take you for a walk around the oval and go behind closed doors, the tour length is approximately 2,5h. Price: $24 for adults.

The Popeye Adelaide

popeye adelaide

You’re probably wondering what is a cartoon character doing on this list? Popeye was a sailor and that’s how the company sailing through the River Torrens decided to name their ferries. That’s right – you can see this beautiful city from a completely different perspective! The pickup points are: Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo. Round trip is just $15 per person.

Royal Botanic Garden & Adelaide Zoo

royal botanic garden adelaide

Both located 5-10 min walking distance from Adelaide Oval. If you decide to hop on the Popeye ferry, it will take you right next to the Zoo. While the entrance to the Zoo costs $35 for an adult, you can wander through the Botanic Gardens totally for free – and it’s worth it! Botanic Gardens are Adelaide’s green lungs. They were open to the public in 1857. Nowadays you can upgrade your walk with a visit to ‘Diggers Shop’, where you can get all kinds of seeds for your own home garden.

Rundle Street

rundle street

This is where Adelaide presents its second personality. As a contrary to the green Botanic Gardens, picturesque river cruises or ocean views from Glenelg beach, Rundle Street is mostly bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for lunch ideas or a place to grab a drink – this should be your first choice. Walking up the street you’ll reach Rundle Mall, famous for real size pigs statues. Rundle St has a bustling nightlife and if you ever end up walking through the street on Saturday or Sunday in the early morning, you’ll surely see that the bars are still open for all night party lovers.

Kangaroo Island

kangaroo island adelaide

The island advertises itself as “just across the water, but a world away” which is a perfect way to say – you have never seen anything like that before. And I mean it! Kangaroo Island can be accessed by ferry from the Cape Jervis (2 hour’s drive from Adelaide). The ferry trip takes exactly 45 minutes. You can join an organised 1 or 2 days trip. What will you see there? Koalas, seals, penguins, raptors and of course kangaroos! You will be surely amazed by breathtaking views and the abundance of wildlife. A completely different world is waiting for you to be discovered – don’t miss that chance.

Barossa Valley

barossa valley adelaide

One of the most important wine growing regions of Australia, home to Jacob’s Creek grapevines. It’s located a 1-hour drive from the city of Adelaide and can be easily accessed by car. There are several reasons why you can’t miss the visit to the valley – the first one would certainly be amazing views of vineyards along the track. The other reason is a possibility to experience wine tasting offered by most of the wineries in the region. That’s right – you can have a sip of all the kinds of wines and decide which one to bring back home. Moreover, South Australia is known for production of delicious cheeses and what is better than a cheese platter with a glass of wine? Make sure to include in your tour Chateau Yaldara, Peter Lehmann, Langmeil and Lindsay wineries (the last one being the youngest, with a focus on red wines more than anything else).

Whispering Wall

whispering wall adelaide

On your way back from Barossa Valley, pass by Williamstown to see a dam built more than 100 years ago. What is so unusual about this simple construction? The dam transports the sound from one end to another and you can hear the sound clearly as if the other person was standing right next to you. What’s the secret? There is a simple scientific explanation – the construction of the dam and its’ perfect curve makes the sound travel along the wall without being disrupted.  But don’t trust my word for it and try it out yourself!

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