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You might already know of Australia’s bigger destinations like Sydney and Melbourne, but you shouldn’t discount hidden gems like Adelaide when you take a cruise to Australia. After all, Adelaide has it all: incredible nature, sprawling wine country, and attractions to delight the whole family.
Downtown Adelaide is compact and easily walkable. The restaurant scene has exploded in recent years, and the city has developed a reputation as a foodie haven. If you want to venture outside of the city while on one of our Adelaide cruises, head to glamorous South Australian wine country for tastings and a glimpse into where over half of the country’s wine comes from. Take the afternoon to go church-hopping, or hike to the summit of the appropriately named Mount Lofty. Adelaide balances urban sophistication with a laid-back Australian attitude, which makes for an ideal day trip for the curious traveler.
Stroll the Adelaide Botanic Garden for a day among Australia’s most beautiful flora. You can lose track of an afternoon as you explore 126 acres of beautiful green space. It’s a beloved attraction in Adelaide, and entry is completely free. During Adelaide cruises, this budget-friendly activity is a must-do for nature lovers.
Over 2,500 animals live at the massive Adelaide Zoo, like pandas, lions, seals, and all sorts of exotic species in between. The zoo is a perfect activity for all ages. Kids can burn off extra energy at the playground, while adults can enjoy animal encounters and guided tours with kangaroos, lemurs, and koalas, to name a few.
Near the University of Adelaide is the fascinating South Australian Museum, which pays extensive homage to Australian Aborigines and their cultural artifacts and traditions. No visit to Adelaide is complete without this trip back in time.
If you’re craving time in rugged nature, take a trip just 30 minutes beyond Adelaide’s city center to Morialta Conservation Park, home to three cascading waterfalls, challenging hiking trails, and plenty of places to rock climb or mountain bike. Hikes range from 30 minutes to 3 hours, so there’s something to do for all skill levels and time constraints.
As one of Australia’s biggest markets, the Central Market is the place to go to get a sense of the city’s beating cultural heart while on one of our Adelaide cruises. South Australian goodies and fresh produce, freshly baked bread, olive oils, and cheeses are readily available. Come on an empty stomach and enjoy brunch from one of the many food stands and restaurants. You won’t be disappointed.
360-degree views of the entire city await at the top of Mount Lofty, which is one of the tallest summits in the area. It’s a 20-minute drive from the center of Adelaide, so your best bet is taking a car or taxi. A cafe and souvenir shop wait at the top as a treat for all your hard work on the hike up.
Sommeliers and wine lovers will fall in love with the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, which is close to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Enjoy the winemaking exhibits which educate visitors on the critically important wine industry in Southern Australia. The centre also offers tastings and courses to teach you the ins and outs of Australian wine.
You can’t visit the so-called City of Churches and not check out Adelaide’s most beautiful places of worship. Take a self-guided tour of St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, admire the dramatic spires of St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and take a moment of silence at Australia’s oldest mosque, the Adelaide Mosque.
Address: 141 Brebner Dr, West Lakes South Australia 5021
For fine dining in Adelaide, there’s an adventure waiting at Crusoe’s, where they break out the white linen napkins to bring you a sophisticated dining experience. Start with oysters and smoked trout croquettes before trying mains like the roasted pork belly with plum compote, or the crab and prawn tortellini.
Address: Hindley Street, Liverpool Street Corner, Adelaide, South Australia 5000
The garden at Peter Rabbit is an excellent brunch spot. Ingredients are fresh and locally sourced. Meals include classics like avocado toast, overnight oats, ham and cheese croissants, and eggs your way. Many of the options are vegan and/or gluten free.
Address: 9 Peel St, Adelaide South Australia 5000
Peel Street takes a creative approach to their menu, and offers three course tasting menus for larger groups. Peel Street feels casual, but the menu is elevated to bring you small plates and changing daily specials based on what’s freshest.
Bakery on O’Connell
Address: 128 O'Connell St, Adelaide, South Australia 5006
This 24-hour bakery offers confections and freshly baked treats around the clock. Here, you’ll find everything from vegan goodies to wholesale items. Butter croissants beg to be eaten for breakfast, or go for huge donuts, cakes, savory quiche, and more.
The area we now know as Adelaide was originally occupied by the native Kaurna population, and parts of the city were constructed to honor their culture and traditions. Adelaide was carefully built and painstakingly laid out because it was one of the first Australian cities that wasn’t built to accommodate convicts. Europeans arrived in Adelaide by the mid-19th century, and Adelaide was established as a British colony in 1836. Adelaide became the capital of South Australia, and today it’s home to a population of over 1.3 million people. Adelaide also consistently ranks in livability and makes “best places to live” lists each year.
On one of our Adelaide cruises, your ship will dock at the Outer Harbor of Port Adelaide. The city center is a 25-mile, 30-minute taxi ride from the Adelaide cruise terminal. If you want to stay close to the cruise terminal, you can make a museum day out of it. The South Australia Maritime Museum and the National Railway Museum are located near the cruise port. There also will typically be a shuttle ready to take Adelaide cruise passengers to the center of town.
Adelaide has an extensive bus and train system for navigating the city, plus car rentals are popular for tourists spending the day here. There’s a free bus that loops around the main sights in the city center. You can negotiate with your taxi driver to take you around to several city attractions while stopped on your Adelaide cruise. Hiring a car is a good plan if you’re interested in venturing out to wine country. Of course, once you get into the city center, it’s fairly navigable and flat if you prefer walking.
Adelaide’s shopping scene knows how to appreciate both the simple pleasures and the finer things in life. Chocolatiers and cafes line the streets, including Haigh's Chocolates, where it’s recommended you make a reservation to see the chocolate-making facilities. You can’t leave Adelaide without trying South Australian wine, which is one of the region’s biggest exports. Fine jewelry is another given in Adelaide, where opals are the national gemstone.
You’ll use the Australian dollar during your Adelaide cruise, and you’ll find it good to carry a little bit of cash when you go places to cover small expenses. Credit cards are commonly accepted in this part of South Australia, and you’ll find ATMs all over the city. Tipping isn’t customary in Australia, but rounding up to the nearest dollar with taxi drivers is extremely polite. Tipping in restaurants isn’t expected.