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What to do in Adelaide

Discover the beautiful city of Adelaide
All about Adelaide

The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide is home to the Kaurna people. Spreading across the Adelaide plains, the land was called Tandanya (the Place of the Red Kangaroo) by Indigenous Australians.

Adelaide is famous for its fun, food and festivals, hosting several world class events including the Adelaide Festival, the (world’s second largest) Fringe, WOMADelaide and now, of course, the G&S Fest!

Adelaide is a city of firsts. We were the first in Australia to give women the right to vote, recognise Indigenous land rights and criminalise sexual and racial discrimination.

The heart of Adelaide

Perfectly positioned between the hills and the sea is the Adelaide Central Business District (CBD).

Designed in a grid around King William Street, it only takes 20 minutes (for the average paced walker) to get from one side of the city to the other. That is of course if you don’t stop along the way at one of many things to do in Adelaide!

Did you know: the roads on either side of King William Street have different names because you should never cross the path of a monarch!

Across the north side of the city grid is the aptly named North Terrace, a broad boulevard packed with many significant buildings. In the west, the historic Adelaide Gaol is the place to be for the brave of heart.

The War Memorial, State Library, South Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of South Australia present beautiful, historic facades along with the glorious campus of the University of Adelaide.

Visit the Art Gallery for the Andy Warhol & Photography exhibit until 14 May or the South Australian Museum for the RELICS exhibition, an intriguing display of constructions built from Lego and everyday objects.

Did you know: the South Australian Museum is home to the country’s largest collection of Indigenous artefacts

The newly developed University of South Australia campuses and Lion’s Art Factory lie just before the Convention Centre, Railway Station and Sky City. Parliament House, the location of South Australia’s parliament sittings, lies adjacent to Government House, home to the Governor of South Australia.

Ayers House, home of five time Premier of South Australia Sir Henry Ayres, is located opposite the beautiful Botanic Gardens, Adelaideans’ favourite outdoor experience in any season.

Did you know: the Botanic Gardens has one of the world’s most notoriously foul-smelling plants, Titan Arum, otherwise known as the Corpse Flower

One block south of North Terrace you will find Rundle Mall, home to some of Adelaide’s best shopping. Whist there, see if you can find the famous Malls Balls, Rundle Pigs and the giant pigeon. Adelaide Arcade, a historic indoor strip of shops presented under distinctive domes and ornate details, runs off Rundle Mall and it even has its own coat of arms.

The mall then turns into Rundle Street, a strip of trendy shops, cafes and restaurants leading all the way down to East Terrace.

Don’t forget to visit Leigh Street and Peel Street, cobbled alleyways full of incredible food, brilliant bars and hip cafes.

Running through the heart of the CBD is Victoria Square (Tarntanyangga), the largest of the six squares found in Adelaide.

Just off Victoria Square, on Grote Street, you can find Her Majesty’s Theatre where you will see State Opera’s productions of The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Sorcerer.

The theatre, originally opened in 1913 and known as The New Tivoli Theatre, re-opened in 2020 after extensive renovations. The redesign won several awards and now sees the theatre as a grand, modern, and comfortable venue highly popular with avid theatre goers.

On the corner of Gouger Street and Victoria Square is the Supreme Court, venue for Trial by Jury.

Over the road is the world famous Adelaide Central Market where you will find over 70 traders under one roof, selling everything from fresh produce, baked goods and health foods. Around the corner is Chinatown and Gouger Street, bursting with restaurants and shops offering a delicious range of cuisines.

North Adelaide

Sitting just above the CBD, North Adelaide boasts a range of attractions and things to do in Adelaide.

Adelaide Zoo is home to over 2,500 animals and 250 different exotic and native species.

Go for a stroll along the River Torrens where you may see rowing crews and Australia’s black swans gliding up and down, and take in the sites of the magnificent Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide Oval and Memorial Drive. Alternatively, jump aboard the famous Popeye Riverboat or the distinctive paddle boats in Elder Park.

Did you know: within the Riverbank Stand at Adelaide Oval you can find The Bradman Collection, an assortment of items celebrating Australia’s greatest cricketing batsman

Known as the city of churches, our most famous is the glorious St Peter’s Cathedral, venue of G&S Fest’s Sacred Sullivan.

A short walk away lies O’Connell Street where you will find The Piccadilly cinema, host of G&S on Film. A masterpiece of art deco architecture, the venue has recently re-opened after being completely renovated only a few months ago. Have a browse, watch a movie, or enjoy a gin and tonic at the 1920’s design bar!

Regional Adelaide

If you fancy stretching your legs, you will find many regional destinations around Adelaide offering a range of activities perfect for day trips or overnight stays.

Situated in the foothills, Mt Lofty Summit presents beautiful vistas of Adelaide stretching from the hills to the coast. Visit the summit and the botanic gardens, or extend your trip to include a hike to Waterfall Gulley or visit Cleland Wildlife Park where you will meet some true blue Aussie characters!

Take a day trip to Hahndorf, the German town situated in the hills which welcomes over 1 million visitors a year. The charming main street offers a huge variety of wares including bakeries, butchers, leathersmiths, jewellers, craft breweries and wine cellars, German style pubs and many cafes and restaurants.

Did you know: Hahndorf, established in 1839 and Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, is the fifth most visited town in Australia

You can’t visit Adelaide without taking a trip to one of our world-famous wine regions! The Barossa Valley and the Clare Valley are home to hundreds of wineries, cellar doors and farmers markets. Complete your visit with an overnight stay, wellness retreat or a signature experience.

Coastal town Victor Harbour is a short drive away and offers a plethora of seaside attractions, wildlife, and culture on the Fleurieu peninsula. Visit the penguins on Granite Island and ascend The Bluff for views of the town. While you’re there, don’t forget to visit the surrounding areas including Port Willunga, Port Elliot, and Goolwa.

Kangaroo Island, so named because of the large population of the marsupial (which is incidentally a different breed to that found on the mainland), is an outstanding destination for wildlife, landscapes and local produce. Venture across the Investigator Strait by boat or fly from the mainland and make the most of island life with this unique getaway from the city.

Did you know: there have been 80 shipwrecks off the coast of Kangaroo Island since records began in SA in the 1840s. It is a massive island and is seven times the size of Singapore!

If you wish to make the most of your time in South Australia, venture a bit further out to beautiful Port Lincoln for fresh oysters straight from the sea, Mt Gambier for breathtaking landscapes, or Coober Pedy for some opal mining!

Event Archive

G & S Fest has now concluded and we thank you for attending and supporting the event.

Presented by State Opera in May 2023 the event was a celebration of the founding fathers of British comedy opera, Gilbert & Sullivan.

Browse the site archive or find out about upcoming events at stateopera.com.au