Adelaide Things to Do OUtside
Welcome to Adelaide, South Australia’s radiant heart, teeming with an array of outdoor activities that will captivate and inspire. From tranquil Botanic Gardens and invigorating hiking trails to sun-kissed beaches and adventurous kayaking routes, Adelaide offers a plethora of experiences to the outdoor enthusiast.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the city’s enchanting natural attractions, including the autumnal splendor of Adelaide Hills, the fascinating wildlife, and the picturesque national parks. You’ll also learn about unique activities such as strawberry picking at local farms, exploring the city’s geology, or the excitement of an Adelaide Oval Roof Climb.
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie, a nature lover, or a casual explorer, get ready to uncover the outdoor charms of Adelaide.
The city of Adelaide is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. From the magnificent views along the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula to the rolling hills & wineries of McLaren Vale & the fascinating geological forms of Hallett Cove, Adelaide is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Find all the places to visit for nature lovers in Adelaide in this helpful guide to the best Adelaide outdoor activities.
The Green Adventurers acknowledge and pay respect to the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region. We pay respect to elders both past, present future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge and respect the Kaurna people’s cultural, spiritual, physical and emotional connection with their land, waters and community.
20 Awesome Adelaide Outdoor Activities You Need To Do
Nature lovers will love Adelaide for its beautiful green space, national parks, coastal views, native animals and diverse plant-life. The entire CBD is surrounded by parklands so you don’t have to venture too far to connect with nature. If you can travel a bit further, the regions surrounding Adelaide have a lot to offer. The Barossa, McLaren Vale & the Fleurieu Peninsula have plenty of scenic spots to explore.
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
The city of Adelaide is quite unique in the fact that the CBD is surrounded entirely by the parklands. When escaping the bustling streets of the East-End to the serenity of the Adelaide Botanic Garden it’s hard to believe you are in still the heart of the city.
A visit to the Adelaide Hills isn’t complete without a stop at the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. The gardens are a great place to take photos when they come alive with colour in Autumn but are a magnificent sight year-round.
Adelaide Hiking – Best Walking Trails
Hiking in Adelaide
My top pick for hiking in Adelaide is the Morialta Conservation Park. The rock formations of the cliffs are spectacular. There are so many animals and birds to spot and with a few trails of varying difficulty and duration there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to look up and you might spot a koala.
Adelaide has a huge range of walking trails for all abilities. Check out my dedicated post to Adelaide Walking Trails.
Adelaide Best Beaches
Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Experience
Kayak with dolphins!
Discover the mangroves in a kayak amongst Adelaide’s dolphin population. Dolphin Sanctuary Kayak Tours will take you through 10,000 year old mangroves which are home to up to 330 dolphins. Tours are led by a Marine Biologist who has a wealth of information to share about marine mammals and wildlife.
You don’t need to have experience in a kayak to join this tour. Beginners and all fitness levels are catered for so everyone can get up close and personal with the ocean’s most playful and friendly creatures.
For the perfect Adelaide adventure download my recommended 3-Day Itinerary
Autumn in the Adelaide Hills
The Adelaide Hills come alive with colour in autumn. As the days get colder in April, the leaves change to beautiful hues of yellow, orange & red. Stirling or Hahndorf are two very cute townships that are perfect to visit in autumn. You really can’t go wrong driving around and visiting any of the villages scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills.
Adelaide Bird Watching & Wildlife
Seeing animals in the wild is much better than seeing them locked up. Skip the zoo and head to the National Parks to see animals in their natural habitat. See which creatures you can spot – play Australian Animals bingo. Click here for a copy!
Each year birds migrate from as far as Siberia & Alaska to spend the summer in Adelaide. 27,000 or so birds spend their days at the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary a 60km stretch of coastline to the north of Adelaide. Visit between September and April and see what species you can spy.
Bike Riding Tour
Take a ride through the Adelaide Hills on an electric bike. The Mt Lofty electric bike tour will take you on winding trails through the Adelaide Hills. The tour begins in Hahndorf where you travel by bus to begin the bike ride. Enjoy panoramic views from Mt Osmond, learn about the history of the Pioneer Women’s Trail and look for koalas & other wildlife amongst the trees. Stop for a coffee at Mt Lofty Summit before continuing through forest trails to Mt Osmond before finishing at Hahndorf where you can explore Adelaide’s historic German village.
Adelaide River Cruises
Take a leisurely cruise down the River Torrens in the heart on Adelaide on a stunning heritage boat – The Popeye. This 40-50 minute ride will take you through the CBD and the skipper will provide entertaining commentary. Learn about the historical importance of the river and its surroundings.
Discover the Coorong National Park on a 3.5 hour river cruise. Take in the magnificent scenery that is home to many varieties of wetland birds as well as a population of fur-seals. Learn about the Aboriginal history of the region from your knowledgeable guide.
Travel down the Murray River, past the Murray Mouth and out to the Southern Ocean. Take an optional guided walk through the dunes, to an Indigenous site. Learn about the Aboriginal culture & bush-tucker before reaching 90-Mile Beach and the roaring Southern Ocean.
Strawberry Picking in the Adelaide Hills
Beerenberg Strawberry Farm – It doesn’t get much better than picking your own strawberries!
This family owned farm has been in the Paech family for 6 generations. Beerenberg mean Berry Hill in German – a nod to their heritage.
Visit between November & April for your chance to pick the perfect strawberry. Entry is $5 per person and you pay $10.95/kilo for the berries you pick.
Check their website on the day you intend to visit the farm to make sure our patch is open. Sometimes they need to close it during the day (due to being ‘picked out’ or because of poor weather conditions), so it’s a good idea to check right before you leave home.
Visit Lake Bumbunga – The Pink Lake
Lake Bumbunga is one of the most spectacular pink lakes in South Australia due to the roads crisscrossing across the surface of the lake. You can find this lake near the town of Lochiel which is a little over a 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide. This would be a great day trip from Adelaide or a pit stop on your way to the Yorke or Eyre Peninsula. Find out more about the pink lakes in South Australia.
Geology of Adelaide
If you are into cool rock formations (who isn’t!) These geological sites will tickle your fancy:
- Hallett Cove – The Sugar Loaf & ancient glacial lake
- Waite Conservation Geological Site
- Giants Cave – Morialta
- Cactus Canyon – Sellicks Beach
- Talisker silver mine – Cape Jervis
- Rapid Bay Cave
- Second Valley
- Mannum – Bear Rock & Granite Quarry
- Victor Harbour – Rosetta Head (The Bluff) & Granite Island
- Maslin Bay and Port Willunga – Willunga Fault and the Willunga Embayment
For all the info you need check out the South Australian Geology Field Brochures.
Photography Guide Adelaide
Tree Climb at Mega Adventure
Take to the trees with the Mega Adventure Tree Climb. For kids & adults alike, TreeClimb offers 8 different treetop courses and zip lines in the Adelaide parklands.
The Grand Course is the ultimate challenge with 52 different tasks. Progress through the practice course then the green, blue, red and finish with the black course.
This Adelaide outdoor activity takes 2 hours including harnessing, safety briefing, and completion of the practice course.
$39.00 per adult, $35 per student / concession.
Lavender Farm Lyndoch
The Lyndoch Lavender farm is such an interesting place to visit when in the Barossa.
Only an hour’s drive from Adelaide, The Barossa makes for a perfect weekend adventure. Even though the region is most famous for wine, there is still plenty to see & do if you’re not a wine enthusiast like me.
Snorkelling at Port Noarlunga
Port Noarlunga Reef is one of the best places to snorkel in South Australia. The narrow reef is around 1.6km long and home to an abundance of marine life including the leafy sea dragon. The reef can be accessed from the end of the jetty. Check out Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries for community snorkel tours.
Freedom Hill Sanctuary is a charity that provides a second chance to neglected and abandoned farm animals. The first of its kind in South Australia, Freedom Hill provides a safe haven and loving home to animals that have been rescued from abuse, exploitation & neglect.
They are relocating to a new property in Monarto and will be ready to welcome visitors. Check for all the updates on Insta.
Whale Watching at Victor Harbor
Encounter Bay at Victor Harbor is visited by Southern Right whales each winter. Between May & October the whales visit the warmer waters to find a mate or give birth.
The whales can be spotted from the shore but to get up close you can take to the waters on a 1.5 hour marine wildlife cruise.
You can visit Kangaroo Island as a daytrip from Adelaide but it is well worth staying a few days. Check out all the things to do on Kangaroo Island.
Adelaide Oval Roof Climb
For a unique view of the city of Adelaide you can try the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb.
After a safety briefing and climbing into your suit and harness, follow your guide across a link bridge to an open viewing deck. From there, have the chance to walk to a lean-out point 50 metres above the Oval’s cricket field.
What activities can I do in Adelaide?
Adelaide Outdoor Activities FAQ
Depends on your interests but you can’t miss the Adelaide beaches & hiking through the Adelaide Hills & the many river boat cruises.
Visit the beach, discover hiking trails, whale & bird watching. For indoor activities MOD gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia & the South Australian Museum are free to enter. The free City Connector bus service runs on two loops – an inner city loop and an extended loop around North Adelaide providing a link to popular city attractions and shopping, dining and services destinations.
The Adelaide CBD is the main hub for activities but Glenelg is also a great choice.
To avoid winter and the summer heat the best time is September- November & February – April.
There are some free tram routes. The trams around the CBD are free. The free zone is the area between the South Terrace stop, Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Festival Plaza and the Botanic Gardens. Past South Terrace towards Glenelg requires a paid fare.
At Gleleng the Jetty Road tram is free between the Brighton Road and Moseley Square stops. Any travel between South Terrace & Brighton Road requires a paid fare.
There is public transport but it is not the quickest or most convenient at times. You will definitely be able to access a lot more with a vehicle.
It depends on where you are going. Around the CBD bus and tram services are very good but travel between suburbs is trickier. You can also have a great time in Adelaide walking, biking, catching the tram, train or bus, riding scooters or ubers & taxis.
There are bike trails throughout city and the flat terrain makes it easy to get around. A list of downloadable bike trails can be found here.