Boring little ol’ Adelaide…not anymore

Life is expensive. Food, rent, phones, textbooks, bus tickets, that new pair of jeans that you just had to have—it all costs money. Don’t despair though, there are still a few things that you can do right here in little old Adelaide that are free (or at least pretty cheap) to entertain yourself during the summer months. The list below outlines just 10 things that you might consider doing over your break.

1. Immerse yourself in some cultural activities along North Terrace. The Museum and Art Gallery are places that I used to associate with primary school excursions, and while it’s true, they are tailored to entertain children, they do have exhibits and points of interest for the young and old alike. The Museum is open from 10 til 5 daily, and not only does it contain some of the old favourites—dinosaurs, Aboriginal art, animals—there is also usually a temporary exhibition, highlighting something unique and diverse. At the moment it’s opals, although you will have to pay a little bit to see that one. The Art Gallery, like the museum, is completely free, and again is open from 10 til 5 daily. With over 38,000 pieces of art, (although it does not stand up to some of the galleries of Europe), it highlights some pretty incredible pieces of art from around the world.

2. Wonder through some of Adelaide’s quirky and diverse markets. From the Central Market in the city, to the Farmers Market held at the Showgrounds every Sunday, markets are a good way to sample local produce, look at unique and handmade goods, and really support the local economy.  Mostly held on weekends, markets are a good way to spend a leisurely Sunday morning with friends or family.

3. Eat fish and chips at sunset on the beach. We’re lucky in Adelaide to have access to so many impressive beaches, so this summer why not pick one and watch the sunset while enjoying your fish and chips or ice cream? From Hallet Cove, to Henley to Glenelg, all of our beaches have a good atmosphere, and are great places to simply breathe in nature and unwind after a busy semester at uni.

4. Day trip to Victor Harbour. Take a trip down to the Fleurieu Peninsula. Goolwa, Middleton, Port Elliot and Victor Harbour are all worth a visit during the summer months. From walks on the beach, surfing, long lunches and general summer vibes, the Fleurieu Peninsula has something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop at the iconic Port Elliot bakery on your way down to enjoy delicious pastries and mouth-watering cakes.

5. Climb Mount Lofty. Although many shudder at the thought, what better way to stay fit and healthy over the Christmas period than climb Mount Lofty and take in the simply breathtaking views? The Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty hike is just under 4km for the round trip, and it’s something that you brag about to your lazy friends.  While you’re up at Mount Lofty (or maybe at another time when you are not so exhausted), why not checkout the beautiful Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens? Beautiful gardens, wildlife, what’s not to love?

6. Drive up to Lobethal and look at the Christmas lights. Get into the Christmas spirit and go take a look at the Lobethal lights. Starting on the 13th of December, and running until the 30th of December, the lights are truly magical. House after house is decorated in extraordinary displays of Christmas festivities, and everyone really gets into the Christmas spirit. It really is something that is not to be missed.
7. Get back to nature at the Botanic Gardens. The Adelaide Botanic Gardens are simply breathtaking. Gorgeous flowers, native plants and trees, it is the perfect place to take a picnic and enjoy the beautiful ambiance of the gardens with friends or family. It is also a fantastic place to simply take a walk and have a look at the three glasshouses: the Palm House, the Bicentennial Conservatory and the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion.

8. Watch a leg of the Tour Down Under. The internationally recognised bike race, starting on the 16th of January until the 24th of January is an event that brings so much atmosphere and hype to the city. The race involves sections that take place across a variety of different locations, including McLaren Vale, Unley, Norwood and the CBD. There is also the tour Village, set up in Victoria Square, as well as the King William Road Street Party. With so much to see and do, why not make a day of it, and spend some time cheering on the cyclists?

9. Spend the day exploring the Adelaide Hills. The Adelaide Hills have so much to offer, so why not explore some of the hidden gems that are right on our door step? Enjoy the big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha, taste some wine at one of the many wineries, explore the German history of Hahndorf and have a pie at the Woodside bakery. The possibilities are endless, and it can all be done for almost no money at all!

10. Head in the other direction and visit McLaren Vale. McLaren Vale is a world famous wine region, and it is only a short car journey from where we are at Flinders Uni. As well as being able to visit a multitude of wineries, McLaren Vale is also home to some quirky art galleries, cafés and gift shops, which are well worth a look.

There are so many things to do and see in Adelaide, so why not explore your own backyard? It doesn’t have to cost a lot, in fact, as you can see, it can be quite cheap, so there is really no excuse. For more events and activities in Adelaide, visit

Words by Sarah Barrett