Free Things to Do in Adelaide City

By travellingwithmynikon | Oct 22, 2020
Oceania > Australia > South Australia > Adelaide

If you are spending time in Adelaide City, then it doesn't have to be all the usual hustle and bustle of a big city. Adelaide offers a reprieve in its many gardens that surround the city as well as museums, art gallery and architecture that goes back to colonial days and you can see it all for free.

Start walking along North Terrace to see all that Adelaide has in wait for you.

There is a free tram service that runs from South Terrace to North Terrace. This makes it an easy option for visiting the Adelaide Central Markets, Adelaide Casino, and the Botanic Gardens.

Parks

The city is nearly surrounded by parklands to get away from it all. They can be accessed from West Terrace, South Terrace and North Terrace. There are also the bikeways along the River Torrens and more parkland.

There are plenty of green spaces to relax away an afternoon

There are plenty of green spaces to relax away an afternoon

Walking paths lead you back into the city centre alongside the River Torrens.

Walking paths lead you back into the city centre alongside the River Torrens.

Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk

Opened on the 23 April 2016, the ANZAC Centenary Walk commemorates the sacrifice that Australians has given to help keep peace in the world.

The National War Memorial monument on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue

The National War Memorial monument on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue

Walking down Kintore Avenue, you will find pavers of conflicts that Australia has been a part of as well as the artwork in the Granite panel wall.

The wall can be seen well during the day but comes to life at night

The wall can be seen well during the day but comes to life at night

.

Migrant Museum

The entrance to the museum down an alleyway

The entrance to the museum down an alleyway

Across the road from the ANZAC Centenary Memorial Walk is the Migrant Museum.

This free museum showcases the changes Australia has taken over the last 200 plus years through British, European and Asian migration.

The exhibit when I was there was on the British migration, from first white and convict settlement through to "£10 Poms" after World War 2.

Walking through the museum, you get to see and read lots of information on the migrants, how they travelled here and how it affected the Aboriginals who were here before them.

Hours

  • Daily: 10 am — 5 pm
  • Closed Christmas Day

State Library Of Adelaide

The State Library is one of the old buildings housed along North Terrace

The State Library is one of the old buildings housed along North Terrace

The State Library of Adelaide building was opened in 1884. It now houses art exhibits, collections and family history research.

There are two parts to the library, the old and the new glass extension at the back.

It is free to wander around seeing what is on offer when you visit.

Open

  • Monday to Saturday: 10 am - 4 pm
  • Closed public holidays.

Cafe Hours

  • Monday to Friday 8 am - 2 pm
  • Closed public holidays.

South Australian Museum

The front of the South Australian Museum

The front of the South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum is once again free and houses many exhibits showcasing life in mainly South Australia.

Marine life skeletons inside the entrance to the museum

Marine life skeletons inside the entrance to the museum

From the ecology to a famous Australian astronaut, dinosaurs and antarctic research, you will learn a lot about this fantastic state.

There is nearly an entire floor set aside for the Aboriginal exhibit showing you not only how they lived, but also artwork in a separate gallery. The Pacific Islands are also represented on the mezzanine level.

The huge Aboriginal Exhibit

The huge Aboriginal Exhibit

Aboriginal Art has its' own gallery

Aboriginal Art has its' own gallery

The Pacific Island's Mezzanine Floor

The Pacific Island's Mezzanine Floor

What all the kids want to see is the Giant Squid. You can view the Giant Squid over four floors also seeing the other wildlife that inhabits the depths of the Southern Ocean. Its tentacles are so long that they take three floors to show them.

The Giant Squid's head on the fourth floor of the museum

The Giant Squid's head on the fourth floor of the museum

Opening Hours

The Museum is open every day from 10 am–5 pm, including weekends and all public holidays except Christmas Day and Good Friday.
The Museum Shop is open every day from 10 am-5 pm, the Museum Café is open from 10 am and the SAM Coffee Hut is open from 8 am-2 pm.
The Museum opens at 12 noon on ANZAC Day (25 April).

More architecture this time featuring the Art Gallery of South Australia

More architecture this time featuring the Art Gallery of South Australia

Whether you like old or modern art, the Art Gallery of South Australia is well worth the visit.

Admission is free to wander around the rooms packed with paintings and sculptures for you to admire.

Opening Hours

Galleries:

  • 10 am to 5 pm, every day except Christmas Day
  • Online on the first Friday of each month

Gallery Store:

  • 10 am to 4.45 pm, every day except Christmas Day

Art Gallery Food + Wine:

  • 9 am to 4.30 pm, every day except Christmas Day
  • Before 10 am, enter through the Sculpture Courtyard or Fish Gate entrances

The University Of Adelaide

As you walk along North Terrace you will see many old buildings belonging to the University of Adelaide.

A University of Adelaide building with its founder's statue in front, Sir Walter Watson Hughes

A University of Adelaide building with its founder's statue in front, Sir Walter Watson Hughes

Just along this block of North Terrace, you will find many old styles of architecture.

There are also many statues along North Terrace, of notable South Australians for you to learn about.

Famous explorer Matthew Flinders, who charted much of the Australian coastline

Famous explorer Matthew Flinders, who charted much of the Australian coastline

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

One of the many maps dotted around the gardens to lead you around the paths

One of the many maps dotted around the gardens to lead you around the paths

Any time of the year is a great time to visit. Not only do you have sculptured and colourful outdoor gardens to visit, but also the indoor exhibits showcasing plant life from around the world.

The Palm House, built in 1877, displays the array of plants from the island of Madagascar

The Palm House, built in 1877, displays the array of plants from the island of Madagascar

If you are short on time, then a stroll through the gardens will restore your energy levels. Take a break on one of the benches or grassy areas and breathe in the fresh air.

All paths are well paved, and it is a pleasant flat walk exploring the many colours of the seasons.

Even in winter, the spring blossom is coming out beside the lake

Even in winter, the spring blossom is coming out beside the lake

The gardens are free to visit at any time of the year. You could either bring a picnic lunch or enjoy eating in one of the three cafes/restaurants in the park.

While you're in the area, you can walk back into the city centre following the River Torrens.

Walking paths lead you back into the city centre alongside the River Torrens

Walking paths lead you back into the city centre alongside the River Torrens

Admission is free.

Hours

Opening times:

  • Monday - Friday: 7:15 am
  • Weekends and public holidays: 9:00 am

Closing times:

  • December - January: 7:00 pm
  • February - March: 6.30 pm April 6:00 pm
  • May: 5:30 pm
  • June - July: 5:00 pm
  • August: 5:30 pm
  • September: 6:00 pm
  • October - November: 6:30 pm

Adelaide is known as the city of churches and there are many to explore as well as the above attractions.

While you are here there are many more things to do in and out of the city. Visit the Pandas at Adelaide Zoo located behind the Botanic Gardens, explore the Adelaide Oval and Old Adelaide Gaol or take guided tours of the city. There are also wine regions to check out.

One of the local Pandas in Adelaide Zoo

One of the local Pandas in Adelaide Zoo

The Sumatran Tiger at Adelaide Zoo

The Sumatran Tiger at Adelaide Zoo

If you are interested in more information on this area you could read my blogs on Adelaide's Botanic Gardens South Australia and Fleurieu Peninsula South Australia.

History Church Museum University World War II Things to do Botanical Garden Zoo Free Art Gallery Art Transportation Tramway Park

Share this tip:

Written by travellingwithmynikon
Hi. My name is Kim and I love to travel especially getting about in nature. I have only really started this seriously at the end of 2018 but I'm loving the lifestyle and community.

Thoughts? Questions?

See also

Accommodations

Tours and activities

Crystal Canyon Tour

Hidden in the tropical rainforests, Crystal Cascades is a natural series of waterfalls that flow into large pools. Our canyoning course has been designed to have no environmental impact, and includes : - 5 Abseils up to 32 metres (104 ft) - Rockslides and swimming - 4 Rock Jumps if you are feeling brave - 30m ZipLine into water

Barron River Boarding

We are an established fun river boarding company that explores the beautiful surrounding rivers, in the oldest rain forest in the WORLD!! Take on the challenge head first and see the rapids of the Barron Gorge like no other.

Coronavirus Information & Resources