To combine your sightseeing with some exercise
- Pick up a free city bike.
- Ride along the river Linear Park. If you are feeling energetic it’s a 12 km (each way) easy flat car-free ride to the Henley Square at Henley Beach (restaurants and cafes). Just ride to the beach and turn right to the square.
- Do a bike lap of the Park Lands. Pick up picnic supplies at the Market, grab a bottle of wine and stop somewhere for lunch. The river is a lovely spot to eat. Or maybe the small but tranquil Himeji Gardens – a gift from Japan – on South Terrace. (Drinking is permitted in the Park Lands between 11am and 8pm – but banned at all times in city squares.)
- Ride up the hill to leafy North Adelaide. Pop in to see the statue of our founder, Colonel William Light, at the top of Montefiore Hill (straight up Morphett Street) – with his wonderful view of the city. Then cruise around the gracious streets full of historic and heritage buildings.
- Ride to Glenelg down the Mike Turtur bikeway. (The track starts in the inner city suburb of Goodwood and follows the tram route.)
- If cycling’s not your thing, take the tram to Glenelg. (The tram is free within the city square – but you have to pay to go to Glenelg. You can buy tickets on board.) Shop, swim, walk on the beach, have lunch at the Holdfast Shores marina. Or go for sunset and have fish and chips on the jetty. Better still, grab an excellent organic pizza from Good Life Pizza – upstairs at 42 Jetty Road. Take away or eat in.
- Don’t think for a moment that Glenelg is ‘it’ for beaches. Adelaide’s beaches are one of our best kept secrets – even for locals. We are blessed with what is effectively one beach – 30 km long – that stretches from Seacliff in the south to Outer Harbour in the north. This slice of loveliness is punctuated by jetties, and at the end of every jetty is a little neighbourhood (including restaurants and coffee shops) – each one worth visiting. Our favourite spots include Henley Beach (where you can walk to Grange), Semaphore (which also has a proper high street with antique shops, bric-a-brac shops, little local galleries) and Brighton. We also love West Beach – the closest beach to the city. There is no jetty there – and so no shops, less people. And you can walk down the beach to the Henley jetty to grab a coffee if you need it. Because Adelaide is on a gulf the beaches are protected (soft sand dunes, gentle waves – great for swimming and walking). And they all face west – so the sunsets can be spectacular. Get there by bus, train or (if you’re energetic) bike. Or, if there are a few of you, it’s not too expensive to share an Uber or a cab.
- Climb Mount Lofty on the Waterfall Gully Track . It’s hard work so don’t try this unless you are very fit and well prepared. You will need good footwear, lots of sunscreen, a hat and plenty water. In summer, long pants – for snakes! Ideally also take a mobile phone for emergencies. The start of the track – on Water Fall Gully Road – is only about 15 minutes drive from central Adelaide. There is a bus that takes you close (ish) – about 20 mins walk – from the start of the climb. Adelaide Metro can give you details. Allow 2 hours for the climb – and time to come back down again. It is very steep at times – but the bush is beautiful, there are great views and there is a café at the top. Avoid hot days; it’s no fun in the heat.
- Visit Cleland Wildlife Park. They have kangaroos, emus, wombats, dingos, the works! All housed in truly beautiful Australian bushland – fenced but ‘free range’. You can even hold a koala! It is a 20 minute well signposted drive up the South Eastern Freeway. You can also get there by bus – but the service is limited to best to check with Adelaide Metro (phone 1300 311108) to get the details. Allow 1/2 a day. If you have time you can then go a little further up the freeway to visit the rest of the Adelaide Hills.
- Or commune with nature in the quieter Belair National Park (30-40 minutes on the train). Take a picnic. Spot koalas, birds, kangaroos. Have a stroll. (Or a ride. You can take bikes on the train.)
- If golf is your game, play on one of our truly beautiful Park Land courses. A par 3 course starts near the Torrens weir on the northern bank of the river (only about 15 minutes walk from Rundle Mall). For more serious golfers, two 18 hole courses start in North Adelaide (a 25 minute walk, or short ride on the free city bus, from the city). Both provide wonderful views of the city. You can hire clubs and buggies on site.
- Also in the Park Lands, the weekly Parkrun. It starts at 8am in Victoria Park (also known by its Kaurna name Pakapakanthi) off East Terrace. It is a free 5km timed fun run (or walk). You need to register on line but once that’s done you can join a Parkrun anywhere. (They happen in over 2000 locations worldwide.)
- Play chess on Whitmore Square. The keys for the chess pieces are held at the South West Community Centre – around the corner at 171 Sturt Street. (Take some ID.) They also have basketballs, table tennis bats and petanque balls for use. There is a 3-on-3 basketball court and a table tennis court in the Square and a petanque piste nearby on South Terrace. All free of course.
- Or lawn bowls? Get a group together and join the locals on Sundays at the Adelaide Bowling Club in the eastern parklands. This is not your standard bowls club. A much younger crowd. From 2 – late. Very relaxed (You can bowl and drink beer at the same time!) No special clothes required. Best to book