You can do a lot in three days. Especially when you are travelling and have a healthy disregard for the need to rest. My time in Adelaide proved that. I feel that my friend and I did not stop from the time we landed until we took off again. Plus, hiring a car gave us an immense amount of freedom to just explore.
Both of us had done a bit of research about Adelaide before we arrived so that we had a good idea of what we wanted and neither of us missed out (even though our lists were practically the same when we came together).
Working out what to actually do in a city is often a matter of prioritising. Unless, like us, you run around like mad from sunrise to sunset, you can’t possibly do everything. And quite frankly, most people really wouldn’t want to. It’s fun, but exhausting.
So, here are my top 5 suggestions about what to do over a weekend in Adelaide, that will give you plenty of time to just take your time.
This ideal German village situated in Adelaide Hills really is a beautiful outing. Have a bite to eat at one of the beautiful cafes and wander through the different shops. The German shop took me right back to my time in Heidelberg in Germany. Admire the flowers. Take in the atmosphere. Feel as though you are transported to an idilic mountain village in Europe. We arrived at around lunchtime after spending the morning in the Barossa Valley and spent about 2.5 hours just eating and walking around.
From the mountains to the sea. White sand, boardwalks and boutiques. Take the time to explore the area. Although there are lots of eateries around the area, we just ended up grabbing a burrito from Salsas (I even got mine for free based on the points on my loyalty card – win) and sitting by the ocean. Take your shoes off and walk down the beach. Or even go for a swim. Take in the friendly atmosphere. It is a gorgeous spot to wander.
3. Adelaide Central Markets
Open Tuesday – Saturday (including Friday and Saturday) nights, these markets are a foodie mecca. Artisan bakers, delis, butchers, fishmongers, fruit and vegetable stores, sweets… you name it, this incredible market hall truly is a little piece of market heaven. You can grab a bite to eat from the incredible Italian restaurant (where I had the best pasta I have had in my entire life) or other eateries spotted throughout and pick up whatever food your heart desires. Despite our notions of exploring different breakfast spots in Adelaide, after visiting the markets on the first night in Adelaide, we decided to just pick up some cheeses, avocados, a loaf of Italian olive bread and some mushrooms and staying in every morning. A delicious, accidentally frugal option that neither of us regretted.
Visit the Barossa Valley on a Saturday morning and you can stop by the Barossa Valley markets. After seeing the Adelaide Central Markets, I thought that I had seen every amazing food stall South Australia had to offer. I was wrong. The Barossa Valley Market is full of people with a true respect for good, wholesome food. Think jams, plum puddings made by Welsh women, fudge, olive oils from local growers in the region, breads, vinegars, sausages, fresh produce and baking. We tried so many testers that neither of us needed lunch for hours afterwards. If only I had more luggage allowance I would have brought home so many more market spoils.
Of course, once you’ve eaten free testers until your heart’s content, you can explore wineries until your heart’s content. Choosing exactly which ones to visit was our biggest issue. We ended up stumbling across the beautiful grounds of Yalumba. It’s definitely worth a visit to see the winery itself, let alone try some of their renowned vintages. I could definitely see myself getting married in the grounds. Too bad I wasn’t swept off my feet by a South Australian farmer while I was there.
Haigh’s chocolate is Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker and a South Australian Icon. Their history is just as impressive as their chocolate. The free guided tour is run daily (Monday-Saturday) at the factory and can get quite full, so book ahead (visit their website). You will get a new appreciation for the craftsmanship of Haigh’s chocolate and even get to try a few samples. Why wouldn’t you? Because, well, chocolate.
Have fun. Eat a lot.