Things To Do in Adelaide | In the Area | Rydges Adelaide
27 Feb - 03 Mar 2016

Adelaide Festival 2016

Things to Do

Our hotel puts guests in reach of so many things to do in Adelaide.

Located across from Adelaide's southern parklands, Rydges South Park Adelaide is close to the Central Business District and the city's main attractions. Our "neighbourhood" is not just ˜Adelaide" but also the Adelaide Hills and the nearby wineries of the Barossa and Clare Valleys.

Adelaide has a proud history, yet it remains amongst the world's most culturally progressive and vibrant cities. The city is home to world renowned Arts and Fringe festivals, beautiful gardens, parks and wide boulevards. The locals are justifiably proud of Adelaide and are dedicated to preserving its unique ambience and architectural treasures.

There's so much to do and see, including:

Things to do in Adelaide

Adelaide is known as the ‘city of churches’ but there’s a lot more to do than attend a Sunday service. Adelaide is a vibrant, progressive city with many cultural and sightseeing attractions, lots of sporting events and festivals plus terrific shopping, bars, restaurants, theatre and entertainment. Mind you, the churches, with their steeples and architecture, do give the city some of its stylish character.

Adelaide is also the gateway to some of Australia’s best wineries. There are 18 wine regions in SA and over 200 cellar doors on Adelaide’s doorstep. The main wine regions are the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley, the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the Coonawarra. You will rarely go astray with a Barossa or Clare Riesling or a Coonawarra red but you don’t have to venture outside Adelaide to sample some. The National Wine Centre of Australia is on the corner of Botanic and Hackney Roads and has some 120 different wines in the ‘Wined Bar’ tasting room from the famous Penfold’s Grange to boutique whites.

The National Wine Centre is on the edge of the Adelaide Botanic Garden, which is well worth a visit and that leads to the excellent Adelaide Zoo. It is compact but very rewarding with over 2500 exotic and native animals, birds, reptiles and fish including the only breeding Giant Pandas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Botanic Road (heading west) turns into North Terrace, which is home to many of Adelaide’s best attractions. On the left you will find Ayers House Museum and, on the right, the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Further along is the University of South Australia, across the road from Scots Church (1850-51).

On the right you will find the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia. The National War Memorial and the Matthew Flinders Memorial sit at the top of the grounds that belong to Government House.

Across King William Street is the imposing Parliament of South Australia and the Adelaide Casino in the architecturally delightful old Adelaide Railway Station. Head to the right down King William Street and you pass the Adelaide Festival Centre and come to the River Torrens which is a lovely stretch of water for a boat or gondola trip or just to sit beside and enjoy the view.

The Adelaide Oval is a beautiful cricket ground – intimate and green where you feel close to the players as well as feel a sense of history – it’s good they kept the old scoreboard in the recent renovations. The Adelaide Oval is accessible via the footbridge over the Torrens.

If you head into the city up King William Street you will come across excellent shopping in Rundle Mall and, a little further on, Victoria Square, the scenic centrepiece of the city, which is handy to Adelaide Central Market and the restaurant heart of the city. Head down Gouger Street towards Chinatown for a variety of cuisines, all of which can come with a fine South Australian wine to accompany the meal!

Adelaide Attractions

Colonel William Light chose the site for Adelaide in 1836 with a vision for a well-ordered garden city. He got his way with green parklands surrounding the CBD’s wide streets and spacious squares. It’s a graceful, progressive city, laid out in an easy to navigate grid pattern with the River Torrens running through the city.

North Terrace is a good place to start exploring as many of the city’s cultural institutions are found on the tree-lined boulevard. The Adelaide Casino is located in what was once the main railway station. Beautifully restored, it has a number of restaurants, bars, and live entertainment as well as gaming. To the east is Parliament House, a grand, imposing building. The public gallery is open when parliament is sitting.

Across King William Street, past Government House and the National War Memorial you can and nip down Kintore Avenue to the Migration Museum, which documents the history of the migrants who settled in South Australia. Adjacent is the State Library. It is usually home to the Bradman Collection, the Don’s personal cricketing memorabilia, but it is on loan to the Adelaide Oval (across the River Torrens).

Back on North Terrace, the South Australian Museum has excellent exhibits on geology, natural history and anthropology. A fine collection of Australian, European and Asian art along with temporary exhibitions can be seen at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

At the eastern end of North Terrace is the Botanic Garden featuring heritage buildings, flora from the Asia-Pacific regions, a tropical rainforest display and grand 150-year-old Moreton Bay fig trees. The National Wine Centre of Australia showcases the diversity and excellence of the Australian wine industry with 120 wines to sample.

Cross the road and head up East Terrace to the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (Tandanya) for displays of indigenous art, culture, visual and performing arts. Back on the other side of North Terrace (heading west), Ayers House recreates 19th century living in Adelaide. Built in 1845, the house was once home to Sir Henry Ayers, Premier of South Australia (seven times!).

At King William Street, heading towards the River Torrens, you pass the Adelaide Festival Centre, the city’s premier artistic venue and heart of the famous Adelaide Arts Festival. There are various ways to travel along the River Torrens. You can take a cruise, a paddleboat or even a gondola from below the Festival Centre. Or just sit on the bank, enjoy a picnic and feed the ducks and swans. It is a very pleasant and peaceful stretch of water.

You can also hop a boat to the Adelaide Zoo (it is next to the Botanic Garden). The zoo is compact but extremely rewarding with more than 2500 exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.

In the centre of town, the Central Market is colourful and full of unique, lively stalls with an amazing range of fresh food produce. Rundle Mall is a good place to start for shoppers. There are 700 retail shops and 3000 seats in the food court.

Adelaide Zoo

You can hop a boat up the Torrens River to one of Adelaide’s best attractions, the Adelaide Zoo. If you’re driving, enter on Frome Road or Plane Tree Drive next to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. It’s a compact but extremely rewarding zoo being home to more than 2500 animals and 250 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish. The zoo’s most famous residents are Wang Wang and Fu Ni, the Southern Hemisphere’s only pair of breeding Giant Pandas.

Here is a link to some of the animals resident at Adelaide Zoo for more info. There are sections for the African Lion, Aldabra Tortoise, American Alligator, Australian Penguin, Australian Sea Lion, Binturong, Blue and Gold Macaw, Bolivian Squirrel Monkey, Cabybara, Chilean Flamingo, Common Wombat, Cotton-top Tamarin, Giant Panda, Giraffe, Golden Lion Tamarin, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo, Hamadryas Baboon, Hippopotamus, Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth, Mainland Tammar Wallaby, Malayan Sun Bear, Malayan Tapir, Mandrill, Meerkat, Orange-bellied Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Red Kangaroo, Red Panda, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Ring-tailed Lemur, Siamang, Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, Sumatran Orang-utan, Sumatran Tiger, Tasmanian Devil, Victorian Koala, Western Swamp Tortoise, White-cheeked Gibbon and Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby.

Adelaide Zoo offers exciting opportunities for visitors to get even closer to some favourite animal friends with interactive behind the scenes activities.  You can experience the thrill of hand feeding the Giant Pandas, helping the hippos with their daily mouth check or entering the Squirrel Monkey home to feed them… There are encounters with bugs, cockatoos, wombats, giraffes, lemurs, pelicans, the giant tortoise and more.

There is a wide range of daily zoo keeper talks, guided tours and animal feeds. Here is a link to get the daily presentation times. Animals in the Children’s Zoo may be fed with zoo animal food that is available for purchase for $2 (subject to availability). There is a total feeding ban in all other areas.

Of course, humans get peckish as well as animals and there are two dining options (as well as vending machines for drinks and light refreshments). Wisteria Restaurant is open from 9:00am to 4:30pm daily and offers a range of tasty treats, small bites and hot meals. The cafe can also be accessed from outside the zoo. Located in the centre of the zoo, the Fig Tree Café offers a great range of quick and delicious snack and lunch options. There are picnic and rest areas with a historic undercover rotunda, benches and wide sweeping lawns for picnics and intimate shady glades positioned throughout the gardens.

Adelaide Zoo is open from 9:30am to 5:00pm every day of the year including Christmas Day and public holidays. The Zoo provides ramps and railings for disability access. Wheelchair hire is $15 including $10 deposit (booking recommended as numbers are limited – phone 08 8267 3255). There’s also pusher hire (Kids Kabs) for $14 (includes $5 deposit). Guide Dogs may enter the front gate and are given an area with shelter and water while their owner visits. Guide Dogs are not allowed through the zoo as it is a quarantine zone.

Adelaide Central Market

The Adelaide Central Market has a vision statement – “to be the world’s leading food and produce market”. That’s a big vision, but they must be doing a lot right to be South Australia’s most visited tourism attraction, welcoming more than 8.5 million visitors every year.

The Central Market has over 80 stalls and is the city’s food Mecca for multicultural cuisine and fresh produce.  Located in the heart of the CBD, the Market is closed on Sundays and Mondays. On other days the opening times are: Tuesday from 7:00am to 5:30pm; Wednesday from 9:00am to 5:30pm; Thursday from 9:00am to 5:30pm; Friday from 7:00am to 9:00pm and Saturday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. The Market closes on public holidays.

In true Market tradition, the Traders source the freshest produce direct from their suppliers, growers and wholesale markets, and spend many hours outside ‘trading times’ to ensure they have the best, freshest product and most amazing displays.

Established in 1869, the Adelaide Central Market has been a thriving hub of food and culture for over 146 years. It is the largest under cover market in the Southern Hemisphere, buzzing with life and colour all year round. With its array of lanes and broadways, the Market offers a huge range of fresh food including fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, cheeses, bakery, smallgoods and health foods, along with some of Adelaide’s most popular cafés and eateries.

As well as produce, there are often cooking demonstrations and tastings and the Central Market website has a number of excellent recipes online, categorised by what’s in season for Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter plus a section for Special Occasions.

There are a range of Market Tours available. With a 30 year background as a chef and 20 years as a stallholder in the Market, Mark Gleeson’s Central Market Tour brings together the industry elements of Tourism, Food and Small Business. Tour guests are provided with an exclusive experience of interacting with suppliers, producers and retailers as well as receiving the history and product knowledge of the Adelaide Central Market. They also offer gastronomic experience tours. For example you could take thee 8:30am tour that kicks off with a Market Breakfast (from Providore, Stall 66, duration three hours) or the Cantonese Seafood Lunch Tour that has a seafood tasting menu and a glass of wine to follow your Market Tour (departs Providore, Stall 66 at 9:30am – allow three hours). There’s also a seasonal wine and champagne tour by appointment. For more information or to book your tours, here is a link to the Central Market Tours website.

If you are driving, parking is easy with over 1,000 parking spaces available in the Central Market U-Park above the Central Market (enter from either Gouger or Grote Streets). Fees are reasonable and check online to see if there are specials like free parking on certain days or times for shoppers.

The Central Market is “the Heart of Adelaide” and here is a link to the official Market website.

Adelaide Casino

The Adelaide Casino is stunning, both outside and in. It is South Australia’s only casino destination and it spans three floors of the historic Railway Station building in the heart of Adelaide. It has recently undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment, making it a world-class entertainment destination. You must be aged 18 years or older to enter the gaming areas in the Casino. As well as gaming, the Casino is home to some of South Australia’s most innovative restaurants and bars.

For those who enjoy the pokies, the Casino has newest and most exclusive Gaming Machines in South Australia. With two floor levels of gaming, there are a huge variety of games to suit everyone’s taste. Adelaide Casino boasts a range of Table Games including games like Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud, Casino War, Vegas Star Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold’em, Poker, Rapid Roulette, Rapid Baccarat and Roulette.

Two of the simplest games to play for beginners (and arguably the most exciting) are Blackjack and Roulette. Blackjack is a twist on pontoon – the idea is to get closest to 21 BUT the main aim is to beat the dealer, either by the total of the cards or by the dealer ‘busting’. Skill as well as luck comes into play. Roulette is pretty much an elegant game of chance. The table, wheel and croupier deliver a level of sophistication and while the odds are still in the house favour, they are close to even money with ‘zero’ the house giving a small edge to the casino. You can get pointers on how to play both games online here before visiting (and have a trial game).

The Poker Zone offers two ways of playing poker – tournaments and ‘cash’ or ‘ring’ games. The basic difference between the two is that players may get up and leave a cash game anytime they like but will need to play a tournament out to a conclusion to win a prize.

There is a full suite of TAB facilities and Sportsbet offerings with Sky Channel screened across 4 displays, 2 terminals, 6 screens displaying fixtures and 7 information touch screens.

As well as a world-class entertainment destination Adelaide Casino is home to some of the best contemporary restaurants, bars and function facilities in the state. The Chandelier Bar is chic, yet relaxed with an extensive range of premium spirits, local wines, custom cocktails and live entertainment. Watch the world’s leading sporting events in the Grandstand Bar on the big screens. There are also two al fresco bars. Take in the picturesque views of Adelaide's riverbank and Adelaide Oval whilst enjoying live entertainment in the Backyard Bar or visit the Oasis Outdoor Bar for a drink, snack, or wood fired pizza.

For award-winning contemporary dining there’s Sean Connolly's New York Brasserie inspired restaurant, Sean’s Kitchen or the French Vietnamese Bistro, Madame Hanoi. The casual dining options include Café Junction and the Oasis Outdoor Bar offers pizza and other wood-oven cooked light bites on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00pm.

Here is a link to the official Adelaide Casino website.

Art Gallery of South Australia

The Art Gallery of South Australia (on North Terrace, between the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide) is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm (closed Christmas Day). General admission is free but charges may apply to some temporary exhibitions.

Founded in 1881, the Art Gallery of South Australia is home to one of Australia's great art collections, housed in one of Adelaide's most beautiful buildings. Located at the heart of Adelaide's cultural boulevard, the Art Gallery welcomes more than half a million visitors each year. The Art Gallery of South Australia collects and displays art from Australia, Europe, North America and Asia. With around 38,000 works, the collections span from ancient Rome to the present day, and include paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jewellery, and furniture. The collections are displayed by both culture and medium, providing visitors with an historical and cultural framework with which to view them.

The Australian collection presents a comprehensive survey of Australian art from around 1800 to the present and showcases the nation’s art history through paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings and photographs and decorative arts. There is a strong commitment to Australia’s Aboriginal art. The European collection ranges from the late fifteenth century to the present with a wide-ranging collection of British art. The Asian collections come from countries that include Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 1897 the Gallery received the first major cash bequest fund to any Australian art museum. The substantial bequest of Sir Thomas Elder transformed the collection, enabling the purchase of celebrated paintings such as Tom Roberts’s A break away!, 1891, Frederick McCubbin’s A Ti-tree glade, 1897, and Hans Heysen’s Mystic Morn, 1904. More recent significant purchases such as Charles Conder’s A holiday at Mentone, 1888, and Arthur Streeton’s Early summer gorse in bloom, 1888, further strengthened the Australian Impressionist collection.

The Gallery’s renowned collection of paintings by Modern Australian women artists of the 1930s and 1940s is exceptional in quality and while the Australian twentieth-century collection includes renowned examples of Modernism by well-known artists Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan, Fred Williams, John Brack, Peter Booth and Tony Tuckson. It is also distinguished by its extraordinarily fine Australian Aboriginal art collection.

Classy and casual, the on-site restaurant, Art Gallery Food + Wine, is open every day from 9:00am to 4.30pm on the Lower ground Floor (for breakfast enter through the Eastern Courtyard). Here is a link for more info and menus.  

Parking is available opposite the Art Gallery in the Wilson’s Carpark on North Terrace.

Wheelchair and pram access is available to all areas of the Art Gallery. Just ask the friendly staff at the Information Desks if you need any assistance. Wheelchairs can be borrowed while visiting the Art Gallery and are available from the North Terrace main entrance. Best to phone 08 8207 7000 in advance of your visit to reserve a wheelchair.  

Here is a link to what is currently showing at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Victoria Square

Victoria Square/Tarndanyangga is at the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. It hosts a diverse range of events and activities and there’s always plenty to see and do. The Adelaide Central Market is nearby, as are an array of dining options with great restaurants in Gouger Street and Chinatown.

Victoria Square was originally called The Great Square, back when Colonel William Light included it as a recreational space in his original plan for the city. A committee decided to call it Victoria Square in May 1837, after Princess Victoria, who became Queen less than a month later when the King died. Tarndanyangga is the name given to the area by the Kaurna people and in their language it means The Dreaming Place of the Red Kangaroo. The Aboriginal flag has flown next to the Australian flag since 1971 and the dual name for the square has been officially recognised since 2002.

There is a statue of Queen Victoria near the centre of the square and, during the Christmas period, a 24.5 metre high Christmas tree is erected in the northern part of the square. King William Street passes through the square, making a diamond shape, with the southbound carriageway passing through the east side, and the northbound carriageway passing through the west side of the square. The square is bisected by the piece of road (technically part of the square) that connects Wakefield Street (entering from the east) with Grote Street (to the west). A tram stop for the Glenelg Tramline is just south of the Queen Victoria statue.

The Square was a dusty paddock until 1854, when the council embarked on a planting program and the construction of pedestrian paths. The most recent rejuvenation happened in 2013/14 when $24 million was invested in relocating the Queen Victoria statue, the Three Rivers Fountain and the tram line, putting in an Information Experience Centre and the Mullabakka Centre (Kaurna Centre of Culture), a café, water feature, Event Lawn, Bicycle Hub, public toilets, gardens, terraces and footpaths.

Apart from its aesthetic qualities the square is much used by visitors as well as local workers and students. Thousands of people utilise the square daily to relax, work out or just pass through. The square is bordered at the north and south ends by the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Adelaide Magistrate’s Court, the Federal Court of Australia, the old Treasury building and the Adelaide General Post Office. To the east is the Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St Francis Xavier, the SA Water headquarters and State Government offices including the office of the Premier. The Torrens Building currently houses campuses of several international universities including the UCL School of Energy and Resources, Heinz College Australia, Carnegie Mellon University, Torrens University Australia and other institutions. The west side of the square contains more commercial buildings, including the Adelaide Central Market, the Hilton hotel, and the offices of various consultants, law firms and insurance companies.

Here is a link to the Victoria Square section of the Adelaide City Council website.

Adelaide Botanic Gardens

The diverse Adelaide Botanic Gardens include a Wolemi Pine that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs, the mysterious Amazonica waterlily that flowers only at night and Australia’s oldest avenue of Moreton Bay Fig trees. There are historic buildings to explore including three greenhouses, the Palm House, the Bicentennial Observatory and the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. These open from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Simply relax in the surrounds, have a coffee and snack in one of the cafés or indulge your gardening habit in the Diggers Garden Shop. 

Gardens include the First Creek Wetland, which will soon recover enough water to irrigate the entire Adelaide Botanic Garden. It is home to some 60,000 plants. The Garden of Health houses over 2500 plants and demonstrates their use for health and wellbeing. Many plants from Mediterranean climates have adapted to their surroundings to conserve water in dry times and take advantage when it rains. These are in the SA Water Mediterranean Garden. The International Rose Garden has over 5000 roses with different species and styles. The National Rose Trial Garden was established in 1996 to assist the rose industry in deciding which new rose varieties are suited to the Australian Climate. And the Australian Native Garden showcases innovative and artistic ways of using native plants in domestic environments.

At the Bicentennial Observatory there is an impressive canopy of trees, lowland rainforest plants plus impressive insects and birds. The Palm House is an exquisitely restored Victorian glasshouse that houses a collection of plants from Madagascar. The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion is an energy efficient glasshouse and home to that stunning and mysterious waterlily. The Schomburgk Pavilion is the cultural heart of the Garden and is home to the Visitor Information Centre, the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, the Diggers Garden Shop and Café Fibonacci. Enjoy the view of the SA Water Mediterranean Garden over a latte, wine, baguette, cake or focaccia from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Other dining options are the Botanic Gardens Restaurant where you can enjoy innovative cuisine in the heritage rotunda looking across the main lake. And, nestled in the shade of a giant oak tree, is Simpson Kiosk for dine in or take away lunch or snack items.

The Botanic Gardens are open from 7:15am Monday to Friday and on weekends and public holidays from 9:00am. Admission is free and ticketed parking is available in Plane Tree Drive and Hackney Road. There are free guided walks at 10:30am daily (apart from Christmas and Good Friday). They depart from the Visitor information Centre. Free self-guided audio tours are available on your iPhone or android phone. You can download here.  Wheelchairs are available for hire and can be pre-booked on (08) 8222 9311.

While the Botanic Gardens are relaxing and welcoming, there are regulations that have to be followed, most of them common sense. You are not to enter garden beds or remove or damage plants. Pets and alcohol are not permitted (the café and restaurant are licensed). No BBQs, bicycle riding, scooter riding, skateboarding, rollerblading or ball/throwing games.

South Australian Museum

Founded in 1856, the South Australian Museum is a natural history museum and research institution. It occupies a complex of buildings on North Terrace in the cultural precinct of the Adelaide Park Lands. It is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm (noon to 5:00pm on Anzac Day and closed Christmas Day and Good Friday). Entry is free but there may be a charge for some temporary exhibitions.

The South Australian Museum’s permanent galleries are full of objects drawn from the Museum’s extensive collections. The Museum is one of the most visited museums in Australia and holds collections of national and international significance. It is a leader in remote and regional community engagement, and in Australian Aboriginal heritage and scientific research. Galleries include Ancient Egypt, Australian Aboriginal Cultures, Ediacaran Fossils, Megafauna, Minerals & Meteorites, Opal Fossils, Pacific Cultures, Mawson, South Australian Biodiversity, Whales & Dolphins and World Mammals.

Free guided tours of the Museum run daily at 11:00am weekdays, and 2:00pm and 3:00pm weekends and public holidays. Visitors should meet the guide in the main foyer. The Information Centre on Level 1 is the place to go to get your questions answered.  The team knows all about the exhibits and can even help identify any specimens brought in. If you do manage to stump them with a particularly tricky question, they have our expert scientists to call on to help find the answer. At the Information Centre you can take a look into a secret world with the microeye, watch bees busily making honey, or just enjoy the fun, hands-on experience. There's something for all ages. The Information Centre is open from 11:00am to 4:00pm weekdays, and 11:00am to 3:00pm weekends and public holidays.

The Museum café is a relaxed and welcoming spot to grab a quick bite to eat or a coffee during your Museum visit. There is plenty of seating under the whale skeleton, and the café’s terrace offers a wonderful alfresco experience in the warmer months. Food containing gluten, nuts and dairy is clearly labelled. There is a kids’ menu and vegetarian options.

If you are driving to the Museum, timed car parking is available on Kintore Avenue and Victoria Drive. You can also park in the Wilson’s carpark across the road and get your ticket stamped at the information desk to receive a discount. There is one disabled parking space behind the Museum which is allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. It is accessed by entering through the boom gate on Morgan Thomas Lane. You will need to show a disability parking permit and display it at all times. The Museum is fully wheelchair accessible with lifts to all levels. A wheelchair can also be booked with Security staff for use in the Museum.

If you are cycling to the Museum, there are bike racks on either side of the building, in the laneway shared with the Art Gallery, and near the entrance to the State Library. 

Here is a link to the official website for the South Australian Museum.

Adelaide Park Lands

The Adelaide Park Lands are visited by nearly nine million people every year and they provide a rich diversity of space for sports, events and individual recreation. Covering 930 hectares, the Adelaide Parklands are the largest urban park system in Australia.

Sport is one of the Park Lands activities. Archery has been practised there since the 1880’s and has its home in Park 10 (Warnpangga). There are seven free public basketball hard courts. Croquet is currently enjoying a renaissance and Croquet South Australia is offering beginners a chance to get involved at their base in Park 17 (Tuttanggga).

Adelaide is a rare city that offers golf close to the CBD. Park 1 (Pirltawardli) is home to the North Adelaide Golf Course. If you are into Lawn Bowls, the Adelaide Bowling Club is in Rymill Park. Petanque (boules or bocce) is another form of bowls and there are five petanque pistes (courts) in the eastern and southern Park Lands. This game goes well with a picnic or barbeque.

From hard courts to grass courts, tennis can be played on each side of the Park Lands. Major centres are in Park 1 (Pirltawardi), Park 15 (Ityamai-itpina), Park 20 (Kurangga) and Park 26 (Tarnranya Wama). There’s really nowhere you can’t jog in the Adelaide Park Lands and you can choose the surface – grass, gravel, bitumen or dirt. There are several marked routes and tracks including in Park 10 (Warnpangga), Victoria Park, Pakapakanthi and the River Torrens.

While many parks are full of activity and action there are plenty of places for peace and quiet where you can just sit, relax, unwind, enjoy yoga (individually or in a class) or take a university break to study surrounded by nature. The Park Lands also make for a fantastic family outing. There are large grassy expanses where you can fly a kite (particularly in the southern and western Park Lands). There are 12 playgrounds with amazing facilities for kids or just let them run free to enjoy those old fashioned favourite childhood pursuits like climbing a tree or jumping in puddles.

There are areas for cycling, whether you are a professional speedster or on your training wheels and you can throw a Frisbee or float a model boat. Once a month the Park Lands host a hybrid sport called Cyclocross which is competitive cycling with a twist. About 150 people meet in Park 17 (Tuthangga), Park 23 (Wirrarninthi), Victoria Park and Pakapakanthi to negotiate a 3km course of connected, winding bike paths over dirt, grass, mud and bitumen.

Having a parkland city with lush free ribbons of park surrounding the city centre was part of Colonel Light’s original plan for Adelaide city and he would be mighty pleased at how his vision became reality. If you are anywhere in the city you’ll not be far from a green space with a café or food truck nearby if you want scenery with your snack or lunch.

Here is a link to the Adelaide Park Lands section of the Adelaide City Council website.