How to Make the Most Out of a Short Trip to Adelaide

What to do in Adelaide: The Lane Vineyard

I’d heard Adelaide referred to as a “20-minute city”, but it wasn’t until I visited that I was able to grasp how much you could see and do in just one day in the city. Adelaide is a place where a 20-minute drive can take you from the heart of the CBD to the sunny, blue-skied beaches or the lush Adelaide Hills, depending on which direction you go.

And while it may not have the prestige of Sydney with its iconic landmarks, or the reputation of Melbourne as the country’s go-to cultural hotspot, Adelaide is a city with plenty to offer.

Recently, I was invited to explore the city as a guest of car share company Turo. Turo is a company that prides itself on getting you the perfect car to suit your needs, whether you’re going on an outback adventure or zipping around Adelaide.

With only 36 hours in the city, I was determined to see as much of the city as I could. Time was of the essence, and being able to skip the car rental queue made for a pretty seamless experience.

Shortly after landing in Adelaide, I met up with my Turo host to collect the car. With a few hours to kill before I could check in at my hotel, he offered me suggestions for ways to kill time that were close by and lesser known than your average tourist traps. Getting recommendations from a local was invaluable, and soon, my Adelaide adventure was on the road.


Adelaide is a city with plenty to offer, even if it’s just for a weekend ☁️ We were invited by Turo and discovered a 20-minute drive from the CBD can take you to the hills or the beach. #traveltips #southaustralia #thelatchau

♬ Acoustic guitar live performance Gentle and nimble in nature(1007339) – Melonest

If you only have 36 hours in Adelaide, here’s what we recommend.

Related: Turo vs. Uber Carshare: Which One Is Right for You?

A Guide to 36 Hours in Adelaide With a Car

Visit the Adelaide Central Market

The Adelaide Central Market is one of the largest and oldest fresh produce markets in Australia, located in the heart of the CBD. A beloved institution, the market hosts over 80 stalls, offering a diverse array of fresh produce, gourmet foods, meats, seafood, cheeses, baked goods, and specialty products. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop for foodies, and if you want to taste the best produce of South Australia, it’s a must.

Visit One of Adelaide’s Attractions

Within the CBD, there’s something for everyone. If you want to connect with nature, the Adelaide Botanic Gardens are the place to be. If you’re more into culture, the Art Gallery of South Australia is right there on North Terrace. Or, if you’re in the mood for a little retail therapy, Rundle Mall, with its iconic Mall’s Balls, is a must.

All three have plenty to offer, and they’re all quite close to one another, making it easy to visit all three in one day if you can’t pick just one.

Dine at Osteria Oggi

For dinner, I visited Osteria Oggi on Pirie Street. A chic Italian restaurant in the heart of the city, Osteria Oggi offers a five-course tasting menu for $98 per person that’s sure to delight your tastebuds. The tasting menu features highlights from the chef’s selected menu, and includes beef carpaccio, spaghetti alla carbonara and tiramisu affogato, to name a few.

Stay in the City

When you’ve only got a few days in Adelaide, staying in the CBD will minimise the time you spend getting from point A to point B, giving you the most time for sightseeing and shenanigans. I’ll be real, the public transport situation in Adelaide is not on the same level as Sydney or Melbourne, so having a car will also help you get the most out of your trip.

I stayed at Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets, which is within walking distance from Chinatown and the Adelaide Central Market. From Wednesday to Sunday, you can dine at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, Merrymaker Rooftop, which offers delicious food and views of the city. There’s also a rooftop pool that’s perfect for Adelaide’s sunny days.

Head For the Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hills are known for their wineries, and for good reason. The region is known for its many cellar doors and tasting rooms, where visitors can sample and purchase wines. With beautiful scenery, rolling hills and lush vegetation, the vineyards are a popular destination for weddings, events and tourists alike, but even if you’re not drinking, they’re a great place to stop in for lunch.

I dined at Lane Vineyard, which prides itself on plating up the best in-season ingredients available. For $125, you can try the five-course Provenance menu of modern Australian cuisine

Still, there’s plenty to do in the Hills beyond the wineries, like visiting Hahndorf. Just 30 minutes outside the Adelaide CBD, Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, and to this day, maintains its traditional German character. Once you’re there, stroll down the main street and take in the historic buildings and quaint shops. Visitors can explore local arts and crafts, sample German foods like bratwurst and pretzels, and enjoy traditional sweets from local bakeries.


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Also in the Hills is the Jurlique Farm, which you can tour for $30 per person. Your guide will take you behind the scenes of the biodynamic skincare brand, where you’ll learn about the nature and science that goes into their products.

Hit the Beach

After you’ve seen the sights of the city and the hills, it’s time to hit the beach. Glenelg is Adelaide’s most popular destination for tourists, but we’d recommend visiting Henley or Grange beaches. If you’re used to fighting for a place to sit at Bondi, you’re in for a treat. Even better, the drive from the city to the beach is around 20 minutes, and there’s parking at both locations.

Henley and Grange both feature stunning coastal views, delicious cafes, and relaxed vibes that are hard to find elsewhere. Wander down the jetty and take in the views for the full experience.

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