11 Best Free Things to Do in Adelaide in 2023

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Is there anything to do for free in Adelaide? The answer is an absolute yes! Although it isn’t the most budget-friendly Australian city, there are many inexpensive and even free things to do in Adelaide.

With a packed calendar and some of the top restaurants in the nation, there’s always something going on in Adelaide. Indeed, creating an itinerary in Adelaide may be a daunting task, to say the least. For this reason, I’ve compiled a list of the must-see and must-do activities in this sprawling city. 

Here are all the top free things to do in Adelaide, Australia!

Getting Around Adelaide

South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, has something for everyone. Specifically, it has a vibrant small-bar culture, world-class art and music, and a festival calendar to match any in the country.

Explore its laneways, soak in the breath-taking natural splendour, or travel to one of the city’s many wine districts, all within a few hours’ drive. When it comes to getting about South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, transportation choices range from public to private to accommodate a wide range of budgets.

Those on a tight budget will be pleased to learn that public transportation in the city centre of Adelaide is free for all visitors. Every day apart from maybe significant holidays, the Adelaide Connector Free Bus service provides free transportation to and from the city’s downtown area.

Also, you can hire a bike to navigate about Adelaide and get some exercise simultaneously. If you have a valid passport or driver’s license with your picture on it, you may use the city of Adelaide’s free bike rental program.

You’ll also have greater flexibility to go about Adelaide at your own speed if you rent a vehicle.

Best Free Things to Do in Adelaide

Beach Getaway at Port Willunga

white sand beach with tall tree trunks at the water's edge

Believe it or not, being entertained in Adelaide is not a costly endeavour. On its world-famous beaches, visitors may take advantage of a slew of free activities. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; Adelaide’s most fabulous beaches provide a fun and accessible retreat for everyone, no matter the budget.

A great example of this is Port Willunga, one of South Australia’s most popular beaches. Its smooth sandy beach is framed by rocks that fishermen used to keep their boats and traps.

Currently, they are a sought-after sanctuary from the sweltering summer heat and a place to relax with your family. To top it all off, Port Willunga has a pet-friendly Park Cabin, complete with a gated garden area and decks, so you can bring your dogs along on your next vacation.

Take a photo at Maslin Beach

brushy area and small walkway that leads to blue ocean on beach

Maslin Beach, which is absolutely stunning, is another noteworthy beach attraction. This beach length on Maslin’s coast is one of the best in the area, thanks to its stunningly beautiful cliffs and extended clean main sand area.

Even though it’s notorious as Australia’s first-ever legal nudist beach, this idyllic stretch of shoreline has much more to offer than a novelty. The beach is noted for its crystal clear water, tranquil surroundings, and the opportunity to take an enjoyable hike up to the clifftops.

Not to mention, Maslin Beach is also known for its spectacular sunsets, and the late afternoon sun glinting off the calm seas provides for one of Adelaide’s most incredible picture opportunities for your Instagram feed.

Get your fill-in, Glenelg

view of long pier from the water's edge on a beach
Glenelg Beach

As if we don’t already have enough beaches to choose from. Check out one of Adelaide’s lovely beaches to get the most out of the city’s magnificent coastline.

Glenelg is the busiest beach for residents and visitors alike. Attractions like stores and eateries are all within walking distance of the coastal route. A tram from the city centre will take you to Glenelg in no time.

However, suppose you’re looking for something more private. In that case, you may go to Henley Beach, Christie’s Beach, Brighton Beach, or Port Elliot’s protected harbour.

Check out the delicacies in Hahndorf

Next, we have Hahndorf on the list. For those looking for a retreat in the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is a great place to start.

Just close to Adelaide’s central business district lies a quaint German-style community brimming with bars, cafés, and unique stores.

Experience this little town’s historic allure through its fascinating museums and galleries. The German Migration Museum, which houses a collection of items and tales relating to the town’s history, is one of the most notable landmarks.

artifacts on wooden tables in a small museum room
German Migration Museum

While in Hahndorf, explore The Udder Delights Cheese Cellar and produce shop and bring something tasty back for later. They provide a variety of engaging foodie-based events, all done with outstanding customer service, to highlight their cheeses and regional delicacies!

Free cheese tastings allow you to try various flavours and textures. When in Adelaide, make sure you don’t miss this one!

Romantic Date at Adelaide Botanic Garden

large garden area with tall trees and winding walking paths

Now that spring has arrived, it’s time to take advantage of nature’s fresh air and rejuvenating effects. The Botanic Gardens of South Australia are ablaze with colour and variety this season.

Surprisingly, parkland makes up about half of Adelaide’s downtown core. The largest of the bunch is the Adelaide Botanic Garden. You can also visit the Garden of Health, the International Rose Garden, and the Australian Native Garden to stroll through some of the city’s most beautiful gardens.

Even better, the Adelaide Botanic Garden has a number of accessible and lovely picnic areas. Hence, sit back and relax with your loved one by bringing a blanket and some refreshments. 

Explore South Australian Museum

Museums are an excellent approach to learning about the history and the cultures of other nations. Among the most popular cultural institutions in Australia, the South Australian Museum is an excellent free attraction in the city of Adelaide.

At more than a hundred years old, it is home to the world’s most extensive collection of Aboriginal artefacts, including over 30,000 artefacts. Learn about South Australian wildlife, Pacific traditions, and Egypt’s rich heritage at this museum. 

Spoil yourself with food at Central Market

Appreciate the aromas of fresh flowers and savour the taste of home-cooked cuisine, maybe with a few freebies thrown in. This market is one of the most significant new vegetable marketplaces in the Southern Hemisphere, teeming with activity and colour throughout the year with over 70 vendors under one roof.

Make sure to bring your appetite since this market has some of the best local food and artisanal cheeses. There are also many roadside cafés where you may enjoy your purchases with a glass of wine or two. Indeed, a trip to the market is a worthwhile experience in and of itself.

I assure you that is every foodie’s safe haven, even if Central Market gets a tad crowded. 

Hiking Trip to Mount Lofty

aerial view from top of a mountain with information boards at the edge
Summit of Mount Lofty

Hike Mount Lofty and take in the stunning views from the city’s highest point. Uncover the magnificent surroundings of Mt Lofty Summit with a free self-guided tour. Just 15 kilometres away through the South Eastern Freeway in Adelaide, it’s pretty accessible, and it’s no secret why it draws over 350,000 tourists each year.

Despite its popularity, this trek is a brief one. Still, it’s a popular walk for a good reason, with cafes at both ends, a well-maintained trail, and plenty of spots to set a picnic. 

Bury your nose with books at the South Australian Library

The library is a haven for children and adults of all ages. Visits to the library are a popular and enjoyable pastime for many of us. Indeed, the South Australian Library‘s Mortlock Wing, where you may read as much as you like for free, is a better option than sitting about doing nothing in Adelaide.

In addition to its convenient location, the library also has a lot to offer in the way of nearby attractions. To get the most out of your library visit, make your way to the Mortlock Wing, which is a must-see.

You’ll be transported back in time when you see the Mortlock wing, which has been meticulously maintained. Best of all, the library staff is likely to be bookworms who are delighted to propose new books to their readers.

Pitch a tent at the Hancock’s Lookout

Make plans for your next stress-free vacation at this tremendous yet free camping area in Adelaide with friends and family. This magnificent lookout is atop Horrocks Pass and offers a stunning view of the area. If you’re travelling with a camper or van, this is an excellent area to spend the night.

From April through October, they permit one night of free camping. However, you shouldn’t anticipate any amenities as this is simply a bare parking lot. In fact, there are just a few trash cans and no facilities for the use of the public.

You may reach the overlook by a 7-kilometre hard dirt road via private land, although a 2-wheel-drive van can still make the trip. Moreover, you’d be happy to know that I created an article collecting all the greatest yet free camping spots in Australia for more free camping sites. 

Enjoy the countryside at Fleurieu Peninsula

view of pier from a rocky bank on the water's edge
Granite Island at Victor Harbour

Stunning beaches, world-class food producers, and a plethora of family-friendly activities highlight the Fleurieu. South Australia’s most splendid beach, scenic, and gourmet experiences can be found only 40 minutes south of Adelaide.

Normanville, Victor Harbor, Goolwa, and Port Elliot are just a few of the picturesque coastal villages that dot the Fleurieu Peninsula. With that, grab a table at one of the many restaurants in the area, or bring a basket and explore the countryside. 

About The Guest Author

Hello! I’m Kate from Here Goes Kate, a travel and adventure enthusiast now living in Australia. I have this insatiable desire for adventure and off-beaten track experiences. I love to travel spontaneously and immerse myself in the beauty of this world. Follow my adventures and let me take you with me on my journey around Australia.

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