South Australia Travel: Top 5 Adelaide Fun Things to Do on a Budget

Compared to other Australian states like New South Wales or Victoria, South Australia is probably less popular with tourists. However, the state offers so many exciting things to do for travelers looking for some off-the-beaten-path destinations in Australia with lots of fun activities in the area. 

The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide, offers a sweet combo of city getaways and coastal town vibes. No matter which type of traveler you are, you can enjoy both urban travel and beach getaways in Adelaide… Even if you're a budget traveler looking for some thrifty alternatives! 

This time, we have Georgie from Journey with Georgie to share Adelaide fun things to do on a budget, so you can make the most of your stay in the capital city of South Australia without breaking the bank. Let's dive in!

5 Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Adelaide, Australia

Australia isn't known as a particularly budget-friendly destination, however you'll be surprised by how far you can get to travel around the country on a budget – especially in the city of Adelaide.

A little bit further away from big names like Melbourne and Sydney, charming Adelaide offers even more bang for your buck. It's also a great starting point if you want to visit one of the best Australian landmarks in Uluru.

From a local, here are my top five budget-friendly things to do on a budget in Adelaide, South Australia!

1. Central Market + Botanic Gardens

Adelaide is home to the southern hemisphere’s largest undercover produce market – the Central Market!

It's such a great place to visit and meander through, stopping to try various delicatessen goods. My pick of them all is to head for “the Smelly Cheese Shop” and buy some cheese and crackers.

You can then hop on the free tram up to the corner of north terrace, and walk to the Adelaide Botanic Gardens for a delicious picnic amongst lots of native flora and fauna.

Central Market in Adelaide, South Australia.

2. Glenelg Beach + Waterslide

Forget Sydney’s Bondi Beach, Adelaide has Glenelg – and we’re very proud of it!

So, pack your bathers and jump on the tram in the Adelaide CBD to Glenelg Beach. It's only $2 each way if you have a Metrocard and travel between 9.00am and 3.00pm on a weekday.

For a little more extra budget, you have just enough to ride the waterslide at the Beach House, a beachfront amusement park and grab a delicious ice-cream from Royal Copenhagen (make sure to enjoy the all-you-can-add toppings). After that, enjoying the beach is totally free!

Alternatively, you can also join this McLaren Vale & Glenelg Sightseeing tour that also includes wine tasting in the package, which is highly recommended especially if you visit Adelaide in the summer!

3. Port Adelaide + Dolphin Cruise

It's back on the Adelaide Metro to get to Port Adelaide ($4 return), an up-and-coming area that's currently experiencing a rejuvenation. Just strolling through the historic streets is interesting, as there's lots of great street art.

Another famous Port Adelaide institution is the Port River dolphin cruises.

There is a large, friendly pod of wild dolphins in the Port River, who love putting on a show for guests (usually). So, jump aboard for just $7 (amazing value, I know!) and keep your eye out for some friendly and inquisitive dolphins.

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide.

4. Visit the Museums

Nearly all of our best museums are totally free. That's right, save your money for something else in Adelaide and check out the Migration Museum, State Museum or Adelaide Art Gallery that are totally free.

It's also worth looking at the program for the Tandanya Aboriginal Art Gallery, which frequently hosts free exhibitions.

5. Have some delicious South Australian Wine

I recommend spending the money you have left over on a glass (or two) of delicious South Australian wine at one of our cute small bars, such as Hains & Co.

So, there you have it – my three picks for how to spend a day with fun things to do in Adelaide. As you can see, there are plenty of options to enjoy Adelaide on the cheap!


Contributor: Georgie of Journey with Georgie

Georgie Mack is a proud Adelaidean who is currently based in the English seaside. She loves history, wine and travel with value – that is, travel that's good for the wallet, for others, and for you!

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