Your votes are in: the 52 favourite things to do in and around Adelaide

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By David Russell

The inside52 results are in! Over the past five weeks insidesouthaustralia.com.au has asked South Australians to vote on their favourite thing to do in and around Adelaide.

The competition was launched to celebrate Adelaide being named in the New York Times 52 places to go in 2015. We wanted to create our own list of the 52 top things to do in and around Adelaide; the things that together have made Adelaide a city the world is taking notice of.

An incredible 7,000 votes were received on the inside52, and one of those voters – Emma Adams from Morphett Vale – won the grand prize, a trip for two to New York (including tickets to a Yankees game courtesy of Baseball SA) to help share Adelaide’s inside52 with the world.

So, without further adieu, here is Adelaide’s inside52.

1. Sea and Vines

Nearly 40,000 people flock to McLaren Vale every year over the June long weekend to meet leading McLaren Vale winemakers and enjoy their sensational wines. You can also indulge in seasonal fresh produce from the renowned Fleurieu Peninsula.

 

2. Adelaide Fringe

The largest annual arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, held for 24 days during February and March, the Fringe features more than 4,000 artists from around Australia and the world. See one of over 900 events staged in pop-up and established venues.

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3. The Santos Tour Down Under

An incredible week-long cycling event touring Adelaide and its surrounds, the Santos Tour Down Under is the first bike race outside of Europe to get pro tour status. A whopping 786,022 spectators lined the roads of South Australia in 2015 to watch the race.

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4. Adelaide Oval

One of the most picturesque sports grounds in the world, you can enjoy AFL or cricket with amazing views of the city and it surrounds. The oval is fully serviced by all modes of transport and is just a short walk to the centre of Adelaide. Photo: Scott Barbour, Adelaide Oval.

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5. Heysen Trail

The 1,200 kilometre hiking trail passes through some of the most scenic parts of the state from national parks and state forests to internationally acclaimed tourist destinations, including the Barossa Valley and the stunning Wilpena Pound.

Yourambulla overhang

 

6. Royal Adelaide Show

The Royal Adelaide Show is South Australia’s biggest annual event run by the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia. Experiences run the whole gamut from carnival rides, exhibitions and attractions to exquisite handicraft, cookery and a wide variety of champion livestock and animals.

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7. Kuitpo Forest

Spend an afternoon walking the dog, having a picnic, jogging, or meditating in this wonderfully lush environment.

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8. McLaren Vale wine tour

Lunch in McLaren Vale With the majestic coast on one side and the grape vines meandering on the other, touring McLaren Vale’s many wineries somewhat magical. Feel the wind in your face, hear the waves crashing on the beaches and immerse yourself in one of the world’s greatest wine districts.

 

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9. Surfing the south-coast

Catch some waves at Goolwa, Middleton or Victor Harbor.

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10. Credit Union Christmas Pageant

A right of passage for South Australian kids, the Credit Union Christmas pageant brings Christmas joy to the streets of Adelaide through an array of colourful floats and characters.

Father Christmas float

 

11. The Big Rocking Horse

Climb the Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills. You can also visit the Toy Factory where you can see how wooden toys are made and feed the animals and birds in the wildlife park.

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12. Wineries of the Barossa Valley

Sample some of South Australia’s finest wines and gourmet foods from one of Australia’s greatest wine regions. Take a guided tour in luxury by car, trike or helicopter, or relax and enjoy the historic sights at your own pace.

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13. Schutzenfest

The Schutzenfest is the largest ethnic festival in the Southern hemisphere and an opportunity to immerse yourself in German culture, with authentic German food, slap dancing performances, souvenirs and much more. Translated from German Schutzenfest means ‘Shooting Festival’ and goes back to its German roots with a traditional Vogel shoot.

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14. Barossa Gourmet Weekend

The Barossa is one of the world’s great gastronomic playgrounds. Join the Barossa Gourmet Weekend to experience a feast for the senses, indulging in food, wine, music and beautiful landscapes with family and friends.

Adelaide Hills Long Lunch

 

15. CheeseFest

CheeseFest has gained an enviable national reputation as the biggest cheese gathering in Australia, offering tastings, talks, cooking sessions and picnic trails literally one big cheese party!

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16. Adelaide Central Market

With a plethora of fresh produce stalls you are spoilt for choice at the Adelaide Central Market. Pick up some of the your favourite artisan products and dine in or takeaway to the new re-developed Victoria Square.

 

17. WOMADelaide

Experience the music, arts and dance of a variety of different cultures at Adelaide’s annual world music and dance festival held in Botanic Park. Over 400 artists entertain crowds over four days on seven stages in Australia’s most illustrious festival that is unlike any other. Photo: David Russell.

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18. Adelaide Hills region

Just a short drive up the freeway, you can step into the enchanted land of the Adelaide Hills region, where an afternoon of exquisite food and wine stretches both time and the imagination. Enjoy wonderful places like The Lane Vineyard, Bird in Hand, Bridgewater Mill or the Stirling Hotel.

Vineyard

 

19. Cruise the Murray River

Hire a houseboat and spend a few days exploring our gracious Murray River and visit some of the riverland towns along the way.

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20. Clipsal 500

The Clipsal 500 is an annual motor racing event held on the streets of Adelaide over four days. The V8 SuperCar Championship series is the largest domestic motor sport event in Australia and attracts big name local and international entertainment acts.

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21. Seal Bay at Kangaroo Island

Seal Bay has been home to the Australian Sea lion population for potentially thousands of years. Take a guided tour and visit these endangered animals in their natural habitat.

Watching The Sea Lions

 

22. City fringe cafe precincts

Sip on your favourite coffee at any of the popular city fringe cafe precincts such as Prospect Road, Queen Street in Croydon; Norwood Parade, Henley Beach Road, King William Road in Hyde Park, Goodwood Road and Melbourne Street, North Adelaide. Photo: Wayne Smith.

 

23. Township of Hahndorf

Hahndorf is our oldest surviving German settlement. Today it offers a mix of heritage and exciting new businesses, creating a unique village atmosphere. The main street is lined with eateries, craft, clothing and leather goods outlets, smallgoods as well as several restaurants and pubs offering authentic German fare. Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

24. Clare Valley Riesling trail

Cycle or walk along the old railway track from Auburn to Clare and head north to Barinia Road, where you will pass by the Clare Valley’s scenic vineyards, farmlands and natural bushlands. Stop by some wineries close to the trail and indulge yourself in this world-renowned wine region.

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25. City beaches

From North Haven to Sellicks Beach, Adelaide’s beaches are some of the most stunning in the world, and most are less than 30 minutes from the city. Catch the tram from the city to Glenelg, or head to the always popular Brighton, Henley or West Beaches.

Walking along Glenelg Beach

 

26. Windy Point Lookout

Start off your evening watching the sun go down over Adelaide, then enjoy a meal at the Windy Point Restaurant.

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27. Micro-breweries

Discover Adelaide’s micro-breweries including the Steam Exchange Brewery in Goolwa, Lobethal Bierhaus in Lobethal, Smiling Samoyed in Myponga, Lady Burra in Topham Mall, Adelaide, and Big Shed Brewing Co in Port Adelaide.

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28. Fish and chips at sunset

Nothing conjures up summer more than fish and chips on the beach! Soto’s at Semaphore is famed for its hand cut chips and the Stunned Mullet at Henley Beach has loads of fresh fish choices. Other popular spots include the Bay Fish Shop at Glenelg, Blue Fish at Brighton and West Beach Chicken and Seafood.

Picnic on the Beach

 

29. Historic Port Adelaide

Visit the Maritime, Railway and Aviation Museums, the 1864 City of Adelaide Clipper Ship and other historic buildings.

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30. St Kilda Mangrove Trail

The St Kilda Mangrove Trail is about 400m long and allows you to see the Grey Mangrove up close – the only species that grows locally in the cooler climate. You can also learn more about the aquatic life at the Mangrove Interpretive Centre.

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31. Adelaide Festival of the Arts

The Adelaide Festival is one of the world’s major celebrations of the arts, featuring an outstanding mix of international music, theatre, dance and visual arts, principally located along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, the parklands, River Torrens and the Adelaide Festival Centre. Photo: Adelaide Festival Centre.

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32. Laneway Bars

Adelaide’s laneways are now teeming with fun, quirky and unique small bars. From the West End’s Leigh, Peel and Gresham Streets, to the East End’s Vardon Avenue, and everywhere in-between. Photo: Wayne Smith

 

33. Climb Mount Lofty

The track up to Mount Lofty is well worth the muscle burn once you reach the top and take in the 280 degree vistas looking out over Adelaide towards the ocean. You can even treat yourself to lunch or a coffee before making the trek back down.

Summit

 

34. Adelaide Cabaret Festival

One of the most comprehensive festivals in the world, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival showcases the best local, national and international artists in music, comedy, satire, storytelling and dancing.

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35. Drive onto Silver Sands or Aldinga beach

Drive onto the beach and setup right near the pristine waters of one of South Australia’s finest beaches. Enjoy the sun, surf and a game of beach cricket.

Long Beach, Robe

 

36. Farmers markets

Enjoy some of the freshest produce in the world and visit the farmers markets in Bowden, the Wayville Showgrounds, Stirling, Willunga and the Barossa.

Barossa Farmers Market

 

37. Jetty Road and the Glenelg Marina

Soak up the spectacular marina and beach setting of the Marina Pier before strolling along Jetty Road Glenelg, with more than 300 shops, restaurants and cafes to explore. Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

38. Deep Creek Conservation Park

Hike along an extensive network of walking trails, revealing the stunning coastline and bushland. Observe and feed the Western grey kangaroos, visit Blowhole Beach or camp at one of the four camping grounds. Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

39. Cockle Train and Granite Island

Steeped in history, Victor Harbour is a great day trip from Adelaide. Take a ride on the Cockle Train before jumping on board the historic Clydesdale horse carriage to Granite Island, home to the fairy penguin. Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

40. The Coorong

Explore the vast open wilderness and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the Coorong. Observe wild animals such as grey kangaroos, wombats, emus, sand dragons and even sea eagles. Photo: David Russell.

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41. Monarto Zoo

Just out of Adelaide we have one of the largest open-range zoos in the world, spanning more than 1000 hectares and home to more than 50 species of exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles.

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42. Hot air ballooning

Experience the breathtaking views of the beautiful Barossa Valley as you float high above the ground with Barossa Valley Ballooning. Peaceful, yet exhilarating, your sunrise hot air balloon adventure will give you a perspective like no other of this world-famous wine region.

Ballooning

 

43. Morialta Conservation Park

Just a short drive from the Adelaide CBD take a stroll to the Morialta Falls or hike one of the many walking trails. Remember to keep your eyes up, as you will likely see a Koala taking in some sun at the tops of the trees.

Waterfall

 

44. Strawberry picking at Beerenberg Farm

You will not find fresher, tastier strawberries than those you pick yourself at Beerenberg Farm in Hahndorf. There is nothing like hunting through the strawberry patch to find the perfect strawberry! Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

45. Christmas Lights

Get festive and immerse yourself in some Christmas cheer at the West End Brewery and the Lobethal Lights.

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46. Fishing on a jetty

A favourite pastime, which can prove fruitful come dinnertime, fishing is relaxing and enjoyable for all ages. Try your luck off one of Adelaide’s many jetties.

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47. Naracoorte Caves

World Heritage listed, and one of the world’s most important fossil sites, the Naracoorte caves are well worth a visit. Walk among delicate stalagmites and beneath stalactites, which were formed more than half a million years ago through water and minerals slowly seeping down from the earth above.

Naracoorte Caves National Park

 

48. Crush Festival

Crush is much more than a wine and food festival. It celebrates the best things about life in the Adelaide Hills over three days. Photo: Wayne Smith.

Image purchased from Wayne Smith Visual Asset License Deed 2013

 

49. Snorkel Port Noarlunga Marine Reserve

The Port Noarlunga Aquatic Reserve is home to dozens of fish species that are perfect for snorkelling. You may even see a dolphin or a giant sting-ray pass through.

Snorkelling

 

50. Township of Stirling

Just a short drive up the freeway you can explore boutique wineries, art galleries, nature walks, scenic drives, cosy pubs and cafes as you meander through the picturesque main street of Stirling.

Stirling

 

51. Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a picnic lunch by the lakeside after an invigorating walk through the stunning Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Overlooking the Piccadilly Valley, it features an array of cool climate plants from various locations around the world and several walking trails.

Picnic  Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens

 

52. Coopers Brewery Tour

Tour South Australia’s most famous brewery and experience virtually every step of the production process for both beer and homebrew. Gain insight into the history of Coopers at the museum, and enjoy tastings of Cooper’s finest stouts, ales and lagers. If you love beer then this one is for you! Photo: Coopers Brewery.

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