I’m sorry Adelaide, I tried to like you – Making the most of Adelaide over a long weekend, without visiting a winery

South Australia / Travel Blog

As a passionate Victorian it is my responsibility as a dedicated patriot of my fine state, to look down upon South Australia, and as a Melbournian more specifically, to look down upon the capital, Adelaide. While it’s true that most of Australia looks down at Adelaide as being a bit of a backwater city it’s actually a nice place to get away for a long weekend to check-out the sites and have a relaxing time away from the bigger cities of Australia. Contradicting what I just said however, Adelaide I am sorry, I tried but you’re just not for me.


The city of Adelaide itself I didn’t find anything too great about it, yes I checked out the Torrens River, walked around the Adelaide Oval and even graced the famous Rundle Mall but that’s all there really is to see and do in the centre of Adelaide itself. Rundle Mall wasn’t that appealing in that it’s just shops and as much as a visit to Target excites me every once in a blue moon, I can visit my local Target back at home.

To be really able to experience Adelaide, you will need to drive out of the city and look beyond the excitement of finding some of the famous streets that grace the Australian Monopoly board like Rundle Mall, Victoria Square and North Terrace. By the way on a side note, what’s the deal Adelaide with having a main highway like the ANZAC Highway labelled as the ‘A5’ and only having a 60 kilometre speed limit, so frustrating! Everywhere else in the country a road labelled A, B, C or M is at least 80 kilometres with A and M roads being at least 100 kilometres (RANT OVER).

So what are some of the things you can get up to whilst visiting Adelaide, especially if you’re not wanting to go around and visit the many wine regions around the South Australian capital.

VIDEO: Exploring Adelaide’s surrounding areas…


This was my favourite thing to do whilst visiting Adelaide. On the final day before heading home and waiting for the plane in the afternoon, I drove down to Hallet Cove. If you don’t have a car you can also catch the train to Hallet Cove Beach Station, then it’s just a short walk from here to the beginning of the track.

Starting from Hallet Cove Beach and walking towards the end of the beach, a short stroll will take you to the top of a hill, giving you a lookout over the ocean and the beach below. This is where the boardwalk begins, meandering its way along the coastline and offering a diverse range of scenic landscape from beach to rocky clifftop shores, to the changing landscape inland away from the beach with valleys and hills with an array of changing colours in the soil.

The walk isn’t just confined to the coastline, you can also venture away from the beach and explore the hills and valleys that showcase the diverse landscape.

The main boardwalk stretches north towards the city starting at Hallet Cove Beach however the trail also makes its way south from here too. The track is a bit more rugged if you go south but less people head this direction and it also offers some great scenery along the way.

You’ll also spot in the distance what looks to be a private jetty, I didn’t make it all the way there but it would be a good point to aim for walking in this direction.

I definitely recommend heading down to Hallet Cove for a hike if that’s what you’re looking to do. It’s a great walking track and allows you to see some pretty diverse scenery.


The Adelaide Hills region is one of the most visited parts of Adelaide and spans a large area to the east of the city. It is also regarded as one of Adelaide’s, and Australia’s, best wine regions (but we’re not talking about wine today). Taking the South Eastern Arterial that cuts itself through the mountain ranges, one of the more popular spots to get some panoramic views of Adelaide is Mount Lofty. The mountain is home to a lookout and cafe and is also the location of the city’s TV transmission towers, similar to Mount Dandenong in Melbourne and Mount Coot-tha in Brisbane.

At the summit of Mount Lofty is a large stone column that is reminiscent of a light house. Flinders Column was originally erected as a reference point for surveying purposes around Adelaide but was later dedicated to Matthew Flinders whom was the first man to circumnavigate Australia and give the mountain its name. Coming down from Mount Lofty you can drive the scenic route rather than going back via the freeway, in doing do you experience the curved road giving you views of Adelaide and the ocean as you make your decent and get closer to the city.

Alternatively, you could continue on the freeway and experience the small village of Hahndorf with its German heritage. Here you can pretend that you have arrived in a small rural German village where you are able to buy German beer, German food and even some German souvenirs. What a better way to commemorate your visit to Hahndorf in Adelaide than with the purchase of a German beer stein with Berlin written on it… or a cuckoo clock if that floats your boat.

Joking aside this is a really nice place to visit and if you can get here early to avoid the crowds then you’ll enjoy the experience even more. Once it does get busy here and is overrun by tourists, parking can be quite scarce so be prepared to walk a bit of a distance once a spot has been found. The town is right off the freeway so it is easy to navigate here coming directly from the city centre.


A South Australian favourite is Victor Harbor, south east of Adelaide and close to the mouth of the Murray River.

The main attraction in Victor Harbor is Granite Island, linked by a jetty from the mainland you can walk across with a leisurely stroll or you can opt to catch the horse drawn tram car across to the island terminus.

On the island itself a selection of walking tracks await for exploration and on a sunny day you’ll be able to appreciate the glimmering blue waters of the Southern Ocean.

The town of Victor Harbor itself is also worth exploring with a heritage train whisking passengers along the coastline during the tourist season. Funnily enough I was driving out of Victor Harbor and was stuck at an intersection with the railway crossing. As I was parked on the train tracks I thought “it doesn’t matter, trains don’t run along here”. I didn’t even get to finish that thought before a large black locomotive comes steaming around the corner. Safe to say I ate my words and promptly moved the car off the train line.


If you have a car you may want to consider venturing even further out and checking out Murray Bridge. No this isn’t a trip to check out a bridge that crosses the Murray, it’s an actual town called Murray Bridge. However the main attraction is a bridge, spanning the Murray, at Murray Bridge.

Murray Bridge is home to the first bridge to span the Murray River and is a pivotal crossing point travelling from east to west in Australia even for the main train line that ultimately connects Melbourne and Adelaide.

Murray Bridge isn’t all about the two bridges spanning the river, from here you can also explore the famous river by taking a paddle steamer along the river, one of the favourite pastimes of this integral river in Australia’s history.

In the Murray River region you also have a number of points along the river where you can take a vehicle ferry across to the otherside. The great thing about catching these ferries is that it’s free to do so. It’s a great thing to do just for the novelty of it.


One of the hip and trendy suburbs of Adelaide without a doubt would be Glenelg. Close to Adelaide’s international airport and also home to its own tram line, basing yourself at Glenelg couldn’t be more easy.

Glenelg has an array of accommodation options but for the best experience make sure you check out the Stamford Grand Adelaide hotel located right in the heart of town.

The hotel is located right on the beach and offers both Adelaide Hills view rooms as well as stunning ocean view rooms that give you front row seats to the sunset over the Glenelg Jetty.

The jetty is the main focal point of Glenelg and the terminus of the tram line whisking passengers into the centre of the Adelaide CBD. Be sure to check out the full review of the Stamford Grand Adelaide hotel right here.

Despite my displeasure towards Adelaide in general, I did still have a great time here and it was good to getaway and see something different that was a short flight from home. If like me you can’t sit still and want to get out and see things then be prepared to travel, hire a car and explore. Glenelg is also an ideal location to spend your time if your style is sitting around and watching the world go by.

Also consider visiting Kangaroo Island, an hour and a half drive out of Adelaide will see you arrive at Cape Jervis where the Sea Link ferry takes you on a 45 minute journey to the island. Be sure not to jump on one of the many 8 or 9 hour tours offered where you can see Kangaroo Island in a day, a single day won’t cut it and I hope to dedicate an entire trip to visiting the island in the future.

Booking your accommodation has never been easier with our preferred hotel partner Agoda.


A guide book isn’t cheating! Before you leave on your next adventure ensure you plan to get the most out of your trip and check out the range of guide books from Lonely Planet. The comprehensive guide books on Australia from Lonely Planet will give you an insight on what to expect on your travels to this amazing country.


Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...


  1. Hi there, great post there and possibly tips on how we can enjoy Adelaide on weekend. I assume weekends are best options to enjoy traveling for people who are working weekdays like me. Nice guide.

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