Adelaide is the jewel of South Australia, our guide will have you getting around like a local in no time.
South Australia and its capital city Adelaide have a lot to offer. Sample some of the best wines in the world. Soak up the sun on world class beaches. Dine on a diverse mix of culinary delights. Or explore the remote outback.
Not adventurous enough? How about cage diving with massive great white sharks? South Australia has that too!
Even the world’s largest travel guide publisher recognises it! South Australia was recently ranked fifth on Lonely Planet’s top ten regions for 2017.
Rental cars are a popular choice for exploring South Australia. Explore some of the more remote and beautiful parts of South Australia with a road trip. Many of the best destinations aren’t serviced by public transport due to their location. Rent a car and go explore some of the states stunning coastlines and national parks.
Suggested road trip destinations:
- Fleurieu Peninsula. (Second valley, Deep Creek, Goolwa and Victor Harbor)
- Yorke Peninsula. (Marion Bay, Innes National Park)
- Eyre Peninsula. (Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay, Port Lincoln)
Car parks within the city can be expensive. Often costing anywhere from $3 to $5+ AU an hour in popular areas. Book a hotel that provide onsite parking and avoid paying unnecessary parking fees.
Use early bird parking deals to avoid expensive parking fees if you’re planning a day in the city. As the name suggests, entry and exit times conditions apply for these deals. Conditions are generally entry before 9am with exit times around 6pm. Pricing can be anywhere from $7 AU to $20 AU depending on location and day.
Uber is popular in South Australia due to providing cheaper rides and less wait time than Taxis. Pick up times are generally within minutes in the Adelaide CBD area. While outer suburbs can be a little bit slower, but in general, still be quicker than a Taxi.
Uber is without a doubt cheaper over long distances compared to Taxis.
Adelaide is one of the few places that allows Uber drivers at the airport. So consider Uber if you need an airport drop off or pickup.
Download and book via the app and you should be on the road in no time.
Uber Eats operates within South Australia. Some of our favourite cheap eats in Adelaide use the delivery service. Check them out!
Taxis have taken a downturn in popularity with the introduction of Uber. They are generally regarded as more expensive and with longer wait times. They do have a few benefits.
Taxis are more visible on the road. If you see a Taxi with its light on, you can hail them down and begin your journey.
Taxis all have internal security cameras if safety is a concern.
Dedicated Taxi ranks operate 11pm to 3pm Fridays and 11pm to 5am Saturdays. Supervised by security officers and a concierge, and situated near popular nightlife locations:
- Adelaide Casino. (North Terrace entrance)
- Rundle Street. (Corner of Pulteney St and Rundle Mall)
- King William Street. (entrance to Rundle Mall)
- Hindley Street. (Corner of Morphett St and Hindley St)
Located throughout South Australia are standard taxi ranks. Look out for them near most popular areas, including the airport and shopping centres.
Cycling around Adelaide is a great way to explore the city. With plenty of attractions only a short ride away.
Adelaide is perfect for cycling. Being flat and easy to cycle for all fitness levels. It boast a lot of dedicated cycling lanes to keep you separated from traffic. Stick to the green bicycle lanes and you’ll have a fun ride.
Suggested bicycle destinations:
- Adelaide Zoo.
- Himeji Japanese Gardens.
Where to ride?
Venturing a little further afield than the Adelaide CBD? Try some of the cities purpose built bikeways leading into the surrounding suburbs.
The Mike Turtur bikeway is a popular route. This bikeway offers a safe and smooth ride away from traffic for the family. It runs alongside the tram line from the Adelaide CBD to Glenelg Beach.
While Glenelg Beach didn’t make it onto our best family beaches in Adelaide list. It’s still a lovely beach and surrounded by restaurants, parks and shopping districts.
River Torrens Linear Park bikeway is another great family ride. Join the bikeway anywhere along the River Torrens. Spend the day winding your way from Adelaide to Henley Beach. Passing through beautiful parklands and ending by the beach.
Lock up your bike and enjoy a nice walk along the Glenelg foreshore or jetty. Wander over to the pier for drinks and lunch or relax while the kids play at the playground.
Sorry. You don’t actually get a free bike. But they can be day hired for free!
Hiring a free bike is pretty easy! Head to one of the many hire locations around town and provide your ID. ID can be in the form of a valid driver’s licence, passport or Australian proof of age card. Leave your chosen identification as deposit and collect your bike, helmet and a bike lock. Once you’ve return the bike to the place of hire, collect your identification and be on your way.
Wearing a bicycle helmet is required by law in South Australia. Law enforcement officers can issue fines if caught riding without a helmet.
Bike your own way
Feeling adventurous? Don’t want to stick to existing bikeways? Nothing beats getting out and exploring. It’s a great way to get out of the tourist areas and find something new.
Cycle Instead functions like Google Maps. Allowing you to plot your own course by adding a start and finish point for your ride. Once start and finish points have been input, it plots a route and displays the length and duration of your ride.
The site even lets you specify the type of route. Want to get to your destination as fast as possible? Don’t like riding on busy roads? Are you riding with young children and want to stay on paths?
The simple menu system lets you choose. Select from the fastest route, the least traffic or maximise paths to build your perfect ride.
You can even avoid those pesky hills! Select your maximum gradient and the map will reroute to avoid them. (This might increase route length)
Due to Adelaide’s geographic location stretched between the coastline and mountains. Long and narrow urban sprawl has occurred. Due to this urban sprawl, outer suburbs can take close to an hour by train to reach and buses can take over an hour.
South Australian public transport all operate using an integrated ticketing system. This system allows Metrocards and Metroticket usage on all trains, buses and trams.
Where to buy Metrocards and Metrotickets?
Metrotickets are available from Metrocard agents, vending machines and bus drivers.
Metrocard are only available from Metrocard agents.
Vending machines are available on trams and trains.
Metrocards can be recharged at vending machines, online or at Metrocard agents with a minimum recharge amount of $5 AU.
Vending machines only accept coins (except 5 cent coins) and card transactions. They do not accept notes.
Vending machines dispense Metrotickets validated. Meaning if you attempt to validate it again, a warning beep will sound. This causes confusion among visitors who believe their purchased ticket is faulty.
Free Public Transport
Certain public transport is available free within the Adelaide CBD. Included in the free public transport is the tram and city connector buses. Connector buses run daily and visit popular attractions around Adelaide and North Adelaide. Trams are free between the Entertainment Centre and the South Terrace stop.
What ticket type do you need?
Knowing what ticket type you need in a new city can be confusing. Use the list below to tell the best type based on the duration of your stay in South Australia.
- Short Stays – Visitors who only plan to use public transport for a few days can buy a visitor pass. Visitor passes allow unlimited travel for 3 consecutive days.
- Medium Stays – Visitors staying for a week or more who will use public transport often. Buy a standard Metrocard and enjoy reduced fare rates.
- Long Stays – Visitors who plan to stay in South Australia for a month and use public transport often. Buy a monthly transport pass. This allows you to use an unlimited amount of public transport for a 28 day period.
Walking around Adelaide is a great way to explore. As one of the few planned cities in Australia, the layout of Adelaide is easy to navigate. Wander the streets and enjoy some of Adelaide’s amazing street art. Stroll down the shopping hub Rundle Mall. Or have a bite to eat on the restaurant hub Gouger St.
Suggested walking destinations:
- Torrens River.
- Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
- Adelaide Central Markets.
What are your secrets to navigating a new destination?
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