Heading to the City of Churches? You’ll be interested to know about the free activities Adelaide has to offer because it’s all the sweeter when you can enjoy something without paying for it, right?
When choosing where to live, study or holiday, you can’t base all your decisions on freebies but they sure do come in handy.
Free activities Adelaide food and wine enthusiasts enjoy
- Free wine! – Ok, there is free wine but it’s not in great quantities. What you do get is an education. The Wine Discovery Journey at the National Wine Centre of Australia (part of the University of Adelaide) is a self-guided tour through a state-of-the-art facility. The tour itself has won awards for its interactive wine experience. In just one hour, you’ll learn how wine has played an important role in Australia’s commercial history and you’ll find out just how significant Australia’s wine contribution is to the rest of the world. Afterwards, there are wine tastings and that is an absolute pleasure.
- Free tastings – Get yourself in to Adelaide Central Market where you can sample cheeses, pastries and artisanal breads from the many passionate vendors. If you happen to be in Adelaide in April, the Tasting Australia Festival will be an incredible treat for you. Follow the market’s website to find out when other tasting events are on during the year. You could try local ciders, handmade cheeses, in-season fruits and more.
- Cellar door tastings – Visit any winery and you’ll be able to taste a number of wines on offer. Some offer tastings only by appointment so call ahead to find out. Here’s a list of Barossa Valley wineries.
Free things to do in Adelaide on two wheels
Bike SA is a membership organisation for commuter and recreational cycling in the state. They love cycling and want to share the love so they offer FREE bike hire!
- City bicycle trail – Take a leisurely ride through the Bike Art Trail, 11 points of interest that are easily reached by bicycle. All feature large scale sculptural artworks commissioned by the City of Adelaide and at each one, there’s a public bike rack so you can park your bike and wander around. The trail takes you through the Botanical Gardens, the Adelaide Festival Centre, Central Market, Adelaide Festival Centre and other locations. Check out the giant fork, the crumpled bronze brown paper bag and the shiny Onion Rings piece. All up, it’s about 20 kilometres of comfortable cycling routes.
- Cycle the Jack Bobridge Trail – Hop on your bike, strap on your helmet and ride around this 17-mile route between Gawler and Tanunda. You won’t believe the gorgeous scenery and you’ll likely spot a few friendly natives. Kangaroos and echidnas have been reported en route so take your camera for sure. You’ll find yourself at cellar doors such as Jacob’s Creek and Kellermeister so drop in for a good drop! Cyclists of all fitness levels will find the trail – named after pro-cyclist Jack Bobridge – suitable for their abilities.
Be a cricket lover for a few hours
- The Bradman Collection – Cricket fan? You’ll be pretty excited to visit The Bradman Collection at Adelaide Oval. Visit the Riverbank Stand where a museum has been created in The Don’s honour and features his very own collection of cricket memorabilia. You’ll see cricket bats and balls, various trophies and clothing worn by Sir Donald Bradman and you can watch footage of the great man in action. You can even test your own skills in the interactive display.
Adelaide’s arts and culture freebies
- South Australian Museum – Step out of the Adelaide sun and into the cool, spacious museum, one of Australia’s most visited. There are more than 3,000 Aboriginal artefacts including fully intact bark canoes, some of the only ones known to still exist. See the glittering minerals and meteorites, ancient Egyptian relics and fascinating fossils, some of which are displayed using 3D augmented reality technology. There’s a huge 18-metre sperm whale skeleton and articles that were used as part of the 1912 Antarctic Expedition in the Mawson Gallery.
- Art Gallery of South Australia – Not your average stuffy art gallery, the AGSA is housed in a stunning heritage building but it also takes pride in the diversity of its exhibitions and collections. Considering visitor numbers reach more than 780,000 every year, that speaks volumes as to the quality of the experience. Take your time browsing the permanent displays which feature works from as far back as ancient Rome to exciting items of the current day. There’s a comprehensive Australian collection of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and photographs, some wonderful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and also European, North American and Asian pieces. In addition to free entry, the Gallery offers free talks, kids’ activities and tours.
- The Jam Factory – There’s always something interesting happening at The Jam Factory, where contemporary Australian crafts are created on the spot. You can watch a craftsman blowing glass to make exquisite pieces, which is a compelling experience. The incredible work that goes into every item is evident. You may be able to meet the artists and you can certainly spend hours poring over the gorgeous jewellery, home wares, glassware, furniture, pottery and metal work.
Other free activities in Adelaide
- Aussie heritage – The R.M. Williams brand is an Australian icon. It’s what real Aussie bushmen (and women) wear! Adelaide is home to the M. Williams Outback Heritage Museum where you can learn about the man himself and view the family archives.
- Spend a day at the beach – Glenelg is the beach in Adelaide; locals call it ‘the Bay’. You won’t find surf there but the sandy shores and inviting water are all the enticement you’ll need. There are shops, cafes and a long jetty you can walk along. Take some food and have a barbecue and let the kids loose on the playgrounds.
- Free public transport – There are several free bus services operating in the City; the routes are 97A, 98A, 98C, 99A and 99C. You should also take a ride on the free tram.
- Tip toe through the roses – The International Rose Garden, part of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia displays more than 2,500 roses.
- West Terrace Cemetery – Many people find cemeteries to be peaceful, beautiful places. The West Terrace Cemetery offers guided tours for a fee but you can easily wander around on your own. Grab a brochure at the gates and explore the site’s 29 key points of interest.
- Migration Museum – Learn about Adelaide’s history of immigration through photos, paintings, models and multimedia presentations.