30 Unusual & Fun Things To Do In Adelaide

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Adelaide is known as the city of churches – but there aren’t any of those in this article. There are however 30 other quirky, fun and unusual things to do in Adelaide that you might want to try.

1. Hire a BBQ Buoy

These floating round boats are available to hire at Pinky Flat, close to Adelaide Oval. They are no normal boat though, they also have a space in the middle for a picnic table – or a gas BBQ. Pack your food of choice, pick up some beverages from the BBQ Buoys team and off you go. It costs from $140 for a boat for two for two hours.

BBQ Bouys are little round boats with BBQs or picnic tables build in that you can sail down the River Torrens in Adelaide

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission if you use them to book. This does not cost you any extra. Differentville is also a member of the Amazon Associates Programme. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

We took our BBQ Buoy out at sunset which was fantastic – the river was super quiet and watching the sunset all around us as we floated past was amazing.

Check out their website for all the details you need – or read our full review to discover exactly why we loved it so much and also to find some other cool ways to get out on the River Torrens. You’ll find it here. 

2. Find a Furby

Artist Laura Lamington has been adding paste up pictures of the tiny talking creatures all over Adelaide since late 2017 for no reason other than to make people happy. Well, it worked for me.

Artist Laura Lamington has pasted tiny furby past ups all over Adelaide. Finding them is just one of the fun and unusual things to do in Adelaide.

Exactly how many are out there no-one knows, but I found over 20 in the few days I was in town – top tip, wander up and down side streets and alleys, particularly those off the main Rundle Mall thoroughfare. Check flowerpots and utility boxes.

I admit, I did go back to Adelaide again recently and lots of the original furbies I found have disappeared, but there’s still some out there!

If you find one, you can upload it to @find_a_furby on Instagram who are curating quite the collection of images.

3. Go Dolphin Hunting

Lots of places have dolphins so this might not seem like much of an unusual thing to do. In Adelaide, though you don’t have to go out on a boat to see the dolphins, you can see them from dry land.

Specifically, you have to head to Port Adelaide, an area about 30 minutes drive or 40 minutes on a train from Adelaide CBD. It’s a quaint old town with museums, street art, a cool old lighthouse – and a pod of dolphins that live in the Port River that runs through the town.

We’d seen boats offering dolphin tours when we visited the town but hadn’t realised you can actually see the dolphins from shore – until about 60 minutes before sunset on our last night in Adelaide. Cue a mad scramble as we jumped straight in the car to try and spot them.

Port Adelaide has its own pod of dolphins that live in the nearby Port River - spotting them is one of the fun things to do in the city.

There are about six vantage points along the river where they like to hang out (a route called the Dolphin Trail) but we weren’t lucky enough to see any the night we went. There was a pretty sunset and a pelican though.

I was also really upset that we didn’t find out about the kayak trips you can do to meet the dolphins and see the Ship’s Graveyard, the remains of around 40 ships scuttled off nearby Garden Island until it was too late either – weeks I spent researching this trip and it didn’t come up once or I’d have booked a trip immediately!

Don’t make my mistake, check out the tours here. Yes, I know I should probably have looked at Get Your Guide myself!

4. Eat a Frog Cake

These are a unique Adelaide thing to do – a real tradition – but I warn you, you’re going to need a sweet tooth to get through one.

Frog Cakes are effectively a square lump of sponge, topped with a cream filling then covered with icing. The finishing touch, two eyes and a cut where a mouth would go that makes it look like a frog.

Frog cakes are a tradition in Adelaide and definitely one of the unusual things you can do in Adelaide.

Thankfully, they are quite small. You’ll find them at the Balfours cafe in City Cross, 32 Grenfell Street.

The other unusual thing to eat in Adelaide is the pie floater – a pie floating on a pile of liquid mushy peas. I missed out on that one personally. It seems your best chance of finding one is the food carts that turn up in the city on football days as they aren’t as common as they used to be.

If you like the idea of finding Adelaide most unique foods, then you’re going to want to try The F Factor Food Tour from Flamboyance Tours which covers Frog Cakes, Fruchocs and Fritz – and as to what they are, you’ll need to take the tour to find out. 

5. Climb to the Top of the Oval

You can do this – not me. I’m scared of heights – but, if you’re braver than me, don’t miss the chance to scale the top of Adelaide Oval, the major sporting ground in the city.

At the top, you’ll get 360-degree views across the city and all the way out to the Adelaide Hills – and the chance to test your bravery at a special lean out point 50 metres above the ground.

Sydney has the Bridge Climb, this is Adelaide’s equivalent (and it’s a bit cheaper too!)

view of the curbed roof of  adelaide oval with the river in the foreground. Climbing it is one of hte fun things to do in Adelaide

Click here to check out the tour options – they do a sunset tour, which if our experience of Adelaide sunsets was anything to go by would be seriously pretty, or day time tours. 

There’s a few other activities in Adelaide Oval. If you’re more into sports than heights, you can also take a straightforward ‘backstage’ tour of the oval hearing about its history and seeing areas people don’t normally get to check out.

If you’re a cricket fan it’s a must-do as you’ll get to go into the Bradman collection dedicated to the career of Sir Donald Bradman, possibly Australia’s most celebrated cricketer. 

See more about the tour, or book it, here.

If you’re going to an event at the Oval, you can also stay at the new Oval Hotel which looks pretty swish! Check the rates here.

Okay, enough talk of the Oval… let’s get strange!

6. Find the Wall of Cars

Back in 2000, Slovenian artist Matej Andra Vogrincic, stuck 15000 tiny Matchbox cars to a wall over an Adelaide car park – and, despite the ferocious summer temperatures in Adelaide, most of them are still stuck fast!

Yes, that’s right, this picture is not of a car park from above, but a wall from below… mind blown eh?

Wall full of tiny Matchbox cars in Adelaide, Australia

Find it at Rosina Place – this isn’t marked on the map but basically head to Rosina Street and find the Wilson Car Park and you’ll find it.

7. Visit the Music Lanes

Launching in 2021, there are currently five small roads and laneways named after famous Adelaide musicians including Sia Furler, whose alley is also graced with this fantastic mural.

mural of woman in black dress with balloons

You’ll also find Cold Chisel Lane and three others.

Once the project officially launches there will be a walking trail and each of the lanes will also have appropriate street art. See the full list of honoured bands and the lane locations here.

8. Visit Adelaide Gaol

I wasn’t sure about this originally. It’s one of the top things to do in Adelaide, and I normally steer clear of those… but I had a spare couple of hours one afternoon and so popped along – only to discover the most fascinating eerie place that begged to be added to my list of unusual things to do.

Forty-five people were hanged behind the walls of the jail and you can enter the areas in which it happened – and visit their graves just outside the prison walls which makes the place super creepy.

Visiting the graves of hanged prisoners is definitely one of the more unusual things to do in Adelaide, but the local jail has a very gruesome history.

Also, don’t miss the collection of old adverts on the wall of the old canteen, it’s a proper trip down memory lane for those of ahem, a certain age!

Adelaide Goal is open 7 days a week, 10 am – 4 pm. It costs $12.50 for normal admission. But you can also book a heap of specialist tours – including ghost tours if you weren’t finding it spooky enough. Add those to your list of things to do in Adelaide at night!

9. Eat the Beast

Four sausages, eggs, potato tots, bacon, halloumi, some avocado just in case all the rest wasn’t enough it comes with toast and more.

huge breakfast from the Coffylosophy cafe - one of the fun things to do in Adelaide
Image: Used by permission of Coffylosophy

This is The Beast breakfast at the Coffylosophy cafe at 198a Hutt Street. Okay, so you’re meant to share the $69 monster meal with someone else, but we won’t tell if you don’t.

If you’re after another food challenge, you might also want to visit the Black Bull on Hinley Street which offer a 1kg steak to the brave – or foolish.

While you’re there keep your eyes peeled for some of the stars of the DogsofHuttSt instagram hashtag.

10. Head to MOD

‘It’s Complicated’ is one of the current exhibits at this space that calls itself the museum of the future…. what that exactly means I’m not sure as on this trip I was in Adelaide on a Monday – the one day of the week that MOD isn’t open!

Exterior picture of MOD Museum in Adelaide

But, it looks super interactive, is full of robotics, gizmos and gadets and has an exhibition about parachuting cats… why would you not want to see that? See more at Mod.org.au

11. Sleep with Pixel Face

If Furby’s were the theme of my first trip to Adelaide, Pixel Face here made himself known for this one.

image of a smiley made from pixels on a wall in Adelaide

It’s not a new artwork for Adelaide, artist Peter Drew first started adding the smiley paste ups around Adelaide back in 2010, but there seemed to be a heap of fresh new ones this trip…. possible related to the fact that Drew, and Pixel Face are one of the art-themed rooms at the Majestic Minema Hotel in North Adelaide.

To see more about the art-themed rooms at the hotel from Agoda, click here

If you prefer to use Booking.com, then you’ll find details on rates and availability here. 

12. Find the Steve Irwin Mural

There’s a lot of cool street art in Adelaide, but one of my favourite murals was to be found on Tatham Street. It’s of the late naturalist and TV star Steve Irwin and it just made me smile.

There's a lot of cool street art in Adelaide, one of my favourites was this Steve Irwin mural

If the Steve Irwin mural isn’t to your taste, you’ll find heaps more murals up and down Tatham Street, in nearby Eliza Street and in the laneways off the east end of Rundle Street.

13. Go Ghost Hunting

There seems to be a lot of spooky goings-on in Adelaide.

Adelaide Haunted Horizons offer the biggest selection of ghost tours including the completely terrifying sounding Z Ward (there’s no review of this because I was too scared to go on it).

Adelaide Arcade is said to be haunted by a headless ghost - would you add ghost hunting to your list of unusual things to do in Adelaide?

If you’d rather test your paranormal-seeking powers without a guide however take a trip to the fabulously ornate Adelaide Arcade which runs between Rundle Mall and Grenfell Street.

It’s said to be haunted by the ghost of the old caretaker. One night he went to fix the generator and slipped, accidentally losing his head in the process. He’s now said to haunt the arcade after dark.

14. Try a Cheese Gelato

The Gorgonzola, Pear, Fig and Walnut ice cream from 48 Flavours on Gouger Street tied first place in the 2017 Gelato World Tour, a competition to find the best gelato in the world.

If the idea of cheese gelato is making you queasy it actually tastes more of pear than anything else. I also sampled the peanut butter flavour you can see here, and even though that was dairy-free it was really good.

48 Flavours Gelato has won awards for their quirky gorgonzola ice cream. Trying a scoop is one of our unusual things to do in Adelaide.

15. Whizz Round on a Segway

Segways are pretty good fun. And this tour by Segway Sensations SA gives you the chance to try one out along the pretty Adelaide riverfront. Which is preferable to whizzing along the middle of the road in Munich where I once ended up on one – but I digress!

You’ll spend the first part of the hour-long tour learning how to use the machine (I can’t drive anything with wheels and even I can work a Segway) and then head out for the guided part of your experience. Click here to see more details. 

Group of people on a Segway by the River Torrens in Adelaide - one of the fun things to do in Adelaide
image @Segway Sensations SA. Used with permission

They also offer a tour along the seafront at Glenelg if you want to see a different part of the city.

This trip uses offroad Segways so you actually ride on the beach at the end of your tour. Have a look at that one here. 

16. Go on a Date With Azou

No, I haven’t started the Differentville Matchmaking Club.

Azou is the charming owner of the Le Souk stall at Adelaide’s Central Market and if you get there when it’s not too busy he’ll offer you free samples of their dates – along with some seriously cheesy date related puns to go with them.

Azou owns Le Souk in Adelaide's Central Market - one of the best things to do in Adelaide

Adelaide Central Market is one of those must-do Adelaide tourist spots that everyone tells you about, and it is worth a trip.

However, having gone twice – once on a Saturday when it was heaving and once about 4 pm on a Tuesday, I can safely say for a more unusual trip, the latter is a better time if you really want to see what’s on offer and chat to the stall owners – and hear Azou’s best date-based puns!

True foodies, however, might want to take one of the early morning tours around the market which also gets you the inside track on the stallholders and their specialities.

17. Go Nuts for Desserts

An explosion of fabulous dessert shops has occurred in Adelaide since my last visit so, here’s a few you might want to check out.
Love, Stephy is famous for its fruit shaped cakes – green apples, strawberry and something that looks straight out of Snow White all sit glistening in the cabinet. Or get floral with the mousse-filled rose cake. You’ll find them on Hinley Street right by the Holiday Inn Express.

apple and strawberry cakes in Adelaide

Astonish Patisserie: Cameras out as the desserts here are full of decorative touches like flower garnishes and coloured dust. But it’s not all style over substance, they’ve won awards for their cakes so you know they’re going to taste as good as they look. Find them at 393 William Street.

Then there’s Uniqorn Eats. Full of foods with colours not normally seen in nature, there’s rainbow cheese toastie, stacks of brightly coloured pancakes and pretty pastel pink Chupa Chups milkshakes. They’re at 226 Grenfell Street.

18. Head to Where to Old Meets New

In most art museums, genres are grouped together – old masters sit in their gold frames in one room, primary coloured pop-art cluster together in another – but not at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

gold and black sculpture of a pumpkin by Yayoi Kasuma

Here a Yayoi Kasuma Pumpkin sits beneath the gaze of some Grecian nymphs while the portrait of Henry the Eighth has a great view of a piece involving the carcass of a horse!

At first I didn’t realise what was different about the galleries, but once I did I decided it’s something more museums should emulate – even if the old lady admiring portraits of gentry and their dogs did get a bit of a shock of the naked statue of transgender activist Buck Angel!

19. Rub a Pig for Luck

A Day Out is the name of the statues of four pigs toward the west end of Rundle Mall shopping precinct. Each of the four pigs has a name – Horatio, Oliver, Truffles and Augusta – and rubbing either their nose, neck or their back (look for the shiniest place on each pig) is supposed to bring good luck.

Checking out the Rundle Mall pigs is one of the unusual things to do in Adelaide.

While you’re in the area also check out Rundle Mall’s other super-sculpture the Malls Balls – two giant shiny spheres balanced on top of each other.

Apparently, if you come to the mall about 2 am on a weekend, you’ll see at least one person trying to climb them! This is not suggested on the Differentville tour of unusual things to do in Adelaide!

20. Wave at The Beatles

The first time I saw it, I couldn’t work out why I could see a window with a picture of a young Paul McCartney in it as I walked down Adelaide’s King William Street.

But then I took a free walking tour of Adelaide by Ryan from Tours Around Adelaide (who don’t seem to be up an running right now) and he explained EVERYTHING.

Check out this image of the Beatles in Adelaide Town Hall. It's one of unusual things that you'll find in Adelaide. Click the post to find out why it's there.

The story goes that after two local radio stations banded together and got a petition of over 80,000 signatures, in June 1964 The Beatles came to Adelaide and made a personal appearance on the balcony of the Town Hall.

At that time, not many big stars went to the city so this was huge news – 300,000 people turned out to see them – the pictures and stories of the day itself are incredible and it must have been amazing to actually be part of it.

In 2016 the image was added to the Town Hall to commemorate this big day in Adelaide history.

21. Drink Fizzy Red Wine

Sparkling Shiraz is something I’d never had before I came to Australia – but it’s sooooo good.

It’s served cold and traditionally drunk here at Christmas – I don’t need the arrival of Santa to have a glass though, any excuse will do. However, the only place I’ve seen it actually served in pubs is Adelaide. I had a glass at the Exeter Hotel on Rundle Street.

Warning – it’s rather moreish and seems to go to your head quick fast – don’t go overboard with this stuff. I might have learned this the hard way in the past – but that’s a story for another day.

Don’t forget, Adelaide is right in the middle of two of Australia’s major wine regions – the Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale. We took an interesting wine tasting trip with Trailhopper hop-on, hop-off bus on our trip to McLaren Vale. See our review of the day here. 

22. Visit the Chocolate Factory

Haigh’s Chocolate stores can be found all over Australia selling fabulous like treats like their dark chocolate frogs – but one of the unique things to do in Adelaide is visiting the factory where the magic is created.

Adelaidebased chocolate company Haighs are famous for their chocolate frogs - eating one is something you must do in Adelaide

It’s a short drive outside the city and you will need to make a booking.

23. Count the Polites Signs

These are everywhere and after seeing about the 15th one I had to find out why – it turns out Polites is a local real estate company and if they own a building they like to make it with their sign.

I just thought lots of nice people lived there!

One of hte unusual things to see in Adelaide are the Polites signs the appear eveywhere. Here's why.

Yes, I know, it’s not the most exciting thing to do in Adelaide, but the signs are everywhere and at some point you will wonder why – so here’s the answer. 

24. Hit the Beach

There are two beaches within a short distance of Adelaide CBD, Glenelg which is reachable by tram and Henley Beach which is a short bus ride away and they both offer spectacular sunsets directly over the ocean.

Henley Beach is very close to Adelaide and a great day out from the city

We chose to visit Henley Beach and sat on the balcony of the RSL for an uninterrupted view. It’s a gorgeous spot and the oysters from the menu were pretty good. The Cobb salad not so much.

The easiest way to reach Henley Beach is via the X30 bus which takes about 40 minutes from the centre of town. You can buy your ticket directly from the driver, but don’t forget to then punch it on the machine a bit further down the bus.

25. Try Olive Oil from the Cemetery

The West Terrace Cemetery in Adelaide is a tourist attraction in its own right with both day and night tours offered to explore the site and its history. However, once a year they produce something quite special – an olive oil pressed from the small grove of olive trees in the grounds.

You have to be quick, only a few hundred bottles are produced and they normally come into Jagger Fine Foods in the Central Market around June time.

26. Take a Quick Trip to Japan

In Peppermint Park off South Terrace is a little piece of Japan – Himeji to be precise.

The Himeji Japanese Garden is designed as a place of piece in the middle of the city.

You’ll find a stone Zen garden designed to evoke images of waves, a small pond that teams with fish and other aquatic life, bonsai, willow tress, clacking bamboo and more.

27. Book the Jimmy C Street Art Tour

Considering how much great street art there is in Adelaide, it’s surprised me that there isn’t a tour (that I could find anyway) until now.

Flamboyance Tours offer a tour of the work of London born – but Adelaide-raised artist Jimmy C. His work is distinctive because he tends of work in daubs of paint rather than straight lines. 

mural of a face by artist jimmy c

Sadly, if  there was a moral to my last (super short) trip to Adelaide it was don’t make Monday your only day in the city – the choice of things to eat, see and do is very limited as a lot of things simply aren’t open – and, the Jimmy C tour was one of those things… but, I hear glowing recommendations from my friend Paula over at Australia Your Way who did take it.

They also offer that unique food tour I mentioned above and a self guided audio tour to Queer Adelaide History. See more at Flamboyance Tours.

28. Visit Blakebys

This old-fashioned sweet shop in James Place in Adelaide CBD has the most amazing window displays and outside decor – not to mention all the sweets you remember from your childhood tucked away inside.

Blackets has to be one of the most unsuual things to see in Adelaide. The window displays of this old fashioned sweet shop are amazing

And yes, I do admit there’s a lot of sweet stuff in this list of unusual things to do in Adelaide.

That might be because I was there over Easter so a) I had chocolate on my mind and b) half the cool bars I wanted to tell you about were closed on the days I needed to visit them so chocolate took the place of booze!

If you are in a drinky frame of mind though there…

29. Hit Up a Quirky Bar

Had I not been there in the middle of Easter, these fun, quirky bars in Adelaide would have been where I’d have gone.

Have a look at Biblioteque, a bar and book exchange, The Colonist pub is Norwood with its quirky interior and Peter Rabbit cafe and bar which I believe has actual bunnies (three times I went to find out but it was never open!).

I’m also fascinated by Bethnal Green – a newer bar inspired by London’s Bethnal Green Tube Station. Why that one? Anyhoo, I know what’s first on my list to visit on my next trip to Adelaide. 

Also, look for The Sorcerers Bar with their wizard themed cocktails, Butterbeer shots – and lots of fire and smoke. Hmm, now we’re torn – tube stations or Wizards! Agggh. 

Cry Baby is another fun dive bar…. the gents toilet is decorated in a rather erm, interesting fashion that is most definitely not suitable for work!

30. Climb a Tree

Treeclimb Adelaide is located in South Adelaide and is the perfect way to hit new heights come the weekend. They have over 70 obstacles to climb up, clamber over and zipline down from.


Pick from the 2 hour Grand Course which is divided into sections depending how brave you’re feeling or there’s a smaller, simple one for littler kids. See more at treeclimb.com.au

Where to Stay in Adelaide

On our last trip, we found an amazing’ slightly unusual hotel right in the middle of everything. It’s called the Miller Apartment and one of the reasons we loved it was that it was split level – the downstairs had its own kitchen and living room – and then, up a rather fabulous (albeit a bit steep) spiral staircase is a compact bedroom.

Miller Apartment is on Hindley Street which is Adelaide’s party strip – however, this particular room is right at the back so you would be cushioned a bit from the noise. We were there on a Monday night and didn’t hear a peep from anyone. Click here to check out more pictures and room rates (not all the rooms have staircases).

Prefer to stay in an AirBNB?

The first time we went to Adelaide, we went for a week so it was cheaper to stay in an AirBnb.

We picked one on York Street at the other end of town which was also fantastic and would be great if you were looking for something a bit bigger – as it sleeps up to six.

On the site it’s called the York Luxury 2-Bedroom + Free Car Park in the CBD (snappy title, but it describes it well). It’s right in the middle of everything and has a cute balcony that we sat on for lunch more than once. 

So there you have it, my list of 20 fun, quirky and most unusual things to do in Adelaide. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

Want to Explore Some More?

As part of our trip, we also took a few day trips outside from Adelaide – we swam with some tuna, saw a giant burger and a Big Rocking Horse, and visited a tiny German-style town. If you want to know more, read our post on 12 Easy Day Trips from Adelaide.  

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission if you use them to book. This does not cost you any extra.

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Adelaide in South Australia is known as the city of churches - but there's far more fun things to do see there than that. We found amazing street art, dolphins and beautiful sunsets - check out this guide to 17 quirky things not to miss in Adelaide. #adelaide #thingstodoinadelaide #southaustralia

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission if you use them to book. This does not cost you any extra.

4 thoughts on “30 Unusual & Fun Things To Do In Adelaide”

  1. Cheese gelato?!?!?! That’s GROSS!! Poor gelato, I want to cry for it haha. I love ice cream but HATE cheese!! Another awesomely interesting list! Well done Helen!

    Reply
  2. As an adelaidean who has been away for a while, there were things on here I did not know about!! Good starting list for visitors, and I will be checking out furbiea this trip! 😉

    Reply

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