17 Unusual Things To Do In Adelaide

Adelaide is known as the city of churches – but there aren’t any of those in this article. There are however 17 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 $69 for a boat for two for an hour.

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

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 post below for exactly why we loved it so much.

READ MORE: What happened when we hired a BBQ Buoy 

2. Find a Furby

Artist Laura Lamington has been adding paste up pictures of the tiny talking creatures all over Adelaide since late last year 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 – and, if you’re anywhere near the junction of Pulteney Street and Rundle Street, look up!

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

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.

3. Visit Adelaide Gaol

I wasn’t sure about this originally, 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.

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.

5. 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.

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.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.

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!

6. 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!

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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-dos 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.

11. 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 the free walking tour organised by Ryan at Tours Around Adelaide 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.

12. 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.

READ MORE: Like Wine? Here’s how we took an easy winetasting day trip to McLaren Vale from Adelaide ♥

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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 off 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.

16. 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.

17. 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 have a look at Biblioteque, a bar and book exchange, Happy Sally, the 50s and 60s themed bar on Pirie Street, 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!)

So there you have it, my list of the 17 fun, quirky and most unusual things to do in Adelaide. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

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

3 Comments

  1. Kylie

    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. Carly

    I love that Steve Irwin mural – it really captures his positive and energetic spirit! What a great way to remember a great man!

    Reply
  3. Lindsey

    There are so many things I would love to do! The BBQ buoy, dolphin and ghost hunting, fizzy wine, love it!

    Reply

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