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Best Cheap/Free Things to do in Adelaide

Planning a South Australia road trip and looking for cheap or free things to do in Adelaide? We’ve got you covered! In this helpful guide, we’ll share everything you need to know to plan a fantastic campervan holiday in Adelaide without breaking the budget.

Everything you need to know before your next Adelaide adventure

There’s no better way to see the many great Adelaide attractions than by motorhome or campervan hire. Take your time, discover all the hidden gems, and enjoy the comfort and freedom of travelling in a home away from home. Mighty’s Adelaide branch is conveniently located in Brooklyn Park. That means you can pick up your camper and start exploring within minutes.

What to pack for Adelaide

Adelaide weather is generally warm year-round. That means light clothing in summer and a few layers in winter are usually enough. Of course, you’ll also want beach, swimming, and walking gear. Bring along hats and sun protection too. Don’t forget to pack a good appetite so you can sample all the great food on offer during your South Australia escape.

The weather in Adelaide

Unlike some regions of Australia that have a wet and dry season, Adelaide experiences four seasons and has a Mediterranean climate.

  • Summer is hot and dry with a maximum temperature of 29°C. Adelaide also enjoys the lowest humidity of any city in Australia.
  • Winter has more rainfall but doesn’t get too cold with an average of 15°C. June is the wettest month, averaging around 80 mm of rain.
  • Autumn temperatures sit in the range of around 12-22°C with very little rainfall. The leafy landscape looks beautiful, especially in Adelaide Hills, during this season.
  • Spring temperatures are around 11-22°C, being cooler in the evening. The apple blossom trees and botanic gardens are simply stunning in this season.

The best cheap and free things to do in Adelaide

Let’s have a look at what to do in Adelaide without breaking the budget.

Visit the National Railway Museum

There’s loads to see and do for minimal cost at the National Railway Museumhttp://nrm.org.au/ in Port Adelaide. Take a ride on a steam train, learn how a steam engine works, see the Bob the Railway Dog collar and display. You can also check out the museum’s impressive collection and pick up a souvenir at the gift shop. For something really different, book into one of the spooky Ghost Tours.

Check out Adelaide’s historical trails

Take a self-guided tour along one of Adelaide’s historic trails. You won’t need to spend a cent on this activity, yet it’s both fascinating and fun. Here are a couple of trails worth checking out:

  • Hercules to Heaven Walking Trail (approx. 2 hours): See some of the important statues in Park Land. You’ll also pass by several religious buildings such as St Peter’s Cathedral and Ebenezer Chapel.
  • High Street Historic Trail (approx. 2 hours): Explore the pubs, churches, shops and more of North Adelaide’s earliest main street.

Have a picnic at Adelaide Botanic Garden

One of the great free things to do in Adelaide is to visit the botanic garden. Spend a few hours wandering through the 50 hectares of stunning gardens and architecture. There are lots of gardens to enjoy, from cacti and succulents to a Garden of Health. Pack a picnic and have lunch under a shady tree.

Learn something new at Santos Museum of Economic Botany 

While you’re at the botanic gardens, visit the Santos Museum of Economic Botany. This unusual museum is the last of its kind in the world. It showcases countless plants and their various uses with a focus on minimising waste. Much of the permanent collection dates back over 130 years. If you have an interest in botany, this museum is a must-see while you’re in Adelaide.

Adelaide Botanic Garden_SATC Media Gallery.jpegImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Check out the Art Gallery of South Australia

With a collection of around 45,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) takes a few hours to get around! The museum’s permanent collection is especially renowned for its collection of Australian art. It also displays a number of fantastic visiting exhibitions each year. Entry is free and the museum is open from 10 am – 5 pm daily.

Explore the Japanese Garden 

In the mood for some quiet contemplation? Adelaide’s Himeji Garden is the perfect place. The park is located in Park 18, one of the southern parts of the Adelaide Park Lands. This traditionally styled Japanese garden was a gift from Adelaide's sister city, Himeji, in Japan. As you walk into the gardens you’ll instantly feel relaxed and peaceful. Enjoy sitting by the water features and watching as the goldfish and turtles swim past.

Himeji Garden_SATC Media Gallery.jpegImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Check out the Ship Graveyard 

Keen on a kayaking trip that offers views unlike any other? The abandoned wrecks of around 40 vessels lie partially hidden by mangroves in the waters of Adelaide’s Port River. The collection includes large and small sailing, steam and motor vessels, barges, pontoons, and dredges. Port Adelaide’s ship graveyards are made up of five sites including Garden Island, Jervois Basin, Mutton Cove, Broad Creek, and the Angas Inlet. The Garden Island trail is the largest, with 25 vessels laying in shallow waters that can be explored by kayakers and canoeists.

See the sights on a paddle boat 

Get a different perspective of Adelaide as you wind your way down the Torrens River on a pedal-powered boat. Captain Jolley’s paddle boats are great fun for friends, couples, and families. Enjoy the local scenery, get active, and do something just a little different!

Visit APY Gallery 

The APY Gallery on George Street in Thebarton is a fantastic place to see contemporary Indigenous artworks. From evocative paintings to intricate sculptures, each piece is created by Indigenous artists of Australia.

Wander the Adelaide Central Market 

With more than 70 stalls, the Adelaide Central Market is one of the largest undercover fresh produce markets in the Southern Hemisphere. Feast your eyes (and stomach!) on the array of fresh produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, and bakery goods. The market is located in the heart of Adelaide on Gouger Street and is open Tuesday – Saturday.

Adelaide Central Market_SATC Media Gallery.jpegImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Explore the historic State Library

Attention bibliophiles and library lovers! Adelaide’s State Library is the place to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of books. The library has some excellent exhibitions and events. A great way to see the best of what’s on offer is to take a free ‘Make Yourself at Home’ tour. Learn more about South Australia’s heritage and the history of the beautiful library buildings.

Take a dip at Henley Beach

More than just sand and surf, Henley Beach is an all-in-one destination encompassing fun, food, and fantastic views. Just 15 minutes from the CBD, this awesome beach is surrounded by restaurants, great shopping, and a coastal walk. It’s the perfect spot to spend a day relaxing and enjoying the holiday vibe. Start off with a swim and a spot of sunbathing. Take in some shopping, then head to one of the great bars and restaurants nearby for drinks and dinner.

Henley Beach_SATC Media Gallery.pngImage Source: SATC Media Gallery

Where to stay in Adelaide

Ready to make the most of your Adelaide holiday? Here are some of the city’s great holiday parks that offer big bang for your buck.

West Beach Parks 

BIG4’s West Beach Parks has everything needed for a fantastic Adelaide holiday. This great holiday park sits on a prime beachfront location with direct access to the beach. For the kids, there’s a great swimming pool, Splash Zone, water play area, go-karts and more. If you’re keen to keep your fitness up, make use of the gym, tennis court, and sports equipment.

Marion Holiday Park 

With a fantastic 45-metre lagoon pool, indoor pool and water park, an outdoor bar and cinema, the Marion Holiday Park is geared up for family fun. There’s even an indoor tennis court, games room, and gym too. Located in Sturt Rd, Bedford Park, the park is nice and handy to beaches, McLaren Vale, and the excellent Adelaide Hills wineries.

Adelaide Caravan Park

Set in beautiful park-like grounds, the Adelaide Caravan Park is a great spot to base yourself to explore the city. The park is conveniently located close to many excellent Adelaide attractions. You can even walk to Adelaide Zoo!

Feeling inspired to visit Adelaide?

Whether you’re travelling as a family, a couple, or with a group of friends, Adelaide makes for an awesome road trip destination. And best of all, it’s a great city to explore without overstretching the budget.

When you travel by motorhome or camper, you can save even more. Cook your own meals in your onboard kitchen. Stay in great accommodation without paying top dollar. And enjoy sightseeing in a home away from home. Sounds good? Take the first step and book your Mighty camper today.