Your guide to winter in Adelaide

Cocktails on the roof and late indulgent dinners for the city slickers, botanical gardens and world-class hiking for the nature-lovers, museums, theatres and art galleries for the intellectual; Adelaide is the epitome of a perfect SA Winter Escape.

Here for the complimentary Penfolds? Scroll to the bottom of this post to discover our Winter Wine Offers.

Adelaide in winter

What better place to visit in winter than the charming and welcoming Adelaide. With cooler but often dry conditions, winter is an ideal time to indulge in some wonderful days out appreciating the stunning architecture, stylish laneway bars and restaurants as well as the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Wrap up warm, head to the city and let the city entertain you this winter. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning your itinerary, so here are few suggestions that will provide you with a fun filled SA Winter Escape. We promise, love your stay in beautiful Adelaide, whatever time of year it happens to be.

1. Do some shopping at Rundle Mall

A visit to Rundle Mall will tick all the boxes for you when it comes to shopping, entertainment and a diverse array of dining experiences. With global brands plus local favourites on offer, an afternoon of shopping followed by a drink and sumptuous meal in one of the cosy restaurants will make your Adelaide winters day complete. For the more local experience, away from your typical high-street brands, head to Rundle Street where international food and independent shops are plenty!

Pic credit: Aaron Citti

2. Watch a movie

Whilst watching a movie might appear a little mainstream for a rainy day, Mercury Cinema takes care of making sure that your experience is unique. With screening of classics and cult films as well as more recent cinema, Mercury Cinema is a cinema with a twist. It’s a not-for-profit, run by the Media Resource Centre. As they state on their website: ‘Yes, this means that you won’t be paying $11 for a large pop-corn or $6 for a cup of coke’. Grab a glass of wine or a Campari and fresh orange and head into their wonderful old theatre for a movie of your choice. It’s steeped in character and beautifully unique. For another interesting movie theatre choice, opt for Regal Theatre in Burnside where an old-fashioned theatre feel makes all the difference to your movie.

Pic credit: MOD./ UniSA

3. Visit a Adelaide museum

Adelaide boasts many fascinating museums all within an easy walking distance, but if history is your thing then pop along to Adelaide Gaol. Step back in time to see how life really was within the walls, and hear some fascinating stories of events. For a more modern touch, visit the Science Museums. MOD based at the University of South Australia has a futuristic theme show casing how research changes the understanding of our world for the future. For teenagers and adults alike its an inspiring place to spend some time in.

Pic credit: Adam Bruzzone

4. Plan a cultural day at the art galleries

There are numerous art galleries to be explored in Adelaide, but the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) founded in 1881, has over 38,000 works of art to feast your eyes on. Entrance is free and it also has the added bonus of a lovely cafe on site. Make sure you check the website before you visit and check out the current exhibitions. Everyone should visit The Tandanya -National Aboriginal Cultural Institute during a trip. It’s a fascinating experience whereby you will can gain an insight into Aboriginal and Torres Islander arts, history and culture.

Pic credit: Duy Dash

5. Grab a culinary treat in the laneways 

This isn’t Melbourne, but Adelaide does have some quaint laneways which are a treat to wander through. In recent years so many more craft beer pubs, friendly eateries and cosy wine bars have opened up. So while away an Adelaide winter’s evening enjoying some tasty beverages and delicious food in a warm and cosy atmosphere. Grab a jacket, wander down to La Moka on Peel Street, sit outside and order a warming Shiraz. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to Europe!

Pic credit: Adam Bruzzone

6. Wander through the Botanic Gardens

There is so much to see whatever time of year you visit Adelaide’s beautiful Botanic Gardens. Find yourself wandering through the woodland gardens at Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, listening to the gentle flow of the waterfalls and streams while admiring the numerous different species of trees from all over the world. Climb up through Fern Gully among vines and shrubs that in turn create a wonderful rainforest that can be enjoyed in winter and summer alike. Discover and admire the amazing pieces of sculpture and artwork that are dotted around these beautiful gardens and take time to appreciate the nature and beauty of your surroundings for a few hours. For something a little closer, Adelaide Botanic Gardens situated right inside the city is ideal for those staying in the CBD or in North Adelaide. Here, you can grab a coffee from the lakeside cafe and wander through greenhouses, across lawns and along tree lined paths.

Pic credit: SATC

7. Watch the whales

A little further afield from the centre of Adelaide but none the less so worth the trip, is the chance to whale watch. Winter is the perfect time to see the amazing Right Whales off the shores of beautiful South Australia as they gather here for the annual migration around Mid-May. Head down to Victor Harbor and situate yourself upon The Bluff for your best chances of a sighting. You can also book onto a boat tour to experience a memorable adventure. Alternatively, whales have also been spotted by walkers on the Hallett Cove Board Walk, only a short ride outside of Adelaide.

Pic credit: SATC

8. Enjoy Winter Reds Festival

Make sure that you save the last weekend of July to visit the Winter Reds event. This would be a perfect weekend for your SA Winter Escape! More than 30 wineries in the Adelaide Hills region all come together to create a weekend of winter themed food and wine events. Find yourself sitting around a roaring fire with friends enjoying a warm hearty winter meal with a delicious glass of wine, listening to soothing acoustic music. What more could you ask for on a cool winter Adelaide evening?

9. Take the tram to the beach

A trip to Glenelg, Adelaide’s favourite city beach is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon, even in winter. Explore the bustling shops and sidewalk cafes with their buzzing vibe and great atmosphere. If you happen to be there in July then have a go at ice skating under a clear roofed marquee by the sea. Stroll along the jetty and enjoy the stunning sunset over the ocean before choosing a cosy wine bar to indulge in an early evening drink or two.

The SA Weekend Escapes Winter Wine Offer

Don’t just book any escape to Adelaide this winter. Book one that comes with a free bottle of Penfolds wine!

Four diverse hotels and apartments in Adelaide – for all budgets and tastes – are offering complimentary bottles of Penfolds for bookings made direct on their websites this winter.

Book a room direct with the Adelaide Royal Coach, Quality Apartments Adelaide Central, Adelaide Meridien Hotel & Apartments or the new KT Apartments this winter, and you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of Penfolds wine to enjoy during your stay. Find out more about this Winter Wine Offer here!

Your Ultimate Guide to Adelaide 

Most of us have managed to holiday here in SA this year. But with winter coming, it’s time to book your next getaway; something to look forward to! Looking for more inspiration regarding things to do, places to see and restaurants to visit? Discover more in our Ultimate Guide to Adelaide, or navigate our website to discover more regions perfect for an SA Winter Escape!