With rolling green fields as far as the eye can see and the dazzling reflection of the river Torrens set against the city, Adelaide is known for its picturesque beauty and welcoming atmosphere. It’s beautiful all year round but if you’re planning a trip to Adelaide in the summer months, you’re really in for a special treat. Dubbed the ‘Festival City’, there are more than enough events, shows and programs on during the season to keep you entertained. From the Adelaide Fringe to the Adelaide Festival, the city truly comes alive during summer, and the best way to experience the beauty of South Australia is in an Ace rental car. Here you’ll find our top picks on where to go and what to do:
- Adelaide Hills
- McLaren Vale Wine Region
- Glenelg Beach
- Fleurieu Peninsula
- Mount Lofty Botanic Garden
- Cleland Wildlife Park
Start your summer journey just a short drive out of the city with a scenic escape to Adelaide Hills. Picturesque and peaceful, the Hills are shrouded in greenery providing spectacular views for the entirety of your visit. A visit to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is first on the list, with many flowers in bloom during this time of year. Featuring 97 hectares of garden to explore, you’ll see everything from themed gullies to wildlife wading through the ponds and lakes - bring your camera along to capture some stunning shots! For unimpeded views from up high, wander over to the Mount Lofty Summit and take in the surreal views from 710 metres above sea level. From here, you can make your way over to another highlight of the area - the Cleland Wildlife Park. An exciting and fun day out for both kids and adults, visit here to see native wildlife like koalas, dingoes, and kangaroos in their natural habitat. With feeding shows throughout the day, animal encounters and guided tours, an outing here guarantees an immersive experience connecting with flora and fauna.
McLaren Vale Wine Region
After exploring botanical gardens and wildlife up close, a road trip through the McLaren Vale Wine Region is another must during your summer in Adelaide. Whether you’re looking to sample the region’s best Shiraz, prefer the casual setting of pizza and a beer or are just after a family-friendly escape, the region caters to all.
For wine enthusiasts, McLaren Vale boasts over 160 vineyards where you can experience everything from tastings to tours. Indulge in a curated tasting with your choice of wines or spirits at Angove, check out the brewery in action at Goodison, or settle in for a meal with the family at Down The Rabbit Hole Restaurant. Remember to assign a designated driver to ensure a safe drive home. Looking to explore the area on foot? There are plenty of hiking trails and walking tracks suitable for all abilities in McLaren Vale from the coast to the vines. Lastly, experience ‘The Vale’ like a local with a visit to the Willunga Quarry Market. From jewellery to plants, discover unique gifts and one-of-a-kind creations here - and it’s the perfect opportunity to bring home a souvenir.
- The Beachouse
- Bottega Gelateria
- The Strand Cafe Restaurant
What’s a summer holiday without a trip to the beach? Only a short drive out of Adelaide, Glenelg is one of the most popular beaches in South Australia and is widely known for its family atmosphere and entertainment attractions. Park your rental car with everything you need for a day out in the summer sun - remember to bring sunscreen- and park on the foreshore for easy access to the beach, shops, and dining. Kids will be thoroughly entertained at The Beachouse amusement park, with dodgem cars, mini golf and arcade games to fill their day between making sandcastles and swimming along the shore while adults take time to relax and enjoy the glorious Adelaide atmosphere. Cool off with a stroll along the jetty as the sun sets with ice cream from Bottega Gelateria in hand, and end the night with pizzas, pasta and dinner favourites at The Strand Cafe Restaurant.
- Victor Harbour
Your summer journey in South Australia isn’t over yet! Take a road trip along the Fleurieu Peninsula to discover even more of the state’s history and coastal charm. Make your way down to Victor Harbour, where you can go whale-watching and admire the beauty of the coastline on a boat tour, and even take a horse-drawn tram over to the Granite Island Recreation Park for a unique adventure amongst granite formations. In the port town of Goolwa, you can cruise the country’s longest river and drive over to Hindmarsh Island. Finally, in Strathalbyn, discover curiosities and collections at antique stores while you admire beautiful churches and historic buildings in this charming town.
A world of adventure awaits in Adelaide! Pack your sunglasses, sunscreen and hats and prepare to explore the best of the region under the summer sun.