While there’s no shortage of things to do in New Zealand, there's something special about heading across the ditch for the weekend.
While getaways to Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are often go-to’s, give Adelaide 48 hours of your time and we guarantee it will win you over. With indulgent eats, artistic feats and some of the best wine culture in the world, it's a playground of fun. Passports at the ready.
Lucky for us, jumping across the pond to Adelaide has never been easier thanks to Air New Zealand’s new non-stop flights to Australia’s best boutique city four times a week.
Here are the best things to do on your next trip to Adelaide but be warned: you're going to be busy.
Where To Stay
To get the best bang for your buck with a stellar location, you’ll want to stay at Ibis. Located in Rundle Mall, the main shopping strip, the hotel offers premium sleek rooms, with killer views and is only a short walk from anything worth doing, trying and buying in the CBD.
3pm: Touch down, check in and freshen up, because your weekend adventure awaits. Head to Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door for a taste of 200 years of winemaking. The Ultimate Penfolds Experience tour will see you immersed in the history of the vineyard, taking you through the original working winery and exclusive underground cellar.
5pm: Next head to Vardone Ave and grab a bite at East End Cellars. Both a wine shop and eatery, the menu features tapas, and all the charcuterie you could ask for. A must is the lamb kofte. Packed with textures of nuts and chickpea with bursts of mint and berry flavourings, it's too good to share.
7pm: An establishment bursting with heritage and personality, The Exeter Hotel is unlike anything else in town. Opening in 1851, the space has since transformed into a pub that promises ‘no bullshit’. The atmosphere resembles a house party, with something to discover in every room. From quiet drinks, to live music and a boogie there’s a space for every mood.
8pm: Venture underground to Hellbound, a wine bar tucked away under Rundell Street. Welcoming and unpretentious, here you’ll learn about Adelaide’s ’smashable wine’ culture which can be likened to craft beer. Under the glow of neon hues, be adventurous and let the expert somelier choose your next drop and you just might find your new favourite wine.
10am: With so much to do and such little time, make a booking with Small Batch Wine Tours for a personalised tour of McLaren Vale of boutique wineries. Make your way through tastings at Beresford Tasting Pavilion and the cutting edge Mitolo Restaurant before a dining experience unlike any other. It’s no wonder The Salopian Inn won the best restaurant in South Australia by the Good Food Awards. They grow their own produce and have a farm to table menu. Here you’ll find the spot is packed with visitors and locals alike. Unpretentious and inviting, the seasonal menu reads like an edible story. From roast farm chicken to a melt-in-your-mouth lamb shoulder dish, it’s unforgettable.
1pm: To call this next stop simply a wine tasting would be a severe understatement. The d’Arenberg cellar door is a masterpiece that belongs on your Adelaide bucket list. Home to The Cube, a quirky tower containing the weird and wonderful—it's an immersive sensory maze that invites you to experience first-hand their process of winemaking. With an area dedicated to each of the five senses, you'll sniff your way through ingredients, admire projected stories and follow a mirror maze up to the top for a tasting. With an Instagram opportunity around every corner, you're going to want to have your cameras ready for this one.
2pm:. Next visit Inkwell for a look into sustainable and organic wine growing. A hip, modern winery and boutique accommodation all in one, here you'll get learn about sustainable winemaking. Before heading back to the CBD, do yourself a favour and pay a visit to Maslin Beach. With sprawling blue open-ocean waters surrounded by the cliff face, it's breathtaking.
6pm: What better way to soak up a boozy afternoon than dining at famed restaurant Peel Street? Often a local’s answer for the best in town, Peel Street offers formal flavours in an informal environment and boasts an atmosphere of satisfied diners indulging in every bite. Chef Jordan Theodoros has crafted an offering inspired by Greek, Mediterranean and South East Asian cuisine which results in a scrumptious take on fusion fare.
8pm: Tucked away from Rundell Mall you’ll find The Barlow Room, an eclectic hidden basement bar bursting at the seams with the local culture. Only open on Friday and Saturdays, behind the fake wall entrance you’ll find a space decked out with antique furniture, local art, vintage rugs and a sprawling bar. Adding a little extra magic to your night out, it also serves as a hub for local talent who often show off their musical talents on the community piano.
10am: Weave between the Adelaide Hills, a world-renowned wine region for its high-quality cool-climate range. Just under an hour from the CBD, you'll feel a million miles away as you switch into cruise control. Don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for koala and kangaroos amongst the leafy lanes.
10.30am: The boutique Unico Zelo & Applewood Distillery encapsulates the very best of Adelaide’s innovative beverage culture. Embracing Australian native ingredients in all their creations, their distillery bar is simple and understated letting their speciality range of gins and wine speak for themselves. Our top pick is the river mint gin, blended with bush tomato, lemon aspen, roasted wattleseed, kakadu plum, saltbush, and juniper, it’s unexpectedly refreshing.
11.30am: Because one can never have enough cheese, pop into Woodside Cheese Wrights for a tasting. Known for embracing new ideas, their range of cow and goat milk cheeses are expertly handcrafted. Their award-winning Monet cheese is blended with pressed flowers throughout, resulting in a creamy taste with a floral twang. Heaven.
12pm: . Recently opened Lot 100 has fast become a local go-to for fine fare and brews. A collaboration between The Hills Cider Company, Ashton Valley Fresh, Mismatch Brewing Co, Adelaide Hills Distillery & Vinteloper, there’s a little something for everyone. Feast on rustic farm-to-table Italian cuisine before soaking up the sun on the front lawn with a cider in hand.
3pm: So you’re back in the CBD, and your time in the heart of South Australia is drawing to a close. If you’re not quite ready to leave it all behind (who could blame you) loosen those belts and set your sights on Shobosho, a restaurant specialising in the ancient traditions of Japanese yakitori. While not an obvious choice, you won’t regret choosing the game-changing roasted leek doused in smoke milk and wakame.
Image Credit: d'Arenberg, Jaiden Bhaga, South Australian Tourism Commission, Shobosho
Editor's Note: The author of this article was hosted by the South Australian Tourism Commission and Air New Zealand in Adelaide.