10 Adelaide delights

Australia’s largest business event and incentive showcase, Dreamtime, will be held in Adelaide from December 6-9, highlighting the experiences and destinations on offer in and around the city for groups.

Adelaide is seeing the expansion of its convention centre and 14,000 seats added to its famous Oval cricket ground, a centrepiece of the city, which has seen a revamp of its Riverside district to include venues and a medical science research institute. 

Thanks to efforts by the convention bureau to raise the profile of the city, organisers now have ample choices for incentive gatherings or post-conference excursions – from visits to one of South Australia’s legendary vineyards to signing up for adrenaline-pumping activities such as shark-cage diving. 

1. Dinner and drinks at Leigh Street

Adelaide has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Australia. The city is currently undergoing a metamorphosis of its intimate city laneways with all sorts of tasty pop-ups, and Leigh Street is a tantalising example. 

Smack bang in the middle of the city, Leigh Street adds a mini-world of flavours and vibrancy with its various eateries. Try a courtyard dinner at Cos, where sharing dishes include Tasmanian scallops and bacon & liver pate. Then head a few doors down to Udaberri, which serves up an impressive range of small batch gins including Monkey 47, Whitley Neill and Gin Mare. 

2. Tour and taste at Adelaide Oval

Experiencing the new-look Adelaide Oval is a must, and no matter what event is on, dining at the Hill of Grace restaurant is highly recommended. A showcase for South Australia’s best seasonal produce – all paired with premium local wines – the Hill of Grace is the rare combination of world-class dining in a globally renowned sports stadium. 

The Adelaide Oval tour goes behind the scenes of this iconic ground to showcase landmarks such as the heritage scoreboard and century-old Moreton Bay fig trees. Corporate tours are customisedto requirements and can accommodate up to 300 guests. 

3. Head south to McLaren Vale

You can’t go very far in South Australia without passing a winery, with the north home to the Barossa and Clare Valleys and the Adelaide Hills and Mount Lofty Ranges to the east. But to the south towards the Fleurieu Peninsula groups can discover the 88 cellar doors in McLaren Vale, which is also home to spectacular beaches.

Just 10 minutes away from McLaren Vale is Port Willunga, where The Star of Greece restaurant, named after a shipwreck from the late 1800s that can still be seen at low tide, is found. A Mediterranean-inspired menu is complemented by cliff-top views of the sparkling gulf. The restaurant seats up to 80 diners or 100 for standing cocktails.

4. Pedal along the Torrens 

One of the best ways to explore the city is on two wheels, an activity that won’t cost you a cent as Adelaide’s free bike hire is available to everyone, every day. Head out and find one of the 20-plus bike hire locations dotted around the city, and make an unforgettable day of it. 

Start your ride at the Royal Adelaide Zoo to pick up a bike and take off on a panoramic ride through the Botanic Gardens and along the idyllic River Torrens. 

Enjoy Adelaide Oval from a two-wheel perspective, as you glide past the iconic venue. Loop back onto North Terrace, then pause to admire the views over Parliament House, South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and the University of Adelaide. 

5. Enjoy a festival experience

South Australia is known as the Festival State, and Adelaide’s Festival Centre embodies this as a year-round haven of culture. Spring and summer see the outdoor festival season gathering pace with the fun reaching a height during “Mad March”. One homegrown fixture is the Royal Croquet Club – a pop-up venue seen during the city’s Fringe Festival and at events in other cities.
Visitors adore the festivals for the variety of street performers, live music, good food, bars big and small, gardens and off-beat entertainment. 

6. Explore the Adelaide Hills 

With rolling hills, lush vineyards and charming towns, the Adelaide Hills is famous for its enchanting scenery and welcoming country feel. 

Begin an excursion near Crafers at Cleland Wildlife Park, where groups can see koalas and kangaroos. 

Then zip up the freeway to Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest German settlement, where groups can sample cheese, beer and chocolate and enjoy craft shops.

Family-owned jam and sauce producer Beerenberg is also worth a visit, as is the National Motor Museum at Birdwood and Melba’s Chocolate Factory at Woodside. 

7. Sunset at Mount Lofty House 

With beautiful vistas of Piccadilly Valley, 19th century manor Mount Lofty House is the perfect place to enjoy dinner while watching the sun disappear behind the hills. Just 15 minutes from the city on the fringe of the Adelaide Hills, Piccadilly Restaurant offers five and seven-course degustation menus for a gourmet blowout.

With 14 different function venues, including the Coach House and Terrace and Heritage Verandah, Mount Lofty can host groups of all sizes, from intimate get-togethers of eight in its Drawing Room to 300 in its Garden Marquee. 

8. Shark-cage diving at Port Lincoln 

Some of the shark scenes for the movie Jaws were filmed near Port Lincoln, which is eight hours by road from Adelaide. Adrenalin seekers can view Great White sharks in their natural habitat from this picturesque spot. The day-long activity is the only place in Australia where such charters can accommodate groups. 

9. Witness Adelaide’s startup culture 
A visit to Adelaide isn’t complete without seeing its startup community in action. Hub Adelaide is one of 16 co-working spaces across the city encouraging creative collaboration. 

Some of Adelaide’s best cafes host regular breakfast events in a casual networking environment. Locals gather in restaurants and pubs too for business meet-ups in a relaxed, social setting – check out Adelaide Word of Mouth or the convention bureau for details. Brand South Australia hosts more than 60 events each year, showcasing exclusive settings, experiences and prominent speakers across a range of industries. Other networking opportunities can be found via Business SA, Meet Up and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre. 

10. Seal and dolphin watching 

Groups don’t need to visit Hawaii to see wild life from the ocean. To view bottlenose dolphins – you can do it 20 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD with a cruise along the Port River. If heading there on a Sunday, check out the Fisherman’s Wharf Markets, where groups will find a vibrant mix of food, fashion and antique stalls. And for seals, try Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island. Glenelg, Adelaide’s most visited beach, also operates dolphin cruises – and there’s the opportunity to swim with them too, as groups can jump off the catamaran for a paddle.

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