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The Aussie Traveller's Guide To Arts & Culture In South Australia

The Aussie Traveller's Guide To Arts & Culture In South Australia

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South Australia tends to be perceived as the underdog in comparison to Australia's other states, and we're at a loss as to why. There's a lot that's unique about Adelaide.

For instance, did you know that South Australia is actually the only Australian state to share borders with all other mainland states? Adelaide was also the first Australian city to recognise Indigenous land rights, as well as give women access to vote.

In essence, exploring South Australia is essential to engaging with contemporary Australian arts, culture, and history. But what is there to see and do during a culturally enriching trip to Australia's festival state? We'll be exploring just how to fill up your Adelaide trip itinerary and make the most of your time in South Australia.

Explore the wine country

A trip to South Australia should always start off with a bang, whether this bang be popping the cork off a bottle of Barossa Valley wine, or the sound of fireworks at New Year's over Clare Valley. Well why not have both? There's so much to see, do, and (most importantly) taste in South Australia's idyllic countryside, with exploring the glorious artisanal foods and wines of the Barossa Valley being an absolute must-add to your trip itinerary.

You should feel encouraged to take a tour of some local vineyards, just to see what goes into some of the world's best bottles of vino, infused with flavours that can only be made possible through cultivating award-winning grapes in rich Australian soil.

If you have time to spare, making the tiny trek over to Clare Valley from the Barossa region is also highly recommended. Just an extra 100 km from Barossa, Clare Valley is renowned for being one of Australia's oldest wine regions, as well as the home of the country's finest bottles of Riesling. Rest assured there's just as much contemporary culture and history alike to enjoy in the Barossa and Clare Valleys as there is viticulture.

To make your sojourn through South Australia's divine wine country that much more special, why not do away with your car and hit the trails instead? The region's Lavender Federation Trail spans a whopping 325 km, allowing you to travel deep into the region's expansive and dynamic landscape.

By hugging the eastern flanks of South Australia's Mount Lofty, visitors can follow the Lavender Federation Trail straight from its starting point at Murray Bridge, all the way through to Barossa Valley and into Clare. This is the ultimate biking or hiking experience for any who are avid fans of Australian wine.

Get lost in galleries and museums

Adelaide is actually home to a great variety of art galleries, museums, and other family-friendly educational and enriching attractions like the Adelaide Zoo. This means that you can't really have too many days in the city to explore all that there is to see and do in Adelaide, especially considering that gallery exhibitions are growing and changing every day.

A good place to start, however, is by following any of the city's four unique arts and cultural trails that'll have you exploring all the gems that occupy the city's arts districts. These trails are all self-guided, so you can feel free to pick and choose which attractions you'd like to explore based on the tastes or interests of your travel party.

The Aussie Traveller's Guide To Arts & Culture In South Australia

Some standout attractions that you won't want to miss include the Art Gallery of South Australia, where visitors can get up close and personal with a collection of contemporary, classical, and Indigenous art exhibitions.

Visitors travelling before October 2022 should highly consider securing themselves tickets to Robert Wilson's "Moving Portraits" exhibit, which presents remarkable video portraits of influential contemporary figures like Lady Gaga, Zhang Huan, and Isabella Rossellini.

Enjoy world-class arts and cultural festivals

Even if you're not able to travel down to South Australia in time to catch some exhibitions you may have liked to see, you can be rest assured that there will still be plenty of excitement and artistic experiences to add to your trip itinerary. How so? Well, South Australia isn't called 'the festival state' for no reason!

In Adelaide, every season is a festival season, as the city hosts about half a dozen festivals annually, all of which come with their own signature events and parades. In summer, the city truly comes to life with the colour and zeal of WOMADelaide and the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

These summer festivals are virtually a continuation of Adelaide's springtime cheer in the form of the Adelaide Film Festival that falls annually in October. And as for autumn, Adelaidians and tourists alike can enjoy stepping back in time during South Australia's History Festival in May.

And what's there to look forward to in winter? The city strives to make winter nights just a touch brighter and warmer through revelling in the lights and sounds of Illuminate Adelaide.

This citywide celebration of multisensory art installations and technological innovations can be enjoyed throughout the winter solstice as well as the entire month of July, meaning that even visitors travelling to Adelaide during the off season will still have an abundance of arts and cultural experiences to choose from.


With all of these stellar experiences considered, there's no denying that the city of Adelaide in South Australia is well and truly giving Melbourne a run for its money as Australia's cultural capital.

Anyone looking to immerse themselves in a vibrant contemporary art scene, experience some of Australia's most delectable culinary delights, and learn all about rich colonial and Indigenous history, simply cannot miss out on all that Adelaide and its surroundings have to offer. Book your tickets to explore Australia's festival state!