So, you’ve got a week in Adelaide. Wonderful news. You’re bound to have a ball.

It’s no secret that what was once a sleepy capital is now a thriving culture hub full of flavours, events and entertainment. The best way to experience the best Adelaide attractions is to hire a car, make a plan and pack your sense of adventure. Here’s a seven-day itinerary of things to do in Adelaide and surrounding regions.

Of course, first things first – pick up your Thrifty vehicle from any of our Adelaide car hire locations, or the Adelaide Airport Thrifty if you’re flying in.

Day 1: Adelaide Hills

Who would have thought that just an hour out of Adelaide’s CBD you’d find several valleys of lush rolling hillside. An entire day here will give you ample time to explore at least half of them.

The Mount Lofty Botanic garden is a treasure, which overlooks the Piccadilly Valley and offers walking trails, a colourful array of flora and fauna and a certain tranquility you just won’t find in the city. Besides the actual ‘hills’, there are more than 60 wineries scattered throughout the seven valleys. The Adelaide Hills are one of those must-see tourist destinations in Adelaide.

Day 2: Stroll the city sights

Adelaide’s city centre is worth a day of exploring, too! So be a tourist and enjoy the best of Adelaide’s sightseeing spots. The cultural hub of Adelaide is North Terrace, home to the Art Gallery, State Library, South Australia Museum, Botanic Gardens and Parliament House. It really is much more than just a city of churches! Be sure to take a walk to Ebenezer Place, a quaint laneway packed with cute, independent boutiques and cafes, beckoning you to pose for a photo in front of.

Day 3: Lake Bumbunga

There are few natural wonders in Australia more mesmerising than the bubble gum shores of Lake Bumbunga.

Best of all, it’s still relatively undiscovered as far as natural wonders go, so it’s the perfect time to head there on a day trip and see it in all its glory. The story goes that the reason for the pink hue is a chemical reaction between the salt, sodium bicarbonate and microorganisms living in the water. The lake is situated in the Clare Valley wine region should you fancy a rosè to stick with the day’s colour theme. Kilikanoon and Mr. Mick cellar doors will sort you out.

Day 4: Barossa Valley

Because if you didn’t take a trip to the world famous Barossa Valley on your trip to Adelaide, did you even visit? Barossa is still the undisputed king when it comes to Aussie wine regions, and with more than 150 wineries producing exceptional wine, it has no plans of letting that title go. You’ll find big names such as Penfolds and Jacob’s Creek here, but the smaller, boutique-style wineries including Rockford, Krondorf and Grant Burge are every bit as distinguished.

Day 5: Scour the Markets

Wandering the local artisan markets is somewhat a right of passage for Adelaidians. The city is full of markets any day of the week. Our top picks include Gilles Street Market (1st and 3rd Sundays), Wayville Farmers Market (every Sunday), and Adelaide Central Market, which boasts over 80 stalls and is a South Australian institution (rating highly as a top Adelaide tourist attraction).

The Stirling Market and Victor Harbour Market are slightly further afield but also worth a visit. And with your Thrifty car, it should be no problem at all to zip around town hitting up the markets.

Day 6: Yorke Peninsula

South Australia’s The Coastal Way is an unmissable destination so be sure to add it to your itinerary. Why? Let’s start with 500 km of pure coastline with walking and cycling trails, throw in some of the countries best oysters, world-class surfing spots and a national park.

Day 7: See the shores

On your final day in Adelaide, it’s time to unwind by the beach. South Australia is not typically known for its array of stunning coastlines, which is hard to believe because they rival those of the eastern shores in NSW and Queensland. From North Haven to Sellicks Beach, each one has something unique to offer – whether it’s sand dunes, surf, or sunsets unlike any other. Port Willunga, Port Noarlunga, Yankalilla, Second Valley and Normanville are just a few to choose from that won’t disappoint. The beaches of Adelaide are a great, kid-friendly activity to enjoy any day of the week. 

Rarely does one get to experience so much variety when visiting one city, but Adelaide and its surrounding regions really do have it all. In addition to fun 7 day itinerary, there’s also always something going on in the city – you can be sure there’s no shortage of Adelaide tourist attractions and activities for the whole family.

Be sure to arrange your car with Thrifty to take full advantage of what the South Australian capital has to offer.