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12 Things To Do in Adelaide This Winter

The best winter warmers to get you fired up in Adelaide for the next few months, from festivals and exhibitions, to staying local or planning a relaxing getaway.

Mirror, Mirror at Illuminate. Image credit: Moment Factory

The cold weather doesn’t stop Adelaide’s impressive rotation of activities, festivals and food and drink events – so dig your winter coat out of the wardrobe and make the most of these cool, crisp winter months and dive into Adelaide’s seasonal best, that are bound to delight.

Explore our city and surrounding regions to discover warming red wines and roaring fires, cosy secluded romantic getaways; it's the time to make memories that will last a lifetime. 

Without further ado, here is Sitchu’s guide to 12 of the best things to do in Adelaide this winter.


Adelaide Hills (Photo credit: @sitchu.adelaide)

Adelaide Hills

With its sweeping views, renowned wineries and the feeling of a European getaway, a visit to the Adelaide Hills is a must for things to do in Adelaide this winter. Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway with loved ones, this vibrant region has countless options to fill a winter's day. Traipse about the charming German village of Hahndorf or stop in for the perfect brunch at Verdun's Fourth Hill Providore. For viniferous ventures, get sipping at the abundance of cellar doors sprinkled throughout the hills.

If you’re planning a weekend away in the hills, check out round-up of the best accommodation to book into, from cosy self-contained cabins with wood burning fireplaces, to larger villas with entertaining space for all.

Fleurieu Peninsula

Venture south of Adelaide to the wonderous Fleurieu Peninsula, filled with delicious wineries, wild beaches and some of the best eateries in South Australia. Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide CBD, the Fleurieu wine region of McLaren Vale is a hugely popular destination for fans of dry reds. Taste award-winning shiraz, grenache and mourvedre from famed wineries Hardy’s, Wirra Wirra and d’Arenberg. The McLaren Vale food scene is just as exceptional, with the coastal Star of Greece serving up creative Mediterranean-influenced seafood dishes, and natural wine bar Muni a destination for seasonal local produce and unique tipples. 

Continue your Fleurieu Peninsula experience with a trip to the peninsula’s tip at Victor Harbor, and don't forget to drop by the picturesque Lost Phoenix Farm, a relaxed dining experience in the Hindmarsh Valley.

The Big Duck Boat Tours

Whale and Dolphin Watching

A natural phenomenon occurs annually from late May to October along the coast of the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula that is a must for your 'things to do in Adelaide and surrounds bucket list' that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Whale watching season has returned, with those magnificent, gentle giants migrating to the warmer, sheltered waters of Encounter Bay. It's here they'll socialise, court, and raise their calves before heading back down south to Antarctica. The area is a breeding ground for the endangered Southern Right Whales and a stop-in for passing Humpback Whales, alongside New Zealand fur seals, Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins. There is a Winter Whale Fest that runs between 26th May – 25th June to celebrate the annual migration, full of fun events, special talks, walking tours, markets and even an Ocean Film Festival.

2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor

National Parks and Wildlife SA

Visit one of SA’s National Parks

South Australia is blessed with what Mother Nature gave her – mountains carved by history, turquoise waters lapping white sand and an abundance of unique Australian wildlife. This winter in Adelaide we recommend that you get back to nature and recharge your batteries, by planning your next weekend getaway at one of the many protected national parks across SA. Weather permitting, camp under the stars and kayak through rapid waters, lapping up the natural beauty that can be discovered right outside Adelaide’s doorstep. Take long hikes all wrapped up in your winter woollies, enjoy carefully packed picnics brimming with local produce and flasks of hot coffee, in landscapes unlike any other in the world.


Experience Adelaide

Winter Weekends

Friday and Saturday nights are about to heat up thanks to the return of Winter Weekends in Adelaide. Running from 5pm till late June through August, there will be delicious food and drinks from some of the city's best restaurants, live entertainment, and toasty fire pits scattered about the buzzing streets. Friday nights will bring all the action to Grote Street, Gouger Street and Market Street, with local businesses including Hotel Metro, Super Bueno and Lot 10 Cucina putting on a show. Saturday nights will put the spotlight on Hutt Street, with The Olivia Hotel, Arab Steed, ANA Drinks and more turning into Winter Weekend destinations.

2nd June – 26th August 2023

Various locations around the city

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Putting on a show this winter is the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, bursting onto the scene for another year of outstanding local, national and international acts for all to enjoy. An eclectic program of classic and contemporary performances are locked in, with the extravaganza set to bring 12 decadent days and nights of all things joyous, beautiful, edgy and glamorous. Think variety galas, dance, musical and comedy performances (sometimes combined), acts that are definitely 18+ and not for the bashful, and shows sound tracked by the one and only Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Expect fan favourites to return, and new performances that first made an impression at Adelaide Fringe. 

9th – 24th June 2023

Adelaide Hills Wine

Winter Reds Festival

Come rain, hail or shine, the Winter Reds Festival up in the Adelaide Hills is a guaranteed good time. This weekend long celebration is a showcase of some of South Australia’s finest red wine, returning in 2023 for you fill your glass with a peppery shiraz, an aromatic pinot noir, or the subtle savoury notes of a tempranillo. 

Get cosy in a cellar door or three, swilling and sipping alongside equally impressive food offerings. Previous years have brought bus-hopping tours of select wineries, cellar doors hosting special events with live music, and curated banquets with wines to match.

28th – 30th July 2023

Various locations across the Adelaide Hills

Illuminate Adelaide

The winter festival that blew South Australian audiences away has made a triumphant return this June for a third year, becoming a headline act of things to do in Adelaide this winter. Illuminate Adelaide is lighting up our city streets once more with a range of ticketed and free events catering to everyone from kids to culture seekers. A colourful array of light installations can be discovered throughout Adelaide’s CBD at City Lights, including the stunning interactive artwork Mirror Mirror, plus live music from UK dreamy electronica band Tourist. The return of firm favourites Light Cycles in Adelaide Botanic Gardens and Light Creatures at Adelaide Zoo are also on the not-to-be-missed lineup. 

Check out Sitchu’s top picks from the Illuminate Adelaide showcase here.

28th June – 30th July 2023


Moseley Bar & Kitchen

The Moseley Igloos

What's cooler than cosying up in an igloo by the beach, we ask? Mosey on down to Glenelg's The Moseley Igloos this winter, with each igloo inviting you in with a fireplace and room for 8. You'll be blown away by the full table service provided by your personal waiter, as you enjoy their seasonal 3 course set menu, feed me menu or shared paella dish. The best part? There are igloo-exclusive cocktails to truly immerse yourself into this winter wonderland, including a winterberry martini, boozy hot chocolate and a choc mint martini. It's a delicious thing to do in Adelaide this winter. 

12th May – 4th September

11 Moseley Square, Glenelg

Garçon Bleu

Dine in Adelaide’s Best Restaurants

One of our favourite things to do in Adelaide in winter is to explore the exceptional food scene on offer. From French dining favourite Garcon Bleu high up in the Sofitel Adelaide, to pizza masters Anchovy Bandit, and popular Thai eatery Golden Boy's array of mouth-watering dishes, Adelaide's best restaurants will keep you coming back for more. For all the lovers out there, Adelaide’s romantic restaurants are a fine way to escape the cold on date night. We also think it's the perfect time to start making your way through Adelaide’s bucket list dishes.

Uraidla Hotel

Warm Up at a Pub With a Fireplace

Gather up your nearest and dearest and hide away in a cosy Adelaide pub with a roaring fireplace, laughing over shared memories, a glass of aromatic mulled wine and some homecooked, hearty comfort food. The Adelaide Hills offers more than it’s fair share, from the Hahndorf Inn and Uraidla Hotel, to the charming beachfront Largs Pier Hotel. City fringe favourites include The UnleyBritish Hotel and Brompton Hotel

Check out Sitchu’s roundup of the best cosy pubs with a fireplace and add one or two to your list of things to do in Adelaide this winter.

Art Gallery of South Australia

Visit Adelaide’s Museums and Galleries

Winter is the perfect time for culture vultures to visit Adelaide's fascinating galleries and museums along North Terrace. Discover five floors of history, culture and natural wonders in the South Australian Museum while keeping warm within the polar collection or get involved in their evening Night Lab soirées. Continue your cultural adventure with a visit to the Art Gallery of South Australia to browse through their 45,000+ pieces of unique works of art. Spanning many styles and mediums, the regular exhibitions are often free to enjoy. Winter 2023 brings us the highly anticipated Australian-exclusive Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution. an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the revolutionary Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

North Terrace, Adelaide

If our pick of things to do in Adelaide this winter has got you warmed up, discover more of what’s on in Adelaide with our ultimate monthly guide and tips on how to spend a rainy day in the city.

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