It’s the season of new life, and no matter where you are, you’ll see blooms of many colours, baby animals of all descriptions and humans shucking off their winter layers, ready to enjoy warmer days. It’s the same in the South Australian capital, where the longer days are met with a renewed enthusiasm for getting out and enjoying all Adelaide has to offer.
Here’s where to best enjoy Adelaide when spring arrives.
Adelaide’s suburbs are blanketed in purple each spring as the jacarandas planted along the streets begin to flower and drop their petals. Jump in your rental car and head to suburbs like Burnside, Unley, and LeFevre Terrace in North Adelaide.
They’re not the only places in the city to see some quality blossoms. At Adelaide Botanic Gardens, spring is when the Wisteria Arbour is most beautiful, with bunches of lavender-hued flowers hanging from the lush vines. If you want to see flocks of rainbow lorikeets, find the sapphire towers near the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. The cheeky birds love these electric-blue flowers.
Just 25 minutes’ drive away, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills has dazzling displays of native donkey, spider and sun orchids, flowering cherries, azaleas, daffodils and bluebells.
Suburban Adelaide is home to a string of excellent beaches, whether you’re ready to pull on your cossie and splash into the waves or prefer the slightly staider option of looking out over the water while enjoying lunch. Both Glenelg and Brighton are very popular with families. Wander along the jetty at Brighton and see what the fishermen have dragged in or grab an ice-cream and stroll along the waterfront.
It's a half-hour drive to Semaphore Beach, where the stretch of sand is protected by dunes and preserved Art Deco buildings are dotted along the boulevard. One is a former beach kiosk and bathing pavilion that now houses the Palais Hotel. It’s a great spot to enjoy a pub meal while basking in the sun’s rays.
About equal distance from Adelaide but in a southern direction is Port Noarlunga, set on the coast of the McLaren Vale wine region. This picturesque stretch of sand has red cliffs, a jetty and an offshore reef, making it the perfect spot for a day’s exploring. Bring your snorkelling gear because Port Noarlunga Reef is easily accessed off the beach or the jetty and promises an abundance of fish, sea stars and marine plants.
Take a Hike
This is the perfect time of year to get walking: the days are warm and sunny, and the wildflowers are in full bloom. Bushland close to Adelaide might feature swathes of yellow wattle or almost hidden native spider orchids. It’s always best to slow down and take it all in. Jump in your rental car and head to Hale Conservation Park, an hour’s drive northeast. Spring is the best time to do the Hale Walk, a 4km circuit that shows off the best of nature’s spring displays. There should also be plenty of birds taking advantage of the abundant nectar, plus you might be lucky enough to spot an echidna.
Just a 20-minute drive will take you to Morialta Conservation Park, where you can tackle the more challenging Third Falls Hike. The reward for taking on the 7.3km circuit with its sometimes steep, rocky path is getting to see all three waterfalls in the park and being treated to a stunning display of wildflowers.
Head for the Hills
The Adelaide Hills, to be precise. Located only a 30-minute drive from the city, this wine region has so much going for it, particularly during spring. Of course, you can enjoy the offerings of the region’s many superb cellar doors (remember to appoint a designated driver) and the fresh seasonal produce at its restaurants. But if you’re looking for the cute factor, stop by Hahndorf Farm Barn, where you can meet all the newborns. You can even bottle-feed some of the calves and baby goats.
It’s also a time for celebration in these parts, so you’ll find all sorts of festivities on offer. During Sparkling Spring Weekend in October, taste the sparkling wines made in the region, join a special brunch or lunch, take a masterclass or enjoy the atmosphere.
Also in October, the Bay to Birdwood sees classic and vintage cars drive the roads from West Beach on the coast to the National Motoring Museum in Birdwood, one of the villages in the Adelaide Hills. This mass-participation event attracts motorists from around the country – about 1,500 cars take part each year – and sees thousands of spectators lining the route. There’s also a festival at the finish line.
If you want to visit an old-fashioned country fair, the Uraidla Show is usually held on the first weekend in November. There’ll be agricultural displays, wood chopping, plenty of entertainment, rides, and lots to eat and drink.
If you want to get the most out of your visit to Adelaide in spring, hire a rental car to get going.