OVERVIEW

Adelaide is the most "central" of Australia's state capitals and is well connected to the rest of the country by air and train.

The low rise and "easy to get around" nature of the city makes finding an accommodation location simple - the CBD is surrounded by the park lands, so get yourself within that area and you will find your stay will be easy. The many delightful areas around the city like the Adelaide Hills, beach areas and Barossa valley, may tempt you however to make the unusual step of taking your city break outside of the city centre.

Take a look below for all the details on how to get to Adelaide and where to stay.

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How To Get To Adelaide

 

Flights To Adelaide

 

Every major city in Australia has at least a few flights to Adelaide each day.

 

There is one airport, simply named 'Adelaide Airport', which in true Adelaide style is only a 15min drive to the city centre.

Domestic Airlines flying into Adelaide include Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar, and Rex.

Note: The following is an indication of flights at the time of writing. Due to snap border restrictions, this information may be incorrect. Similarly, if restrictions are eased, expect the number of flights to increase.

Adelaide Airport.jpg

Adelaide Airport © South Australia Tourism Commission

From Sydney

Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar have 5 direct flights each.

2hr5min flight time.

From Melbourne

Virgin and Qantas have 9 direct flights a day each whilst Rex have 2 and Jetstar have 4, from Tullamarine airport.

1hr20min flight time.

From Brisbane

Jetstar have a couple of direct flights whilst Qantas and Virgin have another 9 between them. 2hr35min flight time.

You can also find flights from Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

From Perth

One direct flight per day arrives from Jetstar and around 7 flights per day are offered between Virgin and Qantas. 2hr50min flight time.

From Hobart

Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar have 5 flights each per day.

2hr flight time.

From Darwin

One flight each arrives Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar per day.

3hr35min flight time.

From Canberra

One flight from Qantas and Virgin arrive per day.

1hr45min flight time.

From Regional Towns

Flights are often scheduled from the following regional centres through Rex, Qantas and Virgin : -

Alice Springs, Broken Hill, Cairns, Ceduna, Coober Pedy, Kangaroo Island, Mildura, Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, and Whyalla.

Getting from the Airport to the city

Taxi's and Uber's take around 15 minutes to make the drive to the city centre in off peak times and cost around $20 to $25. As you exit the airport, the taxi pick up is to the right and the ride share designated pick-up is to the left.

Adelaide Metro's Bus service has several routes stopping at the airport that can be accessed with a Metro card - there is a metro card vending machine at the bus stop. The routes have buses going directly to the city, to Glenelg, Greenwith, West Beach, West Lakes, and Marion interchange. With a metro card, this will cost just $4. A bus that goes through the city comes often and it will take around 30 minutes to get to the city centre.

There are also Shuttle Bus services that will take you directly to your CBD hotel for $10.

If you are travelling around a bit and need a Rental Car, all the major operators have locations at the airport.

More information at: -

https://www.adelaideairport.com.au/parking-transport/transport-options/

Sustainability Tip

Avoid flying at all costs and take the train or a coach instead. If there is more than one of you, driving is lower in carbon emissions too.

If you have no choice but to fly, at least offset your carbon emissions.

Read our 'How to travel sustainably' guide for more tips and information.

The Ghan Train.jpg

The Ghan © South Australia Tourism Commission

Trains To Adelaide

 

There are no public transport railway options to Adelaide, but you can avoid flying and take the train to Adelaide from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin or Perth using the Indian Pacific, Ghan, Great Southern or Overland trains.

 

More information and bookings for all of these are available through the operator at journeybeyondrail.com.au/

They also offer 'Motorail', a service that allows you to bring your car with you.

The Indian Pacific is a luxury train that travels out of Sydney on Wednesdays and arrives in Adelaide the next day. From Perth, it leaves on a Sunday and arrives on the following Tuesday morning in Adelaide.

Different levels of class are available, all including en-suite bedrooms. The service is generally used by those looking for a luxury rail journey, so the fares are expensive, starting at $725 and go up to $4345 from Sydney and $1445 to $7915 from Perth. These prices include off train experiences and all-inclusive dining and drinks in the on-board restaurant.

From Melbourne

The Overland train is a day journey departing Melbourne at 8.05 in the morning and arriving in Adelaide at 6pm in the evening, on Monday's and Friday's only. There are two classes on board, both offering comfortable seating and access to an on-board cafe. "Red Premium" includes more luxurious seating and an all-inclusive breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.

Fares start at a very reasonable $115.

From Brisbane

The latest offering from Journey Beyond is the Great Southern, which travels between Adelaide and Brisbane. It leaves Brisbane on Monday's and arrives in Adelaide on the following Thursday.

Fares start at $2795 and includes a private en-suite bedroom, off train excursions and all-inclusive food and drinks in the restaurant.

From Darwin

The latest offering from Journey Beyond is the Great Southern, which travels between Adelaide and Brisbane. It leaves Brisbane on Monday's and arrives in Adelaide on the following Thursday.

Fares start at $2795 and includes a private en-suite bedroom, off train excursions and all-inclusive food and drinks in the restaurant.

Coach To Adelaide

 

Currently there are coach services running from Melbourne and Alice Springs to Adelaide.

Greyhound

From Melbourne, running a day service and night service and taking around 10.5 hours. Fares start at $60.

They also have a route from Alice Springs.

Firefly

From Melbourne, running a day service and a night service and taking around 12 hours. Fares start at $35.

Drive To Adelaide

 

There are relatively direct routes from all the other state capitals of Australia, and the distances are of course all fairly long, but they are some of the great roadtrips of Australia and having your car with you in Adelaide can be a great asset due to the many areas to visit on the outskirts of the city.

From Melbourne

Adelaide closest neighbour is approximately 8 hours drive away. The main attraction on the way (apart from the big Koala) is the Grampians National Park. An alternate route, taking less than 12 hours, is via the coastal route of the Great Ocean Road and possibly over to Mt Gambier and sticking to the coast all the way.

From Sydney

It takes at around 15 hours of driving, so two days, to drive from Sydney via the most direct route, which is through country NSW and the top corner of Victoria. An alternate route that takes around 18.5hr is to go through outback NSW and visit Broken Hill and Dubbo.

From Brisbane

Driving from Brisbane will take over 22 hours of driving, so allow at least three days. There are two main route options - a more southerly one through Dubbo and Mildura, or an outback route that goes through Broken Hill.

From Perth or Darwin

From Perth, you will need to drive across the Nullarbor and allow around 4 days to make the journey. This is one of the most sparsely populated sealed drives in Australia. It is rather epic, if only for the emptiness, and a good trip to tick off your bucket list. The best thing to see along the way is Kalgoorlie and it's Super Pit or the viewpoints over the great Australian Bight.

From Darwin, it's another epic journey, this time through Alice Springs, past Uluru, and through the awesome and odd outback town of Coober Pedy.

Parking

Adelaide has a small city feel and the CBD is not that crowded compared to the other state capitals. If you are used to the sky high prices of parking in the centre of Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, you will find the ease and cost of parking in Adelaide a refreshing sight. All day early-bird parking may be as low as $15. There are also over 30 park and ride locations on the Adelaide Metro with most of them offering free 24/7 parking, so these are ideal to park up at if you will only use your car occasionally.

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Cruise ships in Adelaide © South Australia Tourism Commission

Cruise Ship

 

Cruise ships usually dock at the Port Adelaide Outer Harbour terminal. There is a train station immediately outside which can take you to the CBD in 40min. See our Essential Info page for more information on getting around Adelaide.

Destinations / arrivals include short cruises to Kangaroo island and Port Lincoln, longer Australian cruises that go to WA or the east coast, and international cruises to New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, or even longer cruises that go to/from Asia or around the world.

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Where To Stay In Adelaide

Hotels In Adelaide

 

Most of the attractions and areas for eating out are in the CBD, so it's best to pick a hotel that's within the green circle of the park lands that wrap around the CBD. If not, at least be along the outer edge of the park lands so you don't have to walk an excessive amount to get there each day.

With such great areas around Adelaide to explore - Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, etc - it may be worth considering staying outside the city centre and hiring a car so you can easily tour those areas and just drop into the CBD whenever you need. Getting around Adelaide is not a problem, so it's an easy option. The choice just depends on how many days you will be in the CBD and how many days will be out of it.

At the time of writing, no sustainable hotels could be found in the Adelaide CBD, but there are also a few off-grid CABN tiny homes in the Fleurieu peninsula and around South Australia. The Barossa valley also has The Villas Barossa eco lodges which meet a range of sustainability objectives in our sustainable travel in Australia guide. Check out green getaways for some more options around the state.

Air BnB

 

There are a bunch of options in the CBD with a few others dotted around in the suburbs or near the beach. This is a good option if there is a large group of you and you want a whole apartment or house.

Backpackers

 

There are at least six different backpackers hostels in Adelaide's CBD, and this is the best area to stay (there aren't really any options outside the CBD anyway), giving you the convenience of being in the centre whilst having public transport and tour pick up's nearby for any outer city excursions.

There is also a Youth Hostel in Port Elliot, on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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Caravan Park, Brighton, Adelaide © South Australia Tourism Commission

Caravan Parks in Adelaide

 

Adelaide has some great caravan parks to choose from - by far the best options of any state capital. You can choose an option near the city, close to the hills, or right on the beach.

 

The following three parks are all north east of the CBD: -

Adelaide Caravan Park - This small but clean and tidy park is distinct in Australia in that it is close enough to the city centre that you can leave your vehicle behind and just walk. It's around 1.5km to the botanic gardens, national wine centre, or the zoo, and the CBD is a little beyond that, within a 30min walk. Alternatively, you can take a 5min bus ride. More info here.

Levi Adelaide Holiday Park - Located north east of the CBD, this decent park has a pool, cabins, and sites for caravans or camping. There is a bus stop right outside that will get you to the CBD in 20min. More info here.

Windsor Gardens Caravan Park - Another clean and tidy option with a range of accommodation and powered sites available. A short walk and a bus ride will get you to the CBD in around 30min. More info here.

To the South of the city are: -

Adelaide Showgrounds - Not far from the southern edge of the park lands that surround the CBD, the showgrounds is new and well appointed, with power and plumbing to all sites. It's at the wrong side of the CBD to be comfortably walkable (It's 4.5km to North Terrace), but you can jump on a bus that will get you there in 30min. More info here.

Brownhill Creek Tourist Park - This park is located on the boundary of the city edge and the Brownhill Creek Recreation Park, yet it is only 7km to the CBD or the beaches. Stay here if you want to feel a little away from it all without actually been away from it all. Cabins and powered sites are available. There is also a pool. More info here.

Two more options - Belair National Park Holiday Park is another site that feels like you are in the bush. Marion Holiday Park is a stunning park with a massive pool, splash playground, beer garden and outdoor cinema, games room, and indoor tennis. 

To the east of the city are these beachside options: -

Big 4 West Beach - directly east of the CBD, this massive park has direct beach access and is only a short distance from the fun West Beach attractions like the West Beach Adventure and mini golf, so it's great for families. You can get to the CBD in around 50min on the bus. You also have close access to the airport and Harbour Town outlet shopping. More info here.

Discovery Beachfront - Located in beautiful Semaphore and right next to the beach, Fort Glanville and the tourist train, this park is a great spot to stay in. Cabins and powered sites are available. For access to the CBD, a 10min walk and a bus ride will take around 1 hour. More info here.

Brighton Beachfront Holiday Park - (pictured above) At the southern end of Adelaide's long strip of sand, this park is right on the beach and has cabins and powered sites available. They have mini golf and bike hire, but no pool. To get to the CBD, a 10min walk will get you to a train station and the city centre with a total travel time of 45min. More info here.

There are at least four more beachside caravan parks further south than Brighton.

Need the detailed information? Go to the third page of our guide for all the 'Essential info' like getting around, food, shopping, and much more.

Or go back to page 1 to discover all the 'Things to do'.

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AUTHORED BY

Christopher Jubb, Founder of Travel Unpacked

More information available on our About page

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