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Beyond the Fringe: Eight Ways to Discover Adelaide During and After the Festival

Adelaide continues far beyond the Fringe. Here's where to get out and about while you're in town for the festival.
By Elizabeth Tucker and Marley Ng
January 18, 2024
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By Elizabeth Tucker and Marley Ng
January 18, 2024
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in partnership with

Adelaide's beloved Fringe festival is undoubtedly one of city's main highlights throughout February and March. If you do plan to head down south for the event make sure you carve out some time to explore the city beyond the riches of Fringe.

The South Australian capital boasts a storied history, exceptional wine regions and stunning beaches, so we've put together eight adventures that'll give you a taste of what the region has to offer. While some of these venues will play host to events during the festival, they're open to visitors year-round, so you can experience these classic Adelaide sites long past the Fringe.

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A group having drinks on board the Popeye Dream Boat event.

Dan Marks

POPEYE RIVER CRUISES

Head on down to the Riverbank Precinct to experience the joys of cruising along the River Torrens / Karrawirra Parri. Enjoy the river in style with Popeye River Cruises, which offers an informative sightseeing cruise or a Devonshire Tea Cruise. For something a little stronger than Earl Grey, opt for the High Tea Cruise, Kangaroo Island Spirits Gin Cruise or Chalk Hill Wine Tasting Cruise. 

During Fringe the Popeye will transform into the lively Dream Boat, with local bevvies on offer and Endless Grooves on the decks.

A couple looking at produce at the Adelaide Central Market.

ADELAIDE CENTRAL MARKET

Home to world-renowned wine and food producers (including gourmet icon and national treasure Maggie Beer), South Australia has long been considered an epicurean haven. Discover some of the region's top providores and local traders under one roof at Adelaide Central Market.

This fresh produce market is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Open Tuesday to Saturday, the place buzzes with locals and visitors alike. Dive deeper with a guided tour on the history of the market, or, if you prefer to roam on your own, let Fringe ambassador Adam Liaw and co-host Katie Spain lead you on a self-guided audio tour.

An exterior shot of the German Arms in Hahndorf.

DAY TRIP TO HAHNDORF

A short 30-minute drive out of Adelaide takes you to Hahndorf — a unique German village in the heart of South Australia. The charming settlement traces its history back to the early 19th century and features restaurants slinging German fare, various wineries and breweries, artisan stores with German crafts, charming galleries and German-style architecture. 

For a cultural fix, uncover the stories of the First Nations Peramangk people and German settlers at the Hahndorf Academy or visit Hans and Norah Heysen's artist studios at The Cedars

People in the courtyard of the Migration Museum in Adelaide.

MIGRATION MUSEUM

Delve into South Australia's diverse history at the Migration Museum. The museum sheds light on migration patterns and stories through artefacts, artworks, photographs, clothing and technology, providing insights into the valuables that mattered most to migrants and how they contributed to the new place they called home.

While you're there, check out some of the Fringe shows at the museum, too.

Children playing in the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

ADELAIDE BOTANIC GARDEN

With six Fringe shows hosted in the sweeping Adelaide Botanic Garden — including the spectacular Natural Wonders — it's likely you'll find yourself here anyway. So why not take some extra time to explore the expansive grounds dedicated to celebrating the diversity of native and international plants.

Check out the Santos Museum of Economic Botany to get to the roots of the plants and their various uses. And if that inspires you to do some gardening of your own, the Diggers Garden Shop is on hand with plenty of heirloom seeds and plants.

DAY TRIP TO THE FLEURIEU

The Fleurieu is one of Australia's most breathtaking coastlines (and that's really saying something). Just a forty-minute drive from Adelaide, you can easily spend a day luxuriating around the coast, from sipping wines in the globally renowned McLaren Vale region to swimming in the pristine waters.

For a low-key, hassle-free way to see the region, join along for the Willunga Wander tour by  Hither and Yon. The self-guided tour includes a planned trail, three tastings and a wine glass souvenir to bring home.

An exterior shot of the Silver Sands Beach Club at sunset.

Ben Macmahon

SILVER SANDS BEACH CLUB

While you're in McLaren Vale, stop by for a drink at the Silver Sands Beach Club on Aldinga Beach. Perch in a primo waterfront location, enjoying the view of the sparkling waters while you sip on a schooey or cocktail. The kitchen slings a broad selection of seafood-centric dishes and pub cravings, including pizza, burgers and schnittys.

It's also well worth the drive to check out the Fringe shows they're hosting, including a Fleetwood Mac tribute band that'll have you rocking out by the seaside and side-splitting comedy act Granny Flaps.

An exterior shot of the Adelaide Gaol.

ADELAIDE GAOL

If true crime is your thing, visit the Adelaide Gaol to learn about the history of the city's prisons since the early 19th century. Explore mugshots from the archives, an art installation based on infamous tales, an archaeological dig site and an interactive exhibition with artefacts — you'll even be able to try on some handcuffs and leg irons, which serve as a stark reminder to stay on the good side of the law.

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Book your FringeTIX now at the Adelaide Fringe website.

Published on January 18, 2024 by Elizabeth Tucker
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