Adelaide, SA, Australia cruises

A charming city serving exceptional views, the port of Adelaide boasts a charismatic coastline and plenty of vast, open green space.

Upon arrival in Port Adelaide, you’ll see the Port Adelaide River. Here, if you’re lucky, you might witness a magical performance courtesy of the resident population of bottlenose dolphins. This seaport suburb is situated northwest of mainland Adelaide and north of the Fleurieu Peninsula. 

Adelaide port guide.

Port Adelaide serves as a gateway to culinary delicacies, a captivating art scene, and native wildlife, and brings plenty of opportunities to make unforgettable memories.

Founded by the first harbormaster, Captain Thomas Lipson, Port Adelaide has operated as a hub of entry to Australia for over 185 years. It’s a place whose people rightly pride themselves on their rich historical and cultural background.

Feel at once at home in this inviting land, indulge in local food markets, learn about maritime history, and admire beautiful 19th-century buildings.

Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about exploring the delightful port town of Adelaide.

Top landmarks and sights in Adelaide.

After your ship sails into port, step ashore and be welcomed by character-laden streets decorated with street art, as well as antique buildings preserved from the Victorian period. Home to impressive colonial architecture, the streetscapes of Port Adelaide make for interesting exploration.

The grand Town Hall in this port town was designed by Christopher Arthur Smith, one of the leading South Australian exponents of the art deco style in 1939. Today, the structure serves as the Port Adelaide Enfield Council Offices.

Peppered around Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s most well-known shopping district, you’ll find Horatio, Oliver, Truffles, and Augusta. These four, life-sized bronze pigs have been appreciated by passers-by since their installation in 1999. The art, officially known as A Day Out, was created by Marguerite Derricourt, the winner of a national sculpture competition instigated by the City of Adelaide.

Things to do in Adelaide.

In the center of Adelaide, you can visit the National Wine Centre of Australia to discover more about the city’s wonderful wineries. Located next door is the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, a lovely, tranquil spot in which to walk and admire the flora.

A mecca for wildlife, and a favorite among locals and tourists alike, Adelaide Zoo offers an intimate experience with all kinds of animals. These include some rare and endangered species including squirrel monkeys, giant pandas, and hippos.

Rural Adelaide is a prime location for sighting local wildlife. With miles of bushland environment, Australia is the native habitat of a range of wildlife. Widespread through the Adelaide Hills intriguing wildlife such as echidnas, rakali, possums, kangaroos, koalas, and snakes can be identified. Over thousands of square miles, many wildlife reserves and parks aim to protect South Australia’s iconic inhabitants and its abundant animal life.

Along the northern coast of Adelaide, you’ll have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of an abundance of birds and other wildlife, including sting rays, long-nosed fur seals, and perhaps even endangered Australian sea lions. Plus, through ancient mangrove forests, seagrass, salt marsh, and tidal flats, dolphins are at home in their natural habitat.

A thriving art, theater, and food scene bring opportunities to enjoy plenty of annual events, including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which attracts all manner of world-class entertainers.

Wander sandy shores and watch the water flow at one of many exceptional beaches in Adelaide. With beaches peppered along the coast, sand and surf are almost inescapable.

You can also experience a wealth of great museums containing historical collections in Adelaide. The preservation of the maritime aviation and railway past serves to honor Port Adelaide's ancestors. Here you can track the voyages of navigators who charted unknown waters, sit at the controls of the pilot’s cockpit, and immerse yourself in local history.

Eating and drinking near Adelaide.

In both the port town of Adelaide and in the city center, you can discover an array of culinary delights. Every cuisine is catered for so even the most discerning of palettes will find something to suit.

The Adelaide Central Market is a thriving undercover food market that dates back as far as 1869. At this gourmet hotspot find a range of cuisine, varying from fresh oysters to tangy cheeses, and perhaps find a table at one of Adelaide’s finest eateries, located within the market itself.

In the heart of Adelaide's central business district, guests can wander the cobbled Leigh Street and explore plenty of fine dining and great hospitality. This quaint and characterful pedestrian lane is a delight that both South Australians and guests can savor.

Closer to the port lie interesting pubs and restaurants tucked inside dated buildings. Old salt pubs exude seafaring stories from years gone by, while coastal cafes make for the perfect setting to watch the sun go down behind the sea.

Getting around, Adelaide transport.

Port Adelaide Passenger Terminal is a short walk (less than five minutes) away from the Outer Harbor railway station. From Outer Harbor, the town of Port Adelaide is on a direct line and the journey takes about 20 minutes. Trains run regularly from the station to the port where guests can walk along the dock, or perhaps travel into the city center on another train. This second journey takes around 45 minutes.

Public transport is available to Adelaide city center and shuttle buses frequently run from the port terminal to Rundle Mall.

Adelaide can be explored on foot with ease as most sights are within walking distance of the city center. Stylish streets and shopping districts of the city are also entirely pedestrianized.

Adelaide port facilities.

The terminal at Port Adelaide includes an information welcome center, souvenir shops, toilets, public telephones, and ATMs.

Adelaide quick tips.


The Australian Dollar is the local currency in Adelaide. ATMs are available at the ship terminal, in Port Adelaide, and in the city center. Some small shops and bars may not accept card payments, so it is recommended you carry some cash with you during your visit.


Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. With four distinct seasons, Adelaide has a mixture of weather for guests to embrace during their stay.

On average, temperatures reach highs of 86°F during the summer in Adelaide while the winter months reach lows of 46°F.

March to May and September through to November, the city’s autumn and spring months, are popular times to visit Adelaide. The summer months in Adelaide can be particularly busy due to ample sunshine and the Adelaide Fringe art festival.