As the scorching Australian summer approaches, finding the perfect oasis to beat the heat becomes essential. From tranquil beaches along the coastline to shady parks, we check out the best places to beat the summer heat in Adelaide.
Playful public pools
You’ll find plenty of excellent public pools across the city to take a dip when temperatures soar. If you want some extra fun (especially for the kids), try pools like Adelaide Aquatic Centre in North Adelaide, SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Oaklands Park or Waterworld Aquatic Centre in Ridgehaven, which offer extra activities and facilities including water slides, inflatables and water fun parks.
Special mention goes to The Big Wedgie: the world’s tallest and most extreme inflatable water slide, which is open from December to April. Standing at a whopping 18.2m tall and 82m long, with a 55-degree slope, we don’t need to tell you how it got its name…
Get your skates on
What better way to chill out this summer than by heading to the coolest place in town, IceArenA? Swap the sweltering sidewalks for crisp, cool rinks as this chilly haven offers recreational skating and ice sports. Ideal for both seasoned and beginner skaters, take a spin on the ice while listening to great tunes.
Adelaide is a city surrounded by stunning parklands, and boasts some of the best green spaces to escape the summer heat. The Adelaide Botanic Garden offers vibrant floral displays, serene lakes, and a historic palm house. Victoria Park, nestled in the eastern parklands, provides a scenic backdrop for picnics and leisurely strolls along the boardwalk of the wetlands. Meanwhile, Bonython Park, situated along the River Torrens, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering playgrounds, barbecue areas and ample space for recreational activities.For those seeking adventure, Morialta Conservation Park just 12km from the CBD offers winding trails through stunning gorges, complemented by cascading waterfalls.
Down by the river
The River Torrens/Karrawirra Parri is the main waterway running through Adelaide. It has long been a place to meet and socialise for the local Kaurna people – who called it Karrawirra Parri, meaning “river of the Red Gum forest,” as dense eucalyptus forest used to line the banks prior to European settlement.
Torrens Lake, the section of the river from the Weir to Albert bridge, is an ideal place for a range of activities out on the water. While swimming is not permitted, rowing, dragon boating, canoeing and kayaking are all popular, as is model powerboat racing.
Adelaide boasts a number of beautiful beaches that can be easily accessed from the city. Glenelg is a local favourite, with a buzzing atmosphere, beach bars, volleyball and The Beachhouse – a five-storey family entertainment complex complete with games, rides and snacks. The Moseley Beach Club is where it’s at between December and April, where you can grab a cocktail and chill out on a sun lounge.
Semaphore offers glistening blue water and spectacular views. Throw in a line from the pier, or splash around in the warm, shallow waters, all overlooked by beautiful Art Deco buildings, including the historic 1920s Palais.
Just over half an hour away is Port Noarlunga, a perfect spot for those who love snorkelling and diving. There’s a 1.6km reef just offshore, where you can follow the 12 bollards for a self-guided dive trail. Keep an eye out for zebra fish, colourful nudibranchs and more. Framed by red sandstone cliffs, a long jetty and enclosed reef, it is one of the best spots for diving in the state.
Cruise to the coast
Located just 40 minutes south of Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers a compelling blend of sun, sea and sandy shores. The stunning Second Valley Beach has done the rounds on Instagram, but we still can’t get enough of it. This small, sheltered beach with crystal-clear waters is surrounded by limestone cliffs with dramatic cave formations. Head to Port Willunga to discover the historic jetty ruins, or for those seeking a tranquil escape, Normanville Beach beckons with its serene waters, ideal for a leisurely swim or a relaxing beachside picnic.
The Yorke Peninsula is a bit further afield (around two hours’ drive), but offers over 700km of picture-perfect coastline to explore. Dive into the refreshing Marion Bay, a surfer’s paradise with turquoise waves and pristine sands. Further along lies Moonta Bay, a family-friendly haven with calm waters. For a touch of rugged beauty, head to Innes National Park, where stunning coastline vistas unfold, revealing hidden gems like Ethel Beach – a secluded stretch of sand framed by spectacular cliffs.
Want more ways to beat the summer heat in Adelaide? Check out the city’s best museums, gardens and galleries.
Travel to Adelaide
Rex flies to Adelaide. Book your flights here and check out the route map below.