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Tour the Adelaide Central Market

Walk in the footsteps of locals on a guided tour

These boots were made for walking - as are Adelaide's streets. Catch up with a local guide and let them lead to the city's attractions and beyond.

Adelaide is a fantastic city to for a walking as it's all so easily accessible, meaning you cover a lot of ground in a short distance. Get a history lesson and go ghost-spotting, dine on dumplings, savour fine wines, head to the country for a taste of Germany and self-explore the ancient Flinders Ranges

Yella Umbrella Walking Tours, Adelaide

You might not know that the South Australian capital is called Adelaide because the English king, William IV, wanted the city to be called after his wife, Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen. Otherwise it would have been called Wellington, which was the name preferred by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the man who influenced the planning and building of the city. 

This is just one of the facts that come out of the mouth of Bob Brady, the owner of Yella Umbrella Walking Tours. He’s the one that walks around Adelaide with a yellow umbrella sticking out of his backpack. “I thought about having a red umbrella for people to follow at first, but there are lots of those around, so I chose a yellow umbrella and a mate said I’d be known as ‘the fella with the yella umbrella’ and there it was,” Bob says.

This fascinating two-hour tour starts off on North Terrace and takes in Adelaide’s Cultural Precinct, where many of the most historic buildings are located. You learn about the colony’s development and many of the important personalities of the age. Yella Umbrella Walking Tours start at 10am from Monday to Saturday, depending on bookings. They cost $30.

Adelaide Ghost & Dark History Tours, Adelaide
As with most historical cities, Adelaide has its fair share of things that go bump in the night. The owner of Adelaide Haunted Horizons Ghost Tours, Alison Oborn, gives you the shivers as she takes you around the historic areas of Adelaide while pointing out various murders, apparitions, suicides, and forgotten executions.

There are the ghosts of Government House to reckon with, and those that reside for eternity at the Adelaide Gaol. And there’s the tragic tale of a young maid who lost her love and is still waiting to find him. It’s the perfect combination of history and spooks.

Alison also runs other tours, including a ghost-hunting tour of Tailem Town (Australia’s largest pioneer village), and a Dark History Tour of Gawler (the first country town in South Australia). She also runs the Adelaide Historical Crime Tours, which is an extended daytime version of the Ghost & Dark History Tours, but without the ghosts! Adelaide Ghost & Dark History Tours start at 7pm every Thursday and Friday and take two hours. They cost $30.

Sacred Canyon, Flinders Ranges

Walking in the bush! Self-explore the gorgeous Sacred Canyon in the Flinders Ranges.

Feast on Dumplings, Adelaide
“Everyone loves dumplings. They’re little parcels of happiness,” says Caitlin Hillson, the owner of Feast on Foot, which runs Adelaide’s Feast on Dumplings Tour.

The tour takes in four hot spots, with visits to eateries producing authentic Russian, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese dumplings. Sometimes there are Thai dumplings too, while Afghan dumplings are soon to get a look in. There’s a twist to the tale though, because the tour also includes a look at the city’s street art and what motivates the artists to produce it. “I like to add a bit of culture and history as we’re walking around the city,” Hillson says.

At a dumpling establishment you might also get to try other specialities too, like Korean Bibimbap - mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables. “It’s a sort of flavour break after so many dumplings,” Hillson adds. The Feast on Dumplings walking tour starts at 2.30pm every Saturday and takes around 3.5 hours. It costs $49 all inclusive.

Feast on Foot
As well as Feast on Dumplings, Hillson runs The Adelaide Feast walking tour, which takes in six different styles of food served in the city.

On the diverse menu is Lebanese pizza, cupcakes, frozen custard, handmade chocolates, sushi, and Vietnamese steamed dumplings. The emphasis is on local producers. Like on the Feast of Dumplings tour, Hillson brings a bit of culture, street art and history into the mix too. “We also throw in the odd ghost story,” she says. “When we go into the Adelaide Arcade I like to tell the stories of the arcade’s three ghosts.”

One of these is the ghost of a former caretaker of the Arcade whose body was found stuffed in the turbine of a generator. Don’t let this put you off stuffing yourself silly with delicious morsels on this fun facts foodie tour though. The Adelaide Feast walking tour starts at 10am every Saturday and lasts for 3.5 hours. It costs $25 for kids or fussy eaters, or $69 all inclusive.

Adelaide Central Market Tour, Adelaide
Since 1870, Adelaide Central Market has been at the epicentre of the food and cultural lifestyle of South Australia. It’s a vibrant, busy place filled with bakeries and patisseries, cafes, cheeses, fruit and vegetable stalls, meat and seafood, and dozens of artisan foods selling everything from roasted nuts to local olive oil.

“It’s a real melting pot of cultures too, with old Italian and Greek families being here for generations and new waves of immigrants setting up shop too,” says guide Mark Gleeson.

On a morning walking tour of the market you get to taste as you go, a bit of fruit here, some coffee there, an oyster, a slice or two of gourmet cheese. You hear about the history of the market and you get to meet to the market stall owners too. As well as two-hour Morning tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, there are also breakfast tours and Cantonese seafood lunch tours. The morning tour costs $60, the breakfast tour $80 and the lunch tour $95.

Foodi Adelaide Wine Bars Walking Tour, Adelaide
With major grape growing regions like the Barossa Valley,  Adelaide Hills, and the Clare Valley, South Australia is rightly known for its high-class wines. Of course, you can try a glass or two in many places in Adelaide, but things are much more fun if you go as a group to the best places.

This tour starts at Adelaide’s Old Treasury Building. After a tour of the Cabinet Room and the tunnels beneath the building where gold used to be stored, it’s time for a full glass of local wine in the associated wine bar.

From here you take in three more bars and drink more glasses of wine.It’s great fun as you walk between stops, because your guide fires lots of quirky information at you about the city. “I challenge you to find some of the seven fairy doors of Adelaide,” guide Rosie Bennett says. “Even if you haven’t had a glass or two of wine.”

Foodi also runs a Craft Beer Walking Tour. The Foodi Adelaide Wine Bars Walking Tour starts at 3.30pm every Saturday and lasts for around three hours. It costs $59.

Foodi Adelaide Cupcake & Dessert Walking Tour
South Australia is well known for its amazing chocolate, which also means it’s home to amazing desserts too,” says Foodi guide Rosie Bennett as she enthuses about the cupcake and dessert tour she came up with.

“We start off with the best cupcakes in the world. We have a cup of tea or coffee and try at least eight or nine types of cupcake. We have baby versions of them too.” And so it goes on, from cupcake heaven to a Spanish chocolate and churros venue. Then it’s ice cream, followed by a walk to Flinders Street Market for biscuits and brownies and Hahndorf chocolate.

“It doesn’t stop there, even if you are bursting,” Bennett says. “At the end of Rundle Mall is a chocolatier that sells some of the finest chocolates in South Australia and some incredible desserts.”

But it’s not just eating involved on this tour. There’s history too, including the history of chocolate, and desserts in general. “Did you know the oldest dessert was made from nectar, honey and berries and mixed with ice and snow?” Bennett asks.

Foodi runs several other food tours in Adelaide including a Chocolate Walking Tour, and Ice Cream & Gelato Walking Tour, a Food Night Safari, a High Tea Walking Tour, and a Secret Foodi Tour. The Foodi Adelaide Cupcake & Dessert walking Tour starts at 10am most Saturdays and lasts for three hours. It costs $49.

Hahndorf Walking Tours, Adelaide Hills

The Germanic township of Hahndorf, 33km east of Adelaide, is one of the most visited destinations in South Australia.

“But most people walk up both sides of the street and, while they see the traditional architecture and lots of pretty shops and galleries, they don’t pick up much historical knowledge,” says Sharon Pippof, the owner of Hahndorf Walking Tours.

“There were four ships that set off from Europe full of Prussians who were facing religious persecution and around 600 people ended up forming this colony in 1839,” she continues. “Today it’s the oldest Germanic settlement in Australia.”

Sharon, who sometimes dresses up for the occasion, offers two Hahndorf tours. The Huffendorf tour looks at the original formation of the township and takes in the backstreets and backyards that most people would never see. The Strassendorf tour concentrates on the main street. Tours cost $33 and take place at 2pm on Friday, weekends and public holidays, and at 6pm daily in daylight saving time.

Sacred Canyon Walk, Flinders Ranges
You don’t have to take off on a multi-day hike to explore the dramatic landscape of red craggy mountains and tree-lined gorges of the Flinders Ranges. There are four short self-guided walks and 14 longer hikes that you can do without a guide.

One of these is the Arkaroo Rocks Hike, which takes around two hours to complete. The red dirt path is rough but the valley views of Wilpena Pound are magical. A highlight is the ochre and charcoal Aboriginal rock art, depicting the creation of Wilpena Pound in the Dreamtime. Collect maps from the Wilpena Visitor centre.

For more adventure, book a guided walking tour through part of the Northern Flinders Ranges with Iga Warta. Aboriginal guide Terrance Coulthard offers a four-hour guided trek up Iga Warta Mountain through gorgeous red rock country chock full of birdlife and native animals. You might even spot a rare yellow-footed rock wallaby. He also leads a four-hour walk along a dried up creek bed to an impressive chasm. Along the way he gives you an insight into his Aboriginal culture and the local animals and plants. The tours cost $75, on demand.

The Riesling Trail, Clare Valley
This self-guided walking tour in the Clare Valley, just an hour and half from Adelaide, follows the contours and curves of a former railway line through South Australian winery country.

The compacted surface makes it ideal for walking or cycling and, because it’s a well-marked track, you can’t get lost. The trail starts at the former Auburn railway station, which is now home to Mount Horrocks Wines. It ends, 35km later, at Riverton.

There are wooded sections along the route that feel like old English laneways, and expanse views of farmland, vineyards and villages. Along the way are picnic spots and local history storyboards. You can walk the trail from end to end in about nine hours, or you can do a section and make your way back.

There is a choice of trail loops off the main walking track. One of these is the 9km John Horrocks Loop, which takes you through the village of Penwortham, and past cellar doors and restaurants.
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