Contrary to popular belief, Adelaide in South Australia has lots of beautiful photography locations and Instagrammable places! Not many people however are aware of what to see and do in Adelaide as it always gets overshadowed by the more popular destinations of Sydney and Melbourne. Here in this article I have put together the best photography locations in and around Adelaide for you.
The article is split up into 4 sections: photography locations in Adelaide CBD, photography locations in The Adelaide Hills, Instagrammable Beaches near Adelaide and Instagrammable places near to Adelaide.
ADELAIDE CBD PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS
Adelaide CBD is fairly compact but it offers several nice Instagrammable places:
Lindy Lee Life of Stars Sculpture and Art Gallery
Located at the entrance of The Art Galley of South Australia is the 6 metre high Life of Stars Sculpture. Both during the day and the night the sculpture looks incredible and is great to photograph.
The State Library of South Australia
Next to the Art Gallery is The State Library of South Australia. The Mortlock Wing here offers the perfect backdrop for some Instagrammable photos and The State Library is often listed in the top 20 most beautiful libraries in the world.
The University of Adelaide
The University of Adelaide is situated in some incredibly beautiful and historic buildings. Bonython Hall and The Museum of Classical Archaeology (both pictured below) are two examples, both located adjacent to each other and next to The Art Gallery.
Haigh’s Chocolates Store
The Haigh’s Chocolates store located on Beehive Corner, Rundel Mall is a really Instagrammable building! There are a couple of Haigh’s Chocolate stores in Adelaide so make sure to visit the right one – click here for the Google maps location.
Along Rundel Mall (a pedestrianised outdoor shopping street) you’ll also find some cute statues of pigs near one of the rubbish bins!
The SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) Building is iconic and architecturally very unique – it is definitely worth a look!
The River Torrens runs through Adelaide and the part where the river runs near The Adelaide Oval is always a popular place for people to stroll along, enjoy and take pictures. You’ll also be able to spot lots of wildlife here.
If you are looking for a more photogenic spot of the River Torrens, you will need to drive up Gorge Road in Adelaide’s Eastern suburbs (past Athelstone) to Torrens Gorge.
Adelaide Fruit & Produce Exchange
Located in the East End, the facade on the former building of the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange really adds character to the area and makes for some really nice pictures. It was built in 1904 and spans several streets, however the most photogenic parts are on East Terrace and on the corner of East Terrace and Grenfell Street.
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Just around the corner from the Adelaide Fruit & Produce Exchange are the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The gardens are free to enter and are full of lots of different plants, tree lined avenues and a picturesque lake. The architecture of the buildings inside The Botanic Gardens: the Conservatory, Palm House, the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion and Santos Museum is also really impressive. You’ll find plenty spots to take pictures in The Botanic Gardens and you’ll feel miles away from the city here.
There are several places in The Botanic Gardens where you can get food and drinks if you want to have lunch in the gardens. Also, free guided walks are held every day at 10.30am (except when the weather is over 36 degrees) – meet at the Schomburgk Pavilion. And if you wish to visit the Adelaide Zoo it is located just on the other side of the Botanic Gardens.
Himeji Japanese Garden
The Himeji Garden is a beautiful secret oasis in the middle of Adelaide CBD and is one of the hidden photography locations in the city. It is a traditional Japanese garden where you’ll find a quaint teahouse, a picturesque lake and meditative paths. Himeji Garden is located in Park 18 of the Adelaide Park Lands on South Terrace – click here to view it’s location on Google maps. Entrance is free.
Other popular photography locations in Adelaide CBD include:
- The Town Hall
- The Darling Building
- Adelaide Arcade
- Pride Walk at Light Square
- Rundle Lantern.
ADELAIDE HILLS PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS
The Adelaide Hills are located a few miles east of Adelaide and are known for producing top quality cool-climate wines. Infact The Adelaide Hills is one of the best wine producing regions in Australia. It is closer to Adelaide CBD than the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale – also top wine producing regions, and you will also find a couple of lovely German settlements within The Adelaide Hills, so it makes the perfect place to explore for a few hours!
Mount Lofty Summit
Less than a half an hours drive from Adelaide CBD will take you to Mount Lofty Summit in the Adelaide Hills. Here you can get beautiful sweeping panoramic views over the whole of Adelaide and even as far out as Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island on a clear day!
You need to pay a couple of dollars to park in the car park, and as you are walking up towards the summit and Visitor Centre just past the car park, look out for the resident koala who sits in the tree to your left! There are toilets at The Visitor Centre if you need!
There are also the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens nearby. The Botanic Gardens are free to visit and are beautiful year round, however in autumn the colours of the leaves on the trees here is simply incredible.
A half hour drive south-east of Adelaide CBD (15 minute drive from Mount Lofty Summit) will take you to the beautiful and quaint but touristic town of Hahndorf. Hahndorf was home to some of the first German settlers in Australia and used to hold a fabulous Oktoberfest every year.
The main street in Hahndorf (Mount Barker Road) is lovely, with the beautiful buildings displaying original German style architecture. This makes Hahndorf one of the most popular photography locations and places to visit near to Adelaide.
Adelaide Hills Vineyards
The vineyards and wineries at Adelaide Hills are great places to visit for a spot of wine tasting and make for some really beautiful photographs. You’ll see and hear the term ‘Cellar Door’ used often instead of winery here. Note ‘Cellar Door’ is a primarily Australian term used to mean a place where you can go wine tasting. South Australia actually accounts for over half of the wine grape production in Australia and so you should definitely take the time to visit a Cellar Door during your time here.
Many of the Cellar Doors can be accessed quickly and easily from Hahndorf. Spend a couple of hours at one of the wineries sampling the wine and make sure to get some photographs of the vineyards afterwards. Please please ask if you are allowed on the vineyard or not! Many do not allow you to walk amongst the vines as it can introduce foreign species and damage the crop as it is very sensitive.
Some of the wineries in the Adelaide Hills are more Instagrammable than others – for example ‘Between The Vines’ vineyard is particularly photogenic and you can get some really nice photographs from the arched windows. ‘Bird in Hand‘ winery is also a popular vineyard in Adelaide Hills for people to visit due to the Instagrammable giant beige door.
Mount Barker Train Tunnel
The Mount Barker Train Tunnel of one of the best hidden photography locations in The Adelaide Hills, located a few miles past Hahndorf. The train line is no longer in use and can be a little difficult to find as it is not signposted. It is located underneath the South Eastern Freeway and the best way to get here is to head to Littlehampton and park near the corner of Childs Road and Cameron Road. From here you’ll be able to walk along the disused railway tracks for about 100 metres or so until you get to the tunnel. Unfortunately it is not marked on Google maps.
INSTAGRAMMABLE BEACHES NEAR ADELAIDE
Whilst the beaches in Queensland seem to get all the fame in Australia, South Australia is home to some incredible and rather untouched beaches with beautiful white sand and boardwalks, as well as beaches that are perfect for surfing. Let’s take a look at some of the most Instagrammable beaches near Adelaide:
The beach town of Glenelg is Adelaide’s closest beach and it is known as Adelaide’s favourite seaside destination! It takes 20 minutes to get to Glenelg from Adelaide CBD, and only 5 minutes to get here from the airport!
Glenelg Beach is a beautiful long flat beach with perfect white sand and a nice pier you can stroll down. It is a really trendy area of Adelaide with lots of boutique eateries and stores. There is also the popular Moseley Beach Club here as well as the Amusement Centre for children.
Other beautiful Instagrammable beaches in Adelaide not far from Glenelg include Brighton Beach, West Beach and Henley Beach. Both Brighton Beach and Henley Beach have a really nice jetty you can walk along and get some nice pictures on – they are some of the best sunrise spots in Adelaide. You can walk along The Esplanade from either of these beaches to get to Glenelg.
30km south of Adelaide is the seaside village of Port Noarlunga, located in the Fleurieu Peninsula. The Fleurieu Peninsula is known for it’s fine beaches, rugged beaches and wine regions (namely McLaren Vale). Port Noarlunga is a popular holiday destination, especially because it is home to Adelaide’s closest dive site – Port Noarlunga Reef. Port Noarlunga is also a popular place for snorkelling, fishing and kayaking.
Underneath the Port Noarlunga jetty makes for some great Instagrammable pictures, as well as on the creamy-white rocks to the right of the jetty.
At Port Noarlunga you’ll find lots of cute shops, cafes and restaurants.
Just south of Port Noarlunga is Southport Beach. There is a very beautiful and incredibly Instagrammable staircase overlooking Southport Beach where the Onkaparinga River mouth meets the sea. It is known as the Onkaparinga River Mount View Point. Click here to see the exact Google maps location.
Port Willunga is about a 50 minute drive from Adelaide, also on The Fleurieu Peninsula and just past the wine region of McLaren Vale. The white sandy beach at Port Willunga is beautiful, rugged and uncrowded.
What makes Port Willunga Beach incredibly unique though is the beachfront caves. These caves were carved into the rock face and were a place where local fishermen would once store their boats. Nowadays people use them as a place to sit and have a picnic when they want some shade from the sun.
In front of the caves you’ll see the jetty pylons which are the only remains of the old Port Willunga Pier. ‘The sticks’ as they are known locally make a popular spot for photography especially at sunset.
There is a little cafe just behind the beach if you need to buy any food or drinks.
Another 30 minute drive further along the Fleurieu Peninsula towards Cape Jervis is Carrickalinga. Carrickalinga is a popular holiday destination, also with a beautiful long white sandy beach. If you head right to the end of Dodd Beach (Carrickalinga North Bay) by Carrickalinga Point (drive down Gold Coast Drive) you’ll find some rock pools where you can cool down in if the tide is right and the waves aren’t too rough.
There are no shops or anything in Carrickalinga – only houses. The nearby town of Normanville has some shops if you need them.
If you continue driving further down along The Fleurieu Peninsula you will arrive to Cape Jervis. The is where you can take the ferry to Kangaroo Island.
INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES NEAR TO ADELAIDE
The d’Arenberg Cube is a winery and restaurant located in McLaren Vale, 40km south of Adelaide CBD. It is a really surreal building – like a giant silver Rubix Cube, and attracts visitors from all over the world.
Garden Island Ships Graveyard
A 30 minute drive north of Adelaide CBD will take you to the beautiful Garden Island. The Ships Graveyard here is incredible, although to reach it you will need to kayak there.
A 2 hour drive north of Adelaide will take you to Lake Bumbunga – a beautiful pink salt lake.
And those are the best photography locations in and around Adelaide! If you are planning to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne make sure to check out these locations along the way: