Adelaide City Cultural Capital

A fine tradition

Adelaide is proud of its list of “firsts”. Aside from being Australia's first freely settled colony - founded in 1836 by Colonel Light - we also boast plenty of other firsts too.

We exported Australia’s first wine in 1845. South Australian women were the first to enjoy voting rights in 1894 and right to stand for parliament and the State Government was the first to pass sex discrimination legislation. 

In more recent times, Adelaide was the first Australian city to host an arts festival.

WOMADelaide, South Australia

We also have WOMADelaide - the first and only Australian version, of the world-music event WOMAD. In 2008, the Santos Tour Down Under was awarded UCI World Tour Status - a first for a race outside of Europe.

Eventful Adelaide

As well as WOMAD and the Santos Tour Down Under, here's a taste of some other events in Adelaide throughout the year: Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide International Guitar Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, OzAsia Festival, Come Out Festival (youth), Feast Festival (gay and lesbian), Carnevale (Italian), Glendi (Greek) and Schutzenfest (German).

Vintage car lovers; make sure you see the Bay to Birdwood Classic. It’s the world’s longest running historic motoring event.

In Adelaide, we call the festival season “Mad March”. It’s a crazy time here with the Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival, WOMADelaide and Clipsal 500 Adelaide happening at the same time.

Be prepared for very little sleep but it’s a good idea to book your accommodation early. Adelaide, the festival city in the festival state.

Making a splash around town

Splash Adelaide is one of the new and exciting intiatives in recent years which has focused on "bringing the city’s streets and spaces to life" with a series of "community run urban experiments".

Season three is underway with more than 80 activities or events planned for Adelaide in coming months, including mobile food vendors, parklets, outdoor dining, night time markets, relaxing urban retreats, live music and more.

Check out Splash Adelaide to find out what's on.

Proud heritage

Land rights were another Adelaide first. The early settlers recognised the Kaurna people as Adelaide’s original inhabitants.

They tried to understand Kaurna language and even built a school but closed it after five years. Disease almost wiped out the Kaurna people but their culture survived.

Now it’s part of the Adelaide cultural mix, along with the many other nationalities that have shaped South Australia. German influence is strong in the Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills. Irish founded the Clare Valley and Italians, Greeks and Asians evolved our food. You’ll also find Indian and African influence here. The choice of deciding where to eat is one of the toughest you’ll have to make.      

Broadening your mind has never been more fun. 

What's on in SA

There are plenty of events on in South Australia. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Things to do

Here are some great ideas for you to try while you’re in Adelaide.

Back to top