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Everyone goes on about Sydney and Melbourne, and they are pretty cool cities, but you shouldn’t forget that there’s a damn sight more to Australia than just the east coast. In fact, if you want to trade in the brag value of being the umpteenth person to visit the Opera House for a real Aussie adventure, just grab a map, an emergency supply of water and a car hire from Adelaide Airport. Adelaide itself is a bit of alright, and it really shines when it comes to providing a spot to launch into awesome adventures.
Before you launch into your South Australian adventure, you’re gonna need a vehicle. Trying to sort through all the different car rental brands available at Adelaide Airport is quite frankly baffling, but there is an easy way to sort through them all. AirportRentals.com.au lays all your options out right in front of you, so you can get your borning rental booking done and out of the way asap, and go back to doing pretty much anything else. After all, who wants to spend ages trying to hunt down the best car rental, when you could be planning an epic holiday?
There’s really not much to booking a car rental on AirportRentals.com.au. Just chuck in a few of your trip details like where you’re ending up and where you want to pick up your car rental from, and you’re away. You’ll have a bunch of different vehicles to pick from, and you can look at the cheapest or most expensive first - even throw things like rental brand or car type in to narrow things down. Once you’ve sorted out a vehicle that’s just right for you, you’ll be done and dusted in a matter of minutes. Just make sure you’ve got your flight number handy (if you are planning to fly in to Adelaide Airport) as this’ll be needed toward the end of the process.
There’s a whole gaggle of rental brands at Adelaide Airport for you to choose from. Some of them you’ve probably heard of before, like Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar (if you’re hunting for a rental from an internationally known brand, these ones have you covered) while others like Redspot and Firefly aren’t household names but quite often they’ll be the ones offering the cheapest deals, so keep an eye on them to snag a bargain.
Since Adelaide Airport got a spruce up in 2005, the airport has had just the one terminal that covers domestic and international flights. This makes it way easier to get around and pick your Adelaide car hire, no matter whether you’re flying in from overseas or just hopping across from another Australian city. Adelaide Airport has free WiFi on tap so there’s no need to interrupt your internet addiction - there’s even internet kiosks if mobile surfing just isn’t going to cut it, though this will cost you a little. You can swap out your foreign currency or just withdraw some good old fashioned Aussie cash at ATMs on Ground Level and Level 2 of the Adelaide Airport megaterminal. And just in case you’ve still got questions, you can always head along to the Information Booth on Ground Level.
Driving can get a little crazy in some Australian cities, like Melbourne with their weird hook turn rules, but Adelaide is blessedly free from most of these hassles. It is a busy city though so bring your best to the driver’s seat and don’t get up to any funny business. If you happen to be reading this from overseas, you should know one super important thing about driving in Australia in general: unlike most of the world, Australians drive on the left hand side of the road. It’s not that hard to get your head around really, as long as you pay attention when turning at intersections. If you’ve never driven in this fair country before, take a look over our Australia driving guide and you’ll soon be zipping around like a local.
It’s pretty bloody simple to get from Adelaide Airport into the CBD. Driving north up Sir Richard Williams Ave, you’ll soon run into the A6. From there, just turn right (east) along the A6 and it’ll carry you all the way into the city in about 15 minutes.
Just to cover a couple of the basics: most of Adelaide has a 50 km/h speed limit, which is pretty standard for cities and suburbs across Australia. There are quite a few speed cameras too, so don’t be tempted into a little bit of cheeky rule breaking just cause you think no one’s looking. Unsurprisingly, drink driving is a no go in South Australia, like elsewhere in the country, with a legal blood alcohol limit of 0.05. Basically, if you’ve had anything to drink, don’t risk it. It’s not worth it.
You can drive away in your car hire from Adelaide Airport no worries, thanks to the full fuel tank that you’re generally supplied with. On the way back though, things are a little different. If you don’t want to fall into the classic ‘running late, skip fuel trap and unless you managed to snap up some kind of special deal, you’re going to have to plan for that last petrol stop before the end of your trip. United Petroleum - Adelaide Airport is just about right on top of the airport, but like any other airport petrol station, it can be busy and a wee bit more expensive than other nearby stations. OTR Underdale may be a better choice for you when you’re returning your car, as it’s just a bit to the north of Adelaide Airport. #winning
With the outskirts of the Outback starting just a few hours north of Adelaide, the siren song of the Red Centre is too strong for many to resist. Heading deep into the Australian Outback will introduce you to an epic sense of space and scale that’s likely to blow your mind. But before you go rushing off into the desert, you’ll want to get all your ducks in a row. First off, check that you’re actually allowed to take your rental vehicle on the roads you’re planning to travel. You’ll want to go through your rental agreement to make sure, but generally 2WD rentals aren’t allowed on dirt roads. The other crucial thing to have in your car before you set out on an Outback odyssey is water. Lots of water. 20 litres per person, per day. That may sound like a crapload of water but believe me, in the unlikely event that you get stranded it could save your life. Also, when you’re in the depths of the Red Centre, every time you see a petrol station make sure to fill up. It might be a very long way before you come across another one.
As awesome as the Red Centre is, it’s far from the only road trip-worthy place you can visit with a car hire from Adelaide - it’s pretty damn amazing though, so you better have a good excuse if it isn’t going on your Adelaide itinerary. Check out a few more pure gold options below.
Rock paper scissors for who’s going to be driving and who’ll be on tasting duties - either that, or drive up to the region, find a place to stay and pay someone else to take you around the vineyards. If you haven’t heard of Barossa Valley wines before, I’m not sure which rock you’ve been hiding under but this is where some of the best wines in the country start their life.
This is the perfect spot to arrive, put up your feet and enjoy some well deserved chill time. You’ll find the Fleurieu Peninsula a little to the southeast of Adelaide, and whether your idea of a good time is lying on the beach, exploring scenic coastlines or sipping wine in a beautiful vineyard, this route will have you relaxing in no time.
If devouring delicious local seafood as you trip through sleepy seaside towns sounds like a dream, it’s one that can come true on the Yorke Peninsula. East of Adelaide lies a land of golden beaches, wineries and some of the most mouth-watering prawns, crabs and shellfish you’ve ever tasted.
Now you know the basics about Outback travel, here’s how to get the most out of your trip: for the full on Red Centre experience, you’ll want to head north from Adelaide all the way to Darwin. Don’t forget that big chunk of rock that’s made Australia famous for years - a side trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) is a must on any Aussie Outback trip.
Yeah, I can see your eyes glazing over already. But just hang in there, cause this is going to be quick, relatively painless and you might need some of the info below. A handy rule of thumb to remember is the cheaper the rental car place, the further away your pick up point will be. This is not hard and fast but keep it in mind.
Most of the car rental suppliers in the Adelaide area have a rental desk inside the terminal at Adelaide Airport, but if your supplier has a depot somewhere nearby you should be able to catch a free shuttle straight from the terminal to your pick up point. If you’re not quite sure where to catch the shuttle, check ahead of time with the rental company or (if you’re not that organised) ask at the airport’s Information Desk. Car hire brands you’ll find in the Adelaide Airport terminal include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot, Thrifty, AutoEurope, Apollo, Firefly and Keddy.
East Coast Car Rentals has a depot near the airport at 237 Richmond Road, Richmond.
Ace Car Rentals can be found at 13 Anzac Highway, Keswick, between the airport and the city.
Access Car Rental has a pick up depot at 464 Port Road, West Hindmarsh, five minutes drive from Adelaide Airport.
Airportrentals.com.au offers great deals all over the world. Compare and save!
Sometimes you don’t have time to go gallivanting off around the country, and you just need somewhere close to the airport to turn in for the night. Adelaide Airport Motel gives you the bare bones of this, but it does have the upside of being super close to the airport. It’s not fancy, but if you’re not fussy it’ll do. Esplanade Apartments offers rooms that are a bit more swish, while still being on the affordable side. If nothing but the best will do, the Adelaide Luxury Beach House gives you the chance to live in style while still staying within a few minutes drive from Adelaide Airport.
To hear folks from Melbourne talk, you’d think they had the monopoly on culture in Australia. Anyone who’s been to Adelaide knows that this is ridiculous - this city is bursting with cool, quirky and crazy cultural events, so make sure to take a squiz at Adelaide’s event calendar before booking your trip. If you’re a bit of a culture vulture, you have to catch Mad March. In one month, the city explodes with creativity. The Adelaide Festival has grown into a massive mega-event scooping up a bunch of smaller events in its wake. Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week, Adelaide Film Festival and WOMADelaide are all part Mad March’s Adelaide Festival, giving you an embarrassment of cultural riches from which to choose. .
If you find yourself in Adelaide for the festive season, make an effort to catch the Adelaide Christmas Pageant. This huge event, which may be biggest Christmas parade in the world, has been going since the 1930s and is still going as strongly as ever. Heading through the Adelaide city centre, the pageant includes more than 60 floats, 15 bands and thousands of volunteers.
Fancy five days of sampling fine food, wine and handmade goods? Of course you do. The Barossa Vintage Festival offers just that - you can even attend a vintage car rally and browse top-notch craft and trade stalls when you want to take a brief break from all the delicious food and wine.
Speaking of food and wine… Adelaide has a proud history in the cuisine scene, and in the 90s it was the Australian destination for fine dining. This reputation faded a little in the following decade, but right now the city is enjoying a strong resurgence of top-notch wining and dining. Innovation and inspiration are thriving in Adelaide’s restaurants and an influx of new cafes and wine bars is changing things up for the better.
If you’re a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen yourself, you can save yourself the price of a restaurant meal by taking a trip to Adelaide Central Market. This is the most visited place in South Australia, thanks to its vast selection of fresh produce, cheeses, meats, bakery goods and all kinds of other mouth-watering morsels. It’s closed on Sunday and Monday, but any other day you can head down to the Central Market Precinct and take your pick of the best ingredients the region has on offer.
Those who can’t be stuffed cooking up a storm are also well catered for in Adelaide. Gouger Street is the place to go, especially you have a taste for Asian cuisine. It’s not just Asia on offer though - there’s food to be found here from all sorts of different places around the globe, making a visit to Gouger Street capable of both serving up old favourites and surprising you with fresh flavours.
Barossa Valley is one of the closest wine regions to Adelaide, less than an hour away if you’re picking up a car hire at Adelaide Airport, that doesn’t mean it’s the only place for wine lovers to go. If you drive a little further north, you’ll discover Clare Valley. Riesling fans will find themselves in wine heaven as this is the region’s specialty, but don’t worry: Clare also produces some excellent reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Like pretty much every Australian city worth mentioning, Adelaide sits on the coast. The St Vincent Gulf lies to the west of the city, while off to the east the fabled Murray River wends its way toward Lake Alexandrina and a few hours drive to the north you can find the seemingly endless red sands of the Outback.
There’s no denying that the crazy amount of festivals which call Adelaide home have a big effect on the culture of the city - creative souls will feel right at home here no matter what time of year it is. It’s also known as a very tolerant and open city, which values religious freedom and civil liberty. This is just as well, because Adelaide is a very multiethnic place, with more than 30% of the population speaking a language other than English at home.
You don’t have to arrive in Adelaide at any set time of the year to have fun in this city. Adelaide is full of exciting stuff to keep you busy year round, no matter what age you are. If you love old architecture and history, you’ll want to make tracks for Historic Port Adelaide. The area has kept a lot of its 19th century character, and those who’re after a unique viewpoint on the port can even take a kayak up Port River.
If you’ve got the anklebiters along for the ride, a trip to Adelaide Zoo is a no-brainer. The kids will have a chance to get up close and personal with a several awe (and aww) inspiring creatures, but it’s not just the young’uns who get to enjoy this place. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the stunning array of exotic animals on display will leave you with a wonder and deep respect for just how beautiful the world can be.
On the other hand, there are some things a city can offer which have no comparison in nature - and one of those things is good old fashioned retail therapy. To shop till you drop or just gaze enviously through windows, head down to Rundle Street. The stores here have a reputation for offering wares which are eclectic, high quality and very chic. To sweeten the deal, Rundle Street also has a bunch of top-notch eateries where you can take a tasty break from your spree.
When the sun comes out (which might be quite often, given Adelaide’s typically clear weather) you might feel an irresistible urge to hit the beach. If this happens, make a beeline for Glenelg. Normally “charming” is a nice word for boring, but this town genuinely earned that term, and offers plenty of spots to relax on the sand or just look out over the water from the comfort of a cosy seaside cafe.
It might seem a bit stupid to be talking about public transport when you’re planning to pick up a car hire in Adelaide but the fact is, every now and again it might be useful to know how to get around the city without using a car. If you do find yourself needing a public transport option, the City Connector bus is free and covers a bunch of destinations around North and Central Adelaide. Another free option is a free tram service that runs from Adelaide Entertainment Centre to South Terrace. If you’re happy to pay a little bit, your public transport options expand. Adelaide Metro covers trains, trams and buses in the Adelaide area, and to get unlimited access to Metro services you can pick up a three day visitor pass.
Lucky for sun seekers, Adelaide is the driest of all Australia’s capital cities and it’s fortunate to have relatively mild weather for most of the year. Over the last few years, temperatures have spiked to sweltering highs during the summertime, and this seems to be a continuing trend so you might want to stay away during the height of summer.
Airportrentals.com.au offers great deals all over the world. Compare and save!