Explore the Rich Natural History of Adelaide


Nestled along the southern coast of Australia lies the lively city of Adelaide. As Australia’s fifth largest city, it is a popular tourist destination with many interesting things to do in and around the city. While the hustle and bustle of the city will likely catch your attention, there are a number of opportunities to explore the natural history of the region. The beauty of the landscape, the diversity of the wildlife, and the hospitable climate of this area are all highly unique. It can be daunting to narrow down what to see and do. There is so much on offer to help you to get inspired and learn about the natural history of Adelaide. Let’s take a look at just a few places that you need to add to your Adelaide itinerary.

Mount Lofty

The Mount Lofty Summit is easily accessible by taxi from Adelaide. The majestic peak rises up to 710 meters above sea level and is the highest in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges in the Adelaide Hills. It offers a variety of pursuits to suit the naturalist in everyone. Take a short hike around the Cleland Wildlife Park to see authentic bushland flora and fauna. The park itself offers a number of exciting options, including a chance to meet koalas up close.

South Australian Museum

If you are looking for a curated natural history experience, the South Australian Museum offers a fascinating exploration of the Adelaide area. Exhibits are constantly updated but feature a vibrant and diverse array of displays revolving around the natural heritage of the country. Currently, an exhibit on Cambrian animals has attracted a lot of attention. It is one of Australia’s most frequented museums and it is easy to see why. The megafauna and fossil collections are fantastic and should definitely be included in your visit.

Adelaide Zoo

If you prefer to see more contemporary (and living) animal life, be sure to explore the Adelaide Zoo. It is home of the Australian Panda which is sure to be a highlight for kids and adults alike. The Reptile House and Walk-through Aviaries provide some excellent insight into the rich natural history of the Adelaide region. The zoo also features a botanical garden which contains a selection of native flora. Many of the buildings themselves have been placed on the South Australian Heritage Register. It is located in the parklands to the north of the city center and is easily accessible by taxi, bus, or even on foot.

Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park

To see a diverse selection of native plant life, take a hike through the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. This area has been protected from development as a conservation site to protect a number of rare plant species which still populate the area. It is believed that the zone represents a relatively undisturbed remnant of the natural habitat that once resembled much of the Adelaide coastline. Be sure to look out for the unique fauna including a range of distinct and colorful birds.

Adelaide Botanic Garden

If you are interested in learning about how plants have evolved over time to thrive in the harsh Australian climate, take a trip to the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Located just northeast of the city center, this magisterial building is home to a number of rare and historical plants. Explore the numerous glass buildings filled with novel local flora. The attached Seed Conservation Center also protects local plant species that are at risk of going extinct. It might be an interesting visit for those who are fond of natural history.

The Natural Choice

The Adelaide area is beautiful and a visit to some of the places on this list will make your trip to Adelaide one to remember. The natural history of the region is as diverse as it is unique. Discovering it for yourself is a real pleasure with a range of sights, activities and landscapes to suit all tastes. Take advantage of your time in the city and check out some of the more natural attractions it has to offer.