The pensioner’s retirement guide to travelling in Adelaide

Last updated on 10 April 2024

Spending time in Adelaide is great for retirees, with plenty of benefits for Senior Card holders. [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points

  • Adelaide has been ranked as the world’s 12th most liveable city in the Economist’s most recent Global Liveability Index
  • Some of the top sights in Adelaide for retirees include the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the Adelaide Zoo
  • Making the most of senior discounts such as free travel on Adelaide Metro buses, trains and trams is a great way to explore Adelaide cheaply as a retiree

With Your Retirement Living magazine releasing city-specific guides for retirees travelling all over the world, Adelaide is the first city to look at in this guide for retirees. 

Around 1.8 million residents live in South Australia and around 80 percent of the population reside in Adelaide and the surrounding metropolitan areas.

In the most recent Global Liveability Index from the Economist, Adelaide is ranked in the top 12 most liveable cities in the world, according to a webpage from the Government of South Australia. In 2021, Adelaide was ranked as the world’s third most liveable city by the Economist’s Global Liveability Index, according to information on the City of Adelaide website

Such high rankings for Adelaide come as no surprise to South Australians as there is an abundance of culture, quality infrastructure and stability in this Australian city. With so many beautiful sights to see and experiences to enjoy, here are the top five things to do in Adelaide when travelling as a retiree. 

If you are travelling from interstate and have a valid Seniors Card, you are eligible to use the Adelaide Metro buses, trains and trams for free during specific times on weekdays. On weekends, you can use the Adelaide Metro at any time for free. For specific details on valid times and how to receive your free 14-Day Seniors Pass, head over to the Adelaide Metro website. 

If you live in Adelaide and want to explore the city as a retiree, South Australian Seniors Card members are entitled to free Adelaide Metro train, tram and bus services every day. All you need is to create a Seniors Card MetroCARD account on the Adelaide Metro website. 

Adelaide Central Market

Fresh fruit and vegetables are just some of the produce you can find at the Adelaide Central Market. [Source: Shutterstock]

The Adelaide Central Market often holds events to immerse customers in the delicacy of fresh food offered for sale at their stalls. 

Recently, workshops for sauce and gnocchi making were held and allowed participants to create their own traditional passata and authentic gnocchi. Workshop costs for making the sauce or the pasta are only $25 dollars, plus a booking fee per person, making these engaging workshops an affordable option for retirees looking to save money on food and fun activities. There are often free cooking demonstrations too.

To make the most of your visit to Adelaide Central Market, check upcoming events and demonstrations on the Adelaide Central Market website. 

Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall is one of the best places to shop in South Australia. [Source: trabantos; Shutterstock]

With the famous Malls Balls, Rundle Mall is a classic place for any traveller to visit. The mall is often bustling, with buskers often filling the city with music and joy. There’s always something going on at Rundle Mall, with events constantly being updated on the Rundle Mall website.

Rundle Mall is South Australia’s premier shopping location, with over 700 retail outlets, three department stores and 15 arcades and centres. Be sure to bring your Seniors Card with you, as many retailers offer discounts for retirees. Strandbags, Sunglass Hut and Grahams Jewellers are just some of the retailers that offer 10 percent off full-price products, with many other retailers offering discounts to senior Australians, according to the Seniors Card website. 

In Rundle Mall, there are many places to eat, but using your Seniors Card can get you free food. At McDonald’s, using your SA Seniors Card can get you a free small McCafe hot beverage, soft drink or orange juice when you spend just $4 in-store. 

If you’re looking for something a bit sweeter, Muffin Break offers a 10 percent discount for Senior Card holders, meaning you can have your cake and eat it too. 

While you’re near Rundle Mall, why not catch a flick at The Mercury cinema? Its Silverscreen program means that Senior Card members can book movie tickets online or at the door for just $10 each for 10:30am and 2pm sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays. Morning tea and afternoon tea are included in the ticket price for seniors for respective sessions. 

Adelaide Zoo

Meerkats are some of the many animals that live at Adelaide Zoo. [Source: Shutterstock]

While Adelaide Zoo has well-recognised animals such as the African Lion and the Australian Sea Lion, other lesser-known animals include the Malayan Tapir and the Rhino Iguana. A comprehensive interactive list of all current animals at Adelaide Zoo is available online.

With a valid pension or seniors card, you can enter the Adelaide Zoo for $11.50  cheaper than a typical adult entry, according to information on the Adelaide Zoo website, as of April 10, 2024. 

Stay up to date with relevant Adelaide Zoo news about the animals and fun upcoming activities for all ages.

Adelaide Botanic Garden

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens have been around for over a hundred years [Source: Shutterstock]

The Adelaide Botanic Garden is composed of multiple smaller gardens in the centre of Adelaide, including the Cactus and Succulent Garden, the Australian Forest, the International Rose Garden and the Dahlia Garden. 

This beautiful garden oozes with history, having first opened in 1857, but now contains many modern-day amenities including a cafe, picnic areas and a gift shop within its 50-hectare grounds. Entry is free and while parking costs during the week, parking is free on Sundays and public holidays. 

Adelaide Hills drive

Hahndorf is a great historic town to visit in the Adelaide Hills. [Source: Shutterstock]

While in Adelaide, there’s no chance you can miss spending a day or two in the Adelaide Hills. As you head south, make sure to stop into Hahndorf, a German town established in 1839. 

To get a great immersive experience of the town’s history, consider joining the Hahndorf Strassendorf or Hahndorf Hufendorf walking tours that offer seniors a 10 percent discount when booking over the phone, according to the Seniors Card website. 

Accommodation is also available in Hahndorf at senior discount rates, including the Haus Group accommodation which offers 15 percent discount for one night and 20 percent for two nights or more.  

If you’re looking for a longer drive out of Adelaide to a winery for an overnight adventure, South Australian Seniors Card members can get a 20 percent discount on mid-week accommodation at Longview Vineyard.

When travelling in Adelaide, don’t forget to keep your Seniors Card with you at all times to ensure you get the best savings while travelling around this South Australian city. 

What are your favourite parts about travelling around Adelaide?

Let the team at Your Retirement Living know what you think and subscribe to the newsletter for more information, news and industry updates.

Relevant content:

Six sunny holiday destinations for retirees

Going off-grid camping the right way

Five unique cocktails to celebrate retirement