Six budget-friendly South Australian sights to visit this spring break

How to relax and unwind on a uni student’s budget and time restraints. (Image Source: City of Adelaide)

By Chelsea Shepherd | @Chelsea15183902

It’s that time of year again where uni students finally get two short weeks away from campus for the mid-semester break. 

Although it’s called mid-semester break, we all know that we don’t have much down time as we continue our uni student grind through endless assessments and preparation for the final few weeks of uni for the year. 

Not only is time a big restraint, but that stereotype of us having no money and eating 99 cent ramen noodles is still pretty accurate. At least for me it is. 

This “break” feels like it’s almost over and it only just began, so I wanted to write a little list of things to do in Adelaide for the time and money poor uni student. 

  1. Picnic in the Botanic Gardens

Number one on my list of mid semester break activities is a right of passage for Adeladians. Although it’s a relatively generic idea, it’s free and a great way to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. I suggest heading over to the Adelaide Central Markets beforehand and picking up some cheese, bread, fruit and maybe even some wine and catching the free city tram to the gardens. It’s free entry and there are so many beautiful spots to put down a picnic rug and soak up the rays. 

2. Trip down to the Fleurieu Peninsula 

Heading down south is one of my favourite activities all year round. There is so much to see and do — like eating up a storm at the infamous Port Elliot Bakery, visiting the McLaren Vale wineries, the Willunga Markets or going for a surf at Aldinga. 

With the weather beginning to heat up, I highly suggest driving your car along the white sandy beach at Sellicks and heading into the water if you’re brave enough. While you’re down that way, the Deep Blue Cafe at Moana is a great spot to grab a feed. it’s the rainbow coloured building on the corner, so you can’t miss it.

If you have some time, there is a campground at Rapid Bay an hour further South that charges $9 a night to camp right on the beachfront. 

3. Hiking

This next suggestion is a little basic I must admit but a staple for all uni students and it’s a hike up Morialta, Mount Lofty or anywhere that’s convenient for you. Hiking is a great way to spend your time especially as the weather gets better.

Now, I will admit it doesn’t seem that fun when you’re climbing up steep hills and your legs are burning. But you can choose a track that suits your fitness level and I can guarantee that you will find some incredible views around Adelaide. And who knows — maybe a hike will give you the motivation you need to finish off those last minute uni assignments. 

4. Scootering down the beach 

Electric scooters are the newest and most fun mode of transport around Adelaide. They were temporarily scrapped due to COVID-19 but are now back up and running. ‘

You may have seen them along the beachfront or may have narrowly missed being run over by a drunk white girl riding down Hindley Street on one (I am very sorry that was probably me). 

All you need to do is download either the Neuron or Ride apps and link your debit or credit card and it costs approximately 70 cents a minute depending on the brand you use. 

E-scooters are a great way to beach hop from Semaphore to Henley or a great way to get around and see the city. Of course remember to ride safely!

5. Monarto Zoo

Monarto Zoo was a place where I spent a lot of time with my family growing up. But recently, I realised that I hadn’t been back in a long time and wanted to see what had changed. 

I have since  been twice recently and really enjoyed it. It’s a little bit of a journey out of Adelaide but being there makes you feel like you’re on an African Safari. 

It costs a student $28 to enter and after that your only expense is food and drinks if you don’t bring your own. There are busses that take you around the park or you can choose to walk around if you want the exercise.

There are Giraffes, Zebras, Lions, Monkeys and more that are all incredibly cute. As an extra the Lion 360 experience is incredible if you have the time and money. It’s an additional $60 on top of the park entry fee and money all goes towards the Zambian Carnivore Project which protects the wild Lions in Zambia from poachers. 

Essentially, you stand in a cage that the Lions climb on and around. Warning: you will most likely be peed on (speaking from experience both times). I must admit I had a crippling fear of Lions leading up to this and it changed my whole perception of the beautiful creatures, it’s truly a wonderful experience.

6. Hahndorf

The Adelaide Hills in spring are simply gorgeous; the flowers are blooming, there’s butterflies everywhere and the trees are a beautiful shade of green. 

Stroll along the historic streets and visit the quaint stores and if you’re feeling up for it, you can try tackle a stein of beer and a schnitzel from one of the german pubs. 

If you’re craving an activity, there is a challenging mini golf course behind the main street that will set you back $9 and really test your patience. 

If a less competitive activity is more you’re style the Beerenberg strawberry factory is a great way to spend the day. 

The Strawberry picking season doesn’t officially start until November, however, their shop is open year round, so you can pop in for a visit and purchase some of the delicious sauces and spreads. 

It costs $10 for a large, empty punnett and you can go out into the endless fields of green and red and pick as many strawberries as you can fit. Rest Assured, if they don’t fit in the punnett, it’s essential you eat the strawberries as you go along. 

When you’re done there, the Melba’s chocolate factory is only a short drive away and you can sample or purchase as much South Australian chocolate as you can fit in your stomach until you feel sick. 

Spring is an amazing time of year and there is so much to see and do. 

It’s important to take some time away from your laptop to get some fresh air and have fun. You may even find that taking some time away might motivate you. 

Whether you choose to do something from this list, or you have your own idea for a mini adventure, I hope this has inspired you to create your own mini getaway in South Australia.

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