The capital of South Australia is known for its art, culture and history, but it’s also en route to becoming the most eco-friendly tourist destination in Australia.

Here are just some of the green activities you can enjoy in Adelaide.

Stay at the Hilton Adelaide Hotel

If you want to spend a few nights in the lap of luxury, but keep your impact on the environment to a minimum, consider checking in to the Hilton Adelaide Hotel.

In 2008, this five-star hotel became the first in Adelaide to join the Zero Waste SA’s Industry Program and take steps toward operating in a more sustainable way. The Hilton Adelaide Hotel has developed an “environmental improvement program” that involves regulating the water and energy used, as well as recycling projects.

The Hilton Adelaide Hotel won the Australian Hotel Associations SA Award for Excellence in Best Environmental Practice and the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, both in 2009, for its efforts.

Located at 233 Victoria Square, the Hilton Adelaide Hotel is a 15-minute drive in any one of our fantastic Adelaide Airport car rentals.

Check out the Rundle Lantern

The Rundle Lantern is a carbon-neutral, solar-powered digital canvas. It was launched in 2008, and can be found on Rundle Street, illuminating the UPark on its corner.

It’s nine levels high and covers a space of 1,066 metres, which is approximately 40 per cent of the UPark’s exterior. Between 6.30pm and 2.30am, the Rundle Lantern’s 748 LED panels light up with unique imagery and colourful designs, often created by acclaimed local artists.

The best part of the Rundle Lantern is that it’s 100 per cent green-powered. LEDs are well known for being more eco-friendly and long-lasting than conventional light bulbs, and we’re told that around 40 per cent of the electricity this digital canvas uses goes back into the city’s grid.

If you’re not content with simply looking at the Rundle Lantern, go online and create a design of your own to be showcased for all to see.

Kayak at the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary

A 20-minute drive in your rental car from Adelaide will see you reach the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary.  It contains a mangrove forest that’s approximately 10,000 years old and is home to 30 bottlenose dolphins, as well as other fascinating marine life.

There is a walking trail around the area, so you can stretch your legs, breathe in the fresh, Adelaide air and spot a dolphin or two from the shore. There are sign-posted viewing spots along the trail, with information about what kinds of creatures you will (hopefully) see as you gaze across the water.

If you fancy getting a closer look at the dolphins, sign up for a three-hour kayak tour through the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary. This is said to be “one of Adelaide’s best eco-adventures” and is suitable for people of all ages and experience levels.

During the kayak tour, you will not only encounter a wide range of marine and bird life, but also paddle through an area dubbed the “Ship’s Graveyard”. Below the surface of the water rest more than 800 vessels, some of which are from the 1850s.

But wait, there’s more

The entire city has made a commitment to being eco-friendly, so chances are many places you visit during your time in Adelaide will be green.  Parliament House, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum, for example, all have solar panels on their roofs.  The Adelaide Market also recycles most of the waste it produces.

In addition to this, Adelaide hosts an array of “zero waste” events throughout the year, such as WOMADelaide – a huge musical festival that attracts thousands of visitors.