Adelaide has it all. Yes, Adelaide, with its spacious streets and lively inner-city districts, stylish architecture and lush gardens, is the perfect venue for all sorts of activities. If you’re into culture the city’s North Terrace will delight you. Not just for the museums and the South Australian Art Gallery, but also for the memorials, the statues and the bricks and mortar of many wonderful old buildings. Beginning at the western end, across the road from the University of South Australia, you’ll find the City Skate (Sk8) Park. Watch impossible feats performed on skateboards, roller blades or bikes by young people who have no fear, or is that no sense? Opposite, there’s the Lion Arts Centre and the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design with its studios and galleries.
The Anglican Holy Trinity Church just past the Morphett Street Bridge is Adelaide’s oldest, built in 1838. On the other side of the road is Adelaide’s Convention Centre and Exhibition Hall, surrounded by some of Australia’s best hotels and Sky City casino, set inside the grand Adelaide Railway Station, provides ultramodern gaming facilities, dining and entertainment. South Australia’s Parliament House stands on the corner of North Terrace and King William Street, while at the other side of this central intersection in front of the Governor’s residence, stands the impressive Boer War statue.
Further along, the State Library is home to the (Donald) Bradman Collection and other fine exhibitions, the South Australian Museum houses the world’s finest Australian Aboriginal collection and the South Australian art gallery boasts the best display of Australian colonial art in the country. If you’re not into high brow then you might want to indulge in some retail therapy at Rundle Mall. For shopaholics, Rundle Mall is home to Australia’s most concentrated collection of department stores, boutiques and specialty shops, there are more than 800 to choose from, so you won’t run out of options. Matched with free live entertainment and an excellent range of food courts and dining venues, Rundle Mall will delight the serious shopper with its designer label creations, unique gifts, flower stalls, and some of the best duty free deals anywhere, all packed into a layered shopping strip just over 500 metres long.
The eastern extension of Rundle Street lives and breathes historic charm and modern sophistication. The embodiment of modern city living, Adelaide’s East End features original 19th century architecture refitted with ultramodern interiors. You can delight in the range of designer shops, cafes, wine bars, welcoming pubs and art house cinemas screening the latest release films, and be sure to allow time to explore the galleries and shop at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Every Saturday, between 10am and 4pm, Rundle Street is given over to the famous Rundle Street Market, or maybe you would prefer to sample the variety of tastes on offer at the famed Central Market in Gouger Street.
Alive with noise, colour and wonderful aromas, the Central Market is truly a foodie’s heaven. In the market proper, there are more than 80 traders selling fresh produce like fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as seafood, meat and poultry. It’s easy to explore on your own but it’s even more rewarding to take a tour and meet the traders and taste test their goods. Around the market, in arcades and plazas and laneways you’ll find more shops and stalls, specialty chocolate makers, bookshops, vintage clothes, souvenirs, jewellery, Asian groceries, gift shops and anything else you can think of as well as numerous wonderful places to eat.
Gouger Street is the city’s key ‘eat street’ where the cultural diversity is delicious. It is the gateway not only to the market and the exotic, bustling mall but also the food halls of Chinatown. Take a five-minute stroll and you’ll be embarking on a world tour of restaurants. Traditional Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Japanese, Asian fusion, noodle bars, regional Chinese and yum cha, French and Argentine cuisine, and a number of first-rate seafood restaurants. After all that food perhaps you might like to investigate the local home of some great sporting champions at the world-famous Adelaide Oval or enjoy a retreat to the beach at the cosmopolitan seaside suburbs of Glenelg and Brighton.
In Adelaide, like the rest of South Australia, there’s a brilliant blend of things to see and do. All you have to do is choose. Take the kids to the Zoo and see more than 1300 native and exotic animals; you can take a behind the scenes tour, watch animals being fed and much more. Get your daily exercise paddling a boat on the River Torrens in the heart of the city. Hire a pushbike from Riverside Bike and Paddle Boat Hire and cycle along beside the river. You’ll find them by the Festival Centre, or telephone Tony on 0400 596 065 to make a booking. Walk along North Terrace and investigate the South Australian Museum where you’ll find dinosaurs and birds and a giant squid. The science centre is fascinating, as is the Australian Aboriginal Culture Gallery.
And enjoying a family holiday in Adelaide doesn’t have to break the bank. There are lots of things that you can do and see for free. Treat yourself and explore the Botanic Gardens, take a picnic basket and take your time. Take the kids to Something on Saturday at the Festival Centre for performances and free craft workshops in the theatre foyer. There are outstanding playgrounds in North Adelaide including Glover Playground on Le Fevre Terrace and Bush Magic Playground next to the Adelaide Aquatic Centre on Jeffcott Street. Visit the Adelaide City Council for other locations. Take the tram to Holdfast Shores, Glenelg, and board a 17-metre catamaran as part of a Temptation cruise, where you can watch the dolphins swimming.
In Glenelg you’ll also find the Beach House fun park and the Rodney Fox Shark Museum. Or experience some of the world’s friendliest dolphins up close on the banks of the Port River, just 20 minutes from the city centre. Perhaps you’d like to come for the Adelaide Arts Festival which takes place at the beginning of March in even-numbered years. This iconic Australian festival attracts culture vultures from all over Australia to see live drama, dance and music. It also includes a writers’ week, art exhibitions and poetry readings. Guest speakers and performers from all over the world attend. The Fringe Festival, which takes place at the same time, features alternative contemporary music and performance art.
Womadelaide is an outdoor festival of world music and dance which takes place every February/March. Festivals and food, arts and culture, shopping and sports, yes this is Adelaide, the city where there’s always something on. On East Rundle Street there’s a café where every inch of wall space is papered with event posters. There must be over a hundred of them, each one advertising a different event. There are posters for sporting events, the opera, art festivals, carnivals for kids and even posters for local gigs. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is not unusual, after all lots of restaurants have posters on their walls, but when you read them and realize that these posters are all advertising things that are happening in Adelaide this month it gives you an understanding of what this great city is all about..
Adelaide’s wide streets and wonderful buildings provide the perfect setting for all sorts of activities. No matter what takes your interest, there’s something here that will arouse your curiosity. Whether you want to be entertained, get down and dirty, or just relax with the family, you’ll find what you need in Adelaide. Take a free tour of Haigh’s, Australia’s oldest chocolate making company and pick up some delights to help you deal with life when you eventually have to go home. Stop by Jurlique for some great beauty products, and don’t forget to visit RM Williams, Australia’s legendary outback outfitter, to take home some authentic Aussie gear to impress all your friends.. If you’re after some tucker or a drink, there are more restaurants than you can poke a stick at, cafes and pubs are everywhere. Sample the outdoor dining in East Rundle Street, try the seafood and Asian fare at Gouger Street, and treat yourself to some fine dining at the restaurants and cafes of North Adelaide.
To find something to suit your tastes just click here. Port Adelaide or The Port, as it’s more often called, is a seaport city and the historic maritime heart of South Australia. Port is home to the finest collection of colonial and Victorian buildings in Australia. The best way to experience the area is to take a walk along the docks and through the old heart of the Port, self-guided tours are available or a local volunteer can be booked to show you around through the Port Walks program. Port Adelaide is affectionately known by some as the ‘museum capital of Australia’, boasting the Maritime Museum, National Railway Museum and Aviation Museum, all open seven days a week.
The Sunday market next to Port’s icon, the lighthouse, is also popular with those hunting antiques, books and bric-a-brac. Down next to Torrens Island, local fishermen and market gardeners sell their fresh produce every Sunday morning. Glenelg and the City of Holdfast Bay are known for their festivals, sandy beaches, stunning sunsets, seven-day shopping, great restaurants and cafés, and fascinating museums, galleries and attractions. You can be there in just five minutes from the airport, or take a little longer and go on one of Adelaide’s moving icons, the City to Bay tram. With its excellent accommodation and facilities, plus easy accessibility to both the airport and Adelaide city centre, Glenelg is a year-round coastal holiday.
The Rodney Fox Shark Experience in Holdfast Bay is where the world famous underwater and shark adventurer Rodney Fox provides his own piece of living history, while the Town Hall Wine Bar is just the place to kick up your heels after sunset. Nearby is the Beachouse amusement park, while further along the foreshore the new Holdfast Shores marina and complex provides stylish dining and shopping at the water’s edge. Jetty Road is Glenelg’s main street and an attraction by itself, always buzzing with people browsing through hundreds of shops or dining at sidewalk cafés. Yes, whatever it is that turns you on youll find it in Adelaide… enjoy. Click here to return from Adelaide to our main page.