South Australia’s compact capital is happily situated at one of Australia’s great touring crossroads. Linger a little in the city itself and you’ll find a laid-back foodie culture and a nearby wildlife wonderland.
What to see and do
The South Australian Museum (www.samuseum.sa.gov.au) has one of the best introductions to Aboriginal culture in the country with over 3,000 artifacts, including spears, boomerangs and decorated shields. Next door, the Art Gallery of South Australia (www.artgallery.sa.gov.au) has the largest collection of Rodins in the Southern Hemisphere.
The attractive botanic gardens (www.botanicgardens.sa.gov.au) are a nice spot for a sunny afternoon, or cricket fans could instead take their picnic to a match at the Adelaide Oval (www.adelaideoval.com). For coastal lounging head to one of the popular city beaches like Brighton, Henley, or Glenelg – from where you can cruise out to swim with dolphins.
Where to eat
Rundle and Gouger streets are Adelaide’s culinary centre with a good choice of cafes and restaurants. Adelaide Central Market has decent cafes and a wide selection of international foods to grab for a picnic. For finer fare, Sir Ian Botham has named Italian Georges on Waymouth (www.georgesonwaymouth.com.au) as his favourite restaurant.
Out of town, Adelaide Hills is a quality food and wine region where classy restaurants include vineyard based Maximilians (www.maximilians.com.au) and Mount Lofty Summit (www.mtloftysummit.com) which has fantastic views.
For a delectable takeaway visit the celebrated Haigh’s Chocolates (www.haighschocolates.com.au), in business since 1915.
Where to drink
South Australia is a major wine producing region and many vineyards are within an hour’s drive of Adelaide. Among the most historic is Penfolds Magill Estate (www.penfolds.com.au) which offers tours and tastings. In the city itself you can imbibe and learn at the National Wine Centre of Australia (www.wineaustralia.com.au), perhaps stopping for lunch in the café.
There are plenty of pubs and clubs on Hindley Street, the city’s main nightlife district.
For vodka martinis and live entertainment try the bar at The Lion hotel (www.thelionhotel.com)
Where to stay
A heritage property with contemporary interior design, Adabaco Hotel (www.Adabacohotel.com.au) has just 70 rooms and a central location near Rundle Street. Book well ahead if you want to snap up NB City (www.nbcity.com.au) a stylish one bedroom apartment within a terraced house.
After something really special? check into the Southern Ocean Lodge (www.southernoceanlodge.com.au), perched on a cliff top on nearby Kangaroo Island for serious luxury lounging.
While you’re in Adelaide don’t miss a day trip, or preferably longer to Kangaroo Island, just offshore. The area is so rich with wildlife, including kangaroos, koalas and seals, it’s known as ‘Australia’s Galapagos’. Inland the wine regions of the Barossa and Clare valleys are close by.
From Adelaide you can head East along the scenic Great Ocean Road to Melbourne or North up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs to see Uluru. Touring train The Ghan also links Adelaide to Alice, or you can cross the entire content by staying onboard until Darwin.