Adelaide is an amazing city and the capital of South Australia. It has lovely parkland on the Torrens River and is home to many museums. Here visitors can explore art collections displaying indigenous art and see natural history collections.
Called the Adelaide Oval it is thought to be the world’s loveliest cricket ground. In the summer it hosts interstate and international cricket matches and in the winter AFL football and state football games. Seating capacity has been boosted to 50,000. Visitors can arrange for guided tours. You can see the Bradman Collection devoted to cricket’s greatest batsman – Don Bradman. In front of the stadium is a statue of Bradman.
You can get a real taste of Southern Australia at the Central Market where there are some 250 stalls offering different kinds of food. Visiting the market you can taste and sample to your heart’s content.
At the Art Gallery of South Australia you can see the artwork of the biggest names in Australian art. There are permanent collections that include Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Asian, European and North American art. In the basement are progressive visiting exhibitions. Free guided tours and lunchtime talks are available.
North Adelaide and the city center are surrounded by a broad band of parkland. The Adelaide Park Lands are great place for walking, relaxing and picnicking.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy the beauty of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Some of its highlights include a restored 1877 palm house, the water lily pavilion is home to the gigantic Victoria Amazonica, the new First Creek wetlands, the Museum of Economic Botany and the fantastic steel-and-glass arc of the Bicentennial Conservatory with a tropical rainforest. Guided walk tours are available.
For an awesome time visit the Adelaide Zoo where you can see about 1800 exotic and native mammals, birds and reptiles. Free walking tours are available every half-hour, there are feeding sessions and even a children’s zoo. One of the highlights are the giant pandas – Wang Wang and Funi. These two pandas are among the most endangered species on Earth. The zoo specifically focuses on Gondwana, the ancient super-continent that consists of Australia, South America, India, Africa and Southeast Asia. In Immersion, the second phase of the zoo’s Southeast Asian exhibit you can walk with tigers and orangutans with viewing platforms all around. Watch the sea lions being fed and a presentation of blue and gold macaws in free flight.
See the towering Moreton Bay fig tree that was planted in 1887. The Adelaide Zoo also counts as a botanic park and lots of the trees and plants are labeled with their scientific names. The zoo is just a short distance from the city center.
At the National Wine Center of Australia visitors can take a self-guided, interactive Wine Discovery Journey exhibition and enjoy some wine tasting. You will get a look into how wine is made and you can have your own virtual vintage rated. On Fridays “uncorked” drinks happen from 4:30 PM and if you prefer you can relax at the cafe.
For a look into the natural history of Australia with special exhibits on whales and Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson visit the South Australian Museum. Artifacts of the Ngarrindjeri people of the Coorong and lower Murray are displayed in the Aboriginal Cultures Gallery. Among the highlights are the giant squid and the lion with the twitchy tail. Free tours are available and there is a cafe to relax in.
The West Terrace Cemetery is an impressive old cemetery that was established in 1837 and is well worth a visit. There is an amazing 2 km self-guided Heritage Highlights Interpretive Trail that takes visitors past 29 key sites. A brochure can be picked-up at the West Terrace entrance. There are also guided tours available.
Take the Coopers Brewery Tour that will take you through the brew house, bottling hall and history museum. You can take a taste of stouts, ales and lagers. The brewery is in the suburbs and booking are required.
For a look into the culture of the local Kaurna people visit the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Here you’ll find interactive visual-arts gallery spaces. There are regular didgeridoo or Torres Strait Islander cultural performances and pre-booked group tours are available.
At the South Australian Maritime Museum you can see the iconic Port Adelaide Lighthouse, busty figureheads, shipwreck and explorer displays and a computer register of early migrants.
Decommissioned in 1988 the Adelaide Goal is an old and grim lock-up. There are impressive displays of homemade bongs, weapons and escape devices. For self-guided tours commentary tapes are available. You can book a guided tour or an adults-only ghost tour.
Located in the center of the city’s grid of one square mile is the large public square Victoria Square also known as Tarndanyangga. The square was named after Princess Victoria and dedicated in 1837. A month later the King had died and Victoria became Queen. The Kaurna people refer to this area as Tarndanyangga or “The Dreaming Place of the Red Kangaroo”. In the middle of the square is a statue of Queen Victoria. During the Christmas season a traditional 24.5 m high Christmas tree stand in the northern part of the square. On either side of the square are various public institutions among them the Supreme Court of South Australia.
The crescent-shaped Mount Lofty Botanic Garden opened in 1977 and is located on 97 hectares on the eastern slopes of Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills. Here you can see native Australian flora as well as exotic cultivated plants among them Rhododendrons and Magnolia and the National Species Rose Collection.
Take the time to visit the Toy Factory with the amazing world’s biggest Rocking Horse. If you can climb to the top you get a certificate of completion and fantastic views from the horse’s head. The first viewing platform can be reached by steps but the next requires climbing a series of steel ladders. The factory has been making qualitative wood toys for over 40 years. They use timber from managed plantations in Tasmania and New Zealand. There are guided tours available. Toys are sold in either raw kit form or fully assembled and lacquered. At the Big Rocking Horse there are animals that love to interact with visitors such as kangaroos, wallabies, alpacas, sheep, goats, peacocks, emus and other kinds of animals and birds. There is a picnic area to enjoy but no barbecues allowed due to the adjacent wooded bush park.
When the noise of the city gets to be too much enter the tranquility of the traditional Japanese gardens – Himeji Gardens. You can explore them on your own or with a guide. These gardens were a gift from Adelaide’s sister city, Himeji. Here you can stroll beneath Jacaranda trees, drink tea at a quaint teahouse and enjoy the ornamental lake surrounded by water lilies. There is also a traditional Japanese raked zen garden. You can picnic on the grassy areas.
The gardens are divided into two traditional areas, known as sensui and kare senzui. The sensui area is a mountain and lake garden and has interesting rock formations. The pond in the center has lots of large goldfish and perhaps a turtle or two.
The kare senzui is a dry rock garden. There are many interesting rock formations.
Enjoy the great fun at the attraction park The Beachhouse. There are Ferris Wheels, water slides and fairy floss. It is Adelaide’s only amusement park along with a water park and traditional arcade gaming. There is also an 18-hole mini-golf course. The cafe offers great meals. Entry is free and price of the rides are individual. The amusement park is nine kilometers from central Adelaide and easily accessed by tram, car or even bike.
The coastal town of Glenelg is a great place for swimming at the Glenelg Beach and for dining and entertainment. When Europeans first set foot in South Australia in 1836 they chose to build their homes on the sandy, white shores of Holdfast Bay. Today Glenelg is one of the most popular coastal regions in the state. This is a wonderful spot for relaxing and it is close to the Beachhouse amusement park. There are great places for swimming at the beach and even places for surfing. While swimming you might be joined by some friendly dolphins. During the day you can do some boutique shopping or look into a gallery or two and at night enjoy the live music at the bars here.
You can do some world-class shopping at Rundall Mall. There are more than 700 stores, farm animals and even some ghostly spirits to make for some great adventure in shopping. This is a pedestrian mall where you can find Australia’s flagship department stores Myer and David Jones and lots of boutiques. Rundall Mall combines a series of historic arcades. The Italian-style Adelaide Arcade is supposedly home to six ghosts and the Regent Arcade has found a home in the old Regent Theater building. You can pick up a brochure for a self-guided tour that will take you back into history.
You can see such amazing things like pigs rummaging through a garbage bin. The Adelaide City Council commissioned Marguerite Derricourt to create this life-sized bronze sculpture of pigs in 1999. There was a competition and the pigs were named Truffles, Oliver, Augusta and Horatio. There are also other art works in the mall such as The Spheres by Bert Flugelman which locals refer to as “Mall’s Balls”. You can also enjoy performances by street performers. If you stay after sunset you can see the Rundle Lantern – a spectacular light show.
If you would like to see how life was for Australians in colonial times visit the historic mansion turned museum Ayers House Museum. It was built in the 1850s by Sir Henry Ayers, the five-time Premier of South Australia. The house has a very rich history and was once a dance hall, an open-air cafe and a nurses’ training center. Inside you can see features like original silverware, furnishings and a 300 kilogram (660 pound) chandelier. The building is known for its famous painted ceilings and each room has hand stenciling. The formal dining room has one of the most significant painted ceilings in all of Australia. You can take a guided tour to experience the way of life and customs of 19th century Australia.
Have a real adventure in wine at the Jacob’s Creek Vineyard. Visitors can learn tasting tips, tour the historic vineyards, discover the winemaking process and taste gourmet food. Jacobs Creek is located in the picturesque Great Barossa Valley. You can even take a cooking class, match wine with food, learn about the fermenting process, explore the vineyards and discover the history of the Barossa’s first commercial vineyard. If you like you can hire a bike and cycle through the valley and enjoy a picnic and a bottle of wine.