When I was planning my Australian adventure, I knew that I wanted to incorporate a trip to the huge monolith that is Uluru. After booking onto a six-day tour that departed from Adelaide, I decided to tie in a few extra days to explore the state capital of South Australia.
Adelaide is known as “the 20 Minute city” because supposedly, any major point of the city can be reached in just 20 minutes. Whilst, smaller than Melbourne and with around a quarter of the population, after my four day visit, I felt that I had just about scratched the surface.
The first two places that I visited (by accident) were the Central Market and Chinatown. I stumbled across the market whilst taking an exploratory walk. It had started raining so I took the opportunity to visit somewhere that was under cover. It turned out that Adelaide Central Market is one of the largest under cover markets in the Southern Hemisphere! It was a bustling mix of bakeries, cafes, many types of cheese, confectionary shops, fresh produce and speciality stores – including a yoghurt shop that sold traditional greek yoghurt made using a method that had been handed down over three generations! Chinatown was conveniently located nearby so took a stroll through there as well. Had I been hungry, it would’ve been the perfect place to satisfy my taste buds.
The North Terrace is home to Parliament House, The Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the Adelaide Zoo so I knew I’d be heading up there a least a couple of times. The South Australian Museum turned out to be one of my favourite museums of all time. It had an incredible Aboriginal collection and an entire floor dedicated to the Pacific Islands. I also enjoyed learning about Dr Andrew Thomas – the first South Australian-born Astronaut. I was particularly impressed with the Art Gallery of South Australia – especially the Paolo Sebastian collection of dresses and the TARNANTHI (pronounced tar-nan-dee) collection of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Two smaller museums that I really enjoyed were the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute (a museum dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture) and the Migration Museum.
Natural beauty is one of my favourite things about travel and I must say that the Botanical Gardens did not disappoint. I spent a good couple of hours immersing myself in 50 hectares of beautiful flowers and plants including the International Rose Garden, the wetlands and the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion.
Glenelg beach was a 40-minute tram ride away from where I was staying so I decided to head over to relax and enjoy the sunshine . However, the weather turned rather cloudy during the tram ride. When I arrived at the beach there were plenty of people around but as the afternoon wore on, the wind picked up and slowly but surely most people (including me) left the beach. I was shaking the sand out of my bag for days.
Before starting on my tour to Uluru, I needed to grab a few essentials for the trip – and the pedestrianised Rundle Mall Shopping Street was the perfect place to do this. With over 1000 retail stores and services, it was easy to find what I needed. I also took a stroll through the quaint Adelaide arcade. It has over 100 shops, 14 of which are speciality shops including a button bar, comic centre, battery bar, coin dealer and letter press book shop. Unfortunately it was closed when I arrived so I only peeked into the shops but I’d definitely pay it another visit if I had the chance to go back.
I spent four nights in Adelaide and felt that I had just about dipped my toes in the water. If I was to go back I would definitely book a tour of Haigh’s Chocolate Factory, spend a couple of days on Kangaroo Island – and go back to Glenelg beach on a (hopefully) less windy day.
All in all, I enjoyed my time in Adelaide and I think it’s definitely worth a visit.
Have you been to Adelaide? What did you like the most about the city?