Australia’s Hidden Gem – Adelaide
I’ve heard Adelaide referred to as Australia’s largest country town, as well as Australia’s hidden gem. The latter
is definitely more appropriate. Quite often visitors travelling Australia miss out on Adelaide, focusing on the larger cities.
That includes domestic travellers, who far too often overlook Adelaide, thinking it doesn’t have much to offer. In these times of
economic uncertainty, Australians especially, should be giving Adelaide another thought when planning their next trip. In addition to being a cheaper
option than many of the other larger Australian cities, Adelaide has much to offer that is unique and worthwhile.
Adelaide is a paradise for nature lovers, foodies and beach goers, as well as a perfect place to bring the family.
A city surrounded by parklands, you can always find some shade and beauty to rest in or explore. The Botanic Gardens and all parks surrounding
the Central Business District (CBD) are planned and protected areas. Accommodations are plentiful and varied. You can
stay anywhere from a 5-star hotel, to a B&B or backpackers hostel, or go camping or caravanning in one of the national parks. Regardless of
where you check in, you can head out for beautiful scenery as soon as you drop your bags.
Many great restaurants, cafes and plenty of pubs, pubs, pubs, or as they are called here, hotels, line the streets of Adelaide.
The diversity of cuisines is due to Adelaide’s growing multiculturalism. You will find various Asian, Mediterranean, even Ethiopian restaurants,
but don’t forget the local Aussie pub grub, especially do not pass up tasting kangaroo fillet. Norwood and North Adelaide are close to
the CBD, and are also good spots to check out for a meal, drink or just wander. They are full of original architecture, and have an even
more relaxed feel than the city centre.
While Adelaide is often referred to as the city of churches, it has much more than that to offer in the way of
architecture. While strolling through the city centre, make sure not to miss the General Post Office and Town Hal, which are near Victoria Square, and opposite each
other. Check out the Central Market too. Towards the other end of the city, on North Terrace, a tour of Ayers House, complete with
period furniture, is well worth the cost of $8AUD. I often think it would beneficial for someone to start up an
architectural walking tour of the city, as there is that much too see
and plenty of history behind it all.
As you continue along North Terrace, there are quite a few museums worth investigating, most of which have free entrance.
The South Australian Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia are right next to each other and can both be seen in an hour or two.
Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, is over on Flinders Street, and the Old Adelaide Gaol, used into the 1980’s, is now open for tours, slightly outside of the city in Thebarton.
A short drive from the city are the Adelaide Hills, where you can explore the famous Big Rocking Horse, Melba’s Chocolate Factory,
Hahndorf, the Whispering Wall, Mount Lofty, Waterfall Gully, Cleland Conservation Park and Belair National Park, as well as other sights. If you’re
adventurous, there are numerous hiking paths at Belair, and a very steep trail from Waterfall Gully up to Mt Lofty. Reward yourself afterwards
with a trip to Melba’s, or the German Arms pub in Hahndorf for one of their weiss beers. At the Big Rocking Horse you can feed a kangaroo up
close, and there are plenty more native creatures to see at Cleland Conservation Park.
Some favourite beaches in the Adelaide area are Glenelg, Semaphore and Henley, although there are many in between.
Catch the tram from the city to Glenelg (and possibly in a few years to Semaphore). If you go at the right time, you can take a
ride on the historic trams, which only make the journey a couple of times a day. While Glenelg and Semaphore have something for everyone,
Glenelg is a bit more touristy and trendy. Just remember to wear plenty of sun protection and swim between the flags.
A visit to Adelaide wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Barossa, McLaren Vale or the Clare Valley. Even if you’re not a big fan of wine, which I wasn’t when I arrived Down Under, the scenery is amazing.
Find a designated driver to take you to the Barossa and sample your choice of robust reds, refreshing whites and sparkling wines, honey mead in
all flavours and port. You might even find a micro-brewery.
And let’s not forget that Adelaide is the festival city! There is always something
going on here, no matter the time of year. Come to Adelaide, where you can see the stars, the people are welcoming, and you’ll never lack for something to do.