Australia > Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. Its population is slightly over 1 million, which makes it by far the largest city in the otherwise sparsely populated state. Adelaide is centrally located among the wine regions of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, all of which are within day-trip distance.
By Car – Adelaide is within a reasonable driving distance of the capital cities on the east coast. The shortest route from Adelaide to Melbourne takes eight to nine hours.
Melbourne – Adelaide = 736km via Horsham (National Highway 8) or 901km via Mt Gambier (National Highway 1)
Sydney – Adelaide = 1422km via Mildura (National Highway 20) or 1659km via Broken Hill (National Highway 32)
Adelaide – Brisbane = 2031km via Broken Hill
Adelaide has a brand new airport with international connections to Auckland, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
If you prefer to fly, Adelaide is less than an hour from Melbourne and less than three hours from Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Hobart by plane, and slightly further from the other capital cities. Direct flights to and from Auckland, NZ are now possible with the newly expanded Adelaide airport.
The airport is connected with the public transport system (Bus ticket 2.2 AUD) or taxi (ca. 18 AUD) and the city center can be reached with 15-25 minutes. The closest beach, West Beach, is 4kms away. West Beach is an excellent swimming beach and is well serviced with holiday apartments.
Adelaide is part of the cross-country train network, and there are regular services from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The train to Alice Springs (and Darwin) departs from Adelaide.
Train, Tram, and Bus
Train, tram and bus services are provided by different companies but they are well integrated and use a unified ticketing system, “Metroticket”. Single trip tickets can be purchased on-board any bus and allow the passenger to move freely around the transport network for two hours.
The Passenger Transport InfoCentre (corner of King William & Currie Streets, Adelaide) is the place to visit for timetable and route information. Economical “multi-trip” tickets containing 10 trips are available, and you can save even more by travelling only between 9am and 3pm on an “interpeak” multi-trip ticket. Tickets and route information can also be obtained from many newsagents, delis and post offices.
The city center is compact and can be easily covered on foot, but for the leg weary there are two free buses. The Bee Line (#99B) leaves from Victoria Square (every 5-10 min. Mon-Thurs 7:40 AM-6:00 PM, Fri 7:40 AM-9:20 PM; every 15 min. Sat 8:30 AM-5:30 PM) and heads up King William Street to North Terrace, along past the train station, down to Hindley Street and then back to Victoria Square along the same route. The City Loop Bus (every 20min) has thirty stops taking in all the major cultural and commercial centres, beginning at Adelaide Train Station. Both buses feature ground-level access ramps.
There is a tram that runs from Victoria Square to the popular seaside suburb of Glenelg. This uses the standard ticket system and the whole trip takes less than 30 minutes.
Be warned that bus and train frequency declines sharply after 6pm, with hourly intervals being typical in the suburbs. The transport network ceases operation before midnight, so expect to catch a taxi if you are out after this time. A special bus service called the Wandering Star offers a service from the city centre to your house (or as near as possible) after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. The ticket cost is AUD$6. There are eleven Wandering Star routes for different sections of the metropolitan area.
Taxis are provided by several companies and can be hailed on the street or arranged by phone. There is a common rate of flagfall and a per-distance/time charge, both of which are increased at night and on weekends.
The AdelaideMetro website contains comprehensive information about public transport in Adelaide.
- Historic beachside suburb of Glenelg offering a jetty, the ‘Grand’ (a quality hotel) and many restaurants and cafes. Catch one of the historic trams from Victoria Square Adelaide.
- Beacon Hill in North Adelaide (provides a spectacular view of the city, especially at night)
- Adelaide Hills, including the Mt Lofty Summit, which provides spectacular views of the Adelaide plains, Adelaide metropolitan area, Adelaide CBD, Glenelg and surrounding areas.
- Hahndorf German settlement, a short drive up the freeway – attractions include a small chocolate factory, parks with barbeque facilities and a playground, plus many small stores selling all manner of products.
- Walking North Terrace will take you past the Casino, Parliament House, Government House, the State Library, Museum, Art Gallery, Adelaide University, University of South Australia, Royal Adelaide Hospital, and the Botanic Gardens. A worthwhile trek!
- During mid-March, the Clipsal 500 supercar racing event is very popular, sporting massive street parties, huge concert line-ups and many fanatic Adelaidians.
- During late Feb-March, the Adelaide Fringe Festival (second largest of its type in the world) and Festival of Arts bring the city alive with music, arts, dance and culture from all over the world. Both are large and very popular events visited by people from all over the world. WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) is another hugely popular music festival now held every year in March. People come from all over Australia and overseas to be at this very special event. Adelaide at its very best.
- Lazy walks along white sandy beaches.
- Picturesque Victor Harbor and Granite Island, just an hour or so drive south of Adelaide. Granite Island is one of the few places you can see Fairy Penguins in their natural habitat.
- The stunning Flinders Ranges begin just one and a half hours north of Adelaide
- Whispering wall at the Barossa Reservoir.
- Conservation parks such as Cleland and Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, Cleveland is a good stop on the way down from Mt. Lofty.
Museums and Galleries
- Art Gallery of South Australia is located on North Terrace, Adelaide (half way between Kintore Avenue and Frome Road in between the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide). Open everyday 10am to 5pm, except Christmas Day.
- South Australian Museum is located on North Terrace, Adelaide (next to the Art Gallery of South Australia). Open everyday 10am to 5pm, except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Port Adelaide Maritime Museum
- Port Adelaide Lighthouse
- Port Adelaide SA Train Museum
- Glenelg Museum & historic tram
- Gawler Museum, via Gawler train line
Belair National Park is a national park of 835 ha, located 11KM south of Adelaide City. Due to its history as a “Recreation Park” it has many good trails for bushwalking, as well as tennis courts and grassed areas available for hire, and a good adventure playground for children. Old Government House, the colony’s first official Vice-regal summer residence, is located within the park. A vehicle entry fee applies to cars entering the park, or else its western parts can be accessed from the Belair line train, a 35 minute journey from Adelaide city. The park gates are open daily from 8am to sunset, everyday except Christmas Day.
Things To Do
- Wineries, beaches, whale watching, fairy penguins and other attractions south of the city on the Fleurieu peninsula.
- The Skycity Adelaide Casino on North Terrace adjoining the Festival and Convention centres.
- The Adelaide Botanic Gardens are FREE to enter and are a worthwhile visit. The gardens are quiet and relaxing even though they’re in the heart of the city. They contain many large grassed areas ideal for relaxing. Just outside the gardens are the city parklands, where ball games and picnics can be held. There is a cafe in the gardens and a conservatory. The bicentennial conservatory is not free, but it is worthwhile. It simulates a tropical rainforest with mist falling from the roof.
- West Beach is ideal for family walks and swimming – it is close to both Glenelg and Henley Beach.
- During the summer months, get down to the Adelaide Oval for a cricket match. Australia plays host to a couple of touring nations each summer and they will play a few matches at this beautiful ground which is just minutes from the city centre. Tickets for internationals tend to be snapped up quickly, but domestic matches are frequent and equally exciting.
- Rundle Mall, pedestrian-only shopping strip. Runs parallel to North Terrace. Over 200 shops.
- The Central Market, fresh produce and a range of goods, with cheap multi-storey parking. Closed Mondays and Wednesdays. Located between Grote St and Gouger St, west of Victoria Square.
- Chinatown, pedestrian-only area (Moonta St) adjacent to Central Market.
- Westfield Marion Shopping Centre is Adelaide’s largest shopping centre with over 400 shops. There are buses direct from the city centre.
- Gouger Street offers a wide range of tastes to suit many budgets in a variety of Asian, Italian and seafood restaurants as well as upmarket French, Argentinian and many other choices. From Friday to Sunday, make sure to reserve a table to avoid disappointment. Gouger Street also incorporates Adelaide’s “China Town Arch,” which fronts a large number of budget eating options. As well as The Central Market, which on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings are buzzing with produce traders, sights and smells.
- Hutt Street offers a small variety of upmarket restaurants that please most tastes.
- Rundle Street large number of al fresco cafes and restaurants of varying budget and taste.
- An eclectic mix of small restaurants and cafes make Melbourne Street an interesting place to eat.
- The variety of take-aways, pubs, cafes, bakeries and restaurants that line most of O’Connell Street means you won’t be wanting.
- The Parade, Norwood boasts a long stretch of shopping and cosmopolitian dining.
- Jetty Road / Mosley Square, Glenelg has a variety of restaurants and pubs at the end of a 30 minute tram journey.
- Stuart Road, Dulwich features two cafes, a licensed restaurant and a very good bakery. Catch the 145 from North Terrace which heads along Fullarton Road and up Dulwich Avenue.
- King William Road, Hyde Park is an upmarket strip of fashionable cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.
Drink & Nightlife
There’s at least one pub on every block of Adelaide’s CBD (usually more) as well as many suburban watering holes. Coopers beers are made in Adelaide and exported around the world – they are well worth a sampling!
Night clubs are situated on Rundle Street, Gouger Street, Hindley Street and Light Square, as well as in many other places. Some of the night clubs on Light Square and Hindley Street are situated next to Strip Clubs, so make sure you join the right queue.
- Go to the wine regions of Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley.
- Explore the natural environment of Kangaroo Island.
- Take ‘The Ghan’ (train) to Alice Springs (central Australia), or continue through to Darwin on the northern coast of Australia. The entire trip takes about 2 days if you do not stay in Alice Springs.
- Go to Victor Harbour and the nearby surf beaches in Pt Elliot, Middletown and Goolwa. It is recommended that you drive; however, there are bus services to Victor Harbour.
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