Australia & NZ

A Case for Adelaide

Poor Adelaide. If Australia has a black sheep city, the capital of South Australia is surely a contender. Scour the travel blogs, take random straw polls and it seems upon further analysis that, yes, indeed, Adelaide suffers perpetual character assassinations – especially Down Under. (The fact that the city was headquarters to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. until 2004 is obviously no big help.)

Photo credit

But, alas, this is not another “dump on Adelaide” blog post, where we deride the lesser charms of bronxy, bogan-ville suburbs and the Original Pancake Kitchen. No, this is a game attempt, rather, to convince South Australia travellers to consider Adelaide as much more than a gateway to the Barossa Valley, Yorke Peninsula, Port Augusta, the outback and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa.

The Green City

Adelaide is not all churches and (cue creepy Vincent Price voiceover) murderous crime sprees. They call the South Australia capital the “Green City” for a reason. To find out why, take a parks and gardens tour with a professional guide from the state tourism bureau. Notable stops include the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide – be sure to squeeze in the adjacent and excellent National Wine Centre of Australia while there, Adelaide Zoo and the Biodiversity Gallery of the South Australian Museum.

Where to stay: The Majestic Roof Garden Hotel Adelaide

Kintore Avenue, North Terrace

When you do get to the South Australian Museum, stick around. Kintore Avenue, a most formidable cultural artery in the country, let alone the state, unfurls a host of scenic, enjoyable gems. You can easily spend a good chunk of your day at the State Library alone, what with the rare books and heritage collections and quiet areas for reflective quietude.

The Migration Museum displays exhibits on the history and cultural diversity of South Australia in the old Destitute Asylum.

The Art Gallery of South Australia is another linchpin on the highbrow boulevard. The museum is not only one of the best in Australia, with pre-eminent collections of Aboriginal, colonial and Asian art, but on occasion, hosts blockbuster international exhibits. The current ‘Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now’ is a telltale example.

The main and original campus of the University of Adelaide merits a walkabout. Amble past warbles of jazz and chamber music at the grand Elder Conservatorium of Music, eavesdrop on a lecture at Bonython Hall or just sit under a tree with a good book.

Where to stay: The Sebel Playford Adelaide

Adelaide Central Market

80 stalls under 1 roof. Any questions? Adelaide Central Market is not only big, the foremost landmark off Victoria Square is also a goldmine for sustainable, locavore-centric epicures. You can go to Barossa and do the typical wine, gourmet whirlwind tour, certainly. But a few hours spent at Central Market can indulge some of those same foodie fantasies as well.

Where to stay: Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide On Currie

The Future

Adelaide is about to undergo a few significant facelifts over the next decade, most notably with mega-projects like the Adelaide Oval redevlopment and the conversion of the Riverbank precinct into the purported new nerve centre of the city. All good news on the horizon for the oft-maligned capital of South Australia.

Adelaide City Guide

6 Comments for "A Case for Adelaide"

Emma says on July 19th, 2011 at 12:30 am:

The more I visit Adelaide, the more I fall in love with it! Great piece, thanks!

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