A statue of Adelaide's founding father,
So it is easy to see why there should be a flicker of pride on Colonel Light's weathered face. It is also wholly appropriate that the city of Light should become the city of churches mighty
The City Center
Despite these enlightened days of metrication, Adelaide's central business district still measures exactly one square mile. And it is packed with goodies, all within easy walking distance of each other. This is especially true along North Terrace, where there is ready access to the
Shoppers flock to the ever-festive
Shoppers in search of bargains, or simply fresh herbs and vegetables, head for the
Both the city and elegant North Adelaide are isolated from the surrounding suburbs by a leafy moat of
Port Adelaide & District
The generously wide streets, sturdy stone buildings, and uncompromising wharf side warehouses tell tales of a proud and historic past for Adelaide's ocean port. The plethora of street-corner pubs also suggest that this history has been amply laced with rum and brandy! Port Adelaide lies less than half an hour's drive north west of the city and today it remains a modest working port. Tourism through
The Coastal Fringe
Spanning nearly 70 kilometers north to south, the Adelaide coastal fringe runs from North Haven marina to the sumptuous white sands of
When there is a swell in the Gulf, knowing surfers head for the mid-south coast, while sail-boarders test their skills off
The Adelaide Hills
Rising around the eastern rim of the coastal plain, the
The Wine Districts
Adelaide is unquestionably the wine capital of Australia, simply because it lies within an hour's drive of some of the finest vineyards in the southern hemisphere. To the north, you will find the world-renowned
With more restaurants per capita than any other Australian city, Adelaide offers an abundance of opportunities to exchange the grumbling of empty stomachs for the symphony of chinking cutlery and singing tastebuds. All enclosed restaurants in Adelaide are non-smoking, allowing untarnished enjoyment of South Australian flavors. The fact that Adelaide's two most famous contributions to the culinary arena are its world-class Barossa Valley wines, and its "Pie Floater" (or pie in pea soup), bears witness to the dazzling variety of cuisine available.
Relish the flavors on offer, accompanied with the kind of stimulating conversation that sublime food and a vibrant atmosphere seems to encourage. Then again, when food is this good, who really cares about conversation?
The succulent and sophisticated core of all things edible in Adelaide is undoubtedly Rundle Street, in the city's East End. Rundle Street is basted with drifts of garlic, slowly marinated in ridiculously long alfresco lunches, chargrilled under pulsating, cocktail-enhanced nights, and served drizzled with a warm and lively atmosphere. With over 50 restaurants, cafés and pubs, offering a plethora of international and local flavors, there is something to please the most pernickety palate. Try Piatto or Scoozi for Italian, Lemongrass or Cafe Michael 2 for Thai. Sample South Australia's own Coopers beer at the Exeter or Austral hotels, or dance till dawn at the trendy Stag Hotel.
Gouger Street, in the city's southwest, offers another rich hotchpotch of cultures and cuisines. The Central Market oozes fresh produce and divine aromas savor its tantalizing charms before pausing for coffee or an inexpensive meal at one of the numerous cafés. For truly authentic oriental flavors, choose from the wide selection of restaurants in Chinatown, the market's western seam. Gouger Street, however, stubbornly refuses to be defined according to any one style of dining. The street is studded with many tasty gems, from the elegant French, La Guillotine, to the authentic Malaysian, A Taste of Spice, the hearty Argentinean, Gaucho's, and numerous seafood restaurants.
Hutt Street, to the east of the city, is another favorite café belt. Graceful, but not uptight, the street is popular for sunny breakfasts, business lunches and anytime coffees. Choose from the wide range of baguettes at Roma's, enjoy an alfresco brunch at the Citrus Café, or experience a classy dinner at Nediz-Tu.
In the west of the city, Hindley Street is beginning to shed its once sleazy reputation in place of a more hip and arty image. A number of dining institutions have held their ground as nightclubs, cinemas, amusement arcades and alternative shops elbow for space around them. For Lebanese, try Quiet Waters or Jerusalem Sheshkabab House. Marcellina's Pizza Bar or Hindley Pasta Palace are the places for Italian.
Even the most casual eatery in this up-market suburb exudes a certain sophisticated ambience. Follow a film on O'Connell Street with a meal or a coffee; try Najjars, Cibo or Paesano, or fashionable and attractive pubs such as The Oxford and Royal Oak Hotel. The nearby Melbourne Street is elegant and dignified, yet simultaneously warm and charming. For something out of the ordinary, sample Cajun flavors at Bacall's, or watch a spot of belly dancing with your meal at Babylons. For late night, meaning-of-life type discussions, settle into the intimate Elephant Walk Cafe.
King William Road
Take a short trip south along King William Street, to the prestigious suburb of Hyde Park, where the street becomes a "road" and bitumen turns into paving. Dip into designer boutiques and funky gift stores as you wander along this enchanting leafy precinct, then indulge in waist-expanding cake at Cafe Piccante or Cafe Paradiso, or a slice of syrupy baklava at Zoe's Greek Restaurant. Chocolate lovers will be in a swoon over the miraculous creations at Cocolat. Be warned, even if you are "just looking", calories will throw themselves at your body!
Just east of the city is Norwood Parade, boasting a cinema complex and a vast array of predominantly Italian cafés. Soak up the lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere and the rich, garlicky smells, as you catch up with friends at the Star Cafe, Caffe Buongiorno, Caffe Medici or Cafe Bravo.
Adelaide is blessed with a 30-kilometer stretch of clean, sandy beaches, the closest of which are only a 15-minute drive from the city. In culinary terms, this equals numerous pockets of picturesque, seaside eateries. The most popular beach is Glenelg, with Jetty Road offering every dining choice. For a memorable evening, dine alfresco at Sammy's, or Lido on the new Marina Pier. North of Glenelg is Henley Square, overflowing with delectable offerings. Taste traditional Greek mezze at Estia or contemporary Australian at Bacchus Wine Bar. Other tempting ocean-flavored eateries include the Semaphore Palais, Grange Jetty Kiosk and Cafe Salsa at West Beach.
No visit to South Australia would be complete without an inspection of its much celebrated vineyards. If your stay is limited, ensure you see and taste the best by booking a tour, such as Barossa Valley Supreme, Barossa Wine Train, or McLaren Vale Food and Wine.
Beyond the Culinary Hot Spots
Make sure you do allow your tastebuds to venture beyond these dining hot-spots, as numerous culinary delights are also sprinkled in less obvious locations. If Indian cuisine appeals, sample Australia's finest at Jasmin Indian Restaurant in Hindmarsh Square. Enjoy classy, multiple-award winning dining overlooking the River Torrens at Jolleys Boathouse. For a unique local dining experience, purchase a "Pie Floater" from The Pie Cart outside the Adelaide Railway Station. Even though it is an Adelaide icon, most Adelaidians swear they have never actually tasted it!
Adelaide is the heart of food and wine in Australia. A few meals in this city will provide ample compensation for any drab and uninspired dining experiences your tastebuds may have endured over the years. Whether you prefer your meal fine or fast, riotous or restful, candle-lit or on a spit ... you will be impressed if you have it in Adelaide.
With a population of just under one and a half million, there is a comfortably intimate feel to Adelaide yet, simultaneously, a lively, vibrant atmosphere and a unique, arty edge. Adelaide knows that it will never be Sydney or Melbourne, and it does not want to be. Rivalry with other cities is confined to football—some call it an arrogant competition, holding little interest. Perhaps this is because there are so many better things to do here: world-class food and wine to sample, long stretches of sandy beaches to enjoy, lush parks in which to relax, arts festivals of international standard to experience. Or perhaps it is just that no one in Adelaide is in any particular rush to let the world in on their well-kept secret.
This is not to say that those who do have the good fortune of coming to Adelaide will not be welcomed. Adelaide has been called the "20 minute city", because all of its major regions, including the beach and the hills, can be reached within a 20 minute drive of the city centre. This gives a myriad of options when it comes to deciding where you want to stay. Whether you prefer the lullaby of a murmuring river, chirping cicadas or sweet silence; and whether you envisage drifting to sleep in king-size luxury, or a youth hostel bunk, Adelaide has your bed covered.
The City Center
Wrapped up in the leafy embrace of lush parklands and sliced through by the River Torrens, the city center is as much a place in which to relax as it is to work. It is also brimming with good things to buy, eat, see and do: Rundle Mall for gift shopping; the Central Market for food shopping; Gouger Street and the East End for dining; North Terrace for museums and art galleries; the zoo, the Festival Centre, nightclubs, theatres and much more. Those who value the finer things of life will appreciate the wide selection of five-star hotels in the heart of Adelaide. Amongst numerous other charms, the luxurious Hilton International in Victoria Square boasts the renowned Grange Restaurant. The Hyatt Regency on North Terrace lays claim to an ideal location tucked in next to the Casino, Convention Centre and Festival Centre and ideal views of the River Torrens and parklands. The Hindley Parkroyal offers elegant accommodation in alternative and arty, awake-at-all-hours Hindley Street.
For less expensive, but still high quality accommodation in the city centre, try the Grosvenor Vista Hotel, or Adelaide Riviera Motel on North Terrace, or enjoy the view of Adelaide's parklands from The Chifley or Adelaide South Park. Those who prefer to butter their own bread will find numerous self catering options. Enjoy complimentary breakfast provisions in Treacles Row Cottages, all the facilities of home in the majestic Franklin Central Apartments, or the superb location and historic charm of The Mansions. For backpacker accommodation, choose Cumberland Arms on Waymouth Street, Brecon Inn on Gilbert Street, or The Austral in the midst of buzzing Rundle Street.
Elegant and cosmopolitan, this suburb is only minutes from the city, yet stands apart with its graceful style and serene beauty. With its exquisite colonial architecture, trendy apartments and charming cottages, North Adelaide offers a number of places almost too gorgeous to waste being asleep. The Adelaide Meridien, Hotel Adelaide International and Old Adelaide Inn offer excellent, moderately priced accommodation and conference facilities, and are all located within smelling distance of North Adelaide's many restaurants. Those seeking a little romance in their stay can choose from a number of superb heritage listed buildings, many furnished with antiques. The Friendly Meeting Chapel is set in an old bluestone church, while the Melbourne Street Mews is furnished with antique armchairs that once belonged to Australian cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman. Couples expecting to generate unsafe levels of heat on their romantic getaway may appreciate an antique fire engine by their bed at the Fire Station Inn!
Close to the City
If you would prefer to stay outside the city center, but close proximity is still important, there are plenty of options. The Royal Coach Motor Inn in Kent Town, the other side of Adelaide's eastern parklands, offers inexpensive accommodation. So too does the Adelaide Caravan Park, one suburb north at Hackney. Just south of the city, at Parkside, enjoy the serene view from Tiffins on the Park or the heritage accommodation and charming gardens of the Plum and Sparrow Cottages at Eastwood.
Half an hour tram ride southwest of the city is Adelaide's most popular beach. The Stamford Grand offers lavish beach-front accommodation, with balconies in all rooms and a tram stop literally on the doorstep. A good 40 winks in Glenelg does not have to cost a fortune, however. The Patawalonga Motor Inn, overlooking the Boat Haven, is one of many moderately priced hotels available, while the Glenelg Beach Resort offers comfortable budget accommodation for backpackers.
Give your senses a work-out with a trip to the scenic Adelaide Hills, home to some of Adelaide's most innovative and romantic accommodation. The medieval-style castle of Thorngrove Manor, in the town of Stirling, will give you the sense of drifting through the "happily ever after" part of a fairytale. Warrawong Sanctuary Tent Cabins at Mylor provide a unique alternative if you don't mind kangaroos and bilbies as neighbors.
There is nothing like sumptuous food and world class wine to put you in a good mood and help you fall in love all over again! With over 80 establishments to choose from, staying in the Barossa is a must for all visitors to South Australia. Sample the country hospitality and stunning views at Lindsay House, or savor the English style gardens and antique furnishings of historic Collingrove Homestead.
Adelaide's streets exhibit a well organized, grid-style layout, and with a little investigation into the different districts check our district guide it is easy to find your way around. Enjoy Adelaide ... it is hard not to!