“A gateway to some of Australia’s most accessible wine country, Adelaide is effortlessly chic – and like a perfectly cellared red, it’s ready to be uncorked and sampled,” writes Lonely Planet, which named the South Australian capital as one of the top 10 must visit cities for 2014.
With a population of slightly more than one million, Adelaide is known as the “20 minute city” and arguably Australia’s most accessible – the airport is only seven kilometres from the centre, while the Adelaide Hills and pristine city beaches lie only 20 minutes from the CBD. Just an hour away, you’ll find our world-renowned wine regions. So while you’re here, take some time out to explore our state and discover just how much it has to offer. Below you will find a selection of the best things to see and do in South Australia.
Adelaide – More than Australia’s Wine Capital
Surrounded by parklands, the city centre is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, parklands, cafes and restaurants. The warm climate is perfect for al fresco dining and Adelaide is a gourmet paradise, where you can take your tastebuds on a tour around the world without ever leaving the city’s eat streets.
A vibrant food culture
Whether Gouger Street or Rundle Street, Hutt Street or Leigh Street, you’ll love the urban cool atmosphere and eclectic choice of restaurants, where you can choose from traditional European to South Pacific cuisine and just about everything in between.
Try the simply named Peel Street for a delicious mix of Middle Eastern and Asian that is far from simple, the award-winning Concubine for flavours of the orient made with fresh local produce, Kenji for wonderfully inventive Japanese, Chianti Classico for traditional Italian classics, Press for a modern Australian take on Mediterranean, South American and Asian or Jolley’s Boathouse for seasonal dishes with a fabulous view of the River Torrens and Adelaide’s parklands. Other memorable city dining experiences include Alphütte, Rigoni’s, Pranzo, Apothecary and The Manse.
Five or ten minutes out of the city, there are more great finds. Take a taxi to King William Road at Hyde Park or Unley Road for cafés and fine dining restaurants. The Parade at Norwood boasts some of Adelaide’s favourite little eateries, while Melbourne Street and O’Connell Street, both in North Adelaide, offer funky pubs and a big choice of cafés and restaurants.
For the ultimate wining and dining experience, visit Penfolds Magill Estate. Home to the awarded Penfolds Grange, it’s just eight kilometres east of the city centre and you can take a tour or enjoy a cellar door tasting while you’re there.
In Adelaide, the only question is “where first”. If you love food, then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you’re interested in fossicking through markets to make a picnic lunch or wanting to dine in a luxury restaurant, we’ve got you covered.
Let us entertain you
Adelaide city has more than one hundred pubs and clubs. There’s warm and cosy or chic sophistication. Many pubs date back to the 1830s but seamlessly blend the historic with the contemporary.
Dance off your evening feast in Rundle Street or Gouger Street. Head to Hindley Street and the city’s buzzing West End, where you’ll find most nightclubs.
More recently, a host of new bars and hip watering holes have popped up in Leigh Street and Peel Street and in arcades and hidden laneways. Already Home Adelaide will help you “uncover some gems that you weren’t already aware of.”
Are you looking for a music “gig” to attend or perhaps some comedy? Intimate performances by local and Australian bands are often held at the Grace Emily on Waymouth Street. Most nights there is one band or another putting on a great show.
The Governor Hindmarsh, on the edge of the city (opposite the Adelaide Entertainment Centre) has a continuous flow of great entertainers, both locally renowned and internationally famous.
If you’re looking for some other things to see and do while you’re here in Adelaide, download the online Adelaide Visitor Guide for stacks of tips of where to go and what to see.
Wine – the Best at its Best
We’re proud to be Australia’s wine capital, with numerous regions and over 200 cellar doors on our doorstep. You’ll be spoilt for choice. From Shiraz in the Barossa, to Riesling in the Clare Valley and big reds in the Coonawarra, you’ll hardly be able to wait. The Adelaide Hills has some stunning whites and there’s McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek on the Fleurieu Peninsula – about an hour’s drive south of the city. Drive yourself or join a guided tour of Adelaide and its surrounds – the choice is yours.
The Hills – a Land of Plenty
Barely 30 minutes from Adelaide’s city centre and 45 minutes from the airport, experience a change of pace in the Adelaide Hills. They stretch from the Barossa Valley in the north, to Kuitpo Forest in the south. Produce from the Adelaide Hills comes straight from nature’s top shelf, and you’ll step into an enchanted land where an afternoon of exquisite food and wine stretches both time and the imagination. Linger longer at wonderful places like The Lane Vineyard, Bridgewater Mill and the Stirling Hotel, and savour the moments as well as the flavours.
There are three major shopping precincts in the Adelaide Hills. There’s Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest German settlement, the garden village of Stirling and thriving Mount Barker. Buy flowers from a roadside stall, meander through a market or choose art from one of the region’s many galleries.
Visit the Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre website for local information.
The Barossa – the Secret Ingredient is Dirt
The fertile soil of the Barossa is home to some of the world’s most lauded vineyards but wine isn’t all that tastes great there. You wouldn’t expect to find traditional Vietnamese food in the Barossa but you’ll be glad you did! The food at FermentAsian in Tanunda has its roots firmly planted in chef Tuoi Do’s Vietnamese heritage, while her fresh vegetables and herbs are planted in the same soil where these famous grape vines grow.
The Barossa has cool summers and rainy winters which make it ideally suited for red wine production, particularly Shiraz and richly flavoured Cabernet, while the nearby Eden Valley boasts a stellar reputation for Riesling and Chardonnay thanks to its higher altitude and cooler climate.
Unlike us, wines don’t really enjoy travelling. If you have picked up a few treasured bottles, don’t leave them in the car on a warm day. Many cellar doors offer specialist wine transport services to make sure your precious cargo gets home safely.
The Beaches – Take your Pick
Whether you take a tram from the city down to vibrant Glenelg, or head further south by car to the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia’s coastline has a beach to suit everyone.
You can bury your toes in the long stretch of sand at Goolwa, or drive into the wide, painted landscape that is Aldinga and set up camp for the day. Horseshoe Bay at Port Elliot is a favourite with families but there’s still enough wave action here to take out a boogie board or teach the kids how to body surf, while Middleton is considered one of the best surf beaches in the country. One of the Fleurieu Peninsula’s most stunning sights is Waitpinga Beach – when you see it for the first time, it will take your breath away. If you’re feeling lucky, take a surf rod and see if you can hook a salmon or mullet.
Driving along the coast you’ll find hidden coves, pounding surf, reefs and sunken ships that lure divers. With everything from whale watching to wine tasting, beautiful beaches to biplane acrobatics, the Fleurieu Peninsula is Adelaide’s playground – the place where you can go at the drop of a hat and have a ball.
Visit the Fleurieu Peninsula Tourism website for more local information.
Kangaroo Island – the Ultimate Getaway
Kangaroo Island is the jewel in our tourism crown. It has pristine beaches, unique wildlife, awesome sunsets and a “drop” of wine. Don’t miss this iconic destination, just two hours’ drive and a short ferry ride south of Adelaide.
Visit the island’s official website for more information.
(The above information has been provided courtesy of the South Australian Tourism Commission.)