Visitors to Australia often overlook Adelaide but this compact South Australian city is a real gem. It’s well connected to other Australian cities, most conveniently Melbourne, and is well worth a few days of your time. Here are Mundana’s suggestions for what you might do in Adelaide, Australia’s overlooked gem.
Experience Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval sits beside the River Torres. The city’s iconic multipurpose stadium hosts cricket and Australian Rules football matches on a regular basis and occasionally other sports such as rugby and tennis, as well as music concerts. Surrounded by parkland, its impressive architecture is worth more than a casual glance. The stadium was built in the 1870s and guided tours will unlock the secrets of its heritage. Alternatively, book a spot for the Roof Climb to get a different perspective. Strap on a harness, don a helmet and get up on the roof to take in the breathtaking views across the city, its beaches and the countryside beyond.
Eat at the market
Adelaide’s indoor market hall is crammed with food stalls and cafés. Central Market is heaven for foodies. Sip a coffee as you plan a menu for a picnic. With more than 70 stallholders selling fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, cheeses and bakery items, you’ll find plenty of choice. Learn more about the producers and their work on a guided tour. Afterwards, seize the chance to graze on cuisines from across the world. Evoke the taste of North Africa as you dine on shakshouka at Le Souk, or tuck into Sarawak Laksa, a yummy Malaysian noodle soup, from Asian Gourmet. Round off with pastéis de nata from Saudade Portuguese Tarts, still warm from the oven.
Check out Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga
Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga is one of Adelaide’s most prominent squares, laid out in 1837. It’s the focal point for National Sorry Day in May and the place where the city’s Christmas tree is erected in December. This large space is flanked by some of the city’s most important buildings. They include the Supreme Court of South Australia and St. Francis Xavier’s Catholic Cathedral. A number of statues have been placed around the square. They commemorate notable figures such as the British monarch Queen Victoria, after whom the square was originally named, and explorers Charles Sturt and John McDouall Stuart.
Visit the city’s botanical gardens and wine centre
Adelaide Botanic Garden is an oasis in the heart of the city. It covers a 50 hectare site. Its collection of plants includes trees planted when the garden was established in the 1850s as well as native Australian flora and specimens from across the globe. Architecturally, it’s merit-worthy too: the Bicentennial Conservatory is the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere. The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion and Palm House are also impressive structures. Overlooking the botanic gardens is the National Wine Centre of Australia, where you can learn about the country’s flourishing wine industry. Take a tour or enjoy a sommelier-hosted tasting to learn about some of the 120 wines on offer.
Appreciate indigenous art
The Art Gallery of South Australia was founded in 1881. Inside you’ll find around 47000 pieces, encompassing paintings, sculpture, prints, photographs, ceramics, and more. They come from Europe, North America and Asia, as well as work from some of Australia’s most highly regarded artists. Indigenous art is an important reason to come. You can study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from around 1800 to the present. Don’t miss Lindy Lee’s Life of Stars and the Kulata Tjuta collaboration, the work of Aṉangu artists. The Art Gallery of South Australia is also home to the only permanent Islamic gallery in the country.
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Cuddle a koala
Cleland Wildlife Park is home to a number of native Australian species, including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, bettongs and potoroos. It’s possible to feed some of the animals as you make your way through the park’s paddocks and grasslands. So, pick up a bag of kangaroo feed at the front desk on your way in and make some friends along the way. Book an encounter with one of the park’s fluffy koalas. Under the close supervision of the park keepers, you cuddle one of these sleepy marsupials as they lazily nibble on some eucalyptus leaves.
Head to the beach
It wouldn’t be a trip to Australia if it didn’t include some time at the beach. Glenelg is one of Adelaide’s best beaches. It’s less than half an hour from the city centre, so there’s no excuse not to pop down. It boasts a broad swath of sand, plenty of amusements to keep the kids happy and restaurants strung out along Jetty Road. Watch out for wild dolphins swimming close to the shore or watch a beautiful sunset. If your visit coincides with the summer season, make the most of Moseley Beach Club’s day beds and sun loungers as you sip a cocktail.
Kangaroo Island, with its abundant native wildlife, is an easy excursion from the city. See kangaroos, wallabies and koalas in a natural setting. Adelaide’s the ideal place to catch a bus or flight to Coober Pedy, an opal mining town in the heart of the Outback. Road trippers might also enjoy driving the Great Ocean Road, east of the city, to visit Port Fairy, the Twelve Apostles and Great Otway National Park. Alternatively, hop on The Overland train and trundle over to Melbourne the scenic way. This long distance train will give you an idea of the vast scale of Australia. Gaze out at views over farmland and mallee scrubland along the way.
Let Mundana arrange your stay in Adelaide
Mundana can arrange your stay in Adelaide. One of the most luxurious hotels is the Sofitel Adelaide on Currie Street. Launched in late 2021, this five star property has spacious, well appointed rooms, an indoor pool and stunning views over the city. Rival InterContinental Adelaide occupies a prime spot on the banks of the River Torres. Exceptional dining, a fully-equipped fitness centre and outdoor pool ensure this hotel enjoys a stellar reputation. Additionally the four star Franklin Boutique Hotel is a more affordable option for those who appreciate style on a budget. Located in a historic building dating from 1855, the décor is sophisticated and glamorous.