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The city of Adelaide is the capital city and largest city of South Australia. It’s blessed with wonderful natural features such as a beach fringed coastline, rich agricultural lands, the meandering River Torrens which dissects the city, and a plethora or wine growing regions which surround the city. Throw in great weather, excellent local produce, heritage precincts, and a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, and you’re left with an all round amazing destination.
Adelaide started life in 1836 as a free city (i.e. no convict past), so was well planned and laid out in grids with broad avenues, open city squares, and plenty of parks. In fact, the entire CBD is surrounded by a frame of parkland with the River Torrens snaking its way through the northern frame. North Terrace runs parallel to the river and is home to many of city’s major institutions such as the hospital, university, multiple museums, the train station, casino, and many hotels and restaurants.
Just one block back from North Terrace is Rundle Mall, the city’s main shopping strip. The now pedestrianised mall was the first of its type in Australia and boasts a huge amount of shops, including the major department stores and designer boutiques. Dotted along the mall are several beautiful arcades hiding yet more small boutiques.
A few blocks further south is Gouger Street, the place to start when the tummy’s rumbling. Along here you’ll find plenty of Asian cheap eats, as well as some of the best restaurants in town including Mesa Lunga which does awesome tapas, and has a huge cocktail list to boot. Conveniently, lots of Adelaide’s nightspots are also on Gouger Street. If it’s a hot night (which it probably will be), Adelaide has it covered… but not literally. Rooftop bars are all the rage in Adelaide with Rocket Rooftop being the local favourite thanks to its live music and movie nights, or the quieter more comfy option, Unley.
Back north now, just over the river from the central city is the suburb of North Adelaide. One of the oldest parts of the city, North Adelaide is jampacked full of historic churches, beautiful parklands (including the Adelaide Oval), and oodles of gorgeous old cottages. A walk through this historic suburb is a must.
Take the tram to the beachside suburb of Glenelg, just 20 minutes from downtown. The golden sand beach stretches miles to the south, making it easy to find your own spot in the sun. Palm and pine trees line the beach providing shade for the little ones. At the northern end of the beach, where the tram runs, is the Glenelg Marina. From here you can jump aboard a yacht out to see dolphins, pick up a fishing charter, or for the adrenaline junkies, a ride on the Helluva Jet is a must do. You’ll also find plenty of al fresco dining around the marina as well as Jetty Road, the main shopping and dining strip.
Of course, no trip to Adelaide and South Australia is complete without a visit to at least one of the wine growing regions. Day tours are readily available from Adelaide, or better yet, take a night or two and really get to ‘taste’ the region.
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