Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, was planned to be the capital of Australia, settled by free immigrants and not convicts like the bigger cities Sydney and Melbourne. Those plans led to a neat grid of streets in the center of Adelaide, surrounded by a ring of parks. While that plan never quite worked out, it left a compact and very walkable city center with a nice pedestrian mall and well-kept parks nearby. But you are probably not visiting for the nice parks, but for the wonderful wine country surrounding the city – or the start of a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, like I did!
I fell in love with Sydney on first sight and grew to love Melbourne more with every visit. Adelaide might not inspire the same kind of feelings and usually isn’t that high on people’s list of places to visit Australia, but it certainly is worth visiting.
The vision of the city from almost 200 years ago is paying back with an attractive city center. Rundle Mall, a pedestrian street makes for a nice walk and plenty of shopping. It’s easy to explore the city and it sights from here. And, if/when you had enough of South Australia’s heat, you can head to the nearby parks. During our last visit, they were lively with summer festivals and a fun place to hang out. And, if it’s too hot for that, you can always head to Glenelg Beach. With it’s old town hall right on the beach, it has an almost British feeling to it!
If all of that isn’t really convincing you to go, maybe the surrounding wine area will! South Australia produces some great wine and it’s my favorite area in Australia to go wine tasting! You can easily arrange a tour from the city, so you don’t have to worry about drinking & driving, and enjoy the wine! And along the way, you can find some interesting historic roots: I had no idea that German settlers came to Australia, so I was surprised to walk into Hahndorf, a village that seemed to be transplanted straight from Germany… ok, transplanted a long time ago. The old houses are beautifully restored, you can buy great German bread, sausages and cheese and there is even German beer! I know, you didn’t go wine tasting to drink German beer, consider it a break for your taste buds!
And while it might not be a compliment for Adelaide, I have started twice my favorite road trip down under from here – the Great Ocean Road! While it’s a bit of a drive, it is a beautiful ride and you get to see more coastline, countryside, mountains and the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier!
Altogether, Adelaide, the wine country and the Great Ocean Road give you plenty of reason to add it to your list of places to go in Australia!