Semester one of university had ended, my favourite season, Winter, had tiptoed upon Australia, and I had been given four days off work; I had good timing. I wanted a short getaway; a decent block of time where I could turn off my email notifications, where I didn’t have to set an alarm, and where I had some time to explore a new city. I obviously had limited time, so interstate bound I was. I’ve been to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Cairns and the Gold Coast, so Adelaide was my next option. I texted a friend to see if he wanted to tag along, we booked our flights, and we arrived at Brisbane Airport at 5am to board our flight to Adelaide.
We arrived at Adelaide Airport and made our way into the city. Again, our timing was fantastic as a hotel receptionist advised us that we could check into our room early. The next couple of days consisted of eating out way too much, copious amounts of walking and the most sleep in’s I’ve had this whole year; life was great.
Adelaide is beautiful. I wouldn’t choose to live there simply because it’s too small for my liking, but the city itself consists of beautiful architecture with a very Autumnal vibe; even during the dry Winter, most trees still held lovely orange leaves and these paved the streets and blended beautifully with the old-school rustic-coloured structures that make up the CBD.
Our short stay was the perfect amount of time. Despite the city being relatively small in comparison with my home in Brisbane, there are a multitude of activities within the CBD as well as even more day trips to be taken. Below are a range of recommendations suitable for the curious, cultural and relaxed traveller.
Adelaide’s main shopping district and centrepiece of the city centre is Rundle Mall, a pedestrian street mall that consists of various retailers sprawling with high-end businesses, chain retailers, and smaller, independent stores. Additionally, there are a multitude of bars, restaurants and arcades. You’ll find aspiring musicians and buskers occupying the mall with melodic sounds that sooth the soul. Rundle Mall has something for everyone.
ADELAIDE’S BOTANIC GARDENS
Sitting north of Rundle Mall, about a 20 minute walk, lies Adelaide’s leafy botanic gardens just off North Terrace. 50 hectares of well maintained and diverse plants await your discovery. The botanic gardens join onto Botanic Park and Adelaide Zoo, there are cafes and greenhouses awaiting to be visited, and the area is the perfect spot for picnics. Walking through the gardens gives you the opportunity to explore the city without the hustle and bustle whilst taking in the lovely scenery.
Lindes Lane is one of Adelaide’s gems unknown to the passerby but well-renowned by the locals. The bar and restaurant is nestled in one of the alleyways – Lindes Lane- off Rundle Mall. The top floor is perfect for a cocktail or two whilst catching up with friends; although, if you’re looking for more of an upbeat vibe simply head downstairs into the secret bar behind a fireplace. I wouldn’t have know Lindes Lane existed if I weren’t catching up with a friend who is an Adelaide local; but now that I’ve experienced it, I highly suggest it!
This is a day trip you’ll want to take. Hahndorf is renowned as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and is tailored for both the young and older generations. Nestled in the Adelaide Hills region, about a 30 minute drive from the city centre, lies a picturesque town sprinkled with German authenticity.
There are a multitude of German small businesses specialising in clothing, sweets, treats and more. I visited Hahndorf purely with the intention of snacking on a German meal, and therefore I recommend visiting the Hahndorf Inn for lunch; their schnitzels and beer are equally filling and delicious.
If you’re short of a car, no worries, there are buses run by the Adelaide Metro that leave the city centre approximately every half hour that make the trip to Hahndorf at a relatively cheap price. If you’re a lover of all things German, or have a particular interest in the German way of life, I would definitely recommend a visit to Hahndorf.
You’ll find that Adelaide is the type of city where everything shuts down relatively early, especially on a Sunday. If you’re short of options for dinner, be sure to head to Chinatown as most diners are open later than the norm. Chinatown is a short 10 minute Uber from the CBD, or if you’re feeling up to it, take the 20 minute walk instead.
ADELAIDE’S STREET ART
One thing that I certainly did not expect to see in Adelaide was the wide variety of street art. I took one afternoon to walk the streets of the CBD to find and take photos of the incredible street art located in both back alley’s and in plain sight. Below are a list of locations to check out.
- 21 Twin Street, Adelaide SA 5000
- 35 York St, Adelaide SA 5000
- Gresham St, Adelaide SA 5000
- Frome Rd, Adelaide SA 5000
- 20 Synagogue Pl, Adelaide SA 5000
- 250 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
- Hyde Street, Adelaide SA 5000
- 30 Bank Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Adelaide in comparison to some other big cities in Australia is quite small, so either walking or public transport is probably the best way to get around the CBD. If you’re relying on public transport, grabbing a Metrocard from an Adelaide Metro Information Centre will be the most cost effective way rather than buying multiple day tickets. If you’re planning on taking multiple day trips out to places such as Hahndorf or Glenelg renting a car would be preferable; especially for families. In terms of accommodation, if you’re looking for something central to the city and Rundle Mall, I recommend the Ibis Adelaide. Rooms are reasonably priced, the staff are more than helpful, the location is perfect and the facilities are pleasant.
In summary, Adelaide is a beautiful, picturesque, quiet city perfect for both families and individuals for a short stay. There are an array of activities and experiences as well as day trips to take for the curious and cultural traveller. Adelaide is a city that will make you feel at home, no matter where you’re from in the world.