When people hear I’ve been in Adelaide for quite a while they frown and ask: “So, what do you do in Adelaide?” It is true; Adelaide is a relatively small city without much backpacker-appeal. In winter you might as well skip it, or minimize your stay to a day or two. In summer though, Adelaide comes to life. Adelaide has a quite relaxed vibe, unlike Sydney or Melbourne. It is a good place to live for a while and also considered Australia’s cheapest city.
Adelaide can be reached by the Indian Pacific train that runs from Sydney to Perth and back. A ticket from Sydney will costs you a bit more than paying for a flight, but it is a good experience. Adelaide also has an international airport and can be reached by several bus companies. They travel right to the CBD bus station on Franklin street. There are plenty of hostels around and some offer free accommodation for work if you stay long-term.
The center of Adelaide is surrounded by the parklands. This design comes from the times where Adelaide needed to be able to defend itself. It is said that canons could not reach the city from outside of the parklands. The CBD will seem small at first, but there is plenty to explore. A major street is King William. Off King William you will find Rundle Mall, the main shopping district. It has all the major shops and several food courts. For some more shops and café’s, continue down the road along Rundle street.
Another place not to miss is the Central Market. Here you’ll find fresh produce and you might even find some delicacies from home; Dutch licorice, Italian pasta. You can buy your veggies and meat, or enjoy a coffee. The markets are right in the middle of Chinatown so you can also explore the surrounding shops for a good bargain or souvenir.
Adelaide also houses some interesting museums. In the South Australian museum you’ll find a good exhibition about Aboriginals as well as some exhibitions about Australia’s flora and fauna. The museum is free, as is the Art Gallery next door. Ayers House Museum on North Terrace is the former house of Mr. Ayers, the one the rock is named after. It is still decorated the way it used to be and very cool if you’re into history. The Tandanya Gallery is dedicated to Aboriginal art and changes its exhibition regularly.
Close to the shopping district you’ll find the Botanic Gardens. Here you’ll also find the zoo and the Torrens River. Go for a wander and try and find the artistic details around the Adelaide Festival Center. A bit further on is the old Adelaide Goal which shows a piece of Adelaide’s early history. On a hot summer day there is nothing like Adelaide’s beaches. The most popular one is Glenelg. It hosts a big fireworks display on New Year’s Eve, has a small shopping boulevard and lots of hotels. From here you can go on a dolphin watch or ever a dolphin swim.
Even if you don’t like churches, Radelaide has some cool stuff to see.