A trip to Adelaide seems to inspire perplexity and questions like, “oh, what made you want to visit?” and “what’s there to do there?”. This South Australian destination isn’t at the top of most travellers’ bucket lists, but it should be.
Often overlooked in favour of other Australian destinations, Adelaide is, without a doubt, a must-visit city. I could go into great detail about all the things that make Adelaide wonderful, but I’ll focus on the top five; highlighting some of the activities we enjoyed during our extended long weekend.
Food & Wine
The food and wine capital of Australia, Adelaide’s food scene is one of the best in the world. Much like the city itself, it’s relaxed, diverse and appeals to foodies of all strokes. Whether you’re after excellent brunch, a long lunch or rooftop drinks, Adelaide does it all without missing a beat.
Unlike Sydney and Melbourne, where dining out can take hours (after all, you’ll need to wait in line for those hotcakes), Adelaide’s culinary scene is chill AF. Trendy restaurants lack pretension and always have space. Some of our favourite meals were at the following establishments:
Crack Kitchen: Ok, the name is great. Now, that we have that out of the way, I’ll focus on the food, coffee and interiors. Tiled counters, two espresso machines and ample natural light, you’ll look this café the moment you step inside. The food ranges from breakfast burgers to healthy breakfast bowls. You’re sure to love it.
Public: Across the street from Crack Kitchen, you’ll find Public. This spacious CBD café and function space has quality breakfast options. Sit at one of the marble-top booths to set yourself up for the perfect #breakfastflatlay.
Fleur & Brew: A florist/coffee shop, what more could one want? This cosy corner café is only a stone’s throw from the Adelaide Central Market.
Adelaide Central Market: Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market gave me unrealistic standards when it comes to city markets, but Adelaide’s Central Market managed to impress me. Here, you’ll find rows and rows of fresh produce, delicious breakfast stalls, fresh pastries, nuts, cured meats, the list goes on… Everything you need to stock up for the flight home (just make sure you consume it all before biosecurity!)
Taste the Barossa: We were fortunate to spend a day exploring Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley, which I’ll write more about in my next blog post – stay tuned! Needless to say, it’s one of the main reasons to visit Adelaide!
Other favourite include: Pink Moon Saloon (it’s a must-visit cocktail bar), Midnight Spaghetti (huge portions and the best Aperol Spritz I’ve tasted!), Clever Little Tailor (gorgeous old bar with excellent negronis and craft beer), 2KW (the best rooftop bar and view in Adelaide!) and Boneshaker, which had the best burgers I’ve ever tasted (better than Shake Shack, even!)
While there were a few bike lanes in the city, we were even more impressed by the number of dockless share bikes around the city. Obike and Ofo have recently launched; if you download the app, using these systems is a handy way of getting from point A to B. We loved biking from coffee to lunch to drinks, cycling along the river and exploring noteworthy sights.
Adelaide’s public transport is hugely under appreciated, but both Nick and I were amazed by the number of buses available across the city. Nick stopped several times to take photos of thirteen or fourteen buses lined up along the streets. The city itself is laid out in a fairly rational grid network. Conveniently, the airport is close to the city – about 15 minutes by bus with frequent connections.
While not known for its beaches, a trip to Adelaide isn’t complete without a tram ride to Glenelg. This seaside town is absolutely gorgeous; lined with palm trees and miles and miles of clear, blue water. Glenelg’s community is lovely as well – with mom and pop shops, cafés and cornershops lining every street. Stop by Superette for a coffee and other sundries before walking along the pier or dipping your toes in the sea.
Nature and Wildlife
No trip to Adelaide is complete without venturing outside the city to experience the beautiful Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley. On our way to the Barossa Valley, we saw families of kangaroos and emus. South Australia is one of the driest regions in the world. Two years ago, Adelaide Hills experienced two weeks of bushfires, which destroyed 80 homes and killed a lot of wildlife. Fortunately, a monsoon arrived from Darwin before more damage could take place. A lot of the wildlife is now returnin and houses are being rebuilt.
Another day trip option is to Kangaroo Island; one the most beautiful parts of South Australia. Over a third of the island is protected in nature reserves, home to native wildlife like sea lions, koalas and diverse bird species. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to Kangaroo Island this time around, but it’s definitely on my list for my next trip to Adelaide.
So, there you have it, five reasons to get yourself over to Adelaide ASAP! Let me know if you’ve ever visited and what your first impressions were.