How To Make The Most Of A Weekend In Adelaide
How To Make The Most Of A Weekend In Adelaide
Adelaide, founded in 1836, is the 5th largest city in Australia, and is the capital of South Australia. Situated only 7 kms from the airport, this city is known as “The City of Churches”. And what makes Adelaide so great for a weekend getaway is the fact that it has something on offer for everyone, from the arts and culture scene to the nearby wine industry. Getting around the city is made easy with a contracted bus system which includes the O-Bahn Busway, a reliable railway network and the Adelaide to Glenelg Tram.
There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city with music and art being a staple feature. Adelaide boasts such events as The Barossa Music Festival, Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Come Out Youth Arts Festival and the Fringe Festival as well as WOMADelaide, Australia’s premier world music event. If you are lucky enough to be in town when any of these events are on you should definitely try to score a ticket or two. However there is plenty to do outside of events and if you are strapped for time and only have a few days, here are five ‘must do’s’:
There is no way you could visit this area without taking at least a day to explore the beautiful Barossa valley. Known worldwide for its quality wines, the vineyards are open to the public offering wine tastings and cellar door sales. Make sure to stop by the Keller Meister winery and try some of their award winning Shiraz. Although one of the smaller wineries in the Barossa, their wines pack a big taste and their commitment to perfection is evident with each bottle of wine. Due to its more intimate environment, you will receive individual attention and be blown away with how well their baristas can cater to your particular taste. If you have time, a great way to compliment your tour of the Barossa valley is by taking a visit to the National Wine Centre.
Haigh’s Chocolate Factory
Whether you have a sweet tooth or are a connoisseur of fine chocolate, no visit to Adelaide would be complete without a tour of the Haigh’s Chocolate Factory. Bookings are essential for these popular tours and run three times a day Monday – Saturday. Watch how these exquisite chocolates are made from scratch and then the best part is in the sampling. Yum!
The Botanical Gardens
Established in 1855, The Botanical Gardens which include the Bicentennial Conservatory, the largest glasshouse in the southern hemisphere and the State Herbarium is a great way to pass the day. You can usually find some kind of activity or attraction to get involved in on your visit check upon entry for what is happening for ‘A Season in the Gardens’. I was definitely in awe of the giant Amazon Water-lilies on my visit!
Checking out the street vibe in Rundle Mall is a must. It is the city’s major shopping strip. Stretching all the way from Pulteney Street to King William Street. The mall is open 7 days a week and along with shopping you can also snap a picture by the famous ‘Malls Balls’ or the cheeky bronze pigs … or take the discovery trail to uncover some of the mall’s history . Also worth a visit is Rundle Street, located between Frome Street and East Terrace where you will discover a funky cosmopolitan area filled with many more cafes and boutique stores many of which are proudly South Australian owned and operated!
Art Gallery of South Australia
Adelaide’s largest gallery is the Art Gallery of SA which exhibits many great local and overseas works of art. There are also many smaller galleries exhibiting fine paintings and sculptures. The South Australian Museum has great pieces that once belonged to the explorer Douglas Mawson. Ancient fossils and skeletons from around the world are constant exhibits. For something a little more cultural The Aboriginal Cultures exhibition is one of the largest in the world with over 3000 items on display. Or if learning about the days of early settlement takes your fancy then The Migration Museum will teach you about the many hardships faced by the early settlers. A visit to the RM Williams Outback Heritage Museum is very informative. Don’t miss a tour of the Old Goal and if you are brave you can even do an overnight ghost tour.
When it comes to eating out in Adelaide, you will definitely be spoilt for choice. Alfresco dining is a popular theme and there are restaurants serving all kinds of international cuisine dotted all around the city. A great pick for a Saturday night is to chow down on some delectable authentic Thai at Café Michael 2 and from there move your party onto Fumo Blu and relax in their 50’s inspired lounge bar with a tasty cocktail or two.
Adelaide accommodation options exist to suit everyone depending on your needs. From caravan parks for the budget conscious, to luxury hotels for that perfect romantic getaway….and everything in between. Visiting this city will definitely not disappoint and you will already be planning your next trip before you leave.
About the Author
Chris Thompson is an experienced hotel manager having worked around the world in many hotels… these days Chris enjoys writing about his travels and tribulations. Read more about his favourite Adelaide hotel, here.