Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and a great holiday destination. A unique feature of Adelaide is that it is one of the few cities not initially settled by British Convicts! An ideal Adelaide Holiday is made up of sandy beaches, art events, nightlife, fine dining, architecture and boutique shopping. My personal recommendation for a perfect beach experience in Adelaide would be at Glenelg, the beach-side suburb. Some of the other must visits of Adelaide are the botanical garden, the church circuit, Zoo, Central market and Victoria harbor.
Adelaide has an international airport and is less than an hour’s flight from Melbourne. Adelaide is also well connected to all other major cities of Australia. A more romantic way to reach Adelaide would be take the Indian Pacific, the famous railway from Sydney to Perth which stops at Adelaide. The Ghan is another interesting railway journey from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin as it crosses the great Australian Outback over 2 days.
Adelaide has an excellent public transport system. Bus, Tram and Train are all available with a single ticket. Infact there is a free tourist bus service catering to all the popular spots. Cars on rent are the most convenient way to explore the wine regions around Adelaide the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley.
Adelaide used to be inhabited by the nomadic Kaurna tribe before European settlement. John Pirie and the Duke of York set sail for South Australia in 1836 looking for a new colony. Adelaide and the surrounding areas appealed to them as they were looking for a site with a harbor, arable land, fresh water, ready internal and external communications, building materials and drainage. Electric street lighting was first introduced in Adelaide in 1900. Adelaide's famous electric tram service commenced operations in 1909 to ferry passengers. Post the World Wars, Adelaide encouraged emigration and hundreds of thousands of emigrants came from Europe. This inflow of skilled workforce helped in building the manufacturing industry. Adelaide is today host to the immensely popular Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race.
Established in 1836 and located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, Glenelg is a beautiful beach suburb of Adelaide. Named after Lord Glenelg, a member of British Cabinet and Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, Glenelg used to be the home of the Kaurna tribe of aborigines prior to 1836.
The most prominent structure at Glenelg is the 381 meter long Jetty built in 1857. You can visit The Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg Town Hall for a brief history of Holdfast Bay. Kingston Park Coastal Reserve is a good picnic spot. You can have a look at Kingston House, the oldest building of Holdfast Bay.
Opened in 1855, the Botanical Gardens of Adelaide is situated near the North Terrace. Several rare sub-tropical plants and flowering shrubbery can be found in these gardens.
Located to the west of the main lake is The Palm, a Victorian glasshouse imported from Bremen, Germany in 1875. Another noteworthy attraction in these gardens is the National Rose Trial Garden which tests the suitability of climate of Adelaide for Roses.
The Zoo in Adelaide is parklands just north of the city center and is home to nearly 2000 animals. The Adelaide Zoo has a special focus on species from Gondwana supercontinent which was made up of South America, India, Africa, Australia and South East Asia. Wang Wang and Funi the two Giant Pandas are probably the most popular of all the inmates of the Zoo!
The most exciting way of experiencing the Zoo is to take the Wild Night’s overnight tour. You get to stay in tents in the Envirodome rooftop garden. This is a great way to catch the animals up close.
The museum of Childhood is located in Dale Street and is a unique museum in Adelaide. Its purpose is to expose children to the diverse cultures that prevail in Aurtralia. The museum showcases toys, trends and fads popular in Australia right since the 1890s. The museum is a fun way to learn about the history and culture of Australia. The Museum of Childhood also provides mobile educational presentations and hands on programs available for school events.
Victor Harbor which used to be the main port of the South Australian coast and the access point for all goods travelling up and down the Murray River is today a very popular holiday destination. Victor Harbor is 80 Km south of Adelaide. The best way to explore Victor Harbor is to take the 19th century horse drawn Tram. This Tram runs over a causeway that connects Victor Harbor to Granite Island.
Once in Granite Island, make sure to go for the Penguin Walk. A guided tour is organized at sunset to watch the Penguins return to the island from the Sea.
Waitpinga Beach is a lovely getaway, 14 kms from Victor Harbor. It is a hit among Surfers due to the large waves.
Another attraction at Waitpinga Beach is the Kangaroos that come to graze on the hills facing the beach.
For more of my travelogues across the world, visit Great Vacations.