Adelaide, Australia is the fifth largest city in the country. It’s also capital city of Southern Australia. It’s located on Gulf St. Vincent and is home to just over one million people. Before it was settled by the British, most of the Adelaide area was bushland – a dry, arid region with low shrubbery and no trees. Today, the land in Adelaide is considered to be plains and the city still relies on reservoirs to provide nearly half its water, despite is close proximity to the Gulf St. Vincent. Climate-wise, Adelaide is the driest of all the capital cities in Australia, with about 22in of precipitation falling, yearly, in the area. Temperatures range from the mid 40s to the mid 80s year round without many extremes in variation.
Adelaide is known as the wine capital of Australia. The reason for this is that there are more than 200 wineries and wine cellars within an hour of the city, in any direction. There are over 700 restaurants and bars in the city of Adelaide, which offer a variety of foods from around the world. So visitors can get a taste of ‘home’ or try something completely different. Adelaide also hosts a number of world-class events each year, which are boons for the city’s tourism industry. Adelaide is the gateway to Southern Australia and millions of tourist flock there each year to partake in everything the region has to offer. In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the best places to visit if you happen to be planning a trip to Adelaide.
Adelaide Panda Tours
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Two of the most famous residents of Adelaide aren’t of the human species. They are a pair of giant pandas owned and cared for by an extension of the Adelaide Zoo. Wang Wang and Funi are the focus of the Giant Panda Tour – a tour which brings visitors up close and personal with the ways of life for the giant pandas. You’ll learn what they eat, how they breed, what their natural habitat is and how they function both physically and mentally. The panda tours are a great activity for all age groups and children, especially, seem to enjoy them.
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No visit to Adelaide is complete without a trip to Kangaroo Island. About 4,000 people live on this island, but they share it with a large number of animal species native to Australia – like the kangaroo wallaby and koala. All of these animals and more can be observed in their native habitats – along with some 500 sea lions that call the island home. Kangaroo Island is also famous for it’s wine and honey – and is the oldest bee sanctuary in the world. Guided tours depart from Adelaide at various points during the day and take visitors tot he island via boat or plane.
Morialta Conservation Park
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Morialta Conservation Park is a bushland surrounded by towering rocky cliffs and deep gorges. There are also three waterfalls within the park as well. The park is a favorite for rock climbing enthusiasts of all ages, but is also a great place for nature lovers as well. The miles of walking trails in the park lets you explore the area at your own pace while signs and trail markers direct you on which paths to take. A point of interest to look for during your walk through the park is The Giants Cave – a popular spot for park visitors.
Barossa Reservoir – Whispering Wall
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The Barossa Reservoir was completed around 1903 and looks like any other reservoir or dam. At first glance, the only real thing that might set it apart is the fact that it’s curved in shape. However, the Barossa Reservoir holds an acoustic secret that has earned it the name Whispering Wall. Whispers sent by a person at one end of the reservoir can clearly and distinctly be heard by a person at the other end of the reservoir – some 140 meters away!
Adelaide Gaol Historic Site and Museum
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The Adelaide Gaol Historic Site and Museum is dedicated to preserving the Adelaide Gaol – one of the two oldest buildings in all of Southern Australia. The jail got its start in 1841 and operated for nearly 150 years, making it the longest continuously operating jail in Australia. But the jail and its history aren’t the only items of historic consequence at this particular site. Archaeological digs over the years have since revealed that the jail was built on top of the first white settlement in Southern Australia – a campgrounds of sorts while they waited for housing to be built in the city. In all, five levels of historical significance have been unearthed in those digs and much of them are on display at the site today. With so much history is such a small area, it’s no wonder that the Adelaide Gaol Historic Site is said to be one of the most haunted sites in Southern Australia. To highlight that, ghost tours and paranormal workshops are offered on the site as well as a host of other educational presentations and exhibits.
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To fully understand the make up of Southern Australia and the people that make it unique, a visit to the Migration Museum is in order. The museum feature many different artifacts and exhibits documenting the settlement of Southern Australia by people from all corners of the world. Since they began coming in 1836, every immigrant has had a story to tell. Even the building that houses the museum played an important role in the lives of the early settlers. The building is part of the original Adelaide’s Destitute Asylum – a facility used for providing shelter and services for the homeless and poor.
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Hahndorf is an old German settlement on the outskirts of Adelaide. The quaint little region offers everything you’d expect from an Old World Style neighborhood as well as some do not miss attractions as well. While you’re there taking in the scenery, do not forget to stop by the chocolate factory for a tour of the facilities. When you’re finished there, head over to the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm to hand-pick your own strawberries for a treat on the drive back to Adelaide.
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While you’re in Hahndorf, take the time to explore the surrounding countryside known as the Adelaide Hills. There are over 600 miles of walking trails in the area that take you past quaint little shops, intimate cafes and antique stores. The Adelaide Hills are also home to fifteen wineries that you can tour as well as sample what each one has to offer. This is one of the more popular tourist areas in all of Adelaide.
The Adelaide Casino – The Adelaide Casino is a great place to get in on some hot gaming action. Actually, it’s the only place you can do it in Southern Australia, being that it’s the only licensed casino in the region. Aside from the gaming action, there are three upscale restaurants on site and a couple of popular nightclubs and bars as well.
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Shopping is a must do on any tourist’s itinerary and the Rundle Mall is a great place to do it while in Adelaide. What makes Rundle Mall a unique shopping experience is that it’s the city’s only pedestrian only shopping center and outdoor market place. You’ll have your choice of over 800 shops, stores and stalls, peddling everything from local handicrafts to high end designer items.
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Even though it’s a few hours’ ride from Adelaide, a trip to Coober Pedy is a must for anyone visiting the Adelaide region of Australia. The city is located in the Outback (bush country) and is known as the opal capital of the world for the number and quality of opals that are harvested there each year. A tour of the Old Timer’s Mine shows the discovery process of the opal in Coober Pedy and has a number of exhibits depicting life as an opal miner – including the first opal ever harvested in the area.
- 000 is the emergency number to dial to summon help from first responders and police in the event of an emergency.
- Parks in Adelaide aren’t very tourist friendly at night, as they have a history of vagrants lurking.
- Trains and bus stations can be sketchy due to the high turnover rate of people and those who lurk about, as in the parks. Just be aware of your surroundings at all times.