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Adelaide Australia

Gateway to the Australian Outback

Adelaide Australia is my favourite amongst Australia's big cities, after several visits, it feels like my home away from home.
Adelaide's biggest advantage is that you are never far away from the bush and the Australian Outback. It is the best starting point to travel to all regions in Outback South Australia.

adelaide-view grand old building majestic building park and rotunda shopping arcade sandy beach
view over the city
The capital of South Australia spreads on the Adelaide Plains along the Gulf St. Vincent. Endless sandy beaches, colourful cliffs and beautiful suburbs invite for a beach holiday.

The eastern boundaries of the city are confined by the Mt. Lofty Ranges, the part near the city are called "Adelaide Hills". Quaint villages, picturesque valleys and winding roads invite for a trip into the bush. The hills are definitely the place to watch colourful birds and you'll certainly see a koala if you check the trees.

The central business district is surrounded by a belt of parklands. This green belt has about three times the size of Central Park in New York.
The River Torrens divides the city centre from North Adelaide. There are great picnic spots along the river.
Known as the "The city of churches", and South Australia being the "Festival State", there is a lot of culture to explore as well.

Join me on a tour to Adelaide's attractions and get some tips to get around. But first, as so often, we take a quick trip into history.

History of Adelaide Australia

Before European settlement the Kaurna people, who led a nomadic life, inhabited the Adelaide plains.

Early European explorers saw the promising plains, Matthew Flinders named Mt. Lofty in 1802.
Edward Wakefield and other people in Britain developed the idea to start a free settlement in South Australia.

The first fleet of ships took supplies and settlers to Kangaroo Island. Surveyor Colonel William Light finally chose the location of South Australia's capital close to the River Torrens. Light planned the city with wide boulevards and public squares, surrounded by parklands.
"Light's Vision" was to build a gracious city, adapted to the topography of the land. His work is commemorated with a statue on Montefiore Hill. Don't miss this lookout to see how well Adelaide was planned.

South Australia, the colony of free settlers, was proclaimed by Govenor John Hindmarsh in December 1836. The building of Adelaide began soon after. The city was named after Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, the queen consort of king William IV of the UK.

Quick Facts

Population: 1,225,235 (2011 census) 5th largest city in Australia
Location: Eastern shores of Gulf St. Vincent
Area: 1,826.9 kmĀ²
State: South Australia
Elevation: 43m
Post Code: 5000
Time Zone: Central Standard Time (CST), Daylight Saving between October and April
Climate & Best time to visit:
Adelaide has Mediterranean climate with warm summers (with a spell of hot days) and cool, wet winters.
September to May is the best time to visit.

Adelaide Attractions

Adelaide Australia has so much to offer to its visitors and residents. It is easy to fall in love with this beautiful city.

City Centre

See grand old buildings at North Terrace and King William Street.

  • The Post Office (1867)
  • Town Hall (1863 - 1866)
  • University of Adelaide
  • the Art Gallery of South Australia
  • the elegant Parliament House
Notice the mix of old buildings and modern scyscrapers while you walk around. You can imagine that certainly many grand old buildings were knocked off for modern high rises. Let's hope that the current oldies will remain.

The central business district is also a wonderful place to stay for a night, or two. No, there's not only business in the CBD. Enjoy marvellous restaurants, nightlife and entertainment.


The list of museums is endless. Visitors have a big choice to discover them on a rainy day.

  • The South Australian Museum is a natural history museum on North Terrace. With its huge wale skeletons in the front windows it is a landmark
  • The Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide tells about South Australia's connections with the sea
  • The Port Dock Museum, Port Adelaide, is an outstanding and interesting railway museum


Adelaides beaches are marvellous. A string of white sandy beaches stretches along the coast from north to the south.

Want to stay in a beach-side resort? Glenelg and Henley Beach are the way to go. The choice is endless and suits all budget. Visit the beaches and relax a few days in the sun. Find a link to the most popular beaches on the bottom of this page.


Shopping centres, malls, arcades - Adelaide offers you the ultimative shopping experience. Bring your credit card! :)

  • Rundle Mall, right in the city centre, invites you to browse department stores and arcades. Enjoy the city flair
  • Rundle Street has several outdoor stores where you get everything you need for camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. These stores also offer a good range of maps for the Outback regions
  • Visit the Central Market at Grote Street. The market is one of the top Adelaide attractions. Stock up with fresh food before you escape to the Australian Outback
  • Melbourne Street in North Adelaide offers art galleries, fashion boutiques and exqusite cafes
  • Westfield Marion shopping centre is the largest shopping complex in Adelaide with supermarkets, department stores, and specialty shops. If you don't find it here, you'll certainly never find it

Attractions and day-tours from Adelaide

If you stay in Adelaide Australia for a couple of days, there are quite some attraction worth to visit outside of the city.

The Adelaide Hills stretch just behind the city. Get a deep breathe of fresh air and see some native Australian animals.
My favourite spot is Belair National Park, just 13 east of the city centre. This is South Australia's oldest national park, and always a good place to see a koala and lots of birds.

The Barossa Valley is one of the best known wine regions in South Australia. Visit the wineries to taste the superb South Australian wine.
The Barossa Valley was first settled by German immigrants. Towns like Lyndoch, Angaston and Tanunda offer delicious German breads, sausages and cakes. You'll see many names that remind on the German heritage.

Hahndorf - another old German settlement is a favourite tourist attraction with a lot of old-world charm. In fact, it is the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia.
Enjoy arts & crafts shops and of course a German Bratwurst.

If you have some extra time, a trip to Kangaroo Island is really worthwhile. Explore the unspoilt nature of South Australia's biggest island. There is a lot of Australian wildlife to discover on Kangaroo Island. The ferry service from Cape Jervis south of Adelaide brings you quickly to the island.

Getting around in Adelaide

Public transport in Adelaide is fairly good. A large fleet of buses, a suburban railway network, and a tram from the city to the beach in Glenelg, help you to get around Adelaide.

Adelaide's international airport is about 6 km west of the city centre. You can take a taxi, or a bus to the city, it is just a quick hop. JetBus services connect the airport with the city and other key suburbs. The 99C city loop is a free bus service that runs around the city centre every day.

Adelaide has two major railway stations. The heritage listed railway station at North Terrace serves the railway lines to Adelaide's suburbs. A part of the grand old building houses the Adelaide Casino.

The Adelaide Parklands Terminal in Keswick is the interstate railway station. You can travel on the Overland to Melbourne, the Ghan to Alice Springs and Darwin, and the Indian Pacific either to Sydney or Perth from the Keswick Terminal.

Visitor Information Centres: There are many tourist information outlets in the city centre and at the airport.
The Adelaide Visitor Information Centre is Corner Rundle Mall & Pulteney Street.
The South Australian Tourist Visitor Information Centre is at 108 North Terrace. Here you can get all kind of brochures for South Australia's regions and you can book tours.

lonely track
The famous Oodnadatta Track
mountain scenery
Bunyeroo Valley in the Flinders Ranges

Impressions of Adelaide & Surroundings

building with a tower
Glenelg Townhall & Pioneer Memorial, Moseley Square
busy city street
Hindley Street
modern shopping centre
Norwood Place Shopping Centre
Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills
lake in the woods
Belair National Park
church in marananga
Lutheran Church in the Barossa Valley
old cottage
Old world charm in Hahndorf
seals and seagulls on a beach
Seal Bay at Kangaroo Island
colourful rocks
Remarkable Rocks at Kangaroo Island

Explore my other Adelaide topics and plan your trip to my favourite Australian city

Copyright © 2007- Rita Amend.