Following are a few paragraphs from this inspiring and astonishingly detailed guide. The author, a native Australian, covers everything you might want to know about South Australia - guaranteed! The places to stay in every part of South Australia, from budget to luxury, rentals to B&Bs, the restaurants, from fast food to the highest quality, the beachwalks and bushwalks, the wildlife and how to see it, exploring the country by air, on water, by bike, and every other way.
Adelaide, tucked into the folds of the undulating southeast coast of the state, is the capital and main city for catching flights, buses, and trains north into the Outback, east into wine country, and west along the Southern Ocean and into the deserts.
Laid out in a neat grid and filled in with lush parks and gardens, Adelaide’s attractive setting and quiet composure provide a welcoming atmosphere of civility in the center of an adventurous, rugged section of the country. Flat streets, broad footpaths, and neatly groomed gardens make for attractive walking, particularly as all the city’s attractions, restaurants, and hotels are within 15 minutes’ of each other. The River Torrens bisects Adelaide into north and south sections, which are linked by bridges at King William, Montefiore, and Frome roads. North Adelaide, an area of recreational parks and suburban homes, sits above the river, while the main city center is located below it.
Before you set out, check into the Discover Adelaide Card, which provides access to numerous attractions and activities around the city for A$48. Extra perks include free coffee, restaurant discounts, and entertainment savings. Also remember that the free City Loop and Bee Line buses run between Adelaide’s major sights (see Buses, in Getting Around, above, for details).
Also note that free, guided First Steps in Adelaide are offered by City Tour Guides, departing from the Rundle Mall Information Centre weekdays at 9:30. The walking tour covers all of the city’s main attractions, and participants receive a free info pack with maps, coupons, and helpful brochures.
A Walk Through History
It won’t take but a half-day to explore the town at leisure, but expect to spend all day if you enjoy history, markets, gardens, and wines. From the Festival Centre (see By Day, in Activites & Entertainment, below), a performing arts complex on King William Road at the north edge of city center, you can walk a block south to North Terrace, where you’ll find a line of impressively resored colonial buildings.
The Migration Museum is one block east, and tours run daily. It’s open weekdays 10 to 5, weekends and holidays 1 to 5, and admission is by donation. (82 Kintore Avenue, Adelaide, tel. 08/8207-7580, www.history.sa.gov.au).
Next door is the State Library, a grand, stone and grey-brick structure fronted by fountains and palm trees. Here you can view displays of international and regional literature and arts. Of particular interest is the Bradman Collection, which gathers an array of cricketing equipment and memorabilia from famed Australian cricketeer Sir Donald Bradman. The library is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday 9:30 to 9, Thursday 9:30 to 6, and weekends noon to 5. (Cnr. North Terrace and Kintore Ave., Adelaide, tel. 08/8207-7250, for library; tel. 08/8207-7595).
The South Australian Museum, on the other side of the library, has five floors with extensive exhibits about the state’s cultural and natural history. The limelight shines on the two-level Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery, which features more than 3,000 traditional tribal items in exhibits and interactive displays. Fossils of local plants and animals, such as the extinct giant kangaroo and marsupial lion, are other highlights. International displays include a fascinating Egyptian Room, complete with a mummy’s coffin, burial items, and replica artwork.
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Published August 5, 2009
by Hunter Publishing.