Overlooked for years in the shadow of big sisters Sydney and Melbourne, in the last few years, Adelaide has really come into its own, being named Lonely Planet’s top region in 2015. The Adelaide of today is filled with funky small bars and great restaurants, with many more treats including delicious wine and beautiful beaches lying just beyond the CBD. Here are our five things you can’t miss.
1. Central Market
The largest undercover market in the southern hemisphere is located in Adelaide, and has a delicious range of stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to fried Russian dumplings and locally made condiments. The market is open Tuesday to Saturday, and should definitely be on top of any foodie’s list of Adelaide must-sees.
2. Barossa Valley
About an hour and a half from downtown Adelaide, the Barossa is technically just outside the city limits, but it’s so good we couldn’t leave it off the list. Visit dozens of friendly cellar doors and sample some of the world’s best red wine – for free! Make sure you don’t miss the Shiraz, which is the Barossa’s best-known wine and one to impress all your wine-loving friends with! We recommend jumping aboard one of the two hop on hop off buses to make the most of your time there (driving is really not a good idea!)
Adelaide is situated on the land of the Kaurna people, who had inhabited the land for an estimated 40,000 years before European colonization. Today, their culture remains strong and Aboriginal modern and traditional art is absolutely beautiful. One of the best places to discover it is at Tandanya, which houses permanent and temporary exhibitions, as well as a great gift shop. The space also hosts dance and theatre performances in addition to visual art, so be sure to check the website for the schedule.
4. Adelaide Zoo
It might be a funny thing to see on your Aussie holiday, but the Adelaide Zoo is home to Australia’s only pandas – Wang Wang and Funi, all the way from China to South Australia’s capital. Head over to the Adelaide Zoo to check them out, although don’t expect too much movement – they spend most of their days dozing in the sun. While you’re at the zoo, you can of course see plenty of other native and non-native species.
5. Glenelg Beach
While Sydney tends to get all of the attention with Bondi and Coogee, Adelaide locals will tell you that their beaches are just as beautiful and nowhere near as crowded. The most popular inner city beach is Glenelg, just twenty minutes on the tram from the Adelaide CBD. Other city beaches include Henley, Semaphore and West Beach, which are all also beautiful. If the 30 people you’ll have to share them with is too much, head further afield to some of the country beaches such as Normanville, Moonta or Silver Sands for a real treat.