Adelaide Highlights Tour

How often do we take the time to be a tourist in our own town rather than waiting for interstate or overseas visitors?  For my birthday this year I took the day off to explore and rediscover Adelaide’s highlights with recommendations on what to do in Adelaide, South Australia.

With a cooked breakfast (made at home or you could get a voucher from Scoopon or Living Social) head into town via car (or train, tram or bus depending on what suits you) and once you’re in Adelaide you can use FREE city services.  Having driven past St Peters Cathedral many, many times I decided to take a closer look and see inside this beautiful building whose construction began in 1869.

To get a good view of Adelaide, a sense of the layout, buildings and parklands, drive up to Light’s Vision on Montefiore Hill, North Adelaide.

King William Road near the River Torrens is a good spot to pull over and walk through the Pioneer Womens Memorial Gardens, Torrens Parade Grounds, Grundy Gardensand see the Popeye go past or hop on for a cruise.

The King William Road Bridge originally built on this site was constructed in 1877, and was 100 feet long, and 54 feet wide, featuring 7 foot wide footpaths.

Elder Park in front of the Adelaide Festival Centre hosts a number of events and the rotunda was given to the people of Adelaide by Thomas Elder, fabricated in Glasgow and officially opened in November 1882.

Along North Terrace there are many buildings to explore including a tour of Parliament House, Government House (watch for open days), the National War Memorial, State Library including the Mortlock Chamber [which reminds me of a Harry Potter style library],the South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia with a lovely restaurant, and the Mitchell building in The University of Adelaide.

Rundle Mall has lots of shops lining each side and into arcades, occasional pop up performances and street theatre, and a discovery trail.

For lunch there are so many options, choose a café or pub in the East End, along Rundle Street or East Terrace like the Botanic Ristorante with a lovely 2 course meal and a glass of wine for $25.  Walk off lunch across Rymill Park (did you spot the Alice in Wonderland statue?) or through the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

Visit the National Wine Centre for a glass of wine in the afternoon; come through Botanic Park (get tickets to the Moonlight Cinema in the summer) to the Adelaide Zoo.

Now to pick up ingredients for dinner from the Adelaide Central Market  including baguettes, local vegies, Australian scallops fromAngelakis Brothers in Central Market Arcade and macarons for dessert from Providore.  If you have time explore China Town, restaurants and cafes along Gouger Street.

To finish off your day off, have a local cider, wine or beer at one of the many pubs and I particularly like the interesting choice in south-west Adelaide from the Earl of Aberdeen, to the Gilbert Street Hotel, Saracens Head, Kings Head, Queens Arms, Rob Roy, Hotel Wright Street or Brunswick Hotel.

Written by Wendy Perry, October 2012.

PS. Is there somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go to but never made the time to be a tourist at home?  There may be an opportunity in the coming months to explore it together, please send an email to with your suggestions.  Thank you.

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