Adelaide, Australia - Stein Travel
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Adelaide

In keeping with its climate, Adelaide, capital of South Australia, has a Mediterranean ambience as it straddles the Torrens River, filled with churches, gardens, civic buildings, sidewalk cafes and a plethora of museums, galleries and festivals catering to the culturally inclined. The city was originally laid out in 1836 by Colonel Light in a square mile (three sq km) grid of wide streets with gracious colonial architecture. This has resulted in a compact inner city area, geared for easy exploring on foot, allowing the central area to be surrounded with hectares of parklands, walking trails, sports grounds and picnic areas on the banks of the river. The main boulevard is North Terrace, along which are the restored Mortlock Library, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum with its spectacular whale skeleton and collection of Aboriginal natural history. Aboriginal culture is also catered for at Tandanya, a multi-arts cultural centre that has galleries, performance areas and a café serving native cuisine. Visitors who have had enough of culture can take a cruise or gondola ride on the Torrens River, or ride a vintage tram to the nearby seaside town of Glenelg with its magnificent white, sandy beach, popular despite the occasional rumour of sharks. Adelaide's Central Market is the destination for 'foodies'. Among the noisy, colourful atmosphere and wondrous smells are fruit and vegetable stores and a large selection of meat and fish along with gourmet specialities introduced by the waves of immigrants who call Adelaide their home. Also popular with visitors is the Adelaide Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park, which features local birds and animals including koalas and kangaroos.

Information & Facts

Climate

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cool to mild winters. Rain falls mainly between May and August, but on average the city is fairly dry. Summers can be extremely hot, but in winter a warm coat is often required.

Eating Out

Travellers will be spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out in Adelaide where every type of cuisine under the sun can be found it h restaurants, bars and cafés that line the streets of this bustling city. Some of the best-kept secrets in Adelaide include the authentic Asian cuisine of Gouger Street and the traditional Italian of the Botanic, and travellers are sure to find something to suit their taste. The nearby seaside suburb of Glenelg is the place to go for fresh quality seafood where plump prawns and tasty fish are the order of the day, while Adelaide Hills boasts some great restaurants with spectacular views overlooking the city below.

Tips are not expected in restaurants in Perth, although it is becoming more common in expensive restaurants in the bigger cities to leave some money for good service.

Getting Around

Adelaide has a small city centre so it is easy to get around on foot or bicycle along the many cycling paths. A novel service is the Adelaide City Bikes Scheme, where visitors and residents can hire a bike within the city centre, with the first two hours free. Those wishing to explore further afield can make good use of the Adelaide Connector free bus service, which provides a safe and convenient link between north and south Adelaide through the central city area. The 19-seater free buses are fitted with disability access and run seven days a week except public holidays. There are also other free bus services in the CBD itself aimed at carrying visitors between the main sights. The city is also served by the TransAdelaide rail system that extends across the metropolitan area via five rail lines: Outer Harbour, Gawler, Noarlunga, Grange and Belair. Most visitors enjoy a trip on the 1929 historic vintage tram, which departs from Victoria Square at regular intervals, carrying passengers to Glenelg in about 30 minutes. Numerous taxi companies operate in the city and cabs can be hired at stands, hailed in the street or booked by telephone.

Language

English is the official language of Australia.

Money

The Australian Dollar (AUD) is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change exchange most foreign currencies. Travellers cheques are also welcome everywhere, but banks take a small commission and it is better to take cheques in major currencies (e.g. US dollars or Euros) to avoid additional charges. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are freely available throughout the country. Banking hours are generally 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Friday, but some banks offer extended hours and some are open on Saturday mornings.

Sightseeing

Adelaide is underrated as a tourist destination but in truth there is much for holiday makers to see and do here. Choose between anything from strolling around the city, admiring the architecture and boutique shopping in the suburbs to soaking up the sun on the beautiful sandy beaches or enjoying Adelaide's nightlife, dining and art scene.

Start off in the historic beachside suburb of Glenelg for a stroll along the pier with an ice-cream in hand before heading up into the Adelaide Hills to Mt Lofty Summit where breathtaking views over the city can be enjoyed - the perfect place for those travel photos. Sports fan head to the Oval for a local or international cricket match; culture vultures will love the Art Gallery of South Australia on North Terrace, where more than 35, 000 pieces can be viewed; and history buffs will be captivated by the Migration Museum's insight into the migration of British prisoners to Australia in the 1700s.

Nature and animal lovers should head out of the city to visit Belair National Park for some fantastic trails, bushwalks or even just to hang out and have a picnic on the grass, while visitors can get up close and personal with koalas, kangaroos and wallabies at the Cleland Conservation Park. The Adelaide Botanical Gardens are a great place to relax and unwind under the shade of a tree and West beach is perfect for family walks and swimming. After a long hard day of sightseeing, what could round it off better than a tour of the Coopers Brewery for a good old-fashioned, family-brewed, ice cold beer.

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