I spent a few months in Adelaide studying for part of my masters, and I had to put SBC Yoga in here as one of my favorite things to do. They run workshops, classes and yoga teacher training courses and they were my saviours while I was living in Adelaide. If you enjoy yoga already or want to give it a try, this is 100% the place to do it. I can't speak highly enough.
Apart from a state-of-the-art wine museum, Adelaide boasts five wine regions within striking distance, making it a stunning holiday destination.
If Cabernet Sauvignon is your grape of choice, head towards Coonawarra, with its brick red soils and old vines. Staying at a refurbished workers’ cottage was a fantastic perk. We toured the vineyards during the day and star gazed after dinner – the restaurant conveniently placed opposite Pickers Cottage.
If you fancy Barossa and Clare Valley why not stay off the beaten track in an old mining town, Kapunda, and enjoy the Goodall’s hospitality at Peppertrees B&B. Perfectly placed between the two regions, it’s ideal for unwinding before dinner – with even a bottle of complimentary bubbly in the fridge!
Dining at the nearby Wheatsheaf Pub is so unusual that many drive miles to experience it. As well as outstanding food and wines, there are two love shacks available for total privacy, and crayons are provided to encourage budding artists. We ended the meal by a roaring fire, doodling away on our tablecloths while sipping a perfect “sticky”.
Pickers Hut Cottage: coonawarracottages.com.au
Red Fingers Cafe Bar & Grill, Memorial Drive, Coonawarra. Tel:(08)8736 3006
The Peppertrees B&B, 47 Clare Road, Kapunda. Tel:(08)8566 2776
Wheatsheaf Pub, Allendale North, via Kapunda. Tel:(08)8566 2198
A beautiful and internationally renowned sanctuary for rare and endangered Australian native animals; you'll see much more here than almost anywhere else on your travels in Australia and learn plenty from the informative guides who take people on walks. Platypus, bettongs, quolls and a whole lot more to be seen, if you are observant. Highly recommend the 'moonlight walk', as many of these secretive animals are nocturnal. Restaurant/cafe on site, as are luxury large tents for an overnight experience. This sanctuary was the first to install fox-proof fencing, which has since been adopted by most leading sanctuaries across Australia, and keeps the animals inside it safe from outside predators. It may also be the first to successfully breed platypus in captivity, all achieved in the last twenty years since the place was established - great accomplishment by founder John Walmsley. It raises the bar for wildlife sanctuaries everywhere. Just the drive up there is worth it, gorgeous scenery especially in autumn when Japanese maples are turning incredible shades, in among the gumtrees!
take the freeway from the city to Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills, continue on through Aldgate til you reach Mylor creek. Next turn on the right should be signposted "Warrawong Sanctuary".
Google map: tinyurl.com/lty25t
Thorngrove Manor Hotel is a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Designed in the ecclectic Gothic inspired style of the colonists, this celebrates architectural design and creativity. It's a five minute walk to the local village set atop a hilltop. Food is all bio-dynamic and organic. Rooms are inspirational with antique gilded clocks next to LCDs and ipod docks. Small in size, but huge in experience with the closest winery and wildlife sanctuary five minutes away.
Australia's oldest family owned vineyard, and a place well worth a visit. Before visiting this mecca for the grape I didn't "get" wine, and more specifically the words used to describe wines by the likes of "TV's Oz Clarke". The staff insisted that we try everything on their extensive list, describing the wines as we went along... it was a bit of a Damascus moment for me and suddenly I could taste those red berries, peaches and all sorts of other flavours!
It was both a pleasure and an education, and well worth a visit... just make sure you aren't the designated driver!
McLaren Vale in the Adelaide Hills, just south of the city, generally seems to be considered the poor relation of the Barossa Valley to the north. It isn't. It is one of the prettiest and most charming wine growing regions you can visit, complete with ocean views and truly excellent wines. Coriole is a fine ambassador for McLaren Vale wineries and hosts many arts and culinary events throughout the year. Its reds are some of the best you can sup. The olive oil's pretty good too.
The granddaddy of Australian wineries, a short drive from the centre of Adelaide to the suburbs. Tours and tastings at prices from reasonable to eye-watering. Fantastic Aussie Shiraz, a great fortified, and a delicious high-end restaurant with a panoramic view over the city.
This is the home of cheap eats in Adelaide, and the gateway to the famous Central Market on Saturdays, where you can buy a dizzying array of fresh produce, and hang out in some of the city's hippest cafes. The vast malls and bustling foodhalls in Chinatown are also close by.
The street stretches from nightclubs to the austere court buildings of Victoria Square, with a world-tour of eateries crammed inbetween.
Adelaide's melting pot of cultures is displayed in all its delicious glory, with enticing scents and aromatic spices pouring out of restaurant windows. Choose from Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Japanese, Asian fusion, noodle bars, Chinese and yum cha, French and Argentine cuisine, and seafood restaurants serving fresh fish.
It sounds exhausting, but you could eat out here every night and never be bored by this smorgasbord of international cuisine.
A few personal pointers - The Greek Mezze does excellent Dolmades and Spanakopita (spinach and feta in phyllo pastry) and Ying Chow specialises in North Chinese dishes - the salty coriander chicken and red vinegar ribs are incredibly moreish.
Gouger Street, Adelaide, 5000
Google map: tinyurl.com/n6o94l
Glenelg Beach is a pretty beachfront suburb, about 20 minutes from the centre of Adelaide, popular with locals who want to escape at the weekend. The golden sandy beach, quaint jetty and side-walk cafes are paired with coastal reserves, nature trails and boats off on dolphin cruises.
The Glenelg Beach Hostel is like much of Glenelg beach, modern and funky with a kitsch seaside feel. The hostel is housed in Alexander Terrace, a Victorian house that has been converted into dormitories and private rooms. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and refreshingly bunk-bed free. You also get a free breakfast served alongside brilliant beach views, and with a brand-spanking new lounge bar and beer garden (complete with DJs!), you can return home to a pint of Pale Ale after a day's sightseeing.
In the misleadingly named area of Hackney (Adelaide's version is far more picturesque than London's well-worn suburb), the National Wine Centre of Australia is the best way to sample the fruit of the country's famous vineyards.
This tour isn't just for wine-buffs, and the interactive 'Wine Discovery Journey' takes you around the working vineyard on site, explains how wine is made, and ends with a trip to the 'wine tasting gallery', with bottles from all over Australia's winelands.
One if the highlights of the trip is a lazy lunch in the Concourse Cafe, with a plate of Australian Cheeses, and the wine shop is full of bottles to squeeze in your suitcase after a few samples.
This is the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, housing the world's largest collection of Aboriginal antiquities, and it blows other fusty museums out of the water.
The plains of Adelaide were once owned by the Kaurna (pronounced Garn-na) Aborigines, and Tandanya is their name for the city. Really learn about Adelaide's heritage by watching visual and performing arts, from the yidaki (didgeridoo) to storytelling, and dancing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Entry to the Centre is $5, but there is a free cultural tour every Thursday around the exhibits. It's a joy to discover Aboriginal culture, relatively unknown outside of Australia.
Haigh's is the Cadbury's of Australia, and Easter Time is the perfect excuse to drop into their factory and visitor centre for a guided tour.
This family-run company has been making hand-crafted chocolates for years, has won numerous awards and is famous with kids across its native land for making yummy Chocolate Frogs and Apricot Fruits.
A short drive or bus trip from the city centre, the tours are free and incredibly popular (call to book in advance) and last about 20 minutes.
After 'educating' yourself in the art of chocolate, visitors are rewarded with a special chocolate tasting and a free cup of tea or coffee, before picking from a factory fresh selection of chocolates and boxes of reduced 'seconds'.
The Gift Shop alone is worth the trip for a delicious souvenir - best buys include the 'Sparkling Shiraz Truffles' from South Australia's winelands and the 'Australia Collection', with chocolates using homegrown ingredients like macadamia nut and wattle seed. It's enough to convert even the most die-hard Dairy Milk fans.
A gastro-pub worthy of Islington in the middle of nowhere. The Prairie Hotel has good rooms, great outback food (kangaroo is particularly good) and its own beer. The best thing about the place are the owners and staff though. Sit watching the sunset with them and at 10-ish the mile long coal train will rattle through as well.
Probably the best hotel-experience we have had in Australia. Strongly recommended.
This is a caravan park and recreation reserve where you can pitch a tent. For camping without the hassle and its close to the airport. Relatively inexpensive, within easy reach of the city and Glenelg the most popular tourist spot. They have cabins but who needs them when with your small tent and their fantastic kitchen, shower blocks, tv room, and the sun your set for a comfortable stay. It's right on the beach, surrounded by fencing and the restaurants and hotels of Glenelg, are a ten minute walk away. Great for families and backpackers.
It's one of my favourite places in Adelaide. Great market real mix of food, smells, cultures etc.
All the food you could ever want. For eating try breakfast at Lucia's if you can get a seat - best breakfast in Adelaide (try the poached eggs) and the coffee's pretty outstanding too. On a Friday night the market is open late and you could try out the Asian food court where you can get dinner for under 7 dollars.
Head to Gouger Street for more upmarket (tho still impossibly good value) restaurants - Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Greek, Italian even fish and chips...
About 60km from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s major wine-producing areas. It's home to big names like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Wolf Blass as well as over 70 smaller producers. Most vineyards do cellar door wine tastings and some have really good bars and restaurants.
Tours to the Barossa run from Adelaide but it’s a good place to explore for a few days. You can base yourself in one of the towns amd hire a bike and cycle around the vineyards – maps are available from the local tourist information office, which can also book local B&Bs for you (often individual country cottages where you get left the food to cook your own breakfast).
Set on the edge of Adelaide's Botanic Gardens in a fantastic modern building, the National Wine Centre has info about wine production all over Australia. There are interactive exhibits where you can make your own 'virtual wine' as well as tastings from their huge range.
Cute 'boutique' winery in the Adelaide Hills. Not like some of the massive wineries that abound in South Australia - lovely vino and restaurant serving sunday lunches. I will be back.
This beautiful conservation park is only an hour-and-a-half’s drive south of Adelaide. There’s great camping facilities and lovely walks down to impressive beaches (no surf though). The best bits are the kangaroos resting under the trees on a sunny day, and the views of Kangaroo Island. Lovely - well worth a visit.
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