As one of Australia’s most beautiful states, South Australia offers scenic attractions, nature and yes, superb food and wine. Raul Dias brings you five ways to make the most out of your trip to the state capital Adelaide and its surrounding regions
I simply have to say this: I have never been a big fan of Adelaide. Having visited the city — that I remember as being the sleepy and lacklustre capital of the state of South Australia — on two occasions a few years ago, I was not impressed. But last month, all that changed, and I did a complete volte-face, crazy in my new-found love for Adelaide.
But then again, I’ve always believed in second… or in this case, third chances. Having been made amply aware by a few local friends of how much Adelaide has changed in the past six years (since I last visited), I decided to check it out with renewed interest. And so, I packed my bags and winged it all the way Down Under for a week in Adelaide and its neighbouring areas. Here are five things that helped me fall in love with the city by the River Torrens.
ROOF CLIMB AT ADELAIDE OVAL
Widely regarded as the most picturesque test cricket ground in the world — with the St. Peter’s Cathedral rising behind an old, wooden Edwardian-style scoreboard and Moreton Bay fig trees at the northern end — the Adelaide Oval is a city icon. Established in 1871, the historic stadium underwent a massive overhaul in 2014, and a few years later, in 2016, one of the most fun things to do in Adelaide started here.
The Roof Climb is a two-hour guided tour that covers a distance of 1.2km in total and involves climbing up and down ladders and multiple flights of stairs and walking on open metal grate walkways and a stepped bridge. Climbers are harnessed and attached to the railing at all times, but you’ll still need to overcome a fear of heights, especially at the peak of the climb on the Riverbank stand, where you’re meant to ‘hang out’ (quite literally!) all for a keepsake photo!
Check it out: www.roofclimb.com.au
RIDING THE COFFEE CIRCUIT WITH ECO CADDY
Adelaide loves its coffee, and the many hip new coffee places that have mushroomed up recently are testament to this sudden surge. The guys at Eco Caddy offer the perfect way to get acquainted with this coffee fad. Revolutionising the rickshaw by providing the most cost-effective city transport, Eco Caddy offer rides for a fee in their eco-friendly cycle rickshaws with a buggy at the back with enough space for two passengers.
They also do specialised tours that boast an unrivalled ability to ride the footpaths, cycleways, parkways and laneways of Adelaide. The coffee experience takes you on a ride to four interesting coffee places where you can feel the real pulse of the city. What’s more, during special events and festivals such as the world music festival WOMADelaide (which was going on when I was visiting!), the Eco Caddy drivers offer free trips to all those desirous of going for a short spin. I strongly recommend this one!
Check it out: www.eco-caddy.com
ADELAIDE CENTRAL MARKET TOUR
For the last couple of years, Australia and, more specifically, South Australia, has been at the vanguard for some serious foodie action with a number of celebrity chefs such as TV superstar Poh Ling Yeow and chef Sean Connolly calling Adelaide home. The best way to get a little sliver of all that foodie action is to get yourselves booked on to a food tour. And, top of the list is the Adelaide Central Market Tour. But first, a little about the market that it operates out of.
Since 1869, the Central Market has been a haven of premium food and wine products, and a second home to chefs and food lovers. In fact, chef Poh even has her popular restaurant, Jamface, housed inside the market. The tours are sensory and interactive gourmet walking tours with a local food expert. Participants can enjoy a range of delicious samples that represent the multicultural community of South Australia and the clean and green produce harvested from surrounding farms and oceans.
Check it out: www.centralmarkettour.com.au
THE CUBE AT MCLAREN VALE
Take your love for food a few notches higher as you engage in an experience of a lifetime at McLaren Vale, an hour out of Adelaide. The family owned d’Arenberg Wines is a winery atop a hill and is well-known for its robust wines. But since December 2017, it has had another ace up its sleeve. The five-levelled, Rubik’s Cube-esque d’Arenberg Cube that’s inspired by the complexities and puzzles of winemaking has been carefully designed to entice and excite the senses.
The top level houses the d’Arenberg cellar door and private tasting areas, offering visitors the opportunity to blend and bottle their own wine. And for those serious about their food, try the 10- or 16-course degustation meals, paired with some of the yummiest wine you will ever taste.
Check it out: www.darenberg.com.au
WINE, WINE AND MORE WINE AT THE BAROSSA
Enjoy the bucolic charms of the Barossa Valley an hour away from Adelaide, where vineyards abound in a fecund landscape that will give Tuscany a serious complex. The Barossa truly is akin to an adult’s wine wonderland with world class wineries and cellar doors such as Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds and Seppeltsfield Wines.
The Barossa thrives on a living heritage, food markets, quality wines, old preserved buildings and a wealth of culinary pleasures. A great experience to embark on here is the ‘Taste Your Birth Year Tour’ at Seppeltsfield Wines, where you will join one of the wine educators in the renowned Centennial Cellar and sip on a wine as old (or young...) as you are, directly from the barrel.
Check it out: www.seppeltsfield.com.au
There are no direct flights from Mumbai to Adelaide, so the best way to get there is via Singapore on Singapore Airlines. Travelling within the city of Adelaide and to the neighbouring areas of The Barossa and McLaren Vale is easy, given its small size, and most places are under an hour away from each other. Adelaide’s super-efficient buses, taxis, hired cars, eco caddy cabs and trams make travelling a treat! Indian passport holders need a visa to enter Australia, which is easy to procure with the introduction of the very efficient e-visa facility.
When to visit
With South Australia enjoying pleasant climate during the autumn and spring seasons, the best months to travel are from March to May and from September to early November. Summers, from December to February, can get a bit hot.
Adelaide has an excellent selection of hotels to choose from. Some of the best options are:
- Hilton Adelaide
- Pullman Adelaide
- Intercontinental Adelaide
For more information, visit www.southaustralia.com.