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Adelaide, Gateway to Australia’s Best Wine Regions

Adelaide is a city where old world money meets a deep understanding of local culture and heritage. Some Adelaidians may be quick to point out that their hometown wasn’t founded by convicts, unlike so many other Australian cities. Others might do anything to flee the city they consider stiflingly conservative. But you can’t deny Adelaide its colonial charm, its prime location between high country and wine valleys and its kilometres of beautiful beaches. Visitors seeking to experience the fusion that is Adelaide will find an equal array of accommodation options, from quaint house rentals to chic apartments in the city centre.

History and Architecture in Adelaide

Adelaide is a very walkable city; in fact, the city centre is no more than a square mile, intertwined with parks. Travellers wishing to get to know Adelaide better can visit a number of buildings dating back to the 1860s, such as the Parliament of South Australia, an impressing structure lined by columns and watched over by gargoyles. The Parliament has been heritage listed since 2006 and tours are available to the public.

Adelaide is also home to two cathedrals whose roots are deeply entrenched in the lives of generations past. St Francis Xavier’s is an example of gothic revival architecture, whereas St Peter’s boasts a façade resembling Notre Dame in Paris. Step into the main entrance of St Peter’s to take in a rose window telling the story of South Australia, as well as depicting biblical scenes.

Adelaide’s Museums: A Glimpse into Local Culture

The South Australia Museum is another testimony to the Adelaide of yesteryear, composed of buildings dating back to the 1860s as well as more recent structures. Permanent exhibits include an Australian Aboriginal gallery as well as an Egyptology collection. If you are more interested in the animal world, the museum is home to several flora and fauna exhibits.

Adelaide is considered the wine capital of Australia. You won’t even have to leave the city to start wine tasting, as the National Wine Centre of Australia is located right in Adelaide’s North Terrace. Visitors can sample wine from across the country and the venue itself is surrounded by grape vines.

The Wine Capital of Australia

South Australia harbours 18 wine regions, many of which are only a short drive from Adelaide. These distinct regions produce a wide variety of wines, from household names to local specialities, and their proximity to one another makes it easy to organise a day trip from Adelaide.

If you fancy only a short drive, head to the Adelaide Hills for some Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Riesling. A bit further away is the Barossa Valley, famous around the country and overseas for its Shiraz. Take a break from wine tasting at the Mengler Hill and Sculpture Park, where a lookout deck provides sweeping views over the Barossa Valley’s vineyards.

Beaches Year-Round in Adelaide

Adelaide’s beaches are approximately 30 minutes from the city and stretch from North Haven to Sellicks Beach. Hop on a tram to Jetty Road to discover the city’s most popular beach, Glenelg, where you can picnic under the pine trees or relax at one of the many cafes. If you wish to escape the mainstream, you may prefer Aldinga Beach, where you can drive right onto the sand and drop off your gear, or Maslin Beach, which is even horse and dog-friendly. You’ll find clean sand, clear water and a separate section for nudists at lesser-known Maslin Beach.

Visiting Adelaide

People visit Adelaide for a number of reasons: as a base for their wine tasting adventures, to soak up the sun along the coast or simply to enjoy the city’s colonial heritage, wide streets and ample green space. As Adelaide benefits from warm weather throughout the year, travellers can simply choose to visit when it suits them best. With the Adelaide International Airport only 7km from the CBD, getting into town is a breeze.

For further travel information on Adelaide, read our guide on the Top 10 Things to do in Adelaide.