I know what you’re thinking. Adelaide? Isn’t that the sort of place you go in your twilight years, to while away the hours in a dated doily-clad BNB, with an Agatha Christine novel and a glass of port? That’s what I thought. And that’s why I’m writing this to you, full of regret. If you’ve ever thought about visiting Adelaide but were leaving it for a more cerebral time in your life, let me tell you, you’ve got it all wrong. Here are just a few of the things you should do, see and experience in Adelaide now, before it’s too late.
1. RoofClimb Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Adelaide is a vibrant, youthful and abundant city that offers so much more than churches. In fact, its centre of worship now revolves around the impressive Adelaide Oval, which sits right in the heart of the city – a bustling shrine to the city’s sporting and live music culture. Housing everything from AFL finals and the Ashes, to Adele and Adelaide’s own ACDC, the rumbling roar in the air of over 50,000 people taking to the gigantic amphitheatre gives the whole city an energy that can only be described as magic!
For the finest experience though, you can’t go past Adelaide Oval’s RoofClimb – an exhilarating adventure (not for the faint-hearted) across the Oval’s rooftop, which provides an impressive view from the city to Adelaide’s pristine beaches.
2. The Moseley Beach Club, Glenelg
Speaking of the beach, The Moseley Beach Club in the seaside suburb of Glenelg is one of the only bars in Australia where you can still sink your toes in the sand while sipping on an ice-cold pilsner or cocktail. Filled with smiling young people basking in the sun and dancing the night away – as they make the most of Adelaide’s balmy Mediterranean climate – it makes you want to strip down to your budgies, rub some coconut oil on, and jump in the clear blue water. If only I was 30 years younger! I hear the 2019 dates are soon to be announced.
3. Golding Wines, Adelaide Hills
From the sea to the Adelaide Hills, the picturesque wine region is just a 15-minute drive from the CBD and riddled with young lovers and families lunching, picnicking, drinking wine, playing games on luscious lawns, and enjoying the finer things in life. Golding Wines with its stunning cellar door and rolling green lawns is an ideal spot to take the kids for a picnic, or a group of friends for a long lazy lunch in the sun. Their spritzy sparkling wines and textural Chardonnays are ideal for summer quaffing, and their Market Kitchen menu is brimming with local seasonal produce, perfectly designed for sharing.
4. Art Gallery of South Australia, North Terrace
The Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) is an impressive turn of the century architectural building which stands imposingly along Adelaide’s historic North Terrace Boulevard. It’s stunning collection of Australian and European art boasts 38,000 works, and one of the largest collections of Rodin sculptures in the southern hemisphere.
But it is AGSA’s annual summer exhibition Tarnanthi that really puts it on the map for me. Providing a unique platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across the country to exhibit and share important stories through their art. The city also simultaneously holds the Tarnanthi Indigenous Art Fair, where 100% of the profits are returned directly to artists and their communities
5. Down the Rabbit Hole, McLaren Vale
Now I’m not much of an Instagram man, but if I was, I’d be taking some serious selfies at Down the Rabbit Hole Wines. This perfect little piece of paradise, in the Fleurieu Peninsula’s McLaren Vale region is like stepping back in time to the 1970s, just without the war and bad food. In fact, it’s the utopia we always dreamed about back then. Clear skies, rolling hills of luscious green vines, and fresh, funky wines that will make you want to whip out your old records and dance with a beautiful woman until sunset.
6. Adelaide Botanic Garden, Adelaide
The Adelaide Botanic Garden in Botanic Park sits in the heart of the city at the corner of North Terrance and Adelaide’s energetic East Terrace, but as you stroll through its 50 hectares of magnificently maintained gardens you might as well be a world away. Here under the dappled light of Plane Trees, you can explore the beauty and diversity of plants from across Australia and around the world, take in historical architecture while learning about Adelaide’s colonial history, or dine on fresh vegetables and herbs harvested daily from the garden at the award-winning Botanic Gardens Restaurant.
7. Kellermeister wines, Barossa
It wouldn’t be a trip to Adelaide without a visit to the Barossa, but it’s not all Port and Shiraz anymore. The Barossa has a cosmopolitan edge to it now, with some of Australia’s finest restaurants, including Hentley Farm and fermentAsian, providing world class dining experiences for interstate hoity-toitys. But for an old man like me, a good old-fashioned wine tasting (or flight as they call them these days) is all I’m after, and there’s no better place to taste wine than Kellermeister Wines. Home to the highest scoring Grenache in the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion for its deliciously juicy Rocamora, Kellermeister also took home the World’s Best Wine gong this year, for its 2015 Wild Witch Shiraz at the London Wine Competition. I would have bought a case, if I had the time to cellar it.
Yep, there’s something in the air in Adelaide. Filled with surprise pockets of stunning scenery, art, culture…and a whole lot of wine. It’s the perfect place to explore with family and friends. Just don’t do what I did and leave it too late!