While some grey nomads prefer to spend as little time as possible in our big towns and cities, South Australia’s elegant capital is one metropolis that tends to persuade them to change their minds.
The city was founded in 1836 on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. Although it has now grown to boast a population of over one million, Adelaide’s grid road system makes it easy to navigate … even when you’re towing a large van.
The River Torrens runs through the heart of the city, which is completely surrounded by a ring of what are now State Heritage Listed parklands. It is unusual and truly beautiful.
Then, of course, there are the churches. There are apparently some 350 churches in the city and the heritage buildings, museums, and renowned alfresco cafes simply add to the city’s aesthetic appeal.
The Adelaide Central Market with its colourful collection of fruit, vegetables and characters is naturally well worth a visit and, if you’re itching for some culture after a month or two in the red dust of the Outback, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre regularly hosts some excellent shows and exhibitions.
Adelaide is, of course, the festival city and the Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide are just three of the big ticket events to hit town.
When – and if – you tire of the city itself, don’t rush away. Major beaches, including the acclaimed seaside village of Glenelg, are less than half an hour away. Taking a tram to this beachside charmer with its heritage hotels, shops, cafes, galleries, museums and picturesque jetty, is a really great way to go.
Adelaide is also a great place to plan your adventures to the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Eyre Peninsula, the Adelaide Hills, and the famed wineries of Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.
Even the magnificent Kangaroo Island with its pristine beaches and unique wildlife is just two hours’ drive and a short ferry ride away.
As you would expect from a capital city, Adelaide has a great selection of caravan parks, including one which is actually situated within the boundaries of the centrally-located Belair National Park. In other words, it’s got the lot! While debate constantly rages about which is Australia’s most ‘liveable’ city, it seems Adelaide is quietly putting down a powerful claim to be its most ‘visitable’ .