Skip from cultural attractions to the coast in Adelaide, where restaurants, parklands and wine regions are also within easy reach. Explore the city’s past in the grand stone buildings along North Terrace. Discover the youthful energy humming beneath the city’s elegant exterior along Rundle Street and Gouger Street’s popular dining strip. Lose yourself in parklands, which sprawl around more than half the city. Swim with dolphins in Glenelg and enjoy summer festivities in beachside Henley. Do a day trip to the Fleurieu Peninsula, stopping to see wineries, play on white beaches, trek the rugged coastline and get up close to wildlife.
Witness the action and colour of Adelaide Central Market – the city’s fresh food centre – from one of its gourmet cafés. Then wander the galleries, museums and colonial buildings of North Terrace, Adelaide’s cultural boulevard. Walk through the grand Railway Station to see Parliament and Government House. Check out the wine bars, boutiques, art house cinemas and elegant restaurants on nearby Rundle Street. Explore the retail smorgasbord of Rundle Mall, uncover the fashion secrets of Ebenezer Place and trawl the Sunday markets. Lunch here on a wrought-iron balcony or head into the parklands encircling the city for a picnic. Hire a rowboat or visit fragrant rose gardens in Rymill Park, see the art-deco Palm House in the Botanic Gardens or cycle alongside the Torrens River in Linear Park. In the evening, dine along fashionable Gouger, O’Connell and Melbourne Streets. Or see a performance of theatre, opera, dance, cabaret or comedy at the Adelaide Festival Centre on North Terrace.
Jump on a tram to Glenelg on Holdfast Bay, where you can watch the passing parade from a Jetty Road café. Browse the shops, dive beneath the waves or relax on the white, sandy beach. From here you swim with dolphins or take an adrenalin-pumping ride along the coast on a jet boat. Learn about the area’s history in the discovery centre at Glenelg Town Hall or walking the Federation and Proclamation Trails. Picnic with sweeping sea views, follow the Aboriginal Tjilbruke Trail and visit historic Kingston House in Kingston Park Coastal Reserve. Wander along the esplanade to the seaside village of Brighton, then take a bus to Port Adelaide. Spend the afternoon exploring the museums, gentrified warehouses and historic streetscapes of the city’s maritime heart. Complete your day at the seaside in Henley. Dine out in one of the multicultural eateries along Henley Road and watch the live bands which play in Henley Square in summer.
Hire a car and drive south into the McLaren Vale wine region, where you can visit galleries and cellar doors and buy olives, oils, cheeses, almonds and berries from roadside stalls and orchards. If you’re feeling energetic, hire a bike and cycle along the old railway track to arty Willunga. Drive along the Gulf St Vincent coast, stopping to swim at Port Willunga and Christies and Maslin beaches. Or travel through the rolling green hills of Mount Compass (where Australia’s only cow race is held each February) and Yankalilla to Cape Jervis. Fish from the jetty here or walk the rugged, spectacular coastline of Deep Creek Conservation Park. Drive back along the peninsula’s eastern coastline. Get up close to little penguins and spot migrating whales between June and October in Victor Harbor. Stop in Goolwa to cruise The Coorong or visit the wineries and wetlands of Currency Creek. Head back to Adelaide via the historic, antiques hub of Strathalbyn.