Adelaide Tourist Attractions
Capital of South AustraliaAdelaide (pop. 917,000; city region 1.5 million), Australia's fifth-largest city and one of its most gracious, lies on a stretch of coast bounded on the west by Gulf St Vincent and on the landward side by the Mount Lofty Ranges (Adelaide Hills). The city has spread steadily further eastward towards the wooded slopes of the hills, but further expansion in that direction is held back mainly by the fear of forest fires and bush fires.
Only a few years ago large areas of forest and a number of houses on the outskirts of Adelaide were destroyed in a devastating fire. The town was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV.Like Melbourne, Adelaide was not established as a penal colony but was founded by free citizens, mainly from Britain. The first settlers, led by Captain John Hindmarsh, landed from HMS Buffalo in Holdfast Bay (now Glenelg) on December 28th 1826. The site was chosen by the surveyor-general of the colony, Colonel William Light, who is commemorated by Light's Vision Lookout in North Adelaide. The town's further development confirmed his judgment, and the people of Adelaide are proud of the layout he designed with its wide streets, squares and open spaces.In the last twenty years or so Adelaide has become an important industrial center. It's traditional industries are the construction and textile manufacture. In the north and west of the city large car and engineering manufacturers have emerged. A high-tech park financed mainly by Japanese investment is being built on the edge of town.Adelaide is fully integrated into the Australian transport network. It has an international airport, with a shuttle bus running between the airport and the city center on weekdays. There are daily express train services to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Municipal transport is run by the State Transport Authority (STA; information bureau at corner of King William Street and Currie Street), including the modern trolleybus system, a close network of bus services and the suburban railroads.Formerly often regarded as conservative and somewhat prim, Adelaide now has an active and varied night life, with a wide range of theaters, cinemas, dance halls and night clubs. The leading theaters are in the Festival Centre in King William Road, in the north of the city (the Playhouse, the Space Theatre) and in Grote Street (Her Majesty's Theatre). Most of the night clubs and other night spots are in Hindley Street, the western continuation of Rundle Mall (pedestrian zone).Festival of Arts (in March in even-numbered years; most events in Festival Centre); Come Out Youth Festival (in May in odd-numbered years; Festival Centre); congresses in Adelaide Convention Centre (North Terrace); Adelaide Cup race (third Mon. in May; Morphettville racecourse).The best starting point for a shopping expedition is Rundle Mall (pedestrian zone), with numerous department stores, shops and boutiques. The most exclusive shops are in Melbourne Street (North Adelaide). On Sundays there is the Adelaide Sunday Market (mainly antiques) in the premises of the Adelaide Market Company, a historic building in East Terrace (between Grenfell and Rundle streets). Near here is the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, where Aboriginal craft products (bark painting, woodcarving) can be bought. These, along with opals, are among the most popular souvenirs of Adelaide.Cricket is played at the Adelaide Oval. There are tennis courts near the Oval, in the Sports Centre in Memorial Drive and in Belair Park. There are a number of excellent golf courses (Belair, North Adelaide). The great meeting places for sailing enthusiasts are Brighton, Seacliff, Glenelg, Grange, Henley, Largs Bay, Somerton and Port Adelaide. Swimmers and high divers are catered for by the Adelaide Aquatic Centre.Adelaide used to have a reputation for being somewhat straight-laced, and it is still a very conservative, quiet and orderly city. It has preserved many of the plain stone houses of the early settlers alongside magnificent private mansions and public buildings built in the heyday of mining and agriculture in the 1870s. The city's skyline has changed drastically in the last few decades, and the 19th C buildings and churches are now overshadowed by high-rise office blocks and banks. Particularly striking - seen from the Torrens River - are the light-colored tent roofs of the Festival Centre and the postmodern Hyatt Regency Hotel.Colonel Light's original plan for the town was a square measuring 1.6km each way with the streets laid out on a rectangular grid. This layout has been preserved in the older part of the city and has influenced the planning of North Adelaide.
North Terrace is lined with museums, galleries, and a number of public buildings, including the State Library.
Five bridges over the Torrens River (here dammed to form Torrens Lake) lead to the suburb of North Adelaide, which, like the city center, is laid out on a regular grid. It was designed, with its surrounding green belt, by William Light. It has preserved a number of handsome 19th C houses (e.g. Carclew House in Jeffcott Street) bearing witness to the prosperity of their owners as well as some of the closely packed houses occupied by the workers. Many of the older buildings have been restored and house elegant shops and restaurants. The Old Lion Hotel at 163 Melbourne Street is an Adelaide institution.
St Peter's Cathedral
St Peter's Cathedral (1869-1904) is an imposing neo-Gothic building with twin spires and fine stained-glass windows. The powerful eight-bell carillon rings on special festival days.
Montefiore Park is on the north bank of the Torrens River. On a low hill near the north side of the park is Light's Vision, a monument to William Light, founder and designer of the town.
Along the Torrens River, is Bonython Park, which with its pond for sailing model boats and its play and rest areas appeals particularly to families with children.
The free Beeline Bus and City Loop circulate on two routes through the city center on weekdays from 8am-9:30pm (on Saturdays only until 6pm). Several Many private bus companies offer city sightseeing tours and excursions into the surrounding area. Visitors can also do their city center sightseeing in pedicabs (a type of bicycle cum rickshaw) driven by sturdy young men. Then there is the Adelaide Explorer bus which does a tour of 34km, starting from the South Australian Government Travel Centre at 18 King William Street.
The green belt round the city of Adelaide and its suburb North Adelaide was included in Light's original plan of 1832, and the people of Adelaide have shown themselves determined to defend these parks and gardens against any restriction or encroachment by contemporary town planners.
The area surrounding Adelaide features a number of suburbs, parks, and other attractions.
The new town of Elizabeth (pop. 35,000) was founded in 1955 and named after Queen Elizabeth II. It is considered a model example of a town designed to cope with the motor car, with separate pedestrian zones, shopping centers and parks and gardens. In this satellite town on the northern periphery of the Adelaide conurbation is the large General Motors Holden car factory.
Gawler (pop. 14,000) lies in a thriving agricultural area near the Barossa Valley. The town, founded in 1839, was like Adelaide, planned by Colonel William Light. It has preserved some handsome 19th C buildings, including churches, hotels, a mill, a post office and a telegraph station.
In Hackham is a Pioneer Village Museum which conveys some impression of the life of the early settlers.
In St Kilda is an interesting Tramway Museum, with an old-time tram which runs at certain times.
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Map of Adelaide Attractions