Kirsty Stuart tells us more about the city which she believes is Australia’s best kept secret…
With iconic cities like Sydney and Melbourne to compete with, Adelaide can often get overlooked when holidaymakers head Down Under in search of the ultimate Aussie adventure. Yet Adelaide seems to have no interest in competing with its bigger city cousins and instead seems quite content to sit back, relax and bask in the South Australian sun.
If Adelaide is part of your Australian adventure then you’ve made a smart choice and can look forward to a city with a lot to offer. With a perfect blend of culture, shopping, beaches, stunning views and (in particular) an abundance of great food and wine, Adelaide is Australia’s best kept secret.
Food and wine at Maclaren Vale and Willunga Farmers Market
Most holidaymakers in Adelaide make a point of visiting the beautiful Maclaren Vale wine region – just forty or so kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD. The region has over sixty cellar doors and is famous for producing some of the best wines in Australia. The whole area offers much for the intrepid tourist looking to indulge their senses, and most leave merrily after a scenic wine tour and lunch in one of the picturesque eateries along the way.
If you want to get off the beaten track and instead experience this region like a local then stay overnight on a Friday, get up early and cycle to the next town of Willunga. (There’s a small bike shop nearby.) From 8am to 12:30pm every Saturday you’ll find a thriving farmer’s market here selling only the best local produce from across the region. Get there early and treat yourself to an organic breakfast, fill your bike’s basket with scrumptious seasonal goods and head back to Maclaren Vale. If you can squeeze it in after all that try the food and friendly ambience of Oscars – a restaurant highly regarded by both locals and visitors to Maclaren Vale.
Café culture and seaside living in Jetty Road, Brighton
While most visitors to Adelaide head for popular Jetty Road, Glenelg, the locals are hanging out in the cafes and parks surrounding Jetty Road, Brighton. Just a ten minute drive from each other, both Jetty Roads offer shopping, restaurants, cafes and the beach nearby. However it’s Jetty Road, Brighton that offers the more relaxed environment and where you’ll find locals sipping from lattes and browsing boutiques rather than tourists frantically shopping for souvenirs.
Head down Jetty Road towards the beach and pass by the eclectic mix of eateries, galleries and boutiques stores. Here you can really soak up the relaxed seaside vibe that contrasts so much to the crowded hustle and bustle of the shopping culture in nearby Glenelg. From the end of Jetty Road head out under the Arch of Remembrance onto Brighton jetty and marvel at the views of Marino to the south and Glenelg to the north while tucking into take-away fish ‘n’ chips from The Beach Café.
Rugged coastal views along the Marino Rocks Boardwalk Trail
Whether you walk the whole five kilometres of this scenic stretch of Adelaide’s striking coastline or just part of it, most locals and visitors to Adelaide will agree that the Marino Rocks Boardwalk Trail shouldn’t be missed. Starting at Marino, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the panoramic views. Watch as waves crash against rugged cliffs and explore the rock pools and beaches along the way. The trail will soon lead you to Hallet Cove Conservation Park with its impressive array of Australian flora and eventually finish in the main suburb of Hallet Cove.
With yet another nod to the foodies (but also those with a penchant for stunning views) it’s well worth stopping by Marino Rock Café before you set off on your trek. Set up on the cliffs, the Marino Rock Café has a courtyard downstairs and two lookout decks upstairs to provide uninterrupted views out across the open sea. The views are so good here that it’s worth considering beginning your coastal walk in Hallet Cove and completing it in reverse so that you reach Marino Rock Café just in time to watch the sun dip into the ocean.
With all that Adelaide has to offer visitors it’s of little wonder that it’s fast becoming a more and more popular part of many people’s trips Down Under. And even if this wasn’t the case Adelaide would just go on enjoying being one of Australia’s greatest unsung heroes.
If you’re planning a trip to Australia, take a look at our cheap flights from just £599 and our flights to Adelaide.
Kirsty Stuart left full time employment last year in a perilous bid to write more and travel more. Her plan worked and these days she enjoys doing just that while also helping other writers and free-spirited entrepreneurs do the same via her website: freelancewritersonline.com