48 Hours In: Adelaide, Australia

Escape the British winter in the restaurant capital of Australia. There's also plenty of culture to feast on, says Frank Partridge


WHY GO NOW?

As Britain descends into winter, Adelaide is going in the other direction, with balmy temperatures and lengthening days. One of Australia's best-kept secrets is that this once sleepy city has transformed itself in the past decade into a centre of style, sport, culture and wine. From 21-30 October, the city hosts the biennial Tasting Australia festival of food, wine and beer.

TOUCH DOWN

There are no direct scheduled flights to Adelaide from the UK. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines offer one-stop connections via their hub cities to Adelaide. Alternatively, fly to Perth, Melbourne or Sydney and take a connecting flight on an airline such as Virgin Blue (00 61 13 67 89; virginblue.com.au). Emirates (0870 243 2222; www.emirates.com) offers these destinations via Dubai from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow.

Adelaide's shiny new airport terminal opens this month. There are no trains to the city, but plenty of buses. The Jetbus service, J1, should get you to the city centre (15km away) in about 20 minutes, for a single fare of A$3.50 (£1.60), terminating at Grenfell Street (1). Here it links with the city's two free buses (the red City Loop and the blue Bee Line) that serve the city centre. The privately owned Skylink shuttle service is more expensive (A$7.50/ £3.40), but drops off at the main hotels. A taxi is around A$17 (£7.60).

GET YOUR BEARINGS

Adelaide was planned in the 1830s around two grid systems on either side of the River Torrens. The southern grid contains the Central Business District (CBD), and is linked to residential North Adelaide by three road bridges and a footbridge. Between the two are wide green parklands, eye-catching public buildings and sports grounds.

The two main tourist offices are handily central: the South Australia Travel Centre (2) at 18 King William Street ( www.adelaide. southaustralia.com) has information about both the city and the state, and opens 10am-5pm daily. The Visitor Information Centre (3) at the west end of Rundle Mall (00 61 8 8203 7611) is more city-orientated and opens 10am-5pm Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm Friday, 10am-3pm Sat and 11am-4pm Sun.

CHECK IN

One minute from Adelaide's central Victoria Square, the historic Treasury building (4) is enjoying a renaissance as a smart apartment complex. The Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury (2 Flinders St; 00 61 8 8112 0000; www.medinaapartments.com.au) has 80 serviced apartments. Prices start at an inexpensive A$175 (£79) per night, including breakfast. In many ways, the revamped Hotel Richmond (5) at 128 Rundle Mall (00 61 8 8223 4044;) epitomises Adelaide's advance. Every room has a king-size bed plus quality facilities at the mid-range price of A$160 (£72), breakfast included. For the budget-conscious, the Mercure Grosvenor (6), at 125 North Terrace (00 61 8 8407 8888; www.mercure.com), offers a standard double room with breakfast at A$144 (£65), but also has an "economy area" with all the basics for A$113 (£51).

TAKE A HIKE

Pay homage to the man who designed the city in the 1830s with health and leisure in mind, by walking to the hillock in North Adelaide where Colonel William Light's statue surveys the scene. Start at Victoria Drive, crossing the river by the University footbridge (7). Turn left up War Memorial Drive and cross King William Road into Pennington Gardens, with the lovely Adelaide Oval cricket ground (8) to your left and the twin spires of the cathedral (9) to your right. You reach the memorial, known as Light's Lookout (10) at the north-west corner of the small park.

LUNCH ON THE RUN

In the Central Market (11), Lucia's Pizza Bar (2 Western Mall) is reputed to serve the best coffee in town. Note that it's closed on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. There are several attractive cafés and restaurants tucked away behind the cultural buildings lining North Terrace: at the Art Gallery of South Australia (12) café, munch your lunch amid some of the best sculptures and paintings in the house.

CULTURAL AFTERNOON

Take your pick from the array of galleries, libraries and museums on or near North Terrace. The Migration Museum (13) at 82 Kintore Avenue (00 61 8 8207 7580; www.history.sa.gov.au) charts the history of Australia through the eyes of the people who came to live in it - from the Aborigines, who thought the first Europeans would soon go away, to the modern tide of people in search of a better life. "Adelaide no more good since the white man came" , is the recorded lament of one Aborigine. The museum opens 10am-5pm Monday-Friday, and 1-5pm at weekends.

WINDOW SHOPPING

Nearly all the produce at Adelaide's massive Central Market (11), comes from within 100km of the city. For designer clothes, shoes, specs and gifts, King William Road, Hyde Park (14) vies with Melbourne Street (15) across the river to provide the better range of boutiques and pretty shops.

AN APERITIF

Inside Hotel Richmond (5) at 128 Rundle Mall (00 61 8 8223 4044), the bar known simply as First is an ideal early evening people-watching venue. At 118 Hindley Street, The Apothecary (16) is done out like an upmarket Victorian chemists - which is what it was when it opened for business in 1878. Tasty tapas complement a fine wine list.

DINNER WITH THE LOCALS

Adelaide is the self-styled "restaurant capital of Australia", and the strip of eating places along Gouger Street (17) is the obvious place to put this claim to the test. Almost every Asian country is represented somewhere along the street. Ying Chow at number 114 offers cheap and cheerful Chinese fare. For something more Australian, try Red Ochre (18), in a superb riverside location on War Memorial Drive (00 61 8 8211 8555); the menu includes kangaroo dressed with native berry sauces. At 170 Hutt Street, Goodlife Modern Organic Pizza (19) (00 61 8 8223 2618) transforms the doughy disc into a wonderfully indulgent experience. The Waldorf, for example, has toppings of butternut, pear and walnuts.

SUNDAY MORNING: GO TO CHURCH

St Peter's Cathedral (9) is exquisite. The twin-spired structure was designed in England, and includes paintings and stained glass depicting the history of the Anglican Church in South Australia. Sunday services at 8am and 10am.

OUT TO BRUNCH

A short walk from the cathedral, in well-heeled North Adelaide, The Store (15) at 157 Melbourne Street (00 61 8 8361 6999) is a must. Linked to a gourmet deli, it creates nutritious yet sinfully indulgent muesli combinations. In the equally trendy Hyde Park area, Melt (20) (160 King William Rd; 00 61 8 8272 8186) does imaginative pizzas.

A WALK IN THE PARK

In a city of open spaces, you're spoilt for choice, but the Botanical Gardens (21) at the eastern end of North Terrace are truly outstanding. Among several hectares of unfamiliar flora and fauna are one of Australia's oldest glasshouses and the futuristic Bicentennial Conservatory, housing a tropical rainforest. Open every day until sunset; admission free.

ICING ON THE CAKE

The Bradman Collection, bequeathed by the family of the greatest batsman in history, is housed in the Institute Building on North Terrace (22). Imaginative displays, battered brown bats and interactive scrapbooks show how the Don's sporting prowess spearheaded Australia's coming of age in the inter-war years. Open Monday-Friday, 9.30am-5pm, admission is free.

Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: MI Developer

    £35 - 45k: Guru Careers: An MI Developer is needed to join the leading provide...

    Recruitment Genius: Fitness Manager

    £20000 - £22500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leisure organisation manag...

    Recruitment Genius: Visitor Experience Manager

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Delivering an inspiring, engagi...

    Recruitment Genius: Learning Team Administrator

    £17500 - £20500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for a great te...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
    Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

    Confessions of a former PR man

    The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

    Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

    Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
    London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

    The mother of all goodbyes

    Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
    Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

    Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

    The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
    Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions