My Adelaide Adventure – The most Understated City in Australia
“Adelaide is boring, there’s nothing to do there”
“Oh my gaaahd, how did you spent 7 days in Adelaide?”
These are just some of the things that were said to me when I told them I started my trip with an Adelaide adventure. However, my small minded backpackers, you are sadly mistaken. Adelaide is badass and is the most understated city in Australia.
I landed in Adelaide after a 25 hour journey from London to a very warm Sunday evening (round 25 degrees if I remember) and a very warm welcome from long time friend and bride-to-be Jasmin and future husband Rich.
The first thing I noticed about the streets of Adelaide is how straight, well lit and quite beautiful it all seemed. I was later explained the format of Adelaide: it was designed with a 1 mile by 1 mile square of City, and wrapped with a beautiful greenbelt of land, which houses the Zoo and Botantic Gardens amongst other things.
The suburbs are then lovely sandwiched either between The CBD (the city centre to us English folk) and either the sea, or the Adelaide hills.
All in all…it’s exactly what you’d want from a City. It was 11pm, and I was in love.
Jetlag what? No sir, no room for sleeping. We had places to be and koalas to meet. First we stopped off at Argo on the Parade, a beautiful little eatery on The Parade, East of the city. Thoroughly recommend if you’re vegan as they are incredibly vegan friendly. Also, their banana and coffee smoothie is the perfect way to kick-start the day in 30 degree heats!
We then had a walk to Morialta National Park. By now, it was around 33-35 degrees and my first day in the heat. Lots of sleepy koalas in trees and it really did feel almost magical to be in Australia, with the sun shining, with a friend I met when I was 21…seeing koalas…
Then the jetlag hit.
Ever seen that scene in Wolf on Wall Street, when Leo takes downers and tries to drive?
That’s what my jetlag felt like. I was convinced I was slurring and walking and talking in slo-mo. After cutting our walk short (not before seeing very impressive views over Adelaide, mind you) we were on our way home and I was put to bed.
Luckily, I recovered enough for a trip to Glenelg beach. We grabbed fresh pizza from Good Time Pizza and walked down to the jetty. Watching my first Aussie sunset is something I’ll remember for a very long time. Nothing beats it.
With a quick splash in the warm water, it was bed time and lots of beauty sleep for….
Now, I’m not usually one for zoo’s. I remember reading why lions and tigers pace in their cages and I cried. So I haven’t stepped foot in a zoo since I was probably 11. However….panda’s. Plus, Adelaide zoo went under a huge reconstruction for years to make the animals happier and safer. Plus…pandas.
We woke early and was at the zoo virtually for opening. I’ve since learnt it was all a plan as Jasmin had called the zoo to find out when is best to view Wang-Wang and Fu Ni, the giant pandas. After pretending to be interested in the hippo and otters, I saw the opening to the panda enclosure and the emotions started.
Here’s a photo of me when I saw Wang-Wang for the first time.
It was extremely emotional. Seeing a real giant panda has been on my bucket list since I was about 15 or 16, so this moment really is mega for me.
I’ll write more about Adelaide zoo another time.
That evening, we went to Adelaide Fringe (great fun and sister event of Edinburgh Fringe) and saw the sell-out show, Barbu.
No words. Just go and see it if it ever comes to your City. Edit: been told by the guys themselves they will be at Southbank Centre this year!
We drove to Hahndorf, the little German style town in the Adelaide hills. First stop was to The Seasonal Garden Café for great breakfast (can you see a pattern forming here?) then onto the highlight of the day
Choco-vino tasting At Hahndorf Hills Winery. The clue is in the name; chocolate and wine tasting. In a room with views overlooking the vineyards. It was truly a dream to also spend this quiet and delicious time with bride-to-be Jasmin. We discussed life and everything in it. I will always have fond memories of my time in Hahndorf (and my Adelaide adventure as a whole).
That evening, I was taken to a beautiful home of a family friend’s that overlooked Adelaide, and I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves…
The next day, Jasmin and Rich tied the Knot in Adelaide CBD!!!
Tomorrow on the blog : Jasmine & Richard’s Adelaide Wedding: Day 1!