Statistics from the Meteorology Service show that the state of
South Australia is considered to be one of the driest in Australia. With the exception of
Adelaide and valleys surrounding the City, the northern and western parts of the State are semi deserted until the border with the Northern Territory. By comparison, the dry weather, has made the South Australian wine industry famous, by the quality of the grapes the climate helps to produce. The
Barossa Valley and Coonawarra regions, amongst many others, are known and respected internationally for excellence in wine production. Adelaide is serviced by very good roads connecting to other cities such as Melbourne and Perth and also daily air services to and from many Australian cities.
City is very well planned
with a calm life style, differing from cities like
Sydney and Melbourne. Adelaide is flat, great to be
explored by bicycle. It is very safe, without
traffic jams. The quality of urbanization makes
places very easy to get from or go to, especially
the train between squares that contributes a special
charm to the city center. The city has lots of open
spaces with a beautiful garden that surrounds
downtown. Old and new buildings call the visitor's
attention due to the beauty and harmony of its
lines, especially the Churches. King William
Street (photo), is the main street. It cuts the
city in half from North to South with Victoria
Square right in the middle of the heart of the
Adelaide has about
one and a half million inhabitants, and has a more conservative life style than other Cities, but I did not see this when I was there. The city is very dynamic, relaxed and modern, as up to date as Sydney, Melbourne or any other big city. The number of restaurants, arts galleries, nightclubs and lots of things to do for any age is amazing. The markets are considered some of the best in Australia with a selection of fresh vegetables for any cultural background. There are food galleries where you can try a huge variety of dishes from any part of the globe.
Adelaide inhabitants are very friendly, maybe more than other Australians from other tourist towns that receive large number of tourists. The surrounding areas of the city and sea front area offer great walks by the sea or in its gardens. There are good waves for surfers such as the
York Peninsula, and Pondalowic Point gets the best waves in the State.
Traveling west by the main road to the
Eyre Peninsula, other great surf spots can be found,
Point Sinclair being the most famous of all.
Adelaide is cut divided East to West by the
Torrens River making a "T" with King William
Street. On both sides of the river visitors will find beautiful public parks very well maintained and clean. These parks attract many locals relaxing over the weekends and public holidays for a barbecue, picnic with the family or simply relaxing on the grass. The local wine is a must to try. The Torrens River is fabulous for many different types of aquatic sports, with rowing being one of the most popular. A big competition on the river happens every year. Another great place around downtown that deserves a visit is the
Adelaide Zoo, with many Australian species such as Aussie
favorites kangaroos, koalas, and lots of native birds. Complementing the Zoo, the
Botanic Gardens are another must to see with a huge variety of native flowers and plant on display, mainly from Australia.
Near Adelaide - Driving about 20 minutes out of the town, a visit to
Mt.Lofty (770m) can't be missed. From the top you can see the whole city and spectacular light effects, illuminating Adelaide's main buildings. The
Barossa Valley with its worldwide renowned wine production is another all day long fun tour to be done. Another day trip not to be missed is the
Fleurieu Peninsula, South of Adelaide. The peninsula also has good waves for surf and for those who don't surf, there are great protected beaches also. At the far point of
Port Jervis, there is a great spot for Hang Gliders with good thermals and largely frequented by fliers from all over Australia.
Crossing the 10 km canal by an excellent boat system, you will be at
Kangaroo Island. It is the third biggest island in Australia and has a large quantity of beautiful beaches, landscapes, National Parks and great locations for
snorkeling. To get a good view of this island you need to stay at least two days exploring every bit of it. Accommodation, and rental of cars, diving equipment, fishing gear, surfboards etc.. are not a problem to rent on the Island.
Back to the continent; and
traveling to the West Coast (Perth direction) you will be surprised by the wildness of the beaches. They are all very beautiful, but very dangerous due to the currents, and rocks that receive giant waves from storms formed from nearby Antarctica. Seal colonies may be seen in many places.
Back to the City and
traveling East (Melbourne Direction) you will cross the Murray River (The biggest Australian River). There you will see one of the most beautiful rivers in the world, with landscapes more suitable to became a painting on the wall. It is a great place for painters and photographers with river side farms and old style sheds, old farm machinery which, because of exposure to the weather over the years has made the rust a perfect contrast for pictures. Boats are available to cruise the river, but it's best if you can afford to hire a house boat, containing everything you need for comfort, and travel the river up or down. The rent is not expensive especially if you do it in groups.
It doesn't matter what your motive is for your trip to South Australia, there's one thing you can't miss - The Flinders Ranges. These rock formations cross the state from north to south from the Northern Territorial deserts. They are round formations from dormant volcanoes. They are considered the most beautiful rock formations in all Australia. The best view is by helicopter. It is also a paradise for photographers and painters with salt water lakes between the formations. There is a large wildlife presence and aboriginal sites. Don't miss it.
The State of South Australia contains many good surprises for the
traveler, and it is better to explore outside winter time, otherwise the weather can be cold with wind gusts . Because it is not very well promoted in travel magazines, it hides fantastic small towns, and places of nature to be discovered by you.
to surfers, swimmers and divers: Nearby Kangaroo Island, as well as along the Coast of South Australia there is one of the biggest concentrations of the great White Shark in the world. Despite the fact that no incidents have been reported in past years,
in 2005 alone there were 4 attacks. Please, take care and do not venture into deep water you don't know. Also remember that a calm and flat sea in these waters can change into huge waves and stormy seas in a matter of hours. The sea water is usually cold.
Images courtesy of Tourism Adelaide + Yes Australia