The lovely city of Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia, and the 5th largest city in Australia behind Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth respectively. If you want to get the most out of Adelaide, here are a few of the things you’re going to want to know:
The entire city is centred around a grid. It’s ridiculously easy to navigate and there are bike lanes that will take you pretty much anywhere in the city. This is great news for us backpackers. Not only that, Adelaide provides a service by which you can rent bicycles for free, you just have to leave proof of identity with them as insurance that you’ll return the bike, and you get to ride around the city all day for free, in designated bike lanes, with your sexy little helmet. Great stuff!
Here’s a beautiful picture (omitting myself) of the girls with their bicycles.
You can get a hold of a map to find your way to various places in the city. This is particularly helpful because the tallest building in Adelaide measures a whole 132 metres, and although it has a great big Westpac W on it, it isn’t particularly visible from many places, so unlike Melbourne where you can navigate in relation to the Eureka tower, don’t expect that kind of luxury in Adelaide.
If you’re European like me, and more particularly, part of the younger generation, you’ll be used to most stores staying open til late hours, with plenty of places to go and do the shopping at the weekend, the usual lark. In Adelaide, you can’t. It’s kind of prehistoric in that, if it’s Sunday, everywhere is closed. The CBD is reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic city. Want proof? Check out this busy city road:
With that in mind, make sure if you need anything (such as food) you prepare in advance and make sure you don’t come unstuck come Sunday. Most places also typically close at around 5:00pm, so you need to consider that too. If you’re looking for a restaurant, you’ll probably have slightly better luck.
As a backpacker looking for somewhere to stay, I would certainly recommend Adelaide YHA, it is one of the cleanest, best equipped hostels that I’ve ever stayed in, the staff are a great, friendly bunch, and you can really settle in quickly. Plus, the beds are actually comfortable, huge brownie points there.
Oh, and you can play table tennis (even if you suck), just excuse the skinned head.
Now in my short stay in Adelaide, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. Granted I was there at the weekend and the place was entirely deserted. You can join a couple of day tours from the city if you’d like.
Or you can go to the zoo. Yeah. The zoo. That’s where we went! Check out this cool ass hippo.
Or maybe even a wallaby? Don’t ask me to differentiate the different types, I can’t.
Even better, see if you can spot this shy fella:
It isn’t difficult to get to the zoo, follow the map, really. You can park your free bicycle just outside, which is actually where the photo above was taken. They have some really cool pandas too. There’s actually a ton of cool animals at the zoo so I’d certainly recommend a visit.
The other genius thing to do, is to go out for a stroll in the morning. Honestly, Adelaide in the morning gets some pretty amazing lighting, it’s quite a weird feeling when you’re in the middle of a deserted city with lovely warm rays giving you a sunburn.
You get the idea (note how flat this entire city is).
As you navigate around the city, most likely in search of food that isn’t from Chinatown, you’ll no doubt come across some of the fantastic “graffiti” that litters the city. Note the “”, personally, I think it’s pretty damn good.
So there you have it. What I’m really trying to say with this post, is that you should go out there and explore. You don’t need to pay for expensive transport, accommodation is cheap enough, the food is actually enjoyable, and the night-life is alright too (Karaoke anyone?)
Just don’t make the same mistake that I did and almost end up in a strip club because you have no idea where you are and follow the crowd rather than paying attention. Which reminds me, why DOES (seemingly) the entire population of Adelaide head to strip clubs on nights out? That strikes me as a little bit odd.
If you’ve got any wonderful things to do in Adelaide that I’ve missed out, leave a comment and let the world know!