Last updated on 20th February 2020
Cosmopolitan, Balanced, Diverse, Relaxed and Friendly
Before and after my adventure in the Outback at Hiltaba I stayed a couple of days in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. I was first hosted by Peter who lives in Marion City near Glenelg. He has the Sturt River Walk, the Oakland Wetland and Reserve, the Marion Outdoor Swimmingpool and several gyms, as well as the whitesanded Somerton Beach right on his doorstep. I enjoyed very much exploring all those places and I even had a bike at my disposal to cycle down to beautiful Glenelg and the beach.
The other few days I was hosted by David who lives in the Adelaides Eden Hills with a wonderful view and a charming garden (his garden Eden I believe) where the possums visited me at the window sill at night. A suburban train connects to the city centre. Nearby are the beautiful Wittunga Botanical Gardens and the rough wilderness of the Watiparinga Reserve where I nearly got lost while hiking through. It provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset from its hills above the city, similarly beautiful to Glenelg Pier at the ocean.
Adelaide is a wonderful city. It was planned by William Light using pen and paper and it is to his credit that Adelaide has those wonderful broad roads, streets in checkerboard pattern and vast parks all around the city centre. It is basically a city within a park, set against the banks of the River Torrens. Certainly, since those days, Adelaide has outgrown its former borders by far.
The main road might be Northern Terrace where the University, the Library (with its impressive Mortlock Wing), the Casino, the Convention Centre and several museums are. Nearby is Adelaide’s beautiful Railway Station and around it one finds the main shopping mall, countless shops and restaurants. It is definitely worth spending some time to explore the beautiful parks around Adelaide city centre and the impressive Botanical Garden, as well as Light’s Vision, the lookout from which the statue of Colonel William Light looks at his masterpiece, the city of Adelaide.
The main square in Adelaide is Victoria Square, surrounded by old buildings in colonial architecture, as well as modern hotels and offices, and churches. Victoria Square is the place where the World Solar Challenge put its finish line and exhibits the cars, and where the winners are celebrated. Similar does the Tour Down Under, the famous bike race around Adelaide, which was just in preparation at the time when I was there. As Peter volunteers for this event as well, he could show me around the facilities and the booths of the teams.
One of the heritage buildings around the square is a courthouse. Court hearings are open to the public. It was a rainy day again, so we spontaneously decided to walk in. We were guided to room 2 into an on-going court case. It was very interesting, and quite similar to a German court hearing. The victim, or better convict, was a woman, and she was guarded in handcuffs! No pictures of course.
Being in Adelaide MUST include a visit in Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, where people are very proud of their German heritage in form of the traditional Fachwerk architecture and diverse German cuisine. On our way to Hahndorf we stopped at a local cheese farm and tried very unique types of cheese, one I will maybe never eat again and definitely never forget: Green Ant Cheese. Yes, there are real ants on it, can you believe!? Quite tasty though.
A trip to Adelaide also MUST include a visit in the picturesque Victor Harbour, a former whaling station about 85km south of Adelaide. Now it is a popular destination for tourists due to the scenic setting with the beautiful Granite Island in front of the harbour and the stunning Horseshoe Bay with its most beautiful beach and waters of all shades of green and blue. Granite Island is connected by a low bridge on which an ancient horse-pulled railway still operates; a magical pull back in time. It was my second visit here, and we did that short hike around the beautiful little island again to enjoy the magnificent views. But things have changed since, and where I could watch seals relaxing in the sun on the rocks and dolphins playing in the waters nearby back in 2015, I found now a restaurant full of people on empty rocks and a fish farm floating in the turquoise waters.
From Adelaide I took a flight to Cairns to see the stunning Whitsunday Islands and the famous Great Barrier Reef.