|Governor Hindmarsh |
Lonely Planet listed Adelaide in South Australia as number 9 on its top ten "Best in Travel 2014" so here are 9 things to do if visiting the city of churches. No, one of the things is not the churches themselves as many of them are now night clubs or bridal boutiques
Catch the Tram
Which tram? The tram. There is only one. It travels between the Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh and Moseley Square, Glenelg. And it’s free within the CBD! It must be said that neither destination on this route is one that warrants this type of infrastructure. Glenelg once was a great sea-side location popular with tourists and locals alike. It is now over developed and the boutique shops and eateries are now chain stores and franchises. Glenelg is now a shopping mall with sand.
If you do want to go to the beach whilst visiting Adelaide - and it is highly recommended that you do with their fine white sand, easy access and absence of truly dangerous rips and undercurrents – visit Henley Beach. Two beaches north of Glenelg along Tapleys Hill Road. (Bypass West Beach it is a caravan park and sewage outlet). Henley offers all the amenities for a great day at the beach, ice-creamery, great fish and chips, town square with large lawn area and some picnic tables, shady trees and best of all smaller crowds. Most people are on the tram to Glenelg.
Another unique public transport option in Adelaide, and like the tram offers a single route. From the CBD to the north-eastern suburbs. It was established for commuters to help with congestion during peak hour – peak hour in Adelaide lasts for 10-15 minutes. It is a bus running on a guided track, one of the world’s first rapid bus systems. Buses travel up to 100km along the 12km track and as it is a guided track the drivers do not need to steer. Seeing a driver take their hands off the wheel and eat their lunch can be very disconcerting for the first time traveller. The route follows the Torrens River, which may not contain water, providing a beautiful view. It ends in the north east at Tea Tree Plaza, a major Westfield shopping complex, containing the same shops that you left behind when boarding the bus in the city. But they are arranged differently – all in one building instead of along busy streets. Yes many of them will be the same retailers you will find at the end of the line of the Glenelg tram.
If you are a sporting fan, this is a must see. Arguably one of the most picturesque sporting venues in the world. Complete with its heritage listed scoreboard and Morton Bay fig trees. The ground is currently being re-developed. Visit the ground and argue with tourists from NSW as to whether or not Don Bradman is South Australia's greatest cricketer. "The Don" was born in Cootamundra and grew up in Bowral both in NSW. He learned to play cricket in Bowral before moving to Sydney. He played for NSW before being selected to play for Australia in 1928-29 season. He did not move to Adelaide until 1934, when he was already a national sporting hero. Either way the best batsman ever, and Adelaide has a statue of him, and a road named after him.
Adelaide CBD is surrounded by parklands, each one known locally by very creative names; North Parkland is in the North, South Parklands is in the South etc. The pick of them for family fun would be in the north, where the parklands bring the zoo, city and botanical gardens. Lots of grass under foot and shade overhead courtesy of the Morton Bay figs. Whilst the north parklands are known for their picnics and family gatherings, those in the south are known for their gay cruising.
There are two world class wine regions in Adelaide and its surrounding area, McLaren Vale and Barossa. The former is south and the latter north. As a rough guide if you are after whites head south and for reds go north. Either direction plan to eat along the way to help with the management of the effects of alcohol and hire a driver or join a tour to ensure a safe journey home.
This 7m high metallic sculpture (pictured) in the heart of Rundle Mall, is officially called The Spheres. By artist Bert Flugelman, this famous landmark is a favourite meeting place, mainly because locals get to tell their friends and family to “meet at the balls”. Erected in 1977, during the Premiership of Hon Don Dunstan, as a gay man, it meant that all of the public have an opportunity to rub his balls.
Port River Dolphins
Just 12km from the city centre is Adelaide original and still operating sea port, creatively named Port Adelaide. The Port River is home to approximately 40 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins. This is one of the few places in the world where wild dolphins live within a major city.
Sure they may be being slowly poisoned from pollutants from river traffic in this busy port, and some of the dolphins may have cuts and scars from run-ins with ships motors, but the experience is second to month. Pack your camera and join a river cruise or kayak tour, to get up safely close to these mammals.
No don’t become one and don’t get in one’s way, Adelaide is Australia’s serial killing capital. In fact Adelaide is argued to have the most serial killers per capita of anywhere in the world. Truro murders, check out this town after a few wines it is within the broader Barossa region. Snowtown, head north to visit the bank vault where barrels were discovered with their gruesome deposits.
“The Family” abducted, abused and killed young men in the 70s and 80s.
When you get off the tram at the beach join the search for the Beaumont children. These three young children disappeared from Glenelg in 1966. They have never been seen since and their bodies never discovered. One of Australia’s most infamous cold cases, locals and tourists have the opportunity to become a real crime stopper by uncovering any clue that leads to their discovery.