Where not to go in Adelaide

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Visiting Adelaide? We think that some of the tourist spots are over-rated and should be avoided. We have some suggestions on what you should and shouldn’t do on your next visit.

If it’s wet, avoid the beach suburbs. Head instead for the hills, the North Adelaide Hills that is, and spend the day in one of the many pubs, restaurants or wineries.

Instead of visiting the Barossa Valley and battling the crowds, consider heading out to McLaren Vale. It’s closer to the city and the coast, and a very pretty drive – and you won’t have to fight the hordes.

Be aware that many of Adelaide’s attractions outside of the CBD may be closed on Mondays. It pays to check the opening hours and days before visiting.

Aussie rules footy is almost a religion in South Australia with the city split into Adelaide Crows fans versus those of Port Adelaide. The newly refurbished Adelaide Oval is certainly worth a visit, but with capacity crowds nearly every week, securing a ticket may be difficult. If you must watch a game, an alternative option is to pull up a stool at a local bar and enjoy watching it on the big screen.

If you want to get up close and personal with some local wildlife, avoid Cleland Sanctuary which is a magnet for tour buses. Instead, head out towards Stirling and the smaller and more peaceful Warrawong Sanctuary.

Any visit to Adelaide should include the German village of Hahndorf, but give the Bavarian kitsch and souvenir shops a miss and indulge in the local delicacies at Udder Delights Cheeses, Chocolate @ No 5 and Harris Smokehouse, while browsing through Beads & Leadlight and the Hans Heysen studio at The Cedars.

Have you visited Adelaide? What are your suggestions for hits and misses?

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Written by Andrea

16 Comments

Total Comments: 16
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    Having been in ADL last year I can only underline what has been said in the article about places to avoide. One place that should be on the agenda for every visitor is the Botanical Garden. They had FREE guided tours daily (check times) and a drive possibly with overnight stay through the ADL hills. Caution overnights there can be pretty costly and you find better value in the ADL suburbs. We loved our stay and are looking fwd to go back.

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      Urrimbirra on the Victor Harbour Road is another wildlife park, the koalas come and go as they please along with kangaroos, emus and all the other things you expect to see.

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    A visit to Adelaide should include The National car museum. This is a great way to learn so much about Australia’s motoring history. Each exhibit is well documented. Many of the old vehicles are as they were when donated and come with their own story.

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    Hop on a tram and visit Jetty Road, Glenelg, for a great dining strip (can recommend Cardone’s and Ambient), let the kids play in the Moseley Square fountain, walk around with an icecream cone, lounge on the lawns or lean back in the leather chesterfields in the Grand and watch the sunset and all the foreshore activity. If you have a car, take a scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills and have lunch at one of the pubs (think autumn colour and open fires) in any of the small townships. (Hahndorf is a bit kitsch.) If you have an opportunity to travel further afield, go north and spend a couple of nights in the Clare Valley for wineries and the scenery and fit in nearby Burra for early settler and mining history. Kangaroo Island provides a real getaway. In the city itself, wander the great dining strips on east end of Rundle Street (great cinema complex) and Gouger Street (near the famous Adelaide produce market). Hutt St is better for daytime eating opportunities. Enjoy!

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    If your going to the zoo at the botanical gardens be aware of the shortage of parking, acrod in particular. We tried two days in a row to go but couldn’t get parking closer than half a kilometre from the entry gates. We missed out altogether, just went back to the caravan park and looked at the pandas on the internet cameras

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      there is a side gate to get into the zoo and lots of parking under the trees on Botanical Drive which is between the zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Surely 1/2k isn’t mush to walk anyway, not if you are going to walk around the zoo? There’s also Monarto which is an open plains zoo with buses to take you round and stops at various places where you can get off and then catch the next one.

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    Being an Adelaidian I agree with this article and the comments of others already posted. I would also recommend Blair National Park for a morning walk, free entry for people at all times, charges for cars and buses after 9 A.M. As you will be there at a quiet time you will see kangaroos, emus, koalas and heaps of bird life in their natural habitat. After 4 P.M. is also free entry and a walk in the hour before sunset is also worthwhile. If you are a camper or caravanner then the adjacent van/cabin park is great!

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    There is a great leather shop right in the middle of Hahndorf.
    The National Motor museum very interesting.
    There is an aviation museum at the light aircraft airfield.

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    I was taken aback by your publishing such a negative article under the guise of being helpful. It’s disappointing reading. We know there are many great spots to visit as described in the other comments,Botanic Gardens, Art Gallery, tram to Glenelg etc. Adelaide is a wonderful city and it’s smaller scale makes it easy to get around. Of course there are touristy bottlenecks in any city but your decision to take a negative tone is surprising. You can do better than this.

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      How true your comments are !! There is an information booth in Rundle Mall that has leaflets about various places and tours available. If you want to do day trips there are a great many places you can go to. There are tours available to various locations of interest on Yorke Peninsula – old copper mining towns, museums depicting life in the area including motor vehicles, farming equipment and even a special aircraft in its own special building in Minlaton.

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    I took a few day tours, very cost effective and you see a lot. Recommend Hahndorf and the Barrossa, McClaren Vale, Murray steamer, Mouth of the Murray with a steam train ride back to Victor Harbour, Adelaide Markets with yum cha at a Chinese restaurant around the corner, Buffet lunch or dinner at Adelaide Casino – if you go on a weeknight much cheaper than fri, sat etc, tram to Glenelg and eat there, exhibitio

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      Art Gallery, pandas at zoo, Rundle Mall and nearby to eat, drink and shop. I went to the Barossa two or three day trips, each time seeing something new, wine tasting and gourmet lunches. In fact I would like to visit again.

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    Hahndorf has one of the most reasonably priced souvenier shops I have seen with many “light hearted” treasures, things I have never seen interstate. The Barossa region boasts a reservoir the same as only one other in the world – in Europe. If you stand next to the side of the wall one and another person the other end, then talk to each other you can hear their voices echoing off the wall There are very safe fences to stand behind. There is a picnic area there and on the road in/out there is a cafe you can visit for a meal/snack. It is just out of a town called Williamstown not one frequented by winery visitors. Balhannah is famous for its huge Rocking Horse which you can climb if you are fit enough and view a huge panorama of the region. There is more than one viewing area on the way up. I stopped at the 1st level because at that point the stairs are enclosed, apparently fairly steep plus I had a 7 year old with me. It has a wooden toy factory with its own souvenier shop, a cafe and a small animal sanctuary.

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