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Travel & Holiday Tips South Australia
 
 
 

General

South Australia is known as Australia's ‘Festival State' and the state capital, Adelaide, is packed full of cultural delights. From the huge state library and South Australian Museum to the Oval cricket ground and Festival Center close to the River Torrens, there is much to see; the buzzing atmosphere of the Central Market on Gouger Street contrasts well with the European-styled cafés and bars centred around the wide boulevard streets in North Adelaide.

Kangaroo Island, which lies south of Adelaide, is home to koalas, sea lions and kangaroos, and the Murray River's life-giving waters ensure agriculture such as orchards and vineyards flourish in seemingly inhospitable territory. Visit the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra for a taste of the state's prized wine-growing regions.

Places of Interest

Adelaide

Adelaide is home to more than two-thirds of the State’s population. It has a 30 km- (18.6 mile-) stretch of attractive coastline with excellent white sandy beaches. The best view of Adelaide and the surrounding countryside can be had from Mount Lofty, to the east of the city. Adelaide is a spacious city surrounded by parkland, golf courses and the botanical and zoological gardens. The city itself has a European atmosphere, primarily because of the large German and southern European minorities. The streets are filled with cafés (especially lively Rundle Street), European-style churches, art galleries and antique shops. Adelaide also has a vibrant nightlife along Rundle and Gouger Streets. One of the key attractions in the city is the Festival Center complex in the parkland overlooking the Torrens River. It houses an excellent theatre company, and boasts a concert hall, two theatres, a restaurant and an amphitheatre.

Another very popular attraction is the Central Market between Grote and Gouger streets. In March of even-numbered years, the world-renowned Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts is held, featuring everything from jazz to classical theatre and ballet, along with a diverse Edinburgh-style Fringe Festival. The South Australian Museum has the largest collection of Aboriginal artefacts in the world, as well as a huge exhibition of Melanesian art and New Guinean wildlife. There is also a new permanent exhibition on the Antarctic Explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson. The National Wine Centre in the Botanic Gardens has exhibitions, a tasting gallery and restaurant. Tandanya – National Aboriginal Cultural Institute offers a rounded view of Australia’s indigenous culture. Swimming and skating on Glenelg Beach are popular Adelaide activities.

Outside Adelaide

55 km (34 miles) from Adelaide is Australia’s wine cellar, the Barossa Valley, originally settled by German refugees in the 1830s and still indelibly marked by their influence. The main townships are Tanunda, Angaston and Nuriootpa, all notable for Lutheran churches and the vineyards where tours and tastings can be arranged. The other major wine regions in South Australia are the Clare Valley, Riverland, McLaren Vale and the Coonawarra wine district in the southeast.

Two routes through Australia’s Red Centre begin near Adelaide, one being the Stuart Highway which goes to Darwin. The start of the Great Ocean Road begins at the haunting Coorong Wetlands, south of Adelaide, and goes on to Victoria.

Taking a Murray River steamer will afford the visitor a view of lush pastureland, limestone cliffs and the wine country. The Murray-Darling-Murrumbidgee river network is one of the largest in the world – 2,600 km (1,615 miles) from source to sea – and brings irrigation to a wide area. The vegetation and wildlife evoke images of the Deep South in the USA.

Opposite Adelaide in the St Vincent Gulf lies Australia’s third-largest island, Kangaroo Island. Off-road exploration of this natural wildlife sanctuary rewards the traveller with the chance to see penguins, koalas, wallabies and kangaroos, as well as the large sea lion colony at Seal Bay; the rugged coastline is also noted for fine fishing. There is a variety of accommodation available, including a campsite.

Naracoorte Caves Conservation Park near the southeast border with Victoria is notable for its caves containing stalagmites, stalactites, bats and fossils.

South Australia’s best slice of the outback is to be found in the ancient Aboriginal heritage area of Flinders Ranges, a region of granite peaks and spectacular and colourful gorges, dotted with eucalyptus trees. In the centre of the Flinders area is the popular resort area of Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre 16 km (10 miles) long and 6 km (3.7 miles) deep; accommodation is also available at Arkaroola, at the northern peak of the Flinders. The opal town of Coober Pedy is so hot that 45% of the inhabitants live underground; even the church is underground and, in fact, the name of the town means ’white man lives in a hole’. The area produces 90% of the world’s supply of opals and those who wish to dig for the semi-precious stones can obtain a miner’s permit.

 

 
 

 



 


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