Travel Guide Oceania Australia South Australia Adelaide



Sunset on Glenelg beach

Sunset on Glenelg beach

© fenderson

Adelaide, referred to by many Australians as the 'city of churches' is the capital of South Australia and with a little over 1.1 million inhabitants, home to nearly 70% of all people living in the state and Australia's fifth largest city. With a nickname originating from the settlement of the area and the desire to create a dignified city, it is a surprise to many that today pubs and nightclubs outnumber the churches.

Adelaide is located on the coast, the southern side of South Australia, and the area surrounding Adelaide is popular for surfing. The city is well laid out, with plenty of parks, gardens, wide boulevards and large public squares to give it a spacious and overall relaxing feel. Adelaide is known for its many festivals, arts and sports. With it's location plump in the center of the wine regions of McLaren Vale, the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, Adelaide is also an opportune location from which to undertake day-trips to the many vineyards in the surrounding areas.




  • Glenelg
  • Inner City



Sights and Activities

Around Adelaide

  • Mount Lofty and Norwood Morialta National parks for hiking, trekking and rock climbing



Events and Festivals

  • Adelaide Festival of Arts - A biennial celebration of the arts, with a host of theatre, music, dance, film, literary and visual arts events across the city. One of the world's best arts festivals with a long and proud history.
  • Adelaide Fringe Festival - An annual open-access arts festival, the second largest Fringe festival in the world (after Edinburgh). Because it is an open-access, anyone can perform. This typically results in a lot of spontaneity and innovation.
  • Adelaide Film Festival (10 Oct 2013 - 20 Oct 2013) - A biennial film festival mainly promoting South Australian and Australian films. It is not a competitive film festival.
  • Adelaide Festival of Ideas - A biennial festival held in alternating years with the Festival of Arts. Focusses on talks, debates and panel discussions with lots of renowned speakers from Australia and overseas. Next event is expected in October 2013
  • Adelaide Writers' Week - Australia's oldest literary festival takes place as part of the Festival of Arts.
  • Feast Festival
  • WOMADelaide is Adelaide's premier world music festival.
  • Royal Adelaide Show
  • Summer in Australia is all about Outdoor Music Festivals. With single day events, camping festivals out of town and week long festivals, there is definately a music festival to suit all tastes. Check out soe of the festivals in and around Adelaide: Outdoor Music Festivals in South Australia.




Adelaide's climate in general is a pleasant one, with warm and dry summers and relatively mild winters. The summermonths from November to March can even be hot, with temperatures rising to 45 °C on some days. Usually though it is around a more pleasant 30 °C. During the wintermonths of June to August average daytime temperatures are around 20 °C with cool nights. This is also when the city sees some more rain compared to summer. Spring and autum are pleasant times to visit, withouth having to cope with severe heat.

Avg Max29.2 °C29.5 °C26.5 °C22.7 °C19 °C16.1 °C15.3 °C16.6 °C19 °C21.8 °C25.2 °C26.9 °C
Avg Min17.1 °C17.2 °C15.3 °C12.5 °C10.2 °C8.1 °C7.5 °C8.2 °C9.7 °C11.4 °C14 °C15.5 °C
Rainfall19.7 mm12.8 mm26.5 mm39.3 mm61.1 mm79.9 mm76.9 mm69.9 mm58.6 mm41.5 mm30.3 mm30.1 mm
Rain Days4.



Getting There

By Plane

Adelaide Airport (ADL) is located about 8 kilometres from the city centre and is the main gateway to South Australia. The airport has international connections with Auckland, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Several domestic and regional carriers operate flights to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Sydney and several regional centres. A few budget airlines like Tiger Airways, Virgin Australia and Jetstar operate budget flights on the Melbourne-Adelaide route as well as services from several other cites.

To/from the airport

  • Catching the public transport bus is the cheapest option for getting into the city. The local public transport system, Adelaide Metro, includes a service called JetBus connecting the airport to Glenelg, West Beach, and the North Eastern suburbs. You can either by a single pass for the journey or a daytrip or multitrip ticket if you intend to make more trips on Adelaide's public transport system. A standard single ticket costs $4.10 at peak hours and $2.50 between peak hours, from 9.01am till 3:00pm Mon-Fri.
  • The Skylink Airport Shuttle (tel: (08) 8332 0528) runs every 30 minutes Monday-Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sundays and public holidays. A trip to the city centre costs $7.50 one way and takes about 35 minutes to reach the final stop. Both JetBus and the Skylink Airport Shuttle leave from the southern end of Level 2 at Terminal 1.
  • Taxis are another option, costing about $20 for a one-way trip taking 15-25 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • It's also possible to rent cars at the airport and there are numerous options with companies like Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar.

By Train

Adelaide is part of the cross-country train network, with regular departures to and from Sydney and Melbourne. Its location on the southern coast, as the last large city before the desert heading north and west, make it a crucial connecting point for trains in both those directions. This makes it nearly impossible to take the train to Perth or Alice Springs and further north without going through Adelaide.

One of the world's most famous train routes, The Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin (via Alice Springs), 3000 kilometres to the north. The train departs twice weekly and takes about 48 hours to reach the final destination.
The The Indian Pacific train crosses the Nullabor Plain connecting Adelaide west to Perth and east to Sydney. Trains run twice weekly in both directions, the trip to Perth taking the longest.
The Overland links Adelaide with Melbourne 3 times a week in both directions.

By Car

The closest large city to Adelaide is Melbourne, which is about a 9 hours drive away on the shortest route. Sydney is approximately twice the distance.

  • Melbourne - Adelaide = approximately 750 kilometres on the Western/Dukes Highway (National Highway 8) via Horsham or 900 kilometres on the Princess Freeway (National Highway 1) via Mount Gambier.
  • Sydney - Adelaide = approximately 1400 kilometres on the Sturt Highway (National Highway 20) via Mildura or 1700 kilometres via Broken Hill on the Barrier Highway (National Highway 32).

By Bus

All the cross-country bus networks stop in Adelaide, so getting to and from Adelaide by bus is straightforward, albeit slow. As with the trains, this is the last major stop before heading north to Alice Springs or west to Perth through the desert.

If you are travelling to Adelaide from Melbourne, you can choose to either catch one of the large bus companies which will travel along the somewhat dull Western/Dukes Highway or opt for a smaller bus company which might be able to offer trips along the stunning Great Ocean Road instead.



Getting Around

By Car

Adelaide's city centre and inner suburbs like Glenelg, Norwood and Prospect are easily traversed walking and using public transport. However, if you are expecting to spend a lot of time outside of the CBD or you are planning a trip to a wine region, a car is useful to avoid long trips on public transport or in the case of the Barossa Valley, to get around at all.

Unlike other Australian state capitals, Adelaide does not have a network of freeways leading directly into the city centre. The freeways that exist begin in the outer suburbs and are for the purpose of carrying traffic to the nearby country towns. Speed limits on most major roads are signposted at 60km/h, though the default speed limit is 50km/h if no speed limit is posted. Speed limits are strictly enforced, and even creeping ever so slightly above the speed limit may earn you a ticket with a $350 fine.

All of Adelaide's roads as well as those throughout South Australia are toll free.

You can rent a car from the airport or downtown Adelaide. There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

By Public Transport

Adelaide Metro provides train, tram and bus services throughout Adelaide.
Single trip tickets with unlimited transfers for two hours are sold on buses, trams and at major train stations for $5 peak and $3.00 off peak. Alternatively, a $9.10 daytrip ticket is available, allowing unlimited travel within the Adelaide Metro area for an entire day.

Travellers in Adelaide for longer than a couple of days should buy a Metrocard for $10 which comes with $5 of value included. Trips on Metrocard cost $3.19 peak and $1.75 off peak. Metrocards are sold at major train stations (Adelaide, Elizabeth, Gawler, Noarlunga Centre, Oaklands, Mawson Lakes and Salisbury) as well as most newsagents and corner stores. A list of locations is on the Adelaide Metro website. Metrocards can be topped up wherever they are sold as well as on trains and trams using coins or major credit cards.

There is also a $25 visitors pass that can be used for unlimited travel on the network for 3 days. After the 3 day period, the pass can be topped up and used just like a normal metrocard.

By Foot

The City centre is relatively compact and can be easily covered on foot. Most attractions are centred around the blocks between North Terrace and Victoria Square on either side of King William Street. The core Rundle Mall shopping district is entirely pedestrianised. The Gouger Street precinct and the Adelaide Central Market are also great destinations for a walking traveller.

Travellers keen to keep up on jogging while away can use popular jogging tracks along the River Torrens and through the Parklands.

By Bike

Bikes are available all around the CBD and at Glenelg.

Bicycle SA, 111 Franklin St (Just to the North-West of the main Bus Station), ☎ +61 8 8168-9999. Operates a free bike hire service sponsored by a group of inner city councils. Bikes are available from more than 10 locations across the City and the inner suburbs for free, but must be returned M-F before 16:30 or 17:00 weekends or a $25 fee is payable. Arrangements can be made for bicycles to be hired overnight for an additional fee but all hires are stopped if temperatures are forecast to top 38 °C. A list of locations for hire is listed on Bicycle SA's website Bikes are step thru-models with front baskets and a sturdy rear carrier (but you'll need to provide bungy straps or lashings). Front calliper brake, rear brake is an annoying back-pedal arrangement. Shimano 3 speed hub gear. They'll also supply you with a long sturdy combination lock and cycle helmet when you leave some photo ID.

A popular ride is to ride from the city centre along the River Torrens out to West Beach, then down to Glenelg and back. You cannot take your bike on the Glenelg Tram or any bus, even outside peak hour, however you can take them on trains. An alternative to taking the tram back from Glenelg is to ride a further 20 minutes south along the coast to Brighton Station on the Noarlunga Centre Line where there are reasonably frequent trains back to Adelaide.




Adelaide has many places to eat. High-end dining options include places like:

  • Windy Point Restaurant - located on top of one of the many foothills surrounding Adelaide, with a magnificent view over all of Adelaide.
  • The Lenzerheide - A very up-market restaurant located in the Mitcham area (southern suburbs)

Adelaide also has its own market in the CBD. The Adelaide market is a labyrinth of small shops, green grocers, bakeries, butchers and fish shops. The market is also connected to Chinatown, with its hundreds of small Asian inspired restaurants.




There are pubs and bars dotted all around the CBD, but a few districts are worth singling out. Rundle Street and its neighbouring area known simply as "The East End" have a number of popular pubs. Hindley St used to be notorious as the seedy home of Adelaide's strip clubs and bikie bars, but it, and "The West End" have undergone a renaissance. The eastern end of Hindley Street is more mainstream, whereas the western end, west of Morphett Street has a few trendier and more alternative venues. The seedy places are still there, but so too is a university campus and a number of trendy bars and clubs. Also important are Gouger Street and its many restaurants but with an increasing number of bars and pubs. O'Connell Street is home to a few of North Adelaide's popular pubs.

There are also many bars in the suburbs of Adelaide which usually are busier on Thursday and Friday evenings. Quite a lot of the locals will go to the hotels in the suburbs on Thursday and Friday evenings, and go into the Adelaide CBD on Saturday evenings.

Smoking in pubs and clubs is banned under South Australian law. Many drinking establishments have outdoor areas where smoking is permitted.





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Keep Connected


Internet cafés are very common in the larger Australian cities and popular tourist destinations. However, once you leave the major population centres, you might have trouble finding somewhere to log on. Free wifi is getting more and more common (either with or without a code) in places like restaurants, some bars and coffee places and hotels. Sometimes a fee is required.


See also: International Telephone Calls

Australia is on a GSM 900/1800 network, so if you have an unlocked phone that works on those frequencies, you will be able to buy a prepaid SIM-card and stick into your phone when you're in Australia. You will receive a new Australian phone number with the SIM-card.

To dial out of Australia use the prefix 0011, followed by the calling code of the country you are trying to reach, followed by the area code of the city/town (without the 0!) and finally the phone number.

Within Australia, it is necessary to add an area code to the phone numbers if you are calling from outside the area. Below are Australia's area codes:

  • 02 - New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory (Sydney, Canberra)
  • 03 - Victoria & Tasmania (Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 07 - Queensland (Brisbane)
  • 08 - Western Australia, South Australia & Northern Territory (Perth, Adelaide, Darwin)

000 is the emergency telephone number in Australia, but the international GSM mobile emergency telephone number 112 also works on mobile phones.


Australia Post is the government's postal service. Most suburbs will have at least one post office. Opening times are mostly from around 8:00 or 9:00am to 5:00pm though larger ones keep longer hours sometimes. A standard letter or postcard sent within Australia will cost $0.60. Internationally, it costs $1.70 to send postcards anywhere in the world. Letters cost $1.85 to send within the Asia Pacific region and $2.60 to anywhere else in the world.[1]. It is also possible to send things as parcels or by express mail. You can also use use private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL as they are competitive and reliable.



  1. 1 Australia Post. Sourced 10 May 2013

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -34.92577
  • Longitude: 138.599732

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