Adelaide & Surrounds Holidays
This is a small geographic area taking in the state capital of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills, the nearby Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. The region is blessed with a fine Mediterranean climate, a coastline of safe beaches and still possessing many of the historical sites of Australia's Aboriginal and diverse European cultural foundations.
Much of the charm of the coastal areas and hills comes from the preserved heritage in the form of ornate stone buildings, churches, wide streets and green belt parks and gardens.
The Adelaide Hills and interior peninsula are the major garden and orchard areas of South Australia and have attracted the many arts and crafts workshops to be found in the region. Kangaroo Island is a favourite destination for nature lovers. Just 13km off shore from Adelaide, it is a popular tour and day trip destination.
Places of Interest - Adelaide & Surrounds
Adelaide - the city straddles the Torrens River and is renowned for its churches, city gardens, civic buildings and plenty of museums, galleries and festivals catering to the culturally inclined. Like many of Australia's capitals and major towns in recent times, sidewalk cafes have rapidly become an established part of the local scene in the city and surrounding areas. The river precincts offer gardens with walking and cycling tracks. Details of the city transport services are available at the TransAdelaide site.
Adelaide's major cultural boulevard is North Terrace, home of the restored Mortlock library, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. The latter has spectacular whale displays and collections of Aboriginal natural history and Dreamtime exhibits. More Aboriginal culture is on display at Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute. Port Adelaide is the home of the maritime history of the region which can be found in the Maritime Museum.
Take a river cruise on the Torrens, or the more romantic may prefer a gondola ride. Tall ships and ketches offer tour cruises on Port River. A vintage tram will get you to the nearby seaside town of Glenelg with its shore walk promenade or parasailing for the adventurous. The Central Markets give a good insight into the everyday behind-the-scenes business of the region.
Adelaide tours should include the grand historic buildings such as Ayers Historic House, Edmund Wright House, Adelaide Town Hall, Main Post Office, Government House, Holy Trinity Church, St Francis Xavier Cathedral and St Peters Cathedral. Away from the centre of Adelaide are the sites of (explorer) Sturt's Cottage, Fort Glanville and the manor house and gardens of Carrick Hill.
If shopping is on the agenda, then the Rundle Mall is the place to start with over 600 stores. King William Road offers cosmopolitan shopping and for discount warehouse shoppers, head for Glen Osmond Road. If there is any money left over, the Adelaide Casino beckons from the Railway Building on North Terrace.
Adelaide Hills - part of the Mt Lofty Ranges and only a short drive from the centre of Adelaide which makes the region a popular day tour destination. Australia's oldest German settlement can be found at Hahndorf where visits are available to the home of painter Sir Hans Heysen. The region has very extensive walking trails, several conservation parks and other historic towns such as Clarendon and Strathalbyn. The best lookout back to the coast across Adelaide is at Mt Lofty Summit.
Fleurieu Peninsula - the small spit of land south of Adelaide jutting out towards Kangaroo Island, with a string of protected beaches on the north coast with Gulf St Vincent and a rugged southern coastline with the Southern Ocean. Inland from the coast the peninsula has some of Australia's finest vineyards. The southern coast of the peninsula has a history of whaling.
Willunga has several colonial buildings and is best known for its almond growing industry. The nearby Mt Magnificent Conservation Park has fine views and is a access point for the Heysen Trail. The major town on the peninsula is Victor Harbor which started life as a whaling station. There are elevated headlands offering fine views of the coastline.
Nearby Granite Island is a rookery for Fairy Penguins and tours are available. The town is on the migratory path of the southern right whale which can be seen from the shoreline. A vintage steam powered Cockle Train offers rides to Goolwa which was a port for trade on the Murray River and was dealt a major blow when the mouth of the river silted up. It offers the Signal Point Interpretive Centre with information about the original Aboriginal inhabitants and the riverboat trade of the 1800's.
Kangaroo Island - Australia's third largest island, and site of one of Australia's premier 5 star resorts. (see banner above). The island is 13km off the mainland and is serviced by ferries from Glenelg and Cape Jervis. This popular tour destination has a southern shoreline exposed to the pounding of the Southern Island and a north coast of protected inlets, bays, unspoiled beaches and crystal clear water.
Kangaroo Island is home to colonies of sea lions and fairy penguins on the southern coast. The island is occupied and has a small farming community producing speciality foods. Fishing is excellent and seafood is plentiful. Feed the local pelicans on the wharf at Kingscote, the major centre, or explore the underground caves at Kelly Hill. At the end of the island, there is plenty of wildlife in the Flinders Chase National Park. The island is popular for diving and snorkelling the several wrecks and 4WD tours are available.