As soon as we left the airport at Adelaide we knew we were in a proper city (albeit a small one). Darwin and Alice were very nice towns, but they felt more provincial in comparison.
We were in a nice hotel at the edge of the CBD (Central Business District), along South Terrace on the quiet side of the centre. Adelaides centre is designed on a grid system, so it was impossible to get lost, relatively easy to get anywhere, and the excellent trams were free to ride as long as you didn’t go outside the CBD!
The town was having a heatwave, so it was hot, very hot, but despite being tired from our previous days trip to Uluru, we managed to get out and wander up and down King William street, see china town, and have a look at the Rundell Mall. What surprised me most was how British much of it looked, from the architecure of the Churches and the Government buildings, again – all very differrent from Darwin and Alice. Christmas was in full swing and this was clearly wrong, you cant have Christmas when it’s this hot, and being constantly wished happy christmas in the sunshine was just weird. So in the evening we went to a little Vietnamese place and had a light (non festive) meal, then an early night as we were so knackered!
The next day, after a bit of a lay in as we were so knackered, we went of to North Terrace to see the university and Government buildings, we walked all the way, which in hindsight was a bit of a mistake as it was in the mid 30s and it’s a long walk. But it was well worth it, Adelaide is a compact, but beautiful town, with great old building, a fantastic city centre, but a really nice cosmopolitan vibe to it, we wandered around some very beautiful streets, half of which I cant show here as it was about now my SD card crashed causing me to lose many of the photos I took in the first 2 days in Adelaide (yes, I’m still bitter).
In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours in the immigration museum, which is more interesting than it sounds, as it gives you an excellent insight about the people who came here (and are still coming here today). An excellent day topped off by a delicious Dominoes pizza in our room, as we were too shagged out by the heat of the day to go out again. Why does dirty food make you feel so good?
Christmas eve and our last day in Adelaide. We went back to North Terrace to see the Botanic Gardens. This time we used our brains and travelled by the free tram. The gardens are beautiful, amazing flowers, a stunning rose garden (who’d have thought in Australia) and an amazing hot house. As it was Christmas Eve there was hardly anyone there, and it was free – result.
In the evening, we had one of our few proper nights out on this trip. My friend Louise and her husband Mark took the plunge and emigrated to Australia 5 years ago, so we met up for drinks and a fantastic Japanese meal, then they gave us a walking tour around the north of the CBD and the river by night. They seem really happy here and I totally get it, the lifestyle is very good, the city is beautiful and well maintained, and they make wine just up the road. I’m far too British to live here though, it’s all too idyllic for me, there wouldn’t be nearly enough here for me to complain about (meh!).
So, 3 towns down, it was time to pick up a car and head for Melbourne for New Year.