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Discover why Adelaide is a South Australian gem

Get an appetite for Adelaide

From the metropolitan shores to the rolling hills, Halimi Castellanos discovers what makes Adelaide a true South Australian gem.

Once upon a time, the words ‘hip’ and ‘Adelaide’ would never have been used in the same sentence. Come 2016 and South Australia’s capital is a vibrant hub filled with culture, natural beauty and adventure to wow all ages. The city streets pulse with energy, the parklands flourish with wildlife and vegetation, the beaches are glistening treasures and trendy laneways brimming with cafes and bars are becoming dime a dozen. There’s so much to see and do in this cooler-by-the-minute City of Churches, your entire family will be spoilt for choice.

Beach bums

With an expansive coastline and Mediterranean climate, the beaches surrounding Adelaide are a waterbaby�s dream year round. Most are in proximity to the city centre � making it easy and convenient to hop from one sandy white shore to the next � and even during the cooler seasons they serve as prime picnic and sunset-viewing spots.
Located just 12 kilometres from the CBD, catching the vintage tram to popular Glenelg is an experience in itself. This seaside suburb is a veritable playground for both kids and adults, reminiscent of Queensland�s Sunshine Coast with its bustling jetty and countless restaurants. The Beachhouse, a family entertainment complex, is the ideal spot to keep littlies occupied while mum strolls along the buzzing shopping strip. Head down to Holdfast Shores for a magnificent sunset or join one of the daily dolphin sailing tours that circuit the bay. For kids nine years and older, don your snorkels and get in the water with these magnificent mammals with Temptation Sailing.

Just remember, a visit to Glenelg is not complete without a trip to the St Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert. Colossal milkshakes, hot chocolate, cinnamon churros, popcorn waffles, brownie crepes... the treats will simply dazzle and serve as the perfect fix for any sweet tooth. (Expect to leave with your entourage on a massive sugar high!) For a mix of sun, sand and speed, hire a bike for free with BIKeSA and cycle the River Torrens Linear Park Trail all the way from the city to Henley Beach, a local favourite with a great family-friendly atmosphere and a main square home to cafes, pubs and al fresco eateries.

Tour for the tastebuds

The Adelaide Central Market is an eclectic mix of sights, smells and tastes that has had tourists flocking for over 145 years. From seafood to olive oil to cheese, the food hub presents an array of local, fresh produce and an ethnic melting pot of gastronomic selections just waiting to take your tastebuds on a heavenly ride. A single visit doesn’t allow much time to visit all of the 80-plus stalls, but with Central Market Tours you can get a nibble of what’s on offer. Little foodies-in-the-making can also expand their palates with free samples from the multitude of family-owned businesses – so be sure to come hungry!

Adam Bruzzone

Howzat!

Hailed as one of the world’s prettiest cricket grounds and a historical landmark in its own right (host to national and international sporting matches since 1871), Adelaide Oval lies in the heart of the city and, since its revamp in 2014, now seats well over 50,000. If possible, catch a footy, soccer or cricket game; the experience will be legendary to say the least. If timing isn’t on your side, go behind closed doors with Adelaide Oval Tours and venture into the inner sanctum of the stadium, hear remarkable stories and learn a bit of history. Cricket aficionados rejoice; the stadium is also home to the Bradman Collection, a bronze statue of the ‘the Don’ mid-swing and an interactive museum where you can play against the legend himself.

Animal frenzy

Home to over 3000 animals, the Adelaide Zoo is a guaranteed hit with the kids who will love the opportunity to hold a creepy critter, feed a giraffe, try their hand at being a keeper for the day or packing their pyjamas for a zoo sleepover! Although the giant pandas, Wang Wang and Fu Ni, reign as the zoo’s star attractions and the only giant pandas in Oz, there is also a children’s zoo, multiple feeding sessions, a river cruise on board the Popeye, walk-through aviaries and a nocturnal house. Alternatively, a short 30-minute drive from the city, Cleland Wildlife Park comprises 35 hectares of native bushland where animals roam freely... and they love visitors, so be sure to get your feeding hands ready and keep your eyes peeled for Skippy.

Hahndorf

Head for the hills

A trip to Adelaide is not complete without a jaunt to the quaint countryside of Adelaide Hills. Here, you can discover the unique pleasures of Australia's oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf. The boulevards are infused with old-world colonial charm, from the sandstone buildings and colourful greenery to the kitsch bakeries and restaurants. Entertainment for the kids comes in the form of traditional lolly and toy shops, a fairy garden and 3 Wishes Candle Barn - where they can create their own candle to take home. Pop into Beerenberg Farm and sample the freshly made jams, sauces and condiments, or stop by the paddocks themselves for some strawberry picking from November to April. Needless to say, sightseeing families can easily spend an entire day here exploring the quirky gift shops, smallgoods outlets and nearby wineries.

This article appeared in volume 49 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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