This exploration trip was organised by Australia travel specialist, Jetabout Holidays. Australia is a huge continent with individual cities that have unique characteristics and Adelaide, is home to exciting places and activities that will delight us city-folks in nature, serenity, and great local cuisine. Do check out the following 5 places which you should not miss when in Adelaide.
#1 – Adelaide Central Market
The local market is always a good introduction to the vibes of the city. You must visit the Adelaide Central Market, (established in 1869), a thriving hub of food and culture over 151 years. Touted as one of the largest covered markets in the southern hemisphere, it has more than 80 vendors selling a wide range of produces. About 8.5 million visitors throng this market annually. This is certainly one of the 5 places you should not miss in Adelaide.
For a better experience, engaging a local tour specialist to dive deeper into the market scene is a good option. The picture above is Cheryl Turner, our host from Food Tours Australia showing us some exotic meats from kangaroo, emu, and deer. Her in-depth knowledge certainly helped us understand the local culture and lifestyle much faster.
Cheryl showing us some bush tucker condiments. It was an educational and eye-opening session to taste those salty shrubs, herbs, and plants from the Australian bushland. If you are exploring on your own, you might well skip these interesting experiences.
Now that’s a food with a difference – Limey Green Tree Ants. With no seasoning, it’s simply washed and chilled in the fridge. And it tasted like pops of lime in the mouth. Those green dots are the abdomens of the Limey Ants.
My eyes did a double-take when I spotted these durians. The market essentially retails local produce with imported items prominently stated. It’s grown locally in Australia’s Northern Territories. This batch retailed at AUD35/kg. We didn’t get to try as there is no free sampling.
The lovely cafes at the market with their gorgeous coffee and toasts, never fail to break my resistance. You will especially like the wide menu at the Zuma Caffe.
The range of food is not limited to Australian food, like this Paella, which is a Spanish rice dish.
Lucia is one of the most established and popular eateries at the market, with their pizza bar, established in 1957, being the first in Adelaide. Today, their new generation owners continue the tradition of their founding mother, using her traditional Italian recipes. Lucia’s is famous for its pizza, spaghetti, and traditional Italian dishes.
#2 – Victor Harbour
Victor Harbor is a coastal town that is slightly over a 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide. You will love the laid-back coastal vibes with activities for everyone.
Swim with Tuna @ Oceanic Victor
The Oceanic Victor viewed from shore. The sea cage is located about 300m from Granite island shore and access via the company’s ferry from the jetty.
The visitor’s deck, well designed and neat. This is a unique world-class attraction in a sea aquarium based in a marine park in the waters of Encounter Bay.
The owners have multi-generational links with South Australia’s fishing industry while the attraction is manned by a passionate and brilliant team of marine biologists and marine doctors. Guests are fitted with warm wetsuits, gloves, booties, and masks for the 2-hour of swimming and feeding.
Southern Bluefin Tuna are among the most magnificent of fish. They are classified as a critically endangered species but due to the sustainable manner in which it is managed in Australia, production is now balanced with Australia’s international commercial quota being increased by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
The water was really chilly but the 5mm neoprene suit will keep you warm and dry. This will be one of the most exciting experiences in your life with the fastest fish in the sea, all in the safety of a purpose-built enclosure.
The tuna is like a precision sardine eating machine and among the fastest fish in the ocean, at speed of up to 76 km/h.
Other than swimming with the Tuna, you can also feed the ever-present seagulls too. This visit to the Oceanic Victor will be an exciting segment of the 5 places you should not miss in Adelaide.
Australia’s only Horse Drawn Trammway
This unique horse-drawn ride is not available anywhere else in Australia. Started in 1894 by the South Australian Railways, this heritage service involves magnificent Clydesdale horses that draw you along the causeway from seaside Victor Harbor to Granite Island over a 15-20min slow ride.
This service runs throughout the year but it is best to check on their webpage for occasions it may be not available due to weather conditions.
Nature walk @ Granite Island
This Granite Island Recreation Park can be accessed via a short 15min stroll or the horse tram ride over the wooden causeway that connects the park to the mainland. Between June and October, you may even spot the Southern Right Whales on its migratory route. A wild penguin colony, makes their presence felt on the island, with sightings recorded by the island cafe.
There are also marine birds like the cormorants. You can spend some time observing them as they dive and catch their meals in the sea around the breakwater.
If you spot a large thick-bodied Blue-tongued Skink, don’t be alarmed. It’s generally a docile lizard with a large blue tongue. Relatively shy, it moves slower due to their short legs. Some households keep them as pets too.
#3 – Hahndorf – Australia’s only German Heritage Village
Just a 25 minutes drive from Adelaide, this is Australia’s oldest sole-surviving German settlement marking its 181 years this year. You will enjoy the strong German flavour in the small goods outlets, bakeries, pubs, restaurants, and cafes that line the main street, apart from German flags displayed along the street. This venue is ideal as a final layover destination before departing Adelaide.
You may spot many visiting Germans along the street in Hahndorf, adding to the feel as if you are in Germany.
The German-inspired architecture and decor will “teleport” you to a village in Germany. There is even a shop selling a range of cuckoo wall clocks that are signature items back in Germany.
The confectioneries here will appeal to any sweet tooths. Do try their apple strudels with vanilla with a cup of cappuccino, the perfect snack along the alfresco cafes.
When in Hahndorf, what else but a Crispy Pork Knuckle on a bed of sour red cabbage and mashed potatoes? This is as German as it gets. Köstlich!
A lorikeet enjoying pears at the protected heritage tree at the Studios by Haus, a boutique accommodation in Hahndorf.
You will enjoy this setup, perfect on the eve of a return flight home. Very cosy and well-appointed room, with very nice ensuite shower.
The beautiful hotel garden, just like the rest of the well-manicured floral and fauna of the village. Even non-flower lovers feel at ease here.
#4 – Fruity Memories @ Beerenberg Farm
You can’t miss The Beerenberg, which produces its 1st batch of strawberry jam in 1971. The thriving family-owned farm is one of the more popular destinations in Hahndorf. You can also stock up on quality jams, chutneys, sauces, and dressings at the retail shop.
The strawberry farm is especially popular with families who let their kids enjoy nature with freshly plucked strawberries in their mouths at the same time.
Nice strawberries on the farm. Don’t go for the biggest, get the mid-sized for the sweetest taste.
Nature’s hardest and most productive insect at work on the farm.
A spot of retail therapy before leaving for home. The items here are farm-made and used throughout Australia.
#5 – Beach Side Suburb @ Glenelg
Just a 15min drive from Adelaide, Glenelg Beach is Adelaide’s most popular city beach, just like what Bondi Beach is to Sydney. You will like the lively and coastal vibe, for its wide beach, stunning sunsets, rich heritage, charming hotels, sidewalk cafés, and entertainment.
While Melbourne is officially recognised as the sporting capital of the world, Glenelg also sees plenty of physical activities practically everywhere.
Having visited most parts of Australia, this trip to Adelaide served to open my eyes that each city has its own unique characteristics and all these helped to maintain that novelty feel as if I am still in the process of “UnDiscovering” and rediscovering her. Adelaide is a beautiful city that will impress and remain in your memory for ages to come. Just remember the 5 places you should not miss in Adelaide.
Many sincere thanks for coming along my pixels journey. Should any readers be keen to go on a similar self-drive trip in the future, please feel free to drop me a message! For my other Australian adventures, you can check it out here.