If you’ve been following my Land Down Under posts, you’ll have seen some of the amazing places that Australia has to offer. All previous posts are available via the Land Down Under tab on my blog. This week I'd like to take you on a quick tour of my home city Adelaide. Population: estimated 1.2 million
I was 13 when we moved to Adelaide, it was the first time I’d lived close to the beach and having come from Kalgoorlie (a mining town on the edge of the desert) it was definitely a change of scenery for our family. Our first visit to the beach was on a summer’s day, 24C and what these days I would call a beautiful day. Back then we were freezing (keep in mind we’d come from hot, dry desert weather) and strangely enough we were the only ones in jeans and jumpers that day.
My home state is one of the most amazing places in the world with beautiful countryside and fantastic things to do. Come on a tour of my home (most of these places or events are within an hour drive of the main city centre)
I spent my teenage years growing up in Glenelg, which is 5 minutes from the beach, half an hour from the city and has the most magnificent beaches and one of the best shopping areas in Adelaide. Glenelg is a tourist area and Jetty Rd is one long road lined with shops and plenty of restaurants which are all close to the beach. For a kid from the country, Glenelg was a dream come true.
These days I live south of the city, and if you’re a wine lover than you’ll love the McLaren Vale Region which is just a short distance away from me. Mclaren Vale is home to more than 57 wineries and hosts one of my favourite events every year. The Sea and Vines Festival is held in June each year and more than 20 wineries provide seafood meals perfectly matched with wines. It’s a huge 3 day event with plenty of live entertainment and it’s a challenge to see how many wineries you can get around to, or not, sometimes you get comfortable at the first one and don’t end up leaving. The Barossa Valley to the north east of the city, and the Adelaide Hills to the East are also home to many wonderful wineries.
Adelaide is truly a beautiful city and while all cities have parklands, Adelaide is a bit different? They had a vision when they designed Adelaide and where most cities grown in all directions haphazardly, Adelaide was designed with wide streets, large public squares, a river dividing the main city core from an attractive, elevated residential section to the north; and all surrounded by 700 hectares of parklands. Amazingly even today the entire city centre is still surrounded by a magnificent greenbelt of parklands which was a remarkable sight for me when we moved from Kalgoorlie with its red dirt to Adelaide.
Adelaide is renowned for being a city of arts, culture and heritage with an abundance of food and wine festivals and cultural events.
Bay to Birdwood
On the last Sunday in September each year more than 1,500 historic vehicles line up to take place in a historic drive up through the Adelaide Hills to Birdwood. Cars eligible to participate in this event must be manufactured between 1 January 1956 and 31 December 1977. People line the streets to see all the cars and it’s a fantastic family day out with all the cars gathering in Birdwood, with food stalls and family fun.
Tour Down Under
The Santos Tour Down Under has grown to become the biggest sporting event staged in South Australia. Bike riders from all over the world come to Adelaide to participate in six gruelling road races through the Adelaide suburbs and surrounding countryside. Last year's Tour attracted 770,500 spectators, including thousands of interstate and overseas visitors.
Every year Adelaide comes alive for the Clipsal 500 which is Australia's largest domestic motor sport event, featuring the country’s best V8 supercar drivers who come together for four days of fast paced racing around a track that is erected in the middle of the city centre. It’s basically a massive four day party with racing during the days and concerts every night. The 2011 event was attended by a massive crowd of 270,800 patrons over the four days.
The Fringe Festival is the largest in the southern hemisphere and offers a huge twist of quirky fun. The Adelaide Fringe originated in 1960 as a movement of artists who performed and operated outside the main Adelaide Festival of Arts program. Today there are hundreds of shows and thousands of artists who take part. The Festival traditionally begins with an opening night party in the Adelaide city centre, allowing thousands of people to sample the theatre, street entertainers and buzzing atmosphere.
Adelaide Writers’ Week
Of course this is one of my favourites and occurs every two years. This is the oldest literary festival in Australia and for over 40 years the Festival has created a place where writers can connect with the community.
Writers’ Week is a celebration of words, one that promises to surprise, delight, challenge and entertain, bringing some of the world’s finest minds to Adelaide for a week of discussion and debate. Readers from across the cultural spectrum hear writers discuss fiction, history, biography, religion, economics, culture, the environment, food, film, comics, poetry and picture books.
'There's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home' ~ Dorothy Gale, Wizard of Oz