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Sprigginna fossils,bronze pigs and the A.C.G.
Member Name: catsholiday
Date: 14/09/10, updated on 27/10/11 (48 review reads)
Advantages: Quiet city with lots of green parkland and some interesting sites
Disadvantages: Not a huge lot to see and do so a few days will be fine
Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia and is a very small city with an almost country town feel about it. There are plenty of parks and the whole city feels fresh and quiet unlike European cities. We spent a couple of days here at the end of our Australian trip and really enjoyed the calmness of the place. It is rather an elegant city known for its colonial stone architecture many large parklands which cover half the city and which give an incredible sense of space. Only about one million people live in and around the city but it felt like even fewer than this when we were walking around so it must be the clever design of the city.
Just a bit about the state of South Australia
South Australia amazingly borders all the other states and Territories, except the Australian Capital Territory, which is entirely within and surrounded by New South Wales and of course Tasmania is across the Tasman Sea. To the West of the State, you will find the Great Victoria Desert and the Nullarbor National Park. If you follow the Coast road you will eventually arrive in Western Australia. To the Northern part of the state, you will find the Simpson Desert and the borders of Northern Territory, and Queensland. To the east of South Australia, are the borders of New South Wales and Victoria.
South Australian was founded in 1836 and it is very proud of the fact that it was NOT a former convict settlement. The state has a varied geography with large lakes, deserts and mountains. Adelaide city is on the coast of the Southern Ocean and the huge bay known as the Great Australian Bight.
On our way in to the city we stopped to admire the view from Montefiore Hill on the outskirts of the city is a great viewing point to look over the city of Adelaide. On the top of this hill is a very special statue of Colonel William Light, who designed Adelaide as a square mile of north, south, east-west streets including a central park and also surrounded by parklands. This viewing point is known as Light's vision as he stands there with an outstretched arm showing his beautiful and practical city design.
We found the free Terrace to Terrace tram which took us from just near our hotel on South Terrace to the city end at North Terrace. We had decided to make our way to the Adelaide Cricket Ground. We hopped off the tram and we only had to cross the bridge which took us past the Adelaide Festival Centre and a park then the cricket ground was there. They offered tours but I decided to just be cheeky and walk in - nobody came and questioned us so we went right into the ground and took lots of photos as my husband is a keen cricket fan. We then moved on to find the Don Bradman statue which was in the park just nearby.
The museum was our next stop to find the Spriggina fossils which are the first animals with heads. We had to ask quite a few people before we found this display which is quite surprising as it is a very important find from an evolutionary point of view. The story goes that in 1946 an Australian mining geologist, Reginauld Srigg was heating his billy and kicked a stone which he then saw had this fossil. He was aware this was important but when he tried to return to find them again he could not and it took years before he rediscovered these interesting fossils which are now on display in the museum in Adelaide. They were found in the range of mountains north of the city of Adelaide, Australia, known as the Ediacara Hills. These fossils are in fact late Precambrian for those interested in this sort of thing..
It was a very good museum with lots to keep children amused. They had a huge dinosaur display this week but we didn't go for that. There was also a giant squid that went down through three floors of the museum - quite horrific. As we had only come to see the special fossil we made our way out without looking at much else really. We went looking for this as Bill Bryson mentioned this find in his book 'Down Under' and we spent some time hunting for these little gems taken from his book in various places round Australia.
Our next stop was Rundle Street where we had planned to have a coffee but as we arrived we noticed a huge Pancake Day charity stall where for a gold coin donation you could have a pancake - so we did just that - mine with maple syrup and my husband had lemon and sugar. We drank some of our water instead of coffee and made our way back to the tram stop as we thought we would take a look at Glenelg. In this mall they have some lovely bronze life size pigs that appear to be wandering around the shopping area. One is looking in to a litter bin and others just wandering around. They proved a great attraction to young children who liked to ride on them.
On the way to the tram we passed a fruit stall selling currants - fresh. I didn't know that was where dried currants came from - thought they were a bit like black currants - anyway we bought some. They were like very sweet tiny grapes and quite delicious.
The tram is free between the two terraces but costs $2.60 each way to Glenelg. However the ticket machine wasn't working so we had one journey free. We walked to the end of the pier and took a couple of photos, but there was not a lot there apart from a very nice beach. It was all very clean and almost looked like a model town but there was not a lot to do apart from walk along the beach or swim but we had not brought towels and things and it was quite windy so we thought we'd have a bite of lunch.
We found a nice Greek snack bar place just near a small fountain. While we ate our lunch we were entertained by tiny children playing in the fountain - the sort where the water pops up intermittently and they kept running from spout to spout. They were soaked by the end by had a wonderful time.
Adelaide is a quaint sort of city and worth a visit. I am not sure I would want to live there as it is a long way away from anywhere else really. It is a great base for exploring the wonderful vineyards of the Barossa valley and there you can sample the wines in one of the 130+ different wineries including several well known vineyards such as Jacobs Creek , Cockatoo Ridge and Penfolds to name a few.
Adelaide is a lovely open city and the people were very friendly and welcoming. It is a shame that Light did not enjoy his lovely city as he resigned his post of governor and in the end he died penniless and unappreciated of tuberculosis in Adelaide in October 1939 aged 54.He is buried in Light Square and a small monument honours his achievements on Montefiore Hill.
Thanks for reading this and hope it has been en 'light'ening and of some interest. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
Summary: A pretty and quiet Aussie city