Newest Review: ... grounds always full of iridescent wildlife surprises, spectacularly colorful birds tweeting away to wake you for work or play. I remember i... more
Little Australia in very Big Australia!
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: Safe and pleasant city to live
Disadvantages: Bit away from the action
If Brisbane is Australia's most boring city then Adelaide has to be the sleepiest. Tucked away in a green and cozy warm corner of South Australia it's a city that has the most Australian charm of the bunch, its rustic Victoriana architecture mixed in with modern buildings in a grid system giving it a real feel of old and new Australia, wrought iron verandas and porches a plenty to tether your horse or hang your hat. It's not the sporty metropolis of Perth or cosmopolitan Sydney or the forward thinking Melbourne but the one your mum and dad would be most happy to retire in. But you always feel its happening somewhere else when you are in Adelaide.
There are no skyscraper canyons reaching for the heavens and catching the searing Aussie sunlight, Dallas style, and nothing remotely pretentious about the place. It's just how you would like a city to be to make you feel safe and welcome and residents never under pressure to be a city slicker. The rather colorful wildlife quickly reminds you are in Australia and your garden or hotel grounds always full of iridescent wildlife surprises, spectacularly colorful birds tweeting away to wake you for work or play. I remember in my hostel near the beach that the chirping birds would come into the room they were that happy and confident.
The cities left flank from south to north is miles of beautiful white sandy beaches that you can rumble out to on the old Victorian tram service or local buses. Adeladians take the beaches for granted though and they are surprisingly empty. When you sit there in 90 degrees heat with a cooling sea breeze and the stunning blue sea crashing in on your toes you would never know you are so close to a modern city.
The city centre is dominated by the unpretentious nature of the place and feels relaxed and welcoming, known as the city of churches with lots of wide open spaces and wide boulevards to amble through the city on. It as set up in the 18th century as the one city not to concentrate on convict settlement in Australia and promoted ethnic occupancy although you would never know that today. The yearly comedy Festival and River Torrens celebrations bring the place to life and there is always something going on to do that you can afford for a night out, in away like a traditional university town in England. Adelaide was made for festivals. The Economist Magazine did list it as one of the top 10 liveliest cities in the world last year although I would say they meant for economists. It's no Rio De Janiero.
Sports wise its not so hot although the home to Don Bradman and the exquisite Adelaide Oval where the Don piled up some huge scores on his home ground. They also play Aussie Rules and A-League soccer there. It used to have the Grand Prix but Melbourne nicked it. The pubs and clubs are relaxed and they have some decent theatres and events venues to enjoy visiting acts from the rest of the world. This stuff is important in Australia as the TV is dire in the winter and Adelaide can get rainy and dull then, snow falling across the state for a once in a century October event in 2008, the surrounding Stirling Ranges seeing three inches of the white stuff, unheard of in the spring. South Australia is very hot in the summer and so they welcome any sort of meteorological strangeness.
The nearby booming wine industry makes for a pleasant day out, or two, testing the free samples and you can also launch yourself into the outback here to see the 93% of Australia that remains uninhabited. Bush trips are fun and you can go shooting and fishing if you so choose. The countryside around the city is beautiful and the coastline sensational. The real charm of Australia is you can live in a hot country without the agro you get in the third world.
Getting there is straightforward although direct flights from the UK are more expensive than to Perth and Sydney so maybe worth having sometime in Melbourne or Sydney first. No metro in Adelaide but decent buses and those lovely old trams. This city is also a good one to head out to the Red Centre on one of the many coach companies that growl across the desert to Ayres Rock and Alice Springs, a vapor trail of dust the only evidence you're out there. It's a long trip though and as there are no trains to the rock its best to consider flights to Alice Springs if you don't like coach travel. But it's well worth the trip to the rock and the stunning Red Centre.
Summary: The Brighton of Australia!