Founded in 1836 and built according to the meticulous planning of Col. William Light, the first surveyor-general of South Australia, the coastal city of Adelaide is a popular tourist destination. Its most distinctive feature is its city center, known by locals simply as The City or Town, which is surrounded by a ring of parks and green space. Unlike much of the rest of the country, South Australia was freely settled rather than established as a convict colony, and it shares with its capital a reputation for religious and cultural tolerance that is reflected in its multicultural makeup today.
Renowned as a center of arts and culture, Adelaide hosts many music and arts festivals throughout the year, including the Fringe Festival and Adelaide Festival of Arts. South Australia is also well-known for its wine production, and Adelaide is located in the heart of wine country–enthusiasts will find that the vineyards near the city have something to offer just about any taste.
Must see: The Adelaide Botanical Gardens features an array of flora and many spectacular buildings, including the Palm house, a Victorian glasshouse.
Lodging: The Sebel Playford–Located in the heart of Adelaide, this boutique hotel offers a blend of classical and modern style and easy access to the many attractions the city has to offer.
Cuisine: Australian cuisine is a distinctive mix of aboriginal and foreign traditions, and South Australia has its own distinctive style that displays a strong Germanic influence. The Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail, located in the Campbelltown suburb of Adelaide, features local businesses and restaurants and allows gourmands to experience the many culinary traditions of the area.
Ground Transportation: Because it’s a planned city, Adelaide is relatively simple to navigate, although traffic can get congested. An extensive public transit system makes it easy to get around if you don’t want to drive.
Packing Tips: There ozone layer is thinnest above Australia, so sunscreen is essential.
Recommended Books: Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee, though originally from South Africa, now makes his home in Adelaide. His novel Waiting for the Barbarians deals with issues of colonialism and interaction with indigenous populations, and is part of Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century.
Currency: The Australian dollar is the local currency.
Calling Code Australia: 61
Best Travel Dates: With its mild climate, similar to many Mediterranean locales, there’s no bad time for a private-jet excursion to Adelaide. However, the highest concentration of cultural events happens in March, and February and March alike bring ideal weather.