It’s a 4.5 hour direct flight from Auckland to Adelaide on Air New Zealand three times per week. And if you can pick up the cheap seats, you cay fly return for about $600.
Here are my picks for what to do in Adelaide:
Rundle Mall is three blocks of pedestrianised shopping with 500 shops featuring all the major chain stores we have in New Zealand and a few extras like FCUK, Target, David Jones and a very small Myer that is currently going through a refurbishment. There are also arcades hiding off to the sides. Beyond Target, keep walking along Rundle Street and you’ll find boutiques, bookshops, cafes and some great dining options.
Of course Adelaide Central Market is perfect for delicious happy hour nibbles like cheeses, olives, dips and cold meats. The locals come here for fresh produce and meat, but tourists should also pop in to pick up some treats.
Oh and check in early for your flight home so you have time to wander across the carpark from the terminal to IKEA.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for somewhere nice and central, then you need to check out the hotels on the North Terrace. I just stayed a couple of nights at the Mercure Grosvenor Hotel, which is centrally located just opposite the historic Adelaide train station. Behind which is the Torens River and the Adelaide Oval.
I wasn’t feeling well (I know, awww) so had an early night and ordered room service and was really pleasantly surprised with their chicken on risotto. And the biggest highlight was my own Nespresso maker and a new fancy gadget that Nespresso also sells which froths up your milk in 10 seconds flat. I then paid a visit to the Nespresso store on Rundle Street looking to buy one, but $130 was a bit steep for me.
The museums and historic buildings
For a bit of culture, the Art Gallery of South Australia is located in one of the beautiful sandstone buildings, the colour of the Murray River cliffs. You can get a free guided tour (at 11am and 2pm daily) and believe it or not, this gallery was the first in Australia to buy Aboriginal art. You’ll also find the University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art, widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading university art museums
Head 10km to Glenelg, either by tram from along the terrace (there is a station opposite the Mercure) or rent a car. You’ll find restaurants spilling onto the street with tables and chairs. It’s a small little seaside town with a few shops, but walk along the pier and chat to the folks with fishing lines. One of the highlights for me was stumbling across the Surf Lifesaving Club for dinner. It happened to be Snitzel night. $12 and fascinating people watching.
The Barossa Valley is about an hour’s drive away (74 km to be exact). There are several lovely vineyards and cellar doors. Here is my blog about the outstanding Hentley Farm.
The Adelaide Hills are only half an hour up the road and you’ll find the cute German town of Hahndorf with it’s genuine German pub serving steins of beer and big hearty meals. There are boutiques and antiques, cafes and cheese shops and it’s definitely worth renting a car for the day and tootling out here.