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Adelaide,

Australians think of Adelaide as a city of churches, but Adelaide has outgrown its reputation as a sleepy country town dotted with cathedrals and spires. The Adelaide of this millennium is infinitely more complex, with a large, multiethnic population and thriving urban art and music scenes supported by a "space activation program" that encourages pop-up shops, markets, performances, street food, mini festivals, art exhibitions, and other "off-the-cuff" experiences in the cities underutilized streets and public spaces. Bright and clean, leafy and beautiful Adelaide is a breeze to explore, with a grid pattern of streets encircled by parkland. The heart of the greenbelt is divided by the meandering River Torrens, which passes the Festival Centre in its prettiest stretch.

Dining

Melbourne, Gouger, O'Connell, and Rundle streets, along with the Norwood Parade and Glenelg neighborhoods, are the main eating strips. In any of these areas it's fun to stroll around until a restaurant or café takes your fancy. Chinatown is also lively, and if you feel like an alfresco picnic, pick some delicious local produce from Central Market.

Jolleys Boathouse

Blue canvas directors' chairs and white-clothed wooden tables create a relaxed, nautical air here–which perfectly suits the location on the south bank of the River Torrens. Sliding glass doors open onto a full-width front balcony for alfresco dining. The imaginative modern Australian menu changes seasonally, but might include a salad of grilled Kangaroo Island marron, green mango, basil and shallots, or sweet pork belly with red dates. Executives make up most lunch crowds, and warm evenings attract couples. There is a minimum of A$23 per person, however.

Paul's Seafood on Gouger

It may look like your run-of-the-mill chippie, but this Gouger Street veteran of more than 60 years is the place to get hooked on King George whiting. It's been hailed as one of Adelaide's best—and best-priced—seafood restaurants. The salt-and-pepper squid is another local favorite. For a great view of the bustle in the open kitchen, request a table upstairs on the ship's-deck-like mezzanine floor.

Market Plaza Food Court

This bustling pan-Asian food hall is a beef-with-black-bean-sauce–free zone. Instead, stalls including Mum's Kimbap and Li's Mouth Magic produce such dishes as salty fish and chicken fried rice, special hot pot, and pho ga (Vietnamese chicken-noodle soup with fresh mint and coriander). Shoppers and tourists crowd the fake-marble tables next door to the Central Market, yet you never have to wait more than a few minutes for a delicious, cheap meal.

Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante

This place is rustic and noisy. If it weren't for the Australian accents here, you'd swear you were in a regional Italian eatery. The terrazzo-tile dining room is furnished with bare wooden tables, around which sit professionals and university students in enthusiastic conversation. The paper place-mat menu lists traditional pizza and pasta dishes in two sizes—appetizer and entrée—a must-order is the spaghetti marinara. As this is one of the most popular (read: packed) restaurants in the East End of Rundle St, reservations are a good idea. Because the restaurant stays open late, it's also popular after a show or a movie.

Sammy's on the Marina

Enormous fishbowl windows frame views of million-dollar yachts at this restaurant—one of Adelaide's top seafood eateries—at the far end of Glenelg's glitzy Holdfast Marina. Watch the setting sun silhouette playing dolphins or a storm rolling across Gulf St. Vincent as you tuck into skewered scallops or crispy-skin Atlantic salmon wrapped in prosciutto and served over brocolini and baby carrots with salsa verde. The menu here charts South Australia's ocean bounty, and the hot seafood platter (for two people) would feed a school of sharks.

Red Ochre

A sweeping view of Adelaide is the backdrop for contemporary workings of traditional bush meats, herbs, and fruits at this riverfront restaurant. The downstairs River Café, the restaurant's sister venue, is more informal, and offers a modern Italian menu for lunch weekdays, while Red Ochre is only open for dinner. For a splurge, head upstairs; if you like your steaks, you'll love their Premium steaks served with onion puree and brocolini, bush tomato chimmichurri, wattle-seeded mustard, pepper berry jam, and confit garlic. Don't miss the wattle-seed pavlova, Red Ochre's version of Australia's famous meringue dessert.

Big Table

Simply the best breakfast choice in Adelaide, Big Table has been at the Central Market for over 15 years, and regulars know to get there early for a chance at one of the few tables. Sitting up at the counter isn't too bad an option, however, especially when you have treats like fresh banana bread with rhubarb conserve and ricotta to look forward to. The enormous Big Brekkie lives up to its name, and offers quality as well as quantity with delicious thick-sliced local bacon and field mushrooms cooked with pesto and served on Turkish bread.

Goodlife Modern Organic Pizzas

Forget about greasy pepperoni-loaded pizzas—the pies at this local trend-setting favorite are as different from the norm as you can get. It was the country's first pizzeria to be certified as organic, and the innovative toppings like kapunda free-range chicken are as tasty as they sound, especially with a glass of their well-priced local wine. The dessert pizzas are worth a try if you're not carb-ed out. You'll also find a Goodlife Pizza in Glenelg and North Adelaide.

Cibo Espresso

Caffeine addicts head here for a little taste of Italy in stylish fun surroundings. The small local chain has branches dotted around the city, and in each one you are guaranteed a fabulous espresso from their Wega machines and irresistible sweet treats. If you're there at lunchtime, the freshly baked panini are good, too. All branches have free Wi-Fi.

The Brasserie

Chef Simon Bryant has become somewhat of a local celebrity, having appeared on a national weekly TV program. Although his restaurant has a lively and relaxed atmosphere, Bryant is renowned for his insistence on top-quality local produce. The menu from the open kitchen changes every season, but always makes use of local specialties from the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, and the local Central Markets around the corner. If Australia's national animal is on the menu, give it a try here.

Mesa Lunga

This Tapas-inspired restaurant and adjacent bar is packed to the rafters most nights of the week. Head to the bar for the perfect ambience for enjoying smaller plates of delicious fine-sliced meats, white anchovies or confit potato-and-onion Spanish omelet. Opt to be seated at a table with comfortable leather chairs for a more hearty option such as marsala braised Ox tail and cheek, celeriac puree, and heirloom carrots and jus. There's a shared wall with the neighboring Sangria bar, which is also popular, especially for the wide variety of sangria cocktails on offer. Be prepared to share your drinking and eating space—all corners of this restaurant can get busy.

Concubine

This restaurant, located in Adelaide's premier Asian dining strip, features a fusion of modern Chinese dishes with traditional spices and fresh local produce. The food here is sensational; the wine and cocktail lists are intriguing; the service is flawless and friendly; and the ambience is second to none thanks to the funky decor and trendy vibe. The tangy tamarind duck keeps the customers coming back and the serving sizes on a full order of appetizers and entrées could be a challenge, albeit one to be relished, even without dessert.

The Store Bistro

Even after a recent refurbishment to give the place a French bistro vibe, North Adelaide yuppies mix with people from all walks of life to fuel up on aromatic coffee, freshly-made smoothies, wine, beer, cider, and some of Adelaide's most fabulous food. Grab a table and order at the bar—try the Balsamic Portobello Mushrooms with rocket, oregano, and goat curd on rye for breakfast. More substantial meals are available in the afternoon. Weekend crowds mean slow service, so try to score a sidewalk table where you can kick back and watch the comings and goings of the neighborhood.

Kenji Modern Japanese Restaurant

Kenji, the chef and owner, is one of the few in Australia to hold a license to prepare fugu (pufferfish), so it goes without saying this should be first on your list—you'll experience a great amalgamation of taste, texture, and presentation. Other famous dishes include the extremely fresh sushi and sashimi boat (oysters, sushi, sashimi, pickled fish, etc.), which serves 2—3 people for a pricey A$65. The quality of the food is worth the price, though, and the ever-changing degustation menu is genius; plus, the miso-marinated olives are complimentary.

Chianti Classico

Family-run since 1985, Chianti Classico is all things to all people. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Big or small groups. Inside or outside dining. You can expect exquisite service and that host Maria Favaro will make every guest feel like the center of attention. Families mix with business people in the mornings for the award-winning breakfasts while the food connoisseurs show up in the evenings. The northern Italian cuisine is highlighted by the Genovese-style stuffed veal breast and the tagliolini with local blue swimmer crab and chilli. But if it's a signature dish you're after, try the sumptuous slow-roasted rabbit with pancetta, port, and sage.

United Latino Cocina

Long communal tables, funky artwork, and Mexican tunes typify this tucked-away little restauraunt along the side of the new Rundle Place development. Stylishly modern with Mexican slant, United Latino Cocina (known locally as ULC) is rapidly gaining momentum. The menu isn't long, but there is a nice variety that ranges from quesadillas and tacos to chicken wings and less traditional items such as loose-leaf green tea. Daily specials are always on offer and can be hard to look past, but the tostadas are well known, as are the fish taco and the ULC Dog—a chorizo sausage nestled in creamy jalapeño coleslaw, bean mash, cheese, and onion strings.

Nordburger

Good burgers are taking over Adelaide, but you won't find too many better than those at Nordburger. Just a five-minute drive from the center of town, you'll find queues out the door—everyone's looking to catch a glimpse of Masterchef contestant and owner Michael Wheldon—of people waiting to sink their teeth into the signature American style cheeseburgers and hot dogs. The staff is friendly, service is fast, and people sit at the counter or eat standing up by tall tables in the back, which combines for quick turnover. Be sure to try the PB&J Milkshake!

Jasmin Indian Restaurant

Located in a basement off Hindmarsh Square, this elegant establishment is beautifully decorated with stylish timber furniture and local artwork. The dim lighting and relaxing background music really sets the mood for some quality Indian cuisine, which is what you'll get in spades—visiting Indian and English cricket teams dine here and you know those guys know a thing or two about good Indian food. You might want to try everything on the menu, and the Feed Me Menu allows for just that, but the Punjabi tandoori lamb and prawn sambal are considered perennial favorites. The staff are friendly and the service is exceptional.

COS

If you're in need of a fine steak, look no further. Located on trendy Leigh Street, Cos is one of Adelaide's best spots for steak and seafood. The simplicity of these steaks—select from a 250-gram grain-fed yearling eye-fillet to a 500-gram rib-eye fillet—served with frites and side salad ensure even lunchers are not too gastronomically challenged. An excellent selection of local and international boutique wines rounds out a complete meal. If seafood is your fancy, there are some excellent oyster options, not to mention signature dishes featuring king prawns, rock lobster, and King George whiting.

Hotels

At first glance, large international, business-style hotels seem to dominate Adelaide—there's a Hilton, a Hyatt, a Sebel, and a Crowne Plaza—but there's actually a wide choice of places to rest your head. Adelaide's accommodations are a mix of traditional mid-rise hotels, backpacker hostels, an abundance of self-contained apartments, and charming bed-and-breakfasts, many in century-old sandstone buildings. With a car you'll be within easy reach of a Glenelg beach house or an Adelaide Hills B&B.

Nightlife


There's something going on every evening in Adelaide, although clubs are especially packed on weekends. Cover charges vary according to the night and time of entry. Nightlife for the coming week is listed in "Adelaide (Scene)," a pull-out section of Thursday's edition of the Advertiser. Rip It Up is a free Thursday music-and-club publication aimed at the younger market. Onion, published fortnightly on Thursday, is Adelaide's top dance music magazine. dB, a twice-monthly free independent publication, covers music, arts, film, games, and dance.

Bars along Rundle Street, the west end of Hindley Street, and Gouger Street are trendy, while Hindley and Waymouth streets are lined with traditional pubs. North Adelaide's O'Connell Street buzzes every night, and the popular Sunday-evening beer-and-banter sessions really pack in the crowds. There are also a number of vibrant pubs on The Parade at Norwood and the Glenelg precinct, especially popular on a Sunday afternoon in the sun.

SkyCity

Head to SkyCity for big-time casino gaming, including the highly animated Australian Two-up, in which you bet against the house on the fall of two coins. Five bars, including the stylish venue Loco, and three restaurants are also within the complex. It's one of a handful of places in Adelaide that keep pumping until dawn.

Austral Hotel

The first bar in South Australia to put Coopers beer on tap, the Austral is a local favorite and a great place to drink outdoors. You can down shooters or sip cocktails from a long list while listening to a band play or a DJ spin groovy tunes. It's open daily 11 am—3 am.

Botanic Bar

This cool city lounge features cordovan banquettes that encircle the U-shaped, marble-top bar. Muddlers (crushed ice drinks) are the specialty, and bring in mostly young professionals, including off-duty medics from the nearby hospital. Celebrated Thai chef Nu Suandokmai recently returned home after years in Sydney to transform the restaurant menu, which now focuses on Thai street food. Botanic Bar is open until the wee hours Tuesday to Sunday.

Grace Emily

You'll find bartenders spouting the mantra "No pokies, no TAB, no food—pokies are the poker machines found in many pubs, and TAB, Australia's version of OTB, lets you place bets on horse races—at this multilevel music-lover's pub. Instead, there's live music nightly, and a pool table. The beer garden is one of the city's best, with secluded spots for those wanting a quiet tipple and big round tables for groups to drink en masse and alfresco. It's open daily 4 pm—late.

The Gov

The favorite venue of a mixed crowd, young homeowners and long-term regulars come for Irish music sessions, all-weekend metal fests, and everything in between. Cabaret, comedy, Latin music—if you can name it, you can probably hear it here. There's good pub grub, too. It's open weekdays 11 am to late and Saturday noon to late. It's closed Sunday unless there is a show.

Wellington Hotel

First licensed in 1851, the Wellington is a hops lovers' heaven, with 32 Australian-brewed beers on tap. Line up six "pony" (sample) glasses on a taster tray, then enjoy a schooner (large glass) of your favorite.

Supermild

The cavernous Supermild has a retro feel and is as unpretentious as they come, which fits in perfectly with the local nightlife scene. Grab a comfy sofa and chill out with a bunch of friends while listening to the local DJs doing their thing—either indie, retro, or funk, depending on the night.

The Wheatsheaf Hotel

South Australia is well known for its wine, but microbrewed, craft beer is rapidly forging its own reputation. At The Wheatsheaf you'll find the best of both worlds with a massive list of boutique wine and beer from all over the world. To top it off, whiskey is also given the rock star treatment. "The Wheaty" is also a live music venue that features an eclectic mix of acts from jazz-ska, nu-folk, alt-country, roots, rockabilly and string quartets every night of the week. This is also a "Pokie Free" pub meaning you won't find a pokie machine (slot machine) in sight. Welcoming to all, the Wheaty is ultra-hip without being pretentious leaving all labelsand egos—at the door.

Udaberri

One of the first of Adelaide's growing trend of "small bars," Udaberri is a cozy, intimate setting where some of the city's best wine and beer is served. The narrow space is reminiscent of a barn, but it's a very chic barn. DJs spin their groovy house beats but the music is never overpowering as interaction and conversation is encouraged. If you're lucky enough to beat the crowds to the loft, you can unwind on the sofas while enjoying the view and snacking on Basque-style tapas.

Casablabla

You'll find this multicultural tapas and lounge bar along trendy Leigh Street, the first of Adelaide's laneways to be rejuvenated. The atmosphere and live entertainment line up is as unique as the contemporary fusion of South East Asian and Middle Eastern decor—Wednesday night is live Flamenco night! Head here for a mild-mannered restaurant by day or a pumping club by night.

Clever Little Tailor

Adelaide has a newfound fascination with small bars and hole-in-the-wall-style venues, and the Clever Little Tailor was one of the city's first. Named after a German fairy tale, the warmth of this place is undeniable. The bar staff is welcoming and helpful and the venue is cozy and charming with its contemporary interior, exposed red bricks, and hanging ferns. The cocktails are delicious too, and the boutique wine and beer list is impressive. Plus, the music is soft enough to chat to your hearts' content.

Jack Ruby

Underground, convivial, and very lively, this speakeasy meets Mississippi juke joint also has a hint of American diner thanks to the awesome Americana menu. This spot is named after the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Co-owners Aaron Sandow, chef Sam Worrall-Thompson, and Gareth Lewis traveled the world to get the vibe just right, and it shows. Craft beer from the U.S. and Australia dominate the drinks menu, but if beer isn't your thing, try the spiked milk shakes or the various cocktails on offer.

The Grace Establishment

This place is part bar, part restaurant, and part beer garden. At night things get lively and you'll see your fair share of hipsters, posh locals, and the manicured set. The food's good, too—they make their own salted caramel chocolate bar and DIY donuts allow diners to inject the jam inside the donuts using a syringe.

The Loft Oyster & Wine Bar

Perched above Gouger Street, The Loft is an eye-catching space that features a beautiful barrel vault ceiling and a stunning mix of dim lighting, heritage fixtures, and modern decor. Oysters come in multiple styles, matched with an international wine list including some hard to find Australian gems. Cocktails here are inspired by recent trends in movies and TV and add to the feeling of being transported back to the 1920s.

Rhino Room

Want to tickle your funny bone and grab a drink? This the home of Adelaide comedy, featuring live shows every Monday, Thursday, and Friday evenings. Some of Australia's best comedians as well as overseas acts grace the tiny stage; during the annual Fringe Festival you can catch a glimpse of some verified superstars. But it's also a funky little club in its own right, as art spills into the space from the attached Urban Cow Studio art gallery and live music and DJs fill the void when the laughs take a break on other nights.

The Curious Squire

In the yuppy end of town, the beer here is the great leveler. Here you can taste freshly brewed beer from the local Australian James Squire range, which is brewed on premise, or enroll in the one-hour Brewniversity courses that are held every Tuesday to get an insight into brewing process. There are a few curveballs thrown in when it comes to cocktails and the wine list is good albeit short—after all, this is a brewpub. The menu is full of pub snacks and bar food with the "curious" menu displayed above the bar on the huge cinema-style marquee. The "curious" dishes vary depending on the mood of the staff but the lasagne pizza seems a perennial favorite.

Art/Entertainment

BASS Ticket Agency

This agency sells tickets for most live performances.

Adelaide Festival Centre

This the city's major venue for the performing arts. The State Opera, the State Theatre Company of South Australia, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra perform here regularly. Performances are in the Playhouse, the Festival and Space theaters, the outdoor amphitheater, and Her Majesty's Theatre at 58 Grote Street. The box office is open Monday–Saturday 9–6.

WOMADelaide Festival

Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Opened in 1991, most major concerts are held here but it also features a mix of everything from music, theater, and other performing arts to conventions and sporting events.

Adelaide Fringe Festival

The Fringe Festival, held over four weeks during February and March, is the second largest of its kind in the world. It's an open-access arts festival, which means it features cabaret, street performances, comedy, circus, music, visual art, theater, puppetry, dance, and design all over Adelaide and its surroundings. You'll find the carnival-like epicenter of the Fringe in The Garden of Unearthly Delights located in Rundle Park on the eastern side of the city.

Adelaide Festival of Arts

Australia's oldest arts festival takes place annually for three-weeks in February and March. It's a cultural smorgasbord of outdoor opera, classical music, jazz, art exhibitions, film, a writer's festival, and cabaret presented by some of the world's top artists; it's held across the city at a variety of venues.

Shopping

If you are wondering where everyone in Adelaide is, you'll find them at Rundle Mall, the city's main shopping strip. Shops in the City Center are generally open Monday–Thursday 9–5:30, Friday 9–9, Saturday 9–5:30, and Sunday 11–5. Suburban shops are often open until 9 pm on Thursday night instead of Friday. As the center of the world's opal industry, Adelaide has many opal shops, which are around King William Street. Other good buys are South Australian regional wines, crafts, and Aboriginal artwork. The trendiest area to browse is King William Road in Hyde Park, a 20-minute walk south from Victoria Square. Outside of the city, the Marion Shopping Centre is packed with current trends, and Harbour Town next to Adelaide Airport is a great place to find a bargain.

Australian Opal and Diamond Collection

One of Australia's leading Opal merchants, wholesalers, exporters and manufacturing jewellers, Australian Opal and Diamond Collection sells superb handcrafted one-of-a-kind opal jewelry.

Adelaide Exchange Jewellers

Located just off Rundle Mall, the exchange sells high-quality antique jewelry. They can also be found in Glenelg and Modbury.

Rundle Mall

Adelaide's main shopping area is Rundle Mall, a pedestrian plaza lined with boutiques, department stores—including Australia's two best known stores, Myer and David Jones—and arcades. Heritage-listed Adelaide Arcade is a Victorian-era jewel, with a decorative tiled floor, skylights, and dozens of shops behind huge timber-framed windows. As of this writing, the mall is receiving a major upgrade, but shoppers can still visit the vast array of retail outlets. Once complete, Rundle Mall will be a world-class shopping plaza and host to some of the world's biggest and most elite brands sprinkled amongst the local flavor.

Central Market

One of the largest produce markets in the southern hemisphere, and Adelaide's pride and joy, the Central Market is chock-full of stellar local foods, including glistening-fresh fish, meat, crusty Vietnamese and Continental breads, German baked goods, cheeses of every shape and color, and old-fashioned lollies (candy). You can also buy souvenir T-shirts, CDs, books, cut flowers, and a great cup of coffee. The enthusiastic couple behind Adelaide's Top Food and Wine Tours (www.topfoodandwinetours.com.au) showcase Adelaide's food-and-wine lifestyle—as in the behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Central Market (A$80), which lets you meet stall holders, share their knowledge, and taste the wares. Tours are scheduled Tuesday and Thursday—Saturday at 9:30 am; reservations are essential.

Haigh's Chocolates

Australia's oldest chocolate manufacturer, has tempted people with corner shop displays since 1915. The family-owned South Australian company produces exquisite truffles, pralines, and creams—as well as the chocolate bilby (an endangered Australian marsupial), Haigh's answer to the Easter bunny. Free chocolate-making tours at the Haigh's Visitor Center at 154 Greenhill Rd. in Parkside run Monday—Saturday at 11, 1, and 2; bookings are essential.

Jam Factory

A contemporary craft-and-design center at the Lion's Arts Centre, Jam Factory exhibits and sells unique Australian glassware, ceramics, wood, and metal work. Its fantastic gift shop offers buyers a chance to purchase a hand-made piece, including a description from the artist.

Urban Cow Studio

For quirky locally made jewelry, pottery, glass, and sculptures, visit Urban Cow Studio.

Marion Shopping Centre

Adelaide's largest shopping complex is easily accessible via public transport and contains more than 300 stores, including major deparment stores and boutiques, bars, restaurants, and the largest cinema complex in the state.

Harbour Town Adelaide

For discount shopping, hop off the plane and head straight to nearby Harbourtown. You'll find Morrissey, JAG, Levi's, Esprit, Cue, Authentic Factory Outlet (Converse), and Woolworths amoung the 100 outlets.

Sights

Art Gallery of South Australia

Many famous Australian painters, including Charles Conder, Margaret Preston, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Russell Drysdale, and Sidney Nolan, are represented in here. Extensive Renaissance and British artworks are on display, and the atrium houses Aboriginal pieces. There is usually a visiting exhibition, too. A café and bookshop are also on-site.

Ayers House

Between 1855 and 1897 this sprawling colonial structure was the home of Sir Henry Ayers, South Australia's premier and the man for whom Uluru was originally named Ayers Rock. Most rooms—including the unusual Summer Sitting Room, in the cool of the basement—have been restored with period furnishings, and the state's best examples of 19th-century costumes are sometimes displayed in changing exhibitions. Admission includes a one-hour tour, but if you want to travel back to 1876, book the After Dark Tour (A$16) ahead of time.

Botanic Gardens of Adelaide

These magnificent formal gardens include an international rose garden, giant water lilies, an avenue of Moreton Bay fig trees, acres of green lawns, and duck ponds. The Bicentennial Conservatory—the largest single-span glass house in the southern hemisphere—provides an environment for lowland rain-forest species such as the cassowary palm and torch ginger. Daily free guided tours leave from the Schomburgk Pavilion at 10:30. On weekends there's often a wedding ceremony taking place somewhere on the grounds. In summer the Moonlight Cinema series (www.moonlight.com.au) screens new, classic, and cult films inside the garden at sunset; bring a picnic blanket and a bottle of wine. Tickets sell fast, so plan ahead.

Migration Museum

Chronicled in this converted 19th-century Destitute Asylum, which later in the 19th century served as a school where Aboriginal children were forced to train as servants to the British, are the origins, hopes, and fates of some of the millions of immigrants who settled in Australia during the past two centuries. The museum is starkly realistic, and the bleak welcome that awaited many migrants is graphically illustrated.

South Australian Museum

This museum's Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery—the world's largest—houses 3,000 items, including ceremonial dress and paintings from the Pacific Islands. Old black-and-white films show traditional dancing, and touch screens convey desert life. Also in the museum are an exhibit commemorating renowned Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, after whom Australia's main Antarctic research station is named; a Fossil Gallery housing the fantastic opalized partial skeleton of a 19-foot-long plesiosaur; and a biodiversity gallery. There's also a café overlooking a grassy lawn. If you are traveling during local school holidays, there are fantastic interactive craft and education activities for children for a small fee.

Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute

A must-see, Tandanya is the first major Aboriginal cultural facility of its kind in Australia. You'll find high-quality changing exhibitions of works by Aboriginal artists and a theater where you can watch didgeridoo performances (Tuesday to Friday at noon) and shows from Pacific Islanders at the same times at the weekend. There's a great gift shop, too, where you can buy CDs of local music.

Adelaide Town Hall

An imposing building constructed in 1863 in Renaissance style, the Town Hall was modeled after buildings in Genoa and Florence. Tours visit the Colonel Light Room, where objects used to map and plan Adelaide are exhibited, and there are frequently traveling art exhibitions. The balcony of the Town Hall is famous for the appearance of the Beatles in 1964, which attracted the venue's largest crowd to date: approximately 300,000 screaming fans. If the guards aren't busy, they will show you around even when there isn't a tour scheduled.

Adelaide Zoo

Australia's second-oldest zoo still retains much of its original architecture. Enter through the 1883 cast-iron gates to see such animals as the giant Pandas, Sumatran tigers, Australian rain-forest birds, and chimpanzees housed in modern, natural settings. The zoo is world renowned for its captive breeding and release programs, and rare species including the red panda and South Australia's own yellow-footed rock wallaby are among its successes. In June 2008, the Australian government and Adelaide zoo signed a cooperative agreement to help secure the long-term survival of the giant panda, and in late 2009 Wang Wang and Funi arrived on loan from China to become the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere, and the first to live permanently in Australia. Special VIP panda tours are now also available. Ask at the ticket office about tours and feeding times.

National Railway Museum

Steam-train buffs will love this collection of locomotives and rolling stock in the former Port Adelaide railway yard. The largest of its kind in Australia, the collection includes enormous "mountain"-class engines and the "Tea and Sugar" train, once the lifeline for camps scattered across the deserts of South and Western Australia. Great for the family, train rides operate daily during local school holidays and on weekends. Train ride tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 3—15 or $20 for families (2 adults, 2 children).

South Australian Maritime Museum

Inside a restored stone warehouse, this museum brings maritime history vividly to life with ships' figureheads, shipwreck relics, and intricate scale models. In the basement you can lie in a bunk bed aboard an 1840s immigrant ship and hear passengers telling of life and death on their journeys to South Australia. In addition to the warehouse displays, the museum includes a lighthouse (worth climbing the 75 steps up to see the view), restored steam tug, and a WWII tender at the nearby wharf.

St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral

This church faced a bitter battle over construction after the 1848 decision to build a Catholic cathedral. It's now a prominent, decorative church with a soaring nave, stone arches through to side aisles with dark-wood ceilings, and beautiful stained-glass windows.

National Wine Centre of Australia

Timber, steel, and glass evoke the ribs of a huge wine barrel, and a soaring, open-plan concourse make this a spectacular showcase for Australian wines set in the Botanic Gardens. The Wine Discovery Journey takes you from neolithic pottery jars to a stainless-steel tank; you can even make your own virtual wine on a touch-screen computer. Some of the best vintages from more than 20 Australian wine-growing regions are also available for tasting at the Concourse Café (which offers a fantastic menu) from A$5.

Parliament House

Ten Corinthian columns are the most striking features of this classical parliament building. It was completed in two stages 50 years apart: the west wing in 1889 and the east wing in 1939. Alongside is Old Parliament House, which dates from 1843. There's a free guided tour of both houses weekdays at 10 and 2 during non-sitting days, and on Monday and Friday only when parliament is in session. The viewing gallery is open to the public when parliament is sitting.

St. Peter's Cathedral

The spires and towers of this cathedral dramatically contrast with the nearby city skyline. St. Peter's is the epitome of Anglican architecture in Australia, and an important example of grand Gothic Revival. Free 45-minute guided tours are available Wednesday at 11 and Sunday at 12:30.

Penfolds Magill Estate

Founded in 1844 by immigrant English doctor Christopher Rawson Penfold, this is the birthplace of Australia's most famous wine, Penfolds Grange, and one of the world's only city wineries. Introduced in 1951, Grange is the flagship of a huge stable of wines priced from everyday to special-occasion (collectors pay thousands of dollars to complete sets of Grange). Hour-long winery tours (A$15) leave daily at 11 and 3. The Great Grange Tour is the ultimate Magill Estate experience; over 2½ hours you visit the original Penfold family cottage, tour the winery, and enjoy a tasting of premium wines, including Grange, and a selection of gourmet cheeses. This tour departs at 1 pm on the first and third Sunday of every month and costs A$150 per person (minimum of four); reservations are essential.

The Beachhouse

This local entertainment complex, located on the Glenelg foreshore overlooking Holdfast Bay, is fun for children of all ages. There are waterslides, bumper cars, bumper boats, arcade games, minigolf, a miniature train (that children under 35 inches can ride), a modest Ferris wheel, and a carousel serving vistors to Glenelg for more than 120 years. Admission is free but Fun Cards are used to purchase credits for use on the amusements.

Glenelg Beach

Located just 10 (6miles) from the Adelaide city center, Glenelg is a charming beachside suburb known for its sandy beach, historic jetty, serene marinas, bustling shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and the Beachhouse entertainment complex. Trams lead the way to the beach carrying passengers along Jetty Road from the city while pedestrians weave in and out of the various retail outlets that line the strip. A day trip to Glenelg is a must, but this seaside resort setting offers plenty of options for backpackers to see large crowds on hotter days and depending on the season, seaweed can be a problem.
Amenities : parking, toilets, lifeguards, showers, food and drink, water sports. Best for : swimming, sunrise, sunset, windsurfing, walking.

Henley Beach

The beach in this quiet coastal suburb offers whiter sand, gently lapping waves, summer entertainment, and a square known for popular dinning spots. You'll find families spread out along the sand, and there are places on the grassy areas to enjoy picnics. The jetty is perfect for walking or fishing—drop a line in the water and try your luck. During summer, Hneley Beach Square bordering the center of the beach itself comes alive with live music and festivals while eateries along Henley Beach Road bring the world to your plate—Asian, African, Mediterranean, and Indian mix with local cuisine.
Amenities : food and drink, parking, toilets. Best for : swimming, sunrise, sunset, walking, windsurfing.

Cooper Brewery

Founded by Thomas Cooper in 1862, this is Australia's only large-scale, family-owned brewery. The Coopers beer story began when Thomas tried to create a tonic for his ailing wife, Ann, but instead created his first batch of beer. Customers grew in numbers as Thomas hand-delivered his all natural ales and stout by horse and cart; the tradition lives on with guest appearances at special events by Clydesdayles drawing the very same cart that Thomas once used. You can take guided tours (A$22) of the brewhouse and enjoy tastings of the award-winning signature Coopers ales, including Pale Ale, Coopers Sparkling Ale, and Coopers Stout, in the Museum post tour. The museum features a display of the historic horse and cart, vintage Coopers delivery truck, and pictorials showcasing the history of the brewery.

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