Adelaide, Australia: The quiet lure of the Civilised South

December 28, 2022

Adelaide, Australia: the quiet lure of the civilised south

In my eyes, Adelaide is always hot and sunny. This is what it looked like on TV when the cricket match started, with Richie Benaud’s velvety voice inviting the audience to watch the game during the day. When I was a teenager, I always looked at myself enthusiastically, and the tall man chanted: “Yes, this is a very good morning. Welcome to the Adelaide Oval. This is the most stunning in the world. Cricket ground.”

Of course, this city is not all about cricket. The Immigration Museum tells its origin. Far from uncritically celebrating the city’s success story as an immigrant, the museum does not conceal the oppression of the indigenous people of South Australia and the complexity of the immigration experience, especially the infamous “White Australia Policy”, which lasted until 1966. It was only one year before that anyone of non-British or European descent would not be allowed to settle in Australia under the shameful language test of prejudice.

Immigration Museum (Alamy)

Unlike Sydney, Adelaide was founded by free settlers-according to theory; this makes the population here more civilised than the criminal savage tribes rampant in the eastern states. Adelaide touts itself as a place for eating and drinking; the city may lack the flavours of Sydney’s harbour and beaches and the cultural complexity of Melbourne, but it is close to them in terms of quality dining. I had dinner at Celsius in the dining area on Gure Street, including mustard snow and cucumber salad tartare, followed by the lamb that was softened for 12 hours.

During my visit, I met many stall owners. Most of them come from long-established immigrant families-Kazakhs, Croats, Poles, Germans, Koreans and Italians. Port Lincoln’s organic fruits and vegetables are all great, such as meat game, crocodile, kangaroo and buffalo, and creamy oysters. “When you leave the city centre and enter the Adelaide Hills, you are in villages, vineyards and jungles. And Kangaroo Island, don’t want to spoil this surprise, spend a day there before departure.

Cool-climate grapes like Semillon thrive in the Adelaide Hills, and there are several excellent wineries in the village. I stopped at The Lane Winery restaurant, which overlooks the vineyards and jungle, even though it is only a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Its light Sauvignon Blanc goes perfectly with snacks: shredded pork and duck on toasted bread and salt and pepper squid slices.

After another afternoon in town, I explored the South Australian Museum. The Aboriginal Culture Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of indigenous cultural relics. The fascinating collection of boomerangs is grouped by region and purpose (hunting, fighting, ritual).

Following a friends suggestion, I booked the morning flight to Kangaroo Island for the next day. Australia’s third-largest island (a 30-minute flight from Adelaide) has a rugged, beautiful 280-mile coastline and is home to abundant native wildlife. Kangaroos and wallabies are very common, but koalas behave very well here, so this place can be correctly renamed Koala Island.

Extraordinary Rocks on Kangaroo Island (Alamy)

You can first drive to Sel Bay Conservation Park and stroll along the beach among hundreds of sea lions in a rented car. Then you can drive 1 hour to reach Remarkable Rock, a stunning natural sculpture eroded by the wind, made of huge granite boulders, crumblingly shrouded in the Southern Ocean. The last stop in front of the airport was a small grocery store where I bought some unique Kangaroo Island products-cheese from sheep dairy products, rich, fruity olive oil and organic honey, which is a pure Liguri Sub-bee’s product.

Adelaide basic information

Getting there

Qantas (020 8600 4300; flies daily from the states of Australia to the capital of Adelaide. For more information, please visit Tourism Australia (, South Australian Tourism Commission (, and Kangaroo Island (your kangaroo 


Austravel (0800 988 4676; offers a five-night package to Adelaide at £1,214 per person, including return air tickets and accommodation.


The Adelaide Oval Stadium tour includes the Bradman Collection Museum-cricket memorabilia and photos collected by Sir Donald Bradman (

Central Market Tours (0061 8 8231 5977;; £45).

Kangaroo Island Tours (8553 9119; experimental kangaroo provides a day trip on the island.

Coopers Brewery (461 South Rd, Regency Park; 8440 1800;; £13) provides tours of one of Australia’s best breweries.

Best Hotel

Oaks Horizons

GBP Riverside Apartment (0061 8 8210 8000;; starting from 96 GBP per night).

Crowne Plaza Adelaide £

A five-star hotel in the city centre with spacious, well-equipped rooms (8206 8888;; starting from £102 per night).

Clarion Soho £

A stylish and artistic boutique hotel with one of the best restaurants in town (8412 5600;; from £132 per night).

Best Restaurant

Amalfi Pizzeria Ristorante The £

the menu includes vegetarian options (29 Frome Street; 8223 1948).

Degrees Celsius £

Lamb and goldfish tartare are amazing appetisers, followed by Angus beef or barramundi with grain feed (95 Gouger Street; 8231 6023;

The Lane Vineyard, Adelaide Hills £

The snacks are perfectly matched with light wine and a menu of Wagyu beef tenderloin, lamb chops and many local kinds of seafood (Ravenswood).

What to avoid

  • Overheating: During January and February, the temperature often exceeds 35°C (95°F), and the electricity demand of the air conditioner may cause power outages. This time of year and autumn in the UK are good times to visit.
  • Airport shuttle bus. There are multiple stops in the city, and it may take an hour to reach a residence that is only 4 miles from the airport. The one-way fare for two adults is £11, while the 20-minute taxi fare is £14.
  • Although Australia’s tap water is generally good, Adelaide’s tap water is the worst in the country. Many residents use tap water filters or buy bottled water.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. It is common for police to conduct random breath tests on drivers, and anyone who exceeds the legal alcohol limit will be arrested.