Is Adelaide Worth a Visit?

So one of the new destinations I visited in Australia recently, was Adelaide. Now I admit it wasn’t actually out of choice…

Some friends of mine were getting married there so it was my first point of call on my trip. But I had never thought to visit Adelaide before. I mean it’s a bit out of the way from most of the tourist destinations with most backpackers either travelling the east coast or the west coast.

So how was it?

Well to start with there are a lot less sights than other Australia cities, there’s no Opera House, no cool street art scene. Which is probably why Adelaide’s not the tourist destination that Sydney and Melbourne are. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for you here. So I decided to run through all the things I did in Adelaide on this visit… to see whether it’s really worth your time…

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

The Brunch & The Coffee

Adelaide does GOOD coffee. Fact.

There’s no disputing it, it’s really up there. And so naturally the brunch is REALLY good too. All of the meals I had in Adelaide were good actually, no matter whether it was a sit-down meal or grabbing a quick snack. But the brunch in particular was my favourite.

Especially this brunch from The Coffee Barun! I loved the Mushroom Bruschetta so much (it had melted brie in it) that I attempted to recreate it at home on Christmas Day. SO GOOD.

The Coffee Barun, Adelaide

The Coffee Barun, Adelaide

The Coffee Barun, Adelaide

Even when I grabbed a quick bite in Norwood (where I was staying in my AirBnb), I was super impressed with this delish sandwich from Sfizio. And obvs good coffee in Instagrammable cups is the way to my heart…

Lunch in Norwood, Adelaide

Lunch in Norwood, Adelaide

Lunch was pretty good too with this Pesto Pasta from Cafe Brunelli, right near Rundle Mall in the CBD of Adelaide. Josh had breakfast here another day and said it was really good, so this place seems like a winner.

Lunch in Adelaide

Also, these risotto balls from heaven were from Uncle Albert’s Cafe in Norwood and were the thing of dreams.

Lunch in Norwood, Adelaide

The only downside to the food scene in Adelaide IMO, is trying to find somewhere to eat on a Sunday. I feel like this is most of Australia tbf, but so many places are shut! I didn’t expect that from a major city, you know?

Beautiful Parks

The Jacaranda trees in Adelaide are out of this world. Beautiful bright purple trees lining the streets make for a very pretty city and I literally couldn’t stop taking photos of them.

The parks in general though are really lovely. They make Adelaide feel like it would be a good place to live if you had a family, you know?

Jacaranda trees in Adelaide

Jacaranda trees in Adelaide

Park in Adelaide

Jacaranda trees in Adelaide

Glenelg Beach

Like most cities in Australia, the beach isn’t far away. In Adelaide’s case, it’s a short tram ride from the CBD down to Glenelg Beach.

This was one of my fave spots in the city – beautiful beach, people playing frisbee and volleyball, palm trees, a nice pier to walk down and really good mint choc chip ice cream. I mean, really that’s all I want from a beach. But it definitely had seaside vibes that felt more British than Australian, if you get me.

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

 

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Adelaide Hills

I definitely feel like one of the main draws to Adelaide is the proximity to nature. Not something that every city can boast. But the beautiful Adelaide hills were only a short drive away.

I actually visited this area for my friends wedding and it was such a beautiful place that if I went back I would definitely want to explore it a bit more. I’ll just leave you with this photo, because I mean, seriously…

Adelaide Hills

Wine

Let’s get to the good stuff.

So as well as the Adelaide Hills, the Barossa Valley is an awesome day trip. Tasting wine in lovely wineries, driving past vineyards, it’s just a dream. (See here for my Barossa Valley post!) It’s definitely one of the main reasons people visit Adelaide.

But what that also means, is that there is GOOD wine everywhere. My friend Chris introduced us all to sparkling RED wine and it’s absolutely the bees knees.

Te-Aro Estate, Barossa Valley

Te-Aro Estate, Barossa Valley

Chateau Dorrien, Barossa Valley

Further Afield

Now this isn’t necessarily a draw to Adelaide, but a lot of backpackers (like me) drive along the Great Ocean Road as part of their trip, normally from Melbourne and then looping back. But if you keep going you get to Adelaide!

I drove from Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road and it was such an epic road trip that I think the ability to do this from this city deserves to be taken into consideration. I mean you might as well.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road

Port Fairy, VIC

So what’s the verdict? Is Adelaide worth it?

Overall I think Adelaide is a lovely city to visit if you’re in the vicinity. Like if you’re in Melbourne or doing the Great Ocean Road, it’s worth going a bit further for the brunch goals and fab wine and the Barossa Valley. For sure.

But going all the way from the UK? Hmm… I mean you would have more to do in the likes of Sydney or Melbourne. Despite Glenelg’s charm, Sydney’s beaches are better. Despite the great wine, Melbourne’s nightlife is better. I think you should only visit Adelaide from far away if you have a real reason to – like you’re obsessed with wine or you have family or friends there. In those cases, you’ll have a fab trip.

But in general, I think you should only make the trip if you’re not too far away. But hey that’s your call, I mean, like I said, the coffee is REALLY good…

Have you been to Adelaide? What did you think?

Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

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