The second leg of our Australian adventure took us to the capital of South Australia, Adelaide. Lesser known that its capital city brethren Sydney and Melbourne, we probably wouldn’t have included Adelaide on our itinerary had we not been visiting friends. In the end, we were glad we did.
Adelaide has a much different feel than Cairns, obviously, but also from the other cities we visited. While New South Wales (Sydney), Tasmania and Western Australia were established as British convict settlements, South Australia was intentionally developed as a British colony. As a result, there’s a much more colonial feeling to the city and its architecture than Sydney or Melbourne.
Adelaide has earned the nickname “City of Churches” thanks in part to the many religious refugees who helped found the city. Beautifully ornate churches pepper the city, creating an interesting architectural landscape. Scots Church Adelaide, for example, was founded by Scottish immigrants in 1850 and frames the north end of the central business district leading into the architecturally-diverse campus of the University of Adelaide.
In contrast, the modern remodeling of the Adelaide Cricket Oval in the parklands near North Adelaide, stands out as a modern marvel. The stadium built on the 140-year-old cricket grounds overlooks a great public space on the opposite side of the River Torrens. Black swans floated gracefully on the water as the setting sun reflected upon the river.
The tug between old and new Adelaide is apparent around every turn. Homes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s still stand, although with modern amenities and structures added on over the years. The 170-year-old Kensington Hotel is now home to a neighborhood public house. One of Adelaide’s great old churches traded theology for tumbling and now hosts kids trampoline classes. The historic Adelaide Railway Station now doubles as both the terminus for the Metro line and home to Adelaide Casino.
Check back soon for the second part of our Adelaide visit, including koalas, kangaroos and wine country.