Friday, March 1, 2024

Adelaide – The Best Australian City You’ve Never Been To

We take a hop across the Tasman to one of Australia’s most underrated cities, the stunning South Australian capital, Adelaide.

It was the food. And then it was the prices.

Walking through Adelaide’s Central Market accomplished two things – 1, why don’t we have anything like this in Auckland, and 2, I’ve never seen a punnet of raspberries for $3.

Fiscal wonders and commentary on New Zealand’s ridiculous cost of living aside, Adelaide has long taken a backseat to its slightly more glamorous, more obvious Aussie destinations. But to dismiss this beautiful South Australian city as boring and not worth a trip across the ditch would be to deprive yourself of experiencing just how much of a gem Adelaide really is – especially if you’re a foodie.

Adelaide itself is a chic little city – gorgeous old buildings with impressive architecture are everywhere, with beautiful parks and public spaces dotted throughout the CBD. It’s small, with faint Wellington vibes, meaning getting around is easy. And trust us, with the incredible food and wine scene on offer, you’ll want to be walking everywhere! And now with direct flights resuming, it’s the perfect weekend escape.

Adelaide’s reputation as a food and wine mecca is only growing, and when you think of its proximity to the world-renowned Barossa Valley, it’s unsurprising. And it’s here where Capsule’s weekend trip begins (classic) – a Barossa Valley wine tasting day tour:

DO:

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley

Barossa is famed for its red wines – here, Shiraz (not Syrah, for the love of God don’t call it Syrah) reigns supreme. Accompanying a host of locals who were using their own tourism stimulus vouchers, we zig-zaged across the region, popping into both big, commercial operations, as well as small family-owned wineries like Kies, which happily is the first winery you see as you enter the famed Barossa.

Take our lead and jump on a tour – it’s easier, more responsible and more fun when you’re able to just sit back, listen to some yarns, and get dropped off right at cellar doors.

Adelaide Central Market

Adelaide Central Market

I can’t tell you how much I harp on about the fact that Auckland has no dedicated market – it’s a staple of most world-leading cities and it’s quite simply ridiculous that we don’t have one. My feelings on the subject also explain why I ADORED Adelaide Central markets so much, that we had to go back every day we were in the city.

As well as fresh fruit and vegetables with price tags that will make you cry with frustration ($3 for a punnet of raspberries?!), there are also hundreds of stalls of small local businesses with produce and products that’ll tickle any pickle. Visit Gewürzhaus, a spice shop that’ll have you dreaming of the feasts you can create at home, before grabbing picnic supplies from the various bread, cheese, condiment and meat stalls.

And whatever you do, don’t miss OMG Donuts – they’re (somehow) gluten and dairy free, meaning Alice was actually able to have one for the first time in six years, and yes they were so good, she cried out of one eye with happiness.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island

Make sure you factor in enough time in your South Australian itinerary to include a hop over to Kangaroo Island (sorry, the pun was too tempting.)

An adventure paradise as well as a foodie haven, spend your time amongst some of Australia’s cutest (and not deadly) critters like sea lions and penguins, as well as Australia’s highest concentration of Koala, while also cruising between local gin distilleries and food producers. If your vibe is nature and food – this is the place for you.

STAY:

Hotel Indigo

If you want new, quirky and close to everything, you can’t go past Hotel Indigo. Super-close to the market (thank God – there may have been an emergency croissant run one morning thanks to a slight overindulgence in Barossa the day before) and perfectly proportioned, Indigo is the new(ish) kid on the block in Adelaide, but you’ll not be disappointed with the chic rooms. Plus, it’s got a pool, a gym (I mean, if you’re that way inclined – we were not)

Perfect for a romantic escape or a girls’ weekend, make sure you also check out Bistro 72 restaurant – and of course, grab plenty of pics for the ‘gram.

TOP TIPS:

  • Use a Wise card – we travelled to South Australia courtesy of Wise (you might remember them from your European travelling days as Transferwise) and honestly, we’re never going overseas without this bad boy ever again. You can load up heaps of different currencies on the card, meaning you’re never fooled by exchange rates again, and it’s as easy as swiping your Eftpos card (and you can also use it on your phone too, like Apple Pay).  Holidays aren’t for maths, guys – let something else worry about your currency conversion.
  • Take a direct flight – your options are more limited, but Air New Zealand is resuming  direct flights to Adelaide from April 15.
  • Unless things have changed in the last few months, Adelaide Airport is undergoing a pretty major reno, so take snacks if you’re planning to be waiting by your gate for a while

Capsule travelled to Adelaide with the assistance of Wise

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