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Adelaide City Rooftops

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published January 12th 2017
Get as high as you can
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Adelaide City Rooftops - Adelaide Oval & Northern Suburbs


There's nothing quite like the feeling of getting high, and I get a buzz from getting as high as I can occasionally. Enjoying the panoramic views from city rooftops is a popular pastime, and recently a few young daredevils have been caught rooftopping Adelaide illegally. When doing it at night there are spectacular colours, incredible views and almost a sense of omnipotence as you survey the city streets in solitary splendour.

Of course, we're talking a natural high here, there's no need for chemical enhancement if you find the right spot to enjoy rooftop views. There are quite a few rooftop venues in Adelaide which you can visit for the cost of a drink - let's take a look at those first.

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Rooftop Venues in Adelaide - Tiki Tai Rooftop Bar


Rooftop Venues in Adelaide
Rooftop bars have become increasingly popular (and upmarket) since the Tiki Tai Rooftop Bar opened for the Adelaide Fringe Festival three years ago. It's a pity that it hasn't returned since, and has long been eclipsed by the Rocket Rooftop Bar.

The Rocket Rooftop Bar is popular anytime, but their free rooftop cinema was a big hit a couple of years ago. Their roof isn't that high (although some of the patrons may be), but still has better views than you will find at this summer's free outdoor movies.

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Flying High at 2KW Rooftop Bar Adelaide


2KW Rooftop Bar caters for a slightly more upmarket crowd and many think it a little pretentious. It's on the eighth floor facing North Terrace so has sweeping views of the northern suburbs if that's your thing. You can envy the caretaker's residence on the roof of Parliament House, but think of the moisturiser you would need in the hot winds from downstairs. Nor will the 2KW rooftop bar patrons be happy when a huge office tower at the Festival Centre blocks their views.

The Gallery Adelaide on Waymouth Street has a rooftop venue on the second floor - just high enough from the local smokers who congregate in Anster Street. The Gallery has an excellent reputation, although views are very limited from here. Still, a lovely place to enjoy drinks in the fresh air in the city, although you may need to fight for a seat with The Advertiser journalists.

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The Gallery Adelaide Rooftop Bar - Popular During the Fringe Festival


The heritage listed Mayfair Hotel boasts another of the rooftop venues in Adelaide - the Hennessey Rooftop Bar on Level 13. As an older building, it's not very high, but I'm sure that you won't even notice in this luxurious loft space just down the road from the 2KW rooftop bar.

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Rooftop Venues in Adelaide - Majestic Roof Garden Hotel From East Terrace.


Rooftop Gardens
Adelaide city rooftops actually house a few roof gardens - something the City of Adelaide is keen to encourage. After getting high and checking out views of Adelaide I can understand why - our city rooftops are covered with rusty old iron and air conditioners, with little greenery in sight.

Google the topic of roof gardens and the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel takes all the top spots on the page whatever you do - quite an achievement for their website manager. But there are few others roof gardens in Adelaide.

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Roof Garden in Christie Walk Adelaide


Christie Walk is an eco village on Sturt Street, a model of sustainable living that was before its time. Its buildings support roof gardens which provide thermal insulation all year round.

The Advertiser building proudly sported rooftop gardens when it was completed, a haven for hard working journalists having a fag. It seems the gardens have withered in recent years - probably all the junior journos have been sacked and there is nobody left to water the plants

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Rooftop Gardens Adelaide - Oxigen Landscape Architects


The lucky lads and laddettes at Oxigen landscape architects enjoy city views from their rooftop gardens, which they opened for a tour during the Festival of Architecture and Design. The gardens are a refreshing retreat to relax and snoop on other local high fliers.

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An Adelaide Zoo Rooftop Garden (Image Supplied)


The Adelaide Zoo is a leader in green walls and roof gardens in South Australia, boasting a total of three green walls and five rooftop gardens so far. The gardens are home to a broad spectrum of plants ranging from tropical to arid native plants - what a great idea!

Both Unilodge Adelaide Hindley Street and the Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide have roof gardens where guests can top up their vitamin D on a sunny day. I wonder whether visitors can sneak free into the pool at the Hotel Grand Chancellor?

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Looking Down on Currie Street from Westpac House


Other Adelaide City Rooftops

There is no doubt that Westpac House boasts the most stunning views of Adelaide, and Servcorp in Adelaide offer a range of serviced offices and accommodation from their offices on Level 30 of the 132 metre tall Westpac building. You won't just see Adelaide City, Glenelg and Adelaide Airport - I was able to take photos of buildings 15 kilometres away in Port Adelaide, and cranes in Outer Harbor - even on a smoggy day.

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Adelaide Oval Roof Climb Seen from Westpac House


While rooftopping Adelaide is generally illegal even for abandoned Adelaide buildings, you can get a thrill on the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb if you dare - from $99 and up (a long way).

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Rooftopping Adelaide at the Royal Adelaide Hospital Helipad


The Royal Adelaide Hospital Helipad is generally closed to the public but on occasions, you can go rooftopping Adelaide there too. With no fences at the edges, I find it scary enough during the day, and wouldn't be caught dead there at night.

Have you found a top spot for rooftopping from abandoned places in Adelaide? We can't condone any illegal activity, but would love to hear about any awesome Adelaide city rooftop views. Tell us in the comments.

Of course when you have finished exploring rooftops, the only place to go is underground - in the weird basements of Adelaide.

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View From Rowland Apartments Rooftop Sky Bar

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Why? Rooftopping Adelaide is top fun
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article, Dave - must say we don't have too many high buildings on the Sunshine Coast - very innovative of you!
by Elaine (score: 3|3495) 106 days ago
I have never been to any of these places.... yet! Your article has inspired me to check some of them out. Thanks for the great article Dave and congrats on the Gold award for it - it's very deserving!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|2393) 106 days ago
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