I'm a freelance writer living in Melbourne, Victoria.
Published October 18th 2018
When somebody asks what's the best place to visit in Australia during the summer, there are sure to be a chorus of answers listing the Great Barrier Reef, the golden sands of Byron Bay, and even the palm trees of Noosa. But my travels to Adelaide during the summertime was jam-packed with unforgettable sunny sights, that was well worth skipping Queensland's tropics for.
It tends to get a bad rap. Compared to the large cities of Sydney and the Gold Coast that will cost you an arm and a leg to travel to, Adelaide is a small blip on the radar. Despite this reputation, I decided a trip to Adelaide sounded like a good idea, the flights from Melbourne were cheap, and I didn't want to face the crowds of people herding around the Queensland coast.
And I am glad I did this, as regardless of whether you're looking for a relaxing break amongst the stunning scenery or a more upbeat adventure, Adelaide has you covered. The 'City of Churches' is flourishing with delicious restaurants and bars, fun entertainment, and an easy-going atmosphere. But crikey it can get hot!
Adelaide's Botanic Gardens
By Peripitus - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3753955
Stop and smell the roses at Adelaide's lush gardens. Located right near the centre of the city, simply stroll through the gardens and see all the different flora and fauna on display. With different sections, including the African waterlily house, the tropical glasshouse, as well as the beautiful rose gardens, you will certainly not be disappointed. An ideal blissed-out break from the hustle and bustle of the city streets with either your partner or posse. Pack a picnic and settle at one of the many grassy green spots for a relaxing day in the sun. During the summertime, the gardens close later at 7pm, giving you the chance to visit this green landscape for a romantic walk after an early dinner.
Christmas in the summer heat may be a bit an odd for travellers, but it is just as jolly as snow! Adelaide outdoes itself in markets, with the Christmas markets being no different. There are a number to choose from, depending on what time you are visiting, but by far my favourite is Christkindlmarkt. Held in Hahndorf, the longest surviving German settlement in Australia, with the markets honouring the traditional German Christmas markets of their home country. I gave my credit card a workout at this attraction, with over 50 different stalls of goodies to choose from.
By Normangerman -https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adelaide_city_centre_view_crop.jpg, CC BY-SA 4.0,https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58138797
Australia's summer is filled to the brim with sports. What better way to spend a day soaking up the sun than within the cricket stadium of Adelaide Oval. This longstanding oval is state-of-the-art after its refurbishing, holding some of the biggest games in Adelaide. Flock in and flood the stadium with your fellow cricket fans as you cheer, drink, and dress in yellow and green to your heart's content.
If you're too lazy to organise your days, don't fret! Adelaide has a stack to choose from, I myself did an Adelaide city tour and loved it! I discovered a tonne of attractions that I had no idea existed until by day tour.
By eguidetravel -https://www.flickr.com/photos/eguidetravel/5399982086/, CC BY 2.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41641198
One of the great highlights of Adelaide is its surprisingly close proximity to beaches! There are stacks to choose from and depends where you are staying/what type of day you are interested in. I visited Glenelg beach, which is the easiest to get to from the city. This is by far the most popular metropolitan beach around and had a large crowd spreading on the sandy beach. What I loved about this place was the activities available. Need to cool down? Plunge into the still stunning waters. Got some energy to burn? Join in on the beach volleyball or cricket match! Need to darken your tan? Simply soak up the sun as you relax on the soft sands. A bit peckish? Visit the many cafes, restaurants, and ice cream stores lining Jetty Road.
Art Gallery of South Australia
By Kajinoz at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4864042
To cool off from the Aussie heat, travel inside the cool halls of Adelaide's Art Gallery. This 20th-century building houses numerous origins of artwork, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Asian, European and North American. With both historic and modern pieces displayed, and new exhibitions frequently showcasing throughout the summer.
With sun, comes day drinking, especially in Australia. Aussies are famous for starting on the bevs right on the 12 o'clock dot, and Adelaide is no different, with an array of bars scattered around the city, encouraging you to day drink in the delicious summer heat. Escape from the heat in one of the underground bars. I visited the Ancient World and boogied to a live show from a local band. Also make sure you visit some of the Rooftop Bars, to drink in the sun like a true-blue Aussie. Some noteworthy ones I enjoyed were La Rambla and 2KW Bar and Restaurant.
After discovering the city's charm, why not visit the surrounding country area. The rolling Adelaide Hills is bursting with delicious wineries, all offering unique varieties created from the area's rich nutrient soil. I spent a full day in the area, travelling from winery to winery. I defiantly suggest going on a tour or at least getting a designated driver, as taste testing sips can easily lead to full glasses. Penfolds, Hahndorf Hill, and Nepenthe Wines were all fabulous, and come with incredible views of the lush greenery surrounding.