Things to Do in Adelaide - page 2
A world away from busy Adelaide, Victor Harbor is the perfect place to get away from the city and relax.
Victor Harbor is situated on the beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide. Though easily accessible from the city as a day trip, it would be remiss not to spend a few days exploring the peninsula in its own right – wineries, national parks, ocean views and historical attractions abound in the area. The drawcard of Victor Harbor is first and foremost the gorgeous outlook over Encounter Bay. A wide, sweeping beach and clear water is backed by colonial architecture encasing boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. A horse-drawn tram is a nod back to history as it takes visitors across a causeway to Granite Island and its colony of Little Penguins.
The Cleland Wildlife Park is best known for its koala experience, which gives visitors the unique opportunity to snuggle up with one of the country’s cutest faces. Standard entry includes petting and a photo, but an additional fee lets travelers hold these little guys, too. Travelers can check out daily feedings of lorikeets, Tasmanian devils, dingoes and other animals native to Australia. Newly scheduled public night walks happen the last Friday of every month and give visitors the chance to see potoroos, bandicoots, bettongs and wild possums forage for food.
Nestled in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, yet only a 15-minute drive from the city, the Penfolds Magill Estate is home to some of Australia’s best-loved wines, including the legendary Grange.
Visitors can explore this heritage-listed winery on a paid tour, taking in the underground tunnels, the bluestone cellars, and Still House. You can also taste Penfold’s wines and dine at the estate’s award-winning restaurant, plus see the vineyard where the Grange story all began. The Penfolds Magill Estate is 100 years old and has attracted a strong global following, winning regular awards at Australian and international wine shows. As well as accolades for its famous Grange wine, the Penfolds Chardonnay portfolio has also garnered some notable wine show success.
This pleasant trail can be reached from city center, but its waterfront views, open fields and quiet surroundings lend a country feel that’s hard to find in most urban settings. Linear Park offers visitors an ideal setting for afternoon sunbathing, relaxing picnics, or even a dip in the River Torrens. The trail, which wraps past the Adelaide Festival Center, Convention Center and the local zoo, is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a recreational bike ride.
Just a few minutes from the city center and blessed with a long stretch of white sand, Henley Beach is one of Adelaide’s most attractive coastal retreats. Running for 500-meters along the gulf coast, the city beach is a lively spot, lined with waterfront restaurants, cafés and bars.
Along with swimming and sunbathing, activities at Henley Beach include kayaking, water sports and fishing. A scenic esplanade also runs along the beachside, all the way from Henley Beach to West Beach, with walking and cycling trails connecting the coast to the Torrens riverside.
The mighty Murray River as it is known, is the longest river in Australia, rising in the alps of the Great Dividing Range, and forming the border between Victoria and New South Wales before entering South Australia and finally emptying into the Indian or Southern Ocean. It is 1,476 miles long and passes through several lakes, some of them now quite salty due to drought and the intensive farming all along the river's length.
Once a major route for trading, it is now a favourite place for recreational boating and fishing, but the river is in danger from salinity and drought. In recent years it has carried less than 40% of its natural flow. Near the river's mouth in South Australia is a beautiful lagoon area called The Coorong, a national park and sanctuary for birds, animals and fish. Nearby is Lake Alexandrina, a fresh water lake where Hindmarsh Island has salt water from the sea on one side and fresh from the lake on the other.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is a region of South Australia that lies just to the south of Adelaide and prides itself as a place of both adventure and culture. Encompassing the towns of Victor Harbour, Mount Compass, Rapid Bay, Willunga and others, the peninsula has a lot to offer; a host of the historic river and coastal towns celebrate their history with markets, heritage steam trains and some of the finest antique stores. Adventure on the Fleurieu Peninsula comes from the bike paths, the self-drive adventures, the coastal hiking and the conservation parks within the region. Visitors come here to see little penguins come ashore and to watch whales migrating off the coast. Sailing on Lake Alexandria is a popular activity, as is getting under the waves and seeing some of Australia’s best diving, including the HMAS Hobart. The peninsula is also home to one of South Australia’s best wine regions; McLaren Vale and its world-famous Shiraz are among the wines that hail from here.
Ngaut Ngaut is the ancestral home of the Nganguraku people and today serves as a site of archaeological study, history and cultural significance. A visit to the site offers a glimpse into the life, beliefs and customs of the local Aboriginal people, much of whose culture has been lost.
Located on the banks of the Murray River, Ngaut Ngaut takes advantage of the beautiful natural scenery with a boardwalk that runs along the riverbank and allows visitors to walk near the cliffs that rise above an ancient seabed. There is also the opportunity to view an untouched section of the Mighty Murray.
Visitors to Ngaut Ngaut are taken through the park on guided tours, during which guides impart knowledge of the historical Nganguraku culture through viewings of the remaining archaeology. Ngaut Ngaut is the site of incredibly comprehensive rock art that details Aboriginal astronomy with lunar cycles carved into the cliffs.
There are plenty of museums where visitors admire art on the walls and are told to look but not touch. At the National Railway Museum, at Port Adelaide, this is far from the case. Visitors can climb aboard steam engines, wander through dining cars and historic carriages, hop on free train rides and get hands on with interactive displays.
A realistic model railway captures the diverse terrain of Australia’s landscape, including open plains, quaint towns, hills, suburbs and seaports. Special displays examine the history of women in railways, and there’s even an audio tour of the only remaining tea and sugar train car. Travelers can wander through numerous indoor activity centers and explore the buildings outside to get a better sense of the Australian railway’s rich history.
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This iconic railway line is the oldest steel railed railway in the country. It was constructed in 1887 to serve as a passageway between River Murray and Victor Harbor. During its earliest days, passengers would load into the horse-drawn train after collecting cockleshells from the river’s shore.
Visitors can take their own journey on this historic line every day from the Goolwa Depot. The train stops at Port Elliot, near the Encounter Bay Coast, where travelers can explore the local museum. When the train departs Port Elliot, travelers are privy to some of the most picturesque coastal scenery along the Fleurieu Peninsula.
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