Adelaide 2007

Adelaide in November

Trying to navigate school holidays and come up with affordable holidays in the wake of the monthly mortgage payments isn’t particularly easy. Last year was Hobart (piggybacking on Marita being there for a conference) and Sydney over the Cup Day weekend with the kids. The latter worked really well, so I’ve decided to do it again at that time of year.

So yesterday I snagged some flights to Adelaide. Why Adelaide? Because I’ve never been there, and of the options offered to the kids, that was there first choice.

Fares were $95 per person per sector on Virgin, which was cheaper and fitted the schedule better than Qantas. This year Isaac is an adult in airline terms, being over 11. (Memo to self: take food for flight, or be prepared to cough up cash.)

They also have a carbon offset option, an extra $4.08, which sounds suspiciously low. Nevertheless, it’s a nice touch: the next step should be for the airlines to not make it optional. (Hmm, the email invoice decided it should be addressed to Jeremy, not me.)

At some stage I’ll find a hotel, probably aiming for somewhere in central Adelaide somewhere near to where the Adelaide Jetbus drops off. And preferably serving breakfast.

Possible Adelaide things to do (noting the stuff we did in Sydney): Glenelg beach and the Rodney Fox Shark Experience by tram; St Kilda tram museum and adventure playground; maybe the zoo and the South Australian Museum. What else? I don’t think the kids would fancy the wineries.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

19 replies on “Adelaide in November”

It was a long time ago, but we took a day coach tour of wineries. I think we went to three different ones but there was lots of other interesting stuff we were shown. We were not greatly interested in wine, but I recall thinking it was a very good trip. And don’t forget Hahndorf.

Adelaide is a great choice. We have had several holidays there with young(ish) kids. Loads of interesting things (good museum, Glenelg beach – take the tram, nice zoo, Donald Bradman statue, close national parks, wineries!). I hope you love it!
We have always driven over (about $160 in petrol return) so you get the use of car when you are there and stayed in modest rented houses a bit out-of-town (self catering).

If you get the chance, I highly recommend travelling south to Victor Harbor. It’s a bit of a hike (about 85km if memory serves me correctly) but well worth the effort IMHO.
When my wife (then girlfriend) and I went there, we fell in love with the place; even looked at buying a house there(!), right on the water – beyond out meagre budget at the time :-(

Mount Thebarton Snow & Ice if your appetite for the stuff wasn’t whetted when you went to Lake Mountain – imagine coming home and telling the gang you went skiing… in Adelaide… in November! I’m pretty sure it’s still open – and you can catch the train there Mile End station if my memory serves me correctly.
And I don’t know about taking the kids, but for a giggle you should also have a quick look at the Adelaide Casino Daniel. Melbourne’s casino has inflated my notion of what constitutes a gambling den.

The shark experience looks pretty wicked – will you be going down in the cages? I’ll put that on my list of things to do if I ever visit Australia…

When we stayed in Hobart, our basic hotel room was upgraded for free to a self catered unit. This was a great saving to us, in that we had ‘home’ cooked brekkies and one dinner cooked in. Might cost a little more though, so that would be a balance to consider.
Adelaide would be a great trip with kids – Hope you enjoy!

Hahndorf -yes! I also remember climbing up the Big Rocking Horse and getting a certificate for my efforts. My only other memory of our family holiday to Adelaide was that there was a big Care Bears display at Myer (must have been in the Rundle Mall?) and I got a Love-a-lot Bear with my spending money. Hey, I *was* about 8 or 9 years old!

Port Adelaide is worth a visit – bit of a big country town (but then, so is Adelaide). I remember a fairly interesting maritime museum there. Also the Immigration museum in Adelaide is pretty good.

In all seriousness, Adelaide does rock the kazbaa for the touristy stuff. The city is pretty and shiny and the museum is terrific. We stayed out at Christie’s Beach which was lots of fun too.

I just got back from Adelaide, so here’s some advice for you:

– Release your inner gunzel and ride the O-Bahn Busway to Tea Tree Plaza and go for a few trainrides. The Noarlunga line is a nice ride with some coastal scenery and if your lucky you may even get a Jumbo railcar on it – if you do then sit up front and enjoy the ride out the front window ! :D

– Go for a ride on the 864 bus through the Adelaide Hills to Mount Barker for the scenery. Normal Metroticket fares apply, and its run by Transitplus who is part-owned by Grendas in Melbourne.

– The St Kilda Tramway museum has no form of public transport to it, so be warned. Cab from Salisbury Station maybe the easiest? Or get a bus to somewhere in the northern suburbs and cab from there?

– Spend time exploring Rundle Mall and the CBD, its actually quite nice.

– The National Rail Museum at Port Adelaide is interesting, although when I went there it was a Thomas The Tank Engine Day so it was full of toddlers. But if you go on a weekend you might get to ride a Redhen!

– I’ve been told the 820 bus to Carey Gully is very scenic by multiple people, but I’ve never riden it myself.

Great timing – our new tram extension will be open by then, so you’ll be able to travel directly from/to Rundle Mall and North Terrace rather than being stuck in Victoria Square.

Be sure to head up to the Mount Lofty lookout, spectacular panoramic view of Adelaide and it’s suburbs as far as the eye can see. There’s also some good city views from Windy Point.

Victor Harbour is definitely worth a trip.

Make sure you visit the Central Markets.

If you intend to visit Westfield Marion, be sure not to fall into the trap of going to Marion station if using the train – you instead need to go to Oaklands Park and even then there’s still a small hike. The shopping centre was named after a paddlesteamer called Marion, not the suburb Marion as everyone incorrectly believes (even then it’s actually in Oaklands Park, not Marion).

Frank, Port Adelaide is being redeveloped – it’s not what you remember.

If you for some insane reason wanted to go to Westfield Marion you’d be better off getting an M44 bus from the City which runs every 15 minutes (30 weekend/evening) rather than the hike from Oaklands Park Station..

The Haigh’s factory is really popular with kids, and it’s close enough to the CBD that you might even be able to walk – depending on where you’re staying. Don’t forget to book, though.
Yes, I agree the Immigration museum is excellent – but not sure if it would appeal to your boys yet. The central market is very good – compact but great variety – but not up to our Queen Vic standard.

Have you thought about setting yourself up central to the CBD and inviting the Adelaide readers of Toxic Custard to come and meet with you so that you can put faces to names? Just a thought…

RE: The carbon offset option.

God ain’t making any more land and there are only so many trees we can plant. “Carbon offset” is an adhesive strip bandage trying to cover a sucking chest wound. Even with all the carbon offsetting we in the “west” are doing, I doubt we’re planting as many trees as are being lost to slash and burn farming in the South American rain forests.

Things like walking more, taking more public transport, recycling, buying locally grown food, etc. These are the things that offset carbon every day and are generally less expensive and more healthy than paying Virgin $4.08.

Port Adelaide is starting to be the muesum place to go. There is the Maritime Musuem, The The National Rail Museum, and The Seahorse Farm. Here is a link to a great site about Port Adelaide.
Best thing is that you can get on the train in the city and get off at Port Adelaide and then its just a short walk (about 10 min at the most) to all these places.
(I live near Port Adelaide – can you tell?)

Considering all the costs usually incurred while away travelling, I wasn’t overly put off by paying an extra $5 for sandwiches. I’ll bet it’s significantly cheaper than buying food at either airports and I knew it’d be a while before I’d be home to have a proper meal.

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