Plane Hopping in Australia: My Visit to Adelaide

ANZ Apr13In last months reprint of one of my articles in Australia and New Zealand magazine I spoke about Interstate Rivalry in Australia: A Few Nicknames. That was, in many ways, a precursor to some articles about my plane hopping experiences here in Australia, as the first paragraph will explain.

By coincidence, the first city that I wrote about in the series was Adelaide; the very same city that I wrote about twice last month. The first time in Australia’s Best Liveable City 2012 Poll and then I followed that up with Best City: a Celebration of Adelaide and Australia.

So, there’s been a lot of chat about the place, but what did I think of…

My visit to Adelaide

A couple of months ago I wrote about the joys of plane hopping between Australian cities. Last month I talked about the friendly rivalry that exists between each of Australia’s states and territories. So what happens when you do plane hop and you do visit faraway cities in Australia? Is it really any different?

That’s probably best explained if I talk about our trip to Adelaide back in January 2011.

Brisbane, where I live, had been flooded. Adelaide, where I was going, hadn’t; it was hot, dry and sunny with clear blue skies. That’s normally how I like to take my Brisbane weather. Getting all Bureau of Meteorology about it, in December and January at the time, Brisbane had nearly 800 mm of rain; during the same two months in Adelaide, 82 mm fell.

So, yes, it can be very different indeed travelling from one Australian city to another. Not as different culturally though as say, flying from London to Marrakesh. That, by the way, is a slightly shorter journey than the 2,100 km flight from Brisbane to Adelaide, which takes about three hours.

So what did I think of Adelaide?

Despite me being a Cane Toad, I found the Crow Eaters (you did read last month’s article, didn’t you?) to be extraordinarily friendly. Adelaide is a city with trams, I love trams. We sat on one, it was pointing in the direction we wanted to go. The conductor came up to us and said …

Hi, how are you? Beautiful day isn’t it?

It was, it was 36° C without a cloud in the sky.

You’re quite welcome to sit on this tram; the air conditioning is good, isn’t it?” He continued. “But if you’re looking to go somewhere soon, you’ll probably want to get on the tram that will pull in behind us in about five minutes. As I said though, you’re more than welcome to wait here in the cool.

He wasn’t trying to be funny either, just genuinely helpful. We found lots of strangers were genuinely helpful as we wandered around the streets, looking a bit lost. Anyway, enough of this friendliness, what do we do when it’s hot?

We go to the beach! And Adelaide has plenty of beaches to go to; you will be literally spoilt for choice.

Just about 10 km west of the city you will find beach after beach along a pretty much unspoiled coastline almost devoid of skyscrapers. The picture is a view from the pier at Brighton; yes Adelaide has a Brighton and it has a pier…

View from the pier at BrightonAnyway, it doesn’t look too crowded, does it?

Coming from Brisbane, which doesn’t have local beaches, I could really see the big advantage of living here so close to the seaside in a climate that is often referred to as Mediterranean. And, I can tell you, the not too crowded idea also extends to the roads, no traffic jams apparently, and the city centre itself.

And I didn’t even get around to telling you about the glorious Adelaide Hills, did I? Or that South Australia is regarded as this country’s wine capital, with more wine regions than you can shake a stick at. We absolutely loved our week in Adelaide; we will be going back, for sure.

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