I won’t go as far as saying I had low expectations for Adelaide but will say I had no expectations. After setting foot on Australian soil the first time I quickly found that there’s a lot going on in this often-overlooked South Australia city. From cuddly kangaroos to great wine, I had an easy time falling in love with Adelaide.
Cleland Wildlife Park
My time in Australia was cut short so it was imperative that every stop was jammed packed with enough Oz to sink a crocodile. Family friends Tony and Shirley made sure to show off their hometown and do just that. They first took us to Cleland Wildlife Park, a hillside nature reserve packed with Australiana. From dingos to koalas, you will find it here.
Without a doubt, the highlight of my short time down under and the main reason why I fell in love with Adelaide was my time feeding kangaroos at this park. Seriously, this was heart melting awesome.
How could I not fall in love with Adelaide after this? Some of the kangaroos had joeys in their pouches which only made it that much more adorable. Turns out I’m a softy for kangaroos. Also turns out I could never eat one after this. I had no problem eating South Africa’s national animal but then again I didn’t hug a springbok.
Another reason I quickly fell in love with Adelaide was the vineyards in Barossa Valley. Tony and Shirley were kind enough to take us for a wine crawl that showed off why Australia has some of the best grapes in the world.
Craft Beer and the Fleurieu Peninsula
The only freelance job I had while falling in love with Adelaide had me sampling the regions best beer. This 4WD day tour was another highlight – not so much for the beer but for the scenery and wine.
Adelaide Food Scene
Upon arriving in Australia I was told that Aussies take their food seriously. This, to me, felt like a worldwide trend so I shrugged it off. After watching 10 minutes of Australian TV and seeing the amount of food-related programs I started to think there was more to this. Then we went out for dinner.
I didn’t have a bad meal in Adelaide and loved strolling the Central Market where Australia’s culinary passion was on full display. Then there was trying vegemite (and not hating it) and having my first real pie.
The final reason I fell in love with Adelaide was the impressive city planning that went into building it. From the boardwalks along the beaches to the Park Lands that surround the city, Adelaide city planners had a vision. This reason for falling in love with Adelaide is also a reason to be jealous. The same British explorers and pioneers developed my home country of Canada…so tell me why Vancouver is a bottleneck traffic nightmare?