7 uniquely Australian experiences to have in Adelaide

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Adelaide isn’t just one of Australia’s most approachable capital cities – it’s also home to a range of iconic experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Wedged between golden beaches and the lush Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia’s largest city beckons travellers with unforgettable wildlife encounters, lip-smacking culinary adventures and artistic masterpieces waiting to be discovered around every corner. Here are seven iconic experiences to tick off on your next visit.

1. Cuddle a koala

Though just half an hour’s drive from the city centre, there’s a distinctly rural feel to Sequoia Lodge where 14 exquisite suites are perched above an idyllic valley of mixed farmland and eucalyptus forest filled with native wildlife. Guest experiences include guided bushwalks which provide an excellent opportunity to meet the neighbours.

Enjoy a private audience with a koala on a tour through Sequoia Lodge. Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission

But if you want to guarantee an animal sighting, book a private tour of Cleland Wildlife Park. Visiting before it opens to the public gives you some one-on-one time with iconic Australian species including kangaroos, emus and echidnas. Then finish the tour with a photo op and a proper cuddle with one of the fluffy resident koalas.

2. Attend a masterclass in native Australian ingredients

Know how to tell saltbush from samphire? What about the difference between a Davidson plum and a desert lime? If you’re completely lost, don’t fear. In addition to being one of the nation’s best fine diners, Restaurant Botanic offers a crash course in native Australian botanicals.

Native Australian botanicals get the fine dining treatment at Restaurant Botanic. Photo: Restaurant Botanic

Many ingredients are harvested from the 51-hectare Adelaide Botanic Gardens before service, and with only 34 seats, the staff take pride in explaining the provenance and use of these ingredients to every diner.

Add in some thoughtful and startlingly complex beverages – think blood lime consommé with native thyme and roasted bunya bunya branches – and you have Australia on a plate.

3. Get comfortable with an Australian fashion icon

Worn by farmers and prime ministers alike, the RM Williams Chelsea boot is an instantly recognisable Australian icon. So durable that they’re sometimes passed down through generations, each boot is crafted from a single piece of leather that is stretched, shaped and stitched by hand in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

Every RM Williams boot is still made by hand. Photo: The Tailor

You can meet some of the craftsmen and see them at work on a private tour of the facility, then visit the showroom where brand ambassador Rita Stenta will fit you for a pair of boots so you can walk away wearing a piece of Australian craftsmanship.

4. Admire art from the world’s oldest living culture

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have called this land home for more than 60,000 years, and that rich culture is on full display at the Art Gallery of South Australia. In addition to the must-see exhibitions during the annual Tarnanthi Festival, the rich permanent collection showcases the stunning breadth of Australia’s many Aboriginal cultures.

Vibrant desert dot art, intricate cross-hatched bark paintings from Australia’s tropical north and satirical mixed media works from across the country highlight the striking vision and ongoing strength of the world’s oldest, continuous living culture.

The Art Gallery of South Australia was the first state gallery in Australia to include work by Aboriginal artists in its collection. Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission

  

5. Catch a game of Aussie Rules

Few sports globally can match the sheer athleticism (and chaos) of Australian Rules Football. At any given time, 36 players are chasing an oval-shaped ball across the turf, laying bone-crunching tackles and leaping over each other to take spectacular marks.

Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows both play home games at Adelaide Oval. Photo: Port Adelaide Football Club

It’s an exhilarating spectacle when viewed from the boundary line at the Adelaide Oval. And when 50,000 screaming fans fill the stadium every weekend in winter, the RoofClimb gives you a unique perspective on the action from a seat 50m aboveground.

6. Take home Australia’s national gemstone

Forget ice; when it comes to gemstones, fire is what’s in. That’s what jewellers call the iridescence that flashes across the face of cut opals. Every stone has a unique fingerprint of sparkling blue, red, green and yellow light, making it one of the most sought-after gems in the world.

95% of the world’s opal is mined in Australia’s outback. Photo: Unique Opal Mine

At Unique Opal Mine, you can watch opal-cutting demonstrations and learn about the different types of opal at a museum designed to resemble an underground mine. Once you’ve settled on a favourite, you can pick up a souvenir from a showroom filled with hundreds of rings, pendants and necklaces.

7. Embark on a vinous journey

South Australia’s 18 grape-growing regions produce more than three quarters of the nation’s premium wine, and you can sample the very best the state has to offer without leaving the CBD.

Among the 15,000 bottles at East End Cellars, you’ll find lean, mineral-driven Clare Valley riesling and elegant sparkling from the Adelaide Hills, juicy McLaren Vale grenache and sumptuous old vine shiraz from the Barossa Valley.

The outdoor seats at East End Cellars have some of the best people-watching in Adelaide. Photo: East End Cellars

Not sure where to start? Let the knowledgeable staff point you in the right direction. Hosted tastings on Friday and Saturday evenings provide an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the best local winemakers.

For our full list on things to do and places to see in Adelaide, check out our Adelaide City Guide. For more information on Singapore Airlines flights to Adelaide, visit the official website



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