Cool graffiti

City Profile : Adelaide

After packing up camp in Mannum and spending the morning feeding the animals at the Big Rocking Horse, we drove into Adelaide and experienced big city sights for the first time in almost a month.  Our first stop? Coopers Brewery for an educational tour about how to brew excellent beer.


Afterwards, we met up with one of Juz’s mates before finding a place to stay while we explored the wine capital of Australia.  The busy time of year made things a little difficult but we found a great little caravan park just south of the city called Brown Hill Creek Caravan Park.


The next day, we woke early and set off for the city centre to do as much exploring as possible within a certain budget.  Stay tuned for our $100 Day post on Adelaide.  It was a great success!  Sunday was spent along the coast at Glenelg and Brighton.  It got close to 40 degrees so we were pleased to cop the cool sea breeze.


The city of Adelaide has a very relaxed lifestyle.  There aren’t as many cafes and restaurants as there are in Melbourne, but there is still a diverse multicultural mix that was evident as we explored the various precincts.  Chinatown on Moonta Street is the place for a dumpling or two while the best kebab in town is apparently on Hindley Street, which also happens to feature the world’s filthiest McDonald’s outlet.


Fast Facts

  • Capital city of South Australia and is the fifth largest city in Australia
  • Founded in 1836 by Colonel Light, it now has a population of about 1.23 million Adelaideans
  • Also known as The City of Churches, the Green City, the Wine Capital of Australia, or the 20 Minutes City, due to its accessibility
  • Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens has the largest and oldest glasshouses in the southern hemisphere
  • Adelaide is Australia’s most environmentally sustainable city and is home to Tindo – the world’s first solar powered bus with wireless internet
  • Adelaide women were the first in Australia to be allowed to vote and stand for parliament.
  • Was the first city in Australia to put on an arts festival



The Adelaide area was first inhabited by the Kaurna tribe.  They used to call the area Tarndanya, which means male red kangaroo rock.  After European settlement, the population of the Karuna tribe dropped significantly due to introduced diseases.


The area was explored by Matthew Flinders and Charles Sturt before being deemed suitable for colonisation by Collet Barker, a British explorer who was eventually killed by natives.  In 1836, many ships set sail for South Australia, including the Rapid, which carried Colonel Light.  His job was to survey the area and find a place for settlement that had a harbour, fertile land, fresh water and building materials, and after finding just the right place, establishment commenced in 1837.



Adelaide summers are hot and dry with an average temperature of 28⁰C but the temperature can easily reach 40⁰C.  It was sweltering when we were there so we made sure we were well covered in both sunscreen and a hat.

In winter, it can be cold and wet with an average temperature of 16⁰C.



Points of Interest

Adelaide Central Markets 

This place was the best!  Adelaide’s Central Market has been in operation for over 130 years and features around 120 shops and stalls bursting with people and fresh produce.  Wander down the aisles and taste the delights at the Smelly Cheese Shop while you enjoy a delicious organic coffee from Big Table.   The markets are open from Tuesday to Saturday, every week and seriously, they’re excellent!



Botanic Gardens of Adelaide

We were excited about seeing this place.  Botanic gardens tend to be beautiful places where you can learn about the diversity of plants and the ecosystems they live in, but we never expected the Adelaide Botanic Gardens to be as splendid as it is.


The Palm House is a Victorian glasshouse that was imported from Germany in 1875 and is believed to be the only one left of its kind.  It houses a collection of plants from Madagascar, which require a warm and dry climate to survive.



The Santos Museum of Economic Botany was an incredible experience.  It was originally opened in 1881 and recently reopened in 2009 after a long period of restoration.  The beautiful building contains an amazing collection of botanical specimens that were considered useful to the European settlers – seeds, nuts, flowers and leaves, medicinal plants, models of fruit and fungi, EVERYTHING!  Some of the items were the original objects that were collected in 1865 and it was set up to teach people about the importance and usefulness of plants as food, medicine, tools and clothing.


The Amazon Waterlily Pavilion is an elegant glasshouse that contains a huge pond of Victoria amazonica waterlilies.  These amazing plants have lily pads that can span up to 165cm while the flower can measure 30cm in diameter.  Coopers Brewery is proudly one of the contributors to this beautiful energy-efficient enclosure, which was built in 2007.


The Bicentennial Conservatory was an indoor rainforest that was hot and humid inside.  As we walked through, water was expelled from the ceiling and sprinkled us with a refreshing mist.  It was built in 1988 to celebrate Australian’s bicentenary and is the largest conservatory in the southern hemisphere.



South Australian Museum

Free to enter and explore, the SA museum on North Terrace has a variety of permanent exhibitions such as the South Australian Biodiversity Gallery that displays animals from all habitats, as well as the Opal Fossils that expose pre-historic reptiles and crustaceans from millions of years ago.  The Pacific and Aboriginal Cultures Galleries provide insight into the lives of islanders and aboriginals – hunting, fishing, war and everyday activities.


Open daily from 10am to 5pm, it’s definitely worth having a look around.



Rundle Mall & Adelaide Arcade

This section of Adelaide is closed off to vehicles and is similar to Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne.  The retail opportunity is the same as in any shopping centre, but you have the dynamic atmosphere of being in the centre of the city.  We enjoyed strolling past the shops that were blasting their air conditioners to cope with the heat of the day.  As a result, the thoroughfare was quite cool.



The Rundle Mall Fountain indicates the entrance of Adelaide Arcade, a walkway that was built in 1885 and features about 100 specialty shops on both the ground floor and balcony.  There is a small museum on the balcony level that displays photographs and newspaper articles.


Adelaide-Himeji Gardens

In 1982, arrangements were made for Adelaide and Himeji in Japan to establish a sister city relationship that will secure peace, encourage cultural understanding and economic exchange.



The gardens were a gift from Himeji in 1985 and incorporate two classic Japanese styles – senzui takes inspiration from lakes and mountains to create a sense of space, while kare senzui is a dry garden that uses rocks and sand to create the illusion of water, or the ocean.


Coopers Brewery

Adelaide is home to Coopers Brewery, the largest Australian-owned brewery and largest producer of home brew kits in the world! Mad for sustainability, they have an onsite cogeneration plant that powers the plant and feeds back into the grid, they draw water from underground aquifers that are purified with reverse osmosis and any spent grain left over from the brewing process is sold back to farmers as stockfeed.


Apart from being environmentally friendly, the Coopers empire is also extremely charitable and the cost of your ticket to the brewery tour goes straight to the Coopers Brewery Foundation.  Check out our post on the Coopers Brewery Tour.


Mount Lofty

On the outskirts of Adelaide is Cleland Conservation Park and the Mount Lofty Summit, which sits 710m above sea level.  It was named by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1802 when he sighted in from Kangaroo Island.


An 16.5m obelisk was built in 1885 as a survey station to establish longitude and latitude of places around Adelaide.  It was later named the Flinders Column in 1902 and was whitewashed to make it more visible to ships in the St Vincent’s Gulf.



Over the years, bushfires have raged through the area and caused millions of dollars worth of damage and after the Ash Wednesday disaster, a new Mt Lofty Summit Visitor Centre was developed and opened in 1997.


Glenelg & Brighton

Accessible via the Anzac Highway or free tram that travels to and from the city, Glenelg is Adelaide’s answer to St Kilda in Melbourne.  A seaside suburb with white beaches and palm trees that attracts all the young kids to jump off the pier, play beach volley ball, go shopping for a midriff top and eat some ice cream.


Established in 1836 as the original site of SA’s mainland settlement, Glenelg has grown to be a popular spot amongst the tourists and locals, with a flashy marina, cosmopolitan buildings and a vibrant nightlife.  It hosts heaps of public events every year, like bike races, volleyball tournaments, food and wine festivals, fun runs and the State’s largest New Years Eve celebrations.



A few kilometres down the road is Brighton, a much more modest and relaxed coastal spot but with all the same delights.  Cafés, restaurants, the Arch of Remembrance and the Brighton Jetty – the start and finish line of South Australia’s largest ocean swimming event, the Brighton Jetty Classic.  Surrounded a summertime atmosphere and beautiful beaches, this was our location for a nice picnic lunch.



Grind It, Glenelg

We sought out this café in Glenelg and we were really impressed with what we found.  Great service, delicious coffee and an impressive menu that got us salivating for second breakfast.


The Edinburgh Hotel, Mitcham

This place was awesome.  Great food, great atmosphere, great beer garden… and with a pint and parmi for $12, you can’t go wrong.  Check out our post on the Edinburgh Hotel.



The Big Table, CBD

This cute little café inside the Central Markets was the first sign of decent coffee in Adelaide.  Young hipsters and dreadlocked lasses are usually an indication of great coffee and we weren’t disappointed.


The Franklin Hotel, CBD

A funky pub with a great atmosphere and cool beer garden, complete with Hills Hoist.  We had a quick pit stop here after riding around the city and conquering the Central Markets.



Thanh Thanh Vietnamese Restaurant, CBD

It was supposed to be the best Vietnamese restaurant in Adelaide but Juz wasn’t particularly impressed.  Still, the food did provide adequate fuel for the day.



Vili’s Cafe, Mile End

We were advised to check this place out, and after a pie, sausage roll and plateful of chips, gravy and schnitzel, we weren’t particularly impressed.  Check out our post on Vili’s Cafe.



Adelaide Central YHA135 Waymouth Street, Adelaide 5000 – 08 8414 3010

BIG4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park – Military Road, West Beach – 08 8355 7320


Brownhill Creek Caravan Park – Brownhill Creek Road, Mitcham – 8271 4824

This holiday park has it all – cabins, ensuite and caravan sites, powered and unpowered sections for campers, toilet blocks with showers, laundry facilities, a swimming pool, a fully equipped camp kitchen and multiple BBQs around the park.


What makes this place extra special though are the permanent residents.  Some have been there for about 5 years and provide a welcoming sense of community.  If you decide to stay here for a few nights, get to know your neighbours – they’re a great bunch of people – and don’t forget to check out the tepee at the back of the park.



We had the pleasure of having a Christmas celebration with the crew.  A $5 donation entitled us to snags in bread, wine and beer and great conversations with well-travelled folk.  We had a fantastic night and wished we could have stayed for Christmas.

Find the best deal and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor


Visitor Information Centres

South Australian Visitor Information Centre, 108 North Terrace

Adelaide Visitor Information Centre, Rundle Mall


Getting Around

Adelaide’s public transport system includes trains, trams and buses.


You need to have a Metroticket to travel around Adelaide on public transport and the ticket needs to be validated when you begin your journey.  Metrotickets can be purchased on all forms on transport, as well as at newsagents, convenience stores and at the Adelaide Metro InfoCentre at the corner of King William and Currie Streets.


There are a few different types of tickets:

  • Singletrip tickets are valid for two hours and cost $4.90
  • Daytrip tickets are valid from the time of validation to 4:30am the next morning and cost $9.10.
  • Multitrip tickets contain 10 Singletrip tickets and cost $31.90.


There are also Interpeak tickets that are only valid between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday, and Two Section tickets which allow you to travel two sections of the public transport system, which works out well if you aren’t far away from your destination.  One section is equivalent to the distance between two train stations or four tram stops.


Adelaide is currently working on a new smartcard ticketing system called Metrocard.  For more information, visit the Adelaide Metro website


There is also a free tram service between Glenelg and the city.


Adelaide City Bikes is a green initiative that allows you to hire a bike for free between 9am and 5:30pm.  Hire includes a helmet and bike lock and you need to leave a current passport or driver’s license as deposit.


Bikes are available from several places around the city.  For more information, check out the Adelaide City Bikes brochure.



BEARDS!!  If only Dave had a beanie too!

City Profile : Geelong

We arrived in Geelong at about 2pm without expecting much other than a boring country town with a few fish and chip shops, a shitty café, the Ford Factory and a stadium for the Geelong Football Club.


However, as we were driving along the lip of Corio Bay, Geelong emerged into our sights and our assumptions were blown out of the window.  What a picturesque view of the bay, with the white and grand Cunningham Pier, the moored boats and the foreshore.


On closer inspection, the Geelong Revival was on, and the pier and waterfront were bustling with locals and visitors who had come to check out the hot rods, classic cars and motorbikes on display.  There was a market, carnival rides, and a portion of Geelong sectioned off for time trials. We strolled along the pier and frothed over the shiny chrome.



There was also plenty of Holden Monaros around the place. The styling of the original Monaro – the HK in 1968 – was based on the muscle cars coming out of the General Motors factory in the USA. Some 30 years later, Australia’s ‘New Monaro’ of the 90s started being exported to the USA to be sold by GM and was rebadged as the Pontiac GTO.


Fast Facts

  • Second largest city in Victoria and the fifth most populated non-capital city in Australia
  • Population of over 160,000 Geelongites
  • Located approximately 75km south west of Melbourne
  • Officially became classified as a city in 1910 due to industrial growth from the wool industry
  • The home of Ford Australia and the Geelong Football Club



The first recorded non-aboriginal visitor was Lt John Murray, an Australian explorer who arrived in February 1802 to explore the land, and Matthew Flinders was not far behind.  He entered Port Phillip Bay in April 1802 and charted the entire bay, including the Geelong area.


The name Geelong comes from the Wathaurong word jillong, which means bay, while the name Corio Bay comes from the Wathaurong word corayo, which means sandy cliffs.  However, the European settlers got the names switched around the wrong way so the Bay was called Corio Bay and the sandy cliffs were called Geelong.


Geelong’s main trade was wool, and with the establishment of Victoria’s first wool mill in 1868, the town began to grow.  However, during the Victorian gold rush in the 1850s, Melbourne cheekily started a campaign that dubbed Geelong as “the Sleepy Hollow” and encouraged the gold diggers to come to Melbourne to spend their newly found fortune.  The campaign was successful and Melbourne overtook Geelong in development, and the ‘Sleepy Hollow’ reputation stuck for years afterwards.


In 1925, Ford Motor Company set up their manufacturing plant which is still in operation today.




Geelong experiences four distinct seasons with warm summers and cool winters, but it can get quite fresh in the evening if there is wind.  It doesn’t rain much due to a rain shadow caused by the Otways.


BEARDS!!  If only Dave had a beanie too!


Points of Interest


Parks and Gardens

Eastern Park

This massive park is located on the Eastern Beach and is home to the magnificent Geelong Botanic Gardens.  Established in 1851, it is the fourth oldest botanic garden in Australia and has been continually cultivated and maintained for over 150 years.

The first curator of the gardens was Daniel Bunce, a fellow traveller of Leichhardt.  He started working on the Geelong Botanic Gardens in 1857 and successfully cultivated the Sturts Desert Pea, a coveted flower amongst the ladies who had pressed flower collections.

Its main purpose is plant conservation, acclimatisation and horticultural study, but it is also a public garden that is free of charge to enjoy.



Johnstone Park

Located at the intersection of Gheringhap Street and Malop Street, Johnstone Park is considerably smaller than Eastern Park but has its perks.


Acting as a World War 1 memorial, there is a great big bandstand in the centre of the park surrounded by manicured grass, tall palms and colourful gardens, and there is a very grand statue of King George V, who was King of the UK from 1910 to 1936.


The surrounding buildings are great to look at and include the Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong Town Hall and the library.  There are a few sculptures in this park, as well as public toilets in case you’re hanging for a piss.




Petrel Hotel

This is the oldest pub in Geelong, located on the popular Pakington Street strip.  It was established in 1849 and is said to be an icon of the area, but when we went to visit it, we weren’t too impressed.  It’s a divey TAB with flashy pokies machines, bar flies and gamblers watching the horses and CGI dogs.


If you pilgrimage to this historic building, feel free to stay and have a drink, but you may choose to leave shortly afterwards and spend your evening at The Barking Dog Hotel about 100m up the road, or at Sebroso, a lively bar with Spanish and French influences.




National Wool Museum

Located in the same building as the Geelong Information Centre, the National Wool Museum tells the Australian story of wool and how the wool gets from the sheep’s back onto your back.

The museum is open every day of the week and entry is $7.50 for an adult.  We chose to give it a miss because we didn’t want to miss out on checking out the cars at the Geelong Revival.


Mill Markets

If you love antiques, memorbillia and other old stuff, check out the Mill Markets on Brougham Street.  This place is huge and you can easily spend half the day looking at stuff that your nan would get excited about.  Clothes, furniture, books, knick-knacks and bric-a-brac – Mill Markets has got it all.




Geelong Riverview Tourist Park – 59 Barrabool Road, Geelong – 03 5243 6225 


Visitor Information Centres

Geelong Visitor Information Centre, 26 Moorabool Street, 03 5222 2900


Getting Around

There are two bus companies that operate around Geelong – Benders and McHarrys.  The main terminal for both bus companies is at Geelong Station, which is where the V/Line train from Melbourne is at.  For more information about V/Line trains, visit


The Queenscliffe-Sorrento Ferry is a short drive away from Geelong and connects the two southern points of Port Phillip Bay.   Ferries depart every hour and the journey across the bay takes 40 minutes.  Fares depend on peak and off-peak times, but if you’re planning a return trip with your car, then expect to pay about $110.  For more information, visit