I have added a Guest Blogger Section to the Rocky Travel Blog. On a regular basis I will introduce a new travel blogger who loves to travel Australia independently and want to share with you her/his Australian Travel Adventures. Today a Guest Post by Jo Karnaghan of Frugal First Class Travel
Not as sexy as Sydney, as sophisticated as Melbourne or as sunny as Brisbane, Adelaide offers family travelers a different Australian experience. Here are my top five family things to do in Adelaide (with or without kids).
Visit the pandas at Adelaide Zoo
Funi and Yang Yang are the only pandas in the Southern Hemisphere, and make a fun thing to do in Adelaide. Visiting with children it is a must do. Be at the zoo right on opening time, 9.30 in the morning. Don’t worry, it’s just on the northern edge of central Adelaide. This will give you the best chance of seeing the pandas actively exploring their enclosures (they sleep about 18hours a day). If you are lucky they may still be enjoying their bamboo breakfast!
Sharing the panda forest are a pair of also-endangered red pandas, who are a delight.
For overseas visitors there is also a good variety of native animals, including local kangaroos and wallabies, quokkas and various nocturnal marsupials in the nocturnal house. If petting a kangaroo is on your children’s to do list, head to the Children’s Zoo area. When we visited they actually came up to us so we could pat them. A very special moment!
Visit the Haigh’s chocolate factory
Haigh’s chocolates are an Adelaide institution. Patient customers queue for their regular fix in their flagship store on Rundle Mall in the centre of the city. Haigh’s also offer regular tours of their factory to chocoholics who just can’t get enough. Generous tasting opportunities are promised, and remember not to leave without some of their famous chocolate frogs, available in a variety of sizes from bitesize to total pigout!
Hire a bike
After all that chocolate, both you and the kids might appreciate a bit of exercise. Adelaide is town made for bike riding. It is very flat, and the central area of the city is surrounded by parkland. The simple grid layout of the CBD streets make getting lost almost impossible. Because the local bike riding culture is so strong here, there is no municipal bike hire scheme. Fortunately, many hotels offer bike hire to guests to enjoy the beautiful city and its cycle paths. For a family friendly, car free, and carefree ride follow the pretty Torrens River and enjoy the black swans and rowers out on the river.
Central market in the middle of the city is another Adelaide institution. Join the locals for a stunning array of local produce. Because of its isolation and arid climate, most fresh fruit and vegetables in the market are locally produced. There is also a thriving local food scene with plenty of local gourmet treats. The Central Market is a perfect stop before a family picnic in the surrounding parklands.
Take a trip to the wineries
Rather than one for the family, this is one for the grown ups, or families with older kids. Adelaide is surrounded by three of the most famous, and oldest, wine growing areas of Australia, the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. For maximum flexibility take a car, but for those who love their wine just too much to drive, book a winery tour and let someone else do the driving. All three areas are well known for their reds, but regardless of your taste and budget you are bound to find something that pleases!
The Barossa area also makes a great base to explore outside Adelaide for a couple of days (take a car).
Adelaide makes a great stopping off point on the way to Western Australia and the Northern Territory, so makes a great stopover for families.
If you’ve been to Adelaide, what are your favorite activities?
Sydney-based Jo has spent the last 25 years travelling in Europe, honing her travel philosophy of frugal but first class. She is the author of the popular blog www.frugalfirstclasstravel.com and can also be found on Twitter @jokarnaghan1 and Facebook at www.facebook.com/frugalfirstclasstravel