A cultural guide to Adelaide

Look no further than South Australia’s capital for a dose of culture.

The ‘City of Churches’ is no longer the stuffy Adelaide of old. Modern Adelaide is a sophisticated and cultured festival city.

The best gardens in Adelaide

The magnificent Botanic Gardens must top any to-do list. The grounds include a rose garden, an avenue of stately Moreton Bay fig trees, duck ponds and hectares of greenery. Travel to a tropical rainforest in the Bicentennial Conservatory, the largest single-span glasshouse in the southern hemisphere. If you happen to be visiting in the summer, don’t miss the Moonlight Cinema, which screens films in Botanic Park.

Far less famous, but equally worth a visit, the Himeji Japanese Garden is a beautiful green space with lanterns, pine trees and a tea house. There’s also a traditional sand garden.

Although not quite a garden, for anyone travelling with kids the Adelaide Zoo is a must-visit. The zoo is home to wallabies, tigers, chimpanzees and the only giant pandas in the Southern Hemisphere. Special VIP panda tours are available. Much of the architecture dates from 1883, so history buffs will enjoy a visit as well.

Museums not to miss

No matter what your interests are, the South Australian Museum will have an exhibit to match. The Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery feature more than 3000 artefacts, including films showing traditional dancing and ceremonial dress from the Pacific Islands. Don’t miss the partial skeleton of a 5.7m long plesiosaur.

Celebrate the rich history of migration in Australia at the Migration Museum. The museum takes an honest look at the fate of many migrants, and is equal parts uplifting and confronting. The museum is housed in a converted 19th century building that once served as a school for Aboriginal children to train as servants to the British.

Great Adelaide art galleries

The big one not to miss is the Art Gallery of South Australia. There are Renaissance and British pieces exhibited, as well as a fine collection of Aboriginal art. Don’t miss viewing art from a variety of famous Australian painters including Margaret Preston, Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale.

The home of Hans Heysen in the Adelaide Hills, gets far fewer visitors despite Heyson’s fame. Escape the crowds, visit his studio and residence, and view his work up close.

Your art-inspired experience in Adelaide begins with The Watson. Stay for two nights at this boutique accommodation, with Indigenous art and art tours, an art library and more, and explore South Australia’s capital with one-day car and one-day bicycle hire. Visit RACQ Travel for more information about this package, or contact one of our friendly travel consultants on 1300 096 166.

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