“In Adelaide – Top best-kept local secrets”


There are so many places to visit in Adelaide, most of them within walking distance from the conference facilities. We asked some of our Local Organising Committee to tell us some of their favourite places of interest, and their responses are:

Museum of Economic Botany is definitely worth a visit and is often missed as part of a tour of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide.  The latest exhibition The Garden of Ideas shows a collection of past and modern Australian gardens.  Don’t worry if you miss it though, because the permanent collection of freeze-dried flowers, seeds and fruits is really quite stunning, with other unique and interesting contributions from local artists and botanists always on display.  Admission is free!  What more could you ask?

In the surrounding Botanic Gardens, you will find the Adelaide Zoo, home to over 1,800 animals and around 300 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish.  Not only an educational experience but definitely an enjoyable day to be had.

The Mortlock Wing forms part of the State Library of SA and it is a great place to get away from the crowds.  It is a wonderfully restored historic building with terrific ambience, housing exhibition bays with local historic and cultural books and treasures.  Memorabilia related to our national icon and sport, (i.e. Sir Donald Bradman and cricket for those of you who don’t know) are also on display here.  Just wander in when you feel the need for a quiet moment. Once again, admission is free!

I don’t know about best-kept local secret, but you can’t miss a visit to the Central Markets.  Seasonal fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, breads, spices and other fresh produce are readily available from the stalls at the Adelaide Central Market.  It’s worth wandering around and meeting some of the characters behind the stalls.

Adelaide Central Markets - Photo courtesy of eGuide Travel (Flickr)

Finally, there are two best-kept local secrets right next to each other on Morphett Street.  See local and international movies at the Mercury Cinema.  This cinema is run by the Media Resource Centre and provides opportunities to emerging SA film, video and digital media artists.  It is also often a venue for film festivals too, so you may get lucky!  Just next door is the Jam Factory, which showcases the work of local South Australian designers, including glass, ceramics, metal and furniture crafts.  The Jam Factory also has a store in Rundle Mall Plaza.

So many of Adelaide’s cultural institutions are free to visit.  The following are some of the more popular places – all within walking distance of each other, on North Terrace or Kintore Avenue.  The Art Gallery of SA has an excellent collection of Australian and overseas art and crafts.  My favourite painting is Evening Shadows, backwater of the Murray, South Australia by H J Johnstone 1880.  The mammal collection at the Museum of SA always reminds me of my visits to the museum as a kid.  Last but not least, a visit to the Migration Museum provides terrific insight into the lives of migrants who arrived in the past and continue to arrive in Australia today.

Next week in “In Adelaide” we’ll explore where to go to get an unforgettably special meal.

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