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Adelaide - Attractions

Adelaide from the air

Art Gallery of SA

This free gallery, next to the South Australian Museum, contains one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of Australian, Asian and European art, including a fine selection of paintings by great colonial and contemporary Australian artists. There's a magnificent collection of South-East Asian ceramics, and a lovely display of decorative arts.The gallery also has the second-largest collection of Rodin sculptures in the world.

Festival Centre

Looking uncannily like a squared-off version of the Sydney Opera House, the Festival Centre is the home of the Adelaide Festival. Inside, there is a variety of performance spaces and galleries, and there are free rock concerts in the outside amphitheatre on Sundays during summer. One of the most pleasant aspects of the Festival Centre is its riverside setting; people picnic on the grass out the front and paddleboats can be hired nearby.


The magnificent white, sandy beach here is the most popular in Adelaide, despite the occasional rumour of giant white pointer sharks. There's not much in the way of surf, but the swimming is certainly pleasant. If sand holds no interest for you, head for the shooting games, scary rides and test-your-luck machines of Glenelg's old-style amusement park. Just east of the ferris wheels you find the more modern fun of Magic Mountain, with its waterslides, mini-golf and arcade games.

For the more seriously minded, Glenelg holds a number of relics from Adelaide's early days. The Old Gum Tree marks the spot where the proclamation of South Australia was read in 1836. A replica of the HMS Buffalo, the ship that brought the first settlers, is moored in Glenelg's boat harbour. On board you'll find one of the city's best seafood restaurants, and a museum telling the story of the ship's voyage from England to South Australia. A vintage tram runs from the city centre right to Glenelg beach.

South Australian Museum

This museum, which has a huge whale skeleton in the front window, is one of Adelaide's landmarks. Although its primarily a natural history museum, with the usual array of stuffed, glassy-eyed critters, it also has a good collection of Aboriginal artefacts, including an Aboriginal Dreamtime exhibition. You'll find the museum on North Terrace.

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