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Published on : Saturday, February 27, 2016
Adelaide comes alive in summer and nowhere more so than on the rolling lawns of the city’s Botanic Gardens, a local favourite for summertime picnicking and leisurely strolling.
Nothing says summer quite like grabbing rug and watching films under the stars at the annual open-air Moonlight Cinema, screened in the gardens beneath giant Moreton Bay figs.
On a sticky summer’s day, catch some breeze aboard a motor boat cruise on the city’s Torrens River. Or at sunset, hop on board a traditional Venetian-made gondola for a leisurely, romantic punt.
Adelaideans love their festivals, and the city rightfully earns its title as festival city at the tail end of the season when Festivals Adelaide takes over the city’s parks, warehouses, theatres and galleries for a month-long fiesta of music, food, arts and culture.
The extravaganza starts in March, or as locals would say “Mad March”, and includes the Adelaide Festival, the Fringe Festival and the WOMADelaide world music festival. Of course, being Adelaide, December, January and February are crammed with festivities too.
Splash Adelaide transforms laneways and urban spaces with funky street parties and live concerts, night markets on the lawns of the South Australian Museum and free family films under the stars on the terrace of the State Library.
Urbanites can check out St Jerome’s Laneway festival, an eclectic indie pop fiesta, while food and wine fiends can guzzle and gorge the region’s best eats and drinks when the Adelaide Hills Wine and Food Festival and the Cellar Door Wine Festival roll into town.
Those excess calories can be burnt off by hiring one of the city’s free council bikes and pedalling around the riverfront and tree-lined parklands, or by taking an environmentally sensitive, guided kayaking tour with Adventure Kayaking to glimpse Adelaide’s beautiful Port River bottlenose dolphins.
The region’s vineyards are incredibly accessible, with the 40 cellar doors of Adelaide Hills wineries a mere 20 minutes away. Around an hour north-east, the famous Barossa Valley is home to some of the world’s oldest shiraz and cabernet with some 80 cellar doors. South from the city, McLaren Vale’s hilly, coastal landscape is another magnificent wine region, and in January, the Harvest Festival celebrates food, wine and arts from the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Peninsula is also a popular summer escape on weekends, offering dramatic cliffs, capes and pristine beaches. The relaxed coastal village of Port Willunga is one of the best spots for surfing and dinner at The Port’s Star of Greece restaurant, named after an iron cargo ship wrecked off shore in 1888. Serving up freshly caught seafood like squid and garfish, it’s perched on a cliff with mesmerising ocean views over the Gulf of St Vincent.
More salt, sand and surf can be reached in less than 30 minutes from the city. In a mere 20-minute tram ride, you can be picnicking under the pine trees, watching the blood orange sunset from the famous Glenelg Jetty or an outdoor flick at Tropfest, the world’s biggest annual short film competition, held in every summer in February.
There are few places as lively as Glenelg in summer, Adelaide’s vibrant beachside town hosting street parties and heart-pumping watersports like para sailing, windsurfing and sailing. Glenelg is also home to the acclaimed Rodney Fox Shark Museum. Fox survived a truly frightening great white shark attack in his youth, and his collections are from more than 100 expeditions to film the great white shark.
Popular Brighton Beach is charmingly art deco, with a jetty and cafés. Kakayers can paddle at West Beach, surrounded by parklands and a golf course. Henley Beach is great for kids, with gentle waves, a jetty and esplanade lined with cafes selling fish and chips. Walk 20 minutes north from Henley for the coastal dunes and historic jetty of Grange Beach.
To the north, with kilometres of grassy sand dunes, Semaphore has a beautifully-preserved seafront history; the café strip a vibrant mix of cosmopolitan and old salt. One of Adelaide’s safest beaches is North Haven, with its boat marina and man-made breakwaters.
Tags: Adelaide destination