By CHARLES MOI
THE beautiful city of Adelaide is known as the city of churches – a city known for many magnificent structures for worship.
I have been lucky enough to have visited this beautiful city four times in the past four years.
The following is a brief about Adelaide city and the places I visited.
The most obvious question is why I decided to venture to this part of Australia. I decided to head to Adelaide for the festive season last year because I have family there. So my food and accommodation were basically covered.
Secondly the air fares are cheap. The whole round trip from Port Moresby to Adelaide via Virgin Australia cost me about K1,700. This was a bargain compared to flying domestic with the exuberant air fares, flight delays and long queues at the airport.
I arrived in Adelaide via Brisbane at 10pm (9:30pm PNG time) on November 27. This was my fifth time to travel to Adelaide so it was more like a second home.
As I stepped out from the aircraft I could feel the cold summer breeze. Waiting for me was the Wallace family – my aunty, her husband and their daughter. We picked up my suit case, then headed off to the car park, which is about four storeys, high. As we headed along Morphett Road towards, Seaview Downs (south of Adelaide city) I noticed the nice clean streets, bright street lights, and many informative road signs.
The other Australian cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are bigger compared to Adelaide.
According to writer Tim Lambert in his article on “A brief history of Adelaide,” the Indigenous Australians called the Adelaide area Tandanya, which means the Place of the Red Kangaroo.
In the early 1830s the British drew up plans to settle the area. It was planned the new colony in South Australia would be of free people, not convicts.
Adelaide is a well-planned city. Each suburb has its own mega mall, schools, and recreational parks. The airport is 6.2km or 14 minute from the central business district (CBD).
Here are some places I visited while in Adelaide.
The Adelaide Oval is situated right in the heart of the city.
According to the South Australian government website Adelaide oval was built in 1871. It came into existence after the formation of the South Australian Cricket Association. In 1884, it played host to its first Test cricket match, between Australia and England.
I loved watching cricket when I was younger so I was familiar with how Adelaide oval looked like with its leafy Moreton Bay fig trees, and heritage-listed wooden scoreboard.
In 2016 I was at Adelaide oval to watch a 20/20 Big Bash match between the Adelaide Strikers and the Brisbane Heat. The Brissy boys had Kiwi international Brendan McCullum while the Strikers had West Indies international
Kieron Pollard and Englishman Chris Jordan. It was an entertaining match, with many boundaries and sixes. The security guard manning the fence in front of us caught the cricket ball with one hand – which went viral on local media the next day.
Interestingly I had a photo taken at Adelaide oval with the guard standing in the back ground.
When I was at the cricket match the Adelaide oval had just completed, a major upgrade two years ago so I saw first-hand its modern facilities.
The new Adelaide oval has a seating capacity of 53,500, with over 2100 square metres of grass, and almost 900 square metres of viewing platforms.
I liked the big screen. I wish I had one in my room.
For those seeking a thrill there is also a roof climb to see the stadium from an entirely high perspective.
For those who love shopping Rundle Mall located in the Central Business District (CBD) is the place for you. It is the longest and one of the busiest malls in Australia and attracts more than 400,000 visitors and locals each week.
Rundle Mall is actually like a street lined up with many shops on both sides. It’s like a typical Lot 60 set-up in Port Moresby but retailers sell genuine products, and they are tonnes of places to find a well-prepared meal. My favourite fast food is KFC.
The KFC Colonel has many offers including my favourite, a zinger box special. It contains a chicken burger, chips, three pieces of chicken wings and mashed potato with a soft drink. All for about AUD$13 (K30).
Rundle Mall has four leading department stores, 15 arcades and centres, more than 700 retailers, over 300 non-retail services, and 2,500 food court seats. The mall was officially opened on Sept 1, 1976.
At Rundle Mall I realised that retailers have a high standard when it comes to customer service. Australia has a highly developed market economy. Its gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at AUD$1.89 trillion as of last year. It also has a population of about 24 million. A bigger economy, with a high population means that retailers have to be competitive to attract customers and make them buy something.
When you enter a shop its common to be greeted with a usual smile and a, “Hi, how are you today,” in the typical Aussie accent. The retailers are more than helpful to have customers test out their gadgets, and there many spacious fitting rooms for males and females. Some customer service officers at most times just strike up a good conversation about sport, politics the weather and ask where you’re from. I sometimes got mistaken for a Fijian or an African.
PNG is slowly getting there with customer service, but we have more room for improvement.
Adelaide is relatively safe and has an effective policing system. Good law and order means business houses don’t have to fork out huge chunks of money on security. I did not see one security guard at the shops I ventured into.
This was a drastic difference to the many guards in front of shops in Port Moresby – some even stand between the shopping isles, which I find annoying especially when you are trying to navigate through a crowd.
If we fix our law and order in PNG, it will be safe and conducive for business houses.
But in Adelaide they are a few suburbs which are known for burglaries, thefts and murders by people whom the locals refer to as “ferals.”
Mt Lofty located in the Adelaide hills is 15km east of the city. It is truly an amazing site as visitors get to see a panoramic view across Adelaide’s city skyline to the coast. I was lucky enough to have been to this summit twice.
Mt Lofty is 710 meters above sea level and attracts over 350,000 people each year. On a clear day you can see the sun set.
Unfortunately it was a hazy day so I did not get to see a clear sunset.
Mt Lofty is cold. The locals say it’s a nice warm Mt Lofty weather but my Melanesian blood was freezing from the chilly conditions.
From the summit you can follow the popular walk down to Waterfall Gully, join the Heysen Trail or stroll along a walking trail through native bushland to Cleland Wildlife Park.
According to the South Australia National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mt Lofty is a Sri Chinmoy Peace summit.
“The dedication of Mt Lofty Summit as a Sri Chinmoy Peace summit counts it among a family of over 700 Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms in over 30 countries worldwide,” the South Australia National Parks and Wildlife Service stated on its website.
“The source of the Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossoms family is the spirit of oneness. Its purpose is to manifest a strong sense of internationalism and fellowship amongst people of all countries.”
Glenelg Beach is popular in Adelaide and is known for its sandy white beach, long grassed, shaded picnic areas and shops. The array of shops include gift boutiques, shoe stores, swimwear and surf shops, art galleries and jewellery stores.
It comes to life especially during the weekends with its many popular bars, and entertainment.
It is a popular tourist attraction especially during summer. A favourite past time is to eat some Aussie made fish and chips and gaze down the sea looking towards Kangaroo island.
Glenelg also stands out for its tram service which runs right through to the beach. It is only 20 minutes from the CBD and 5 minutes from the airport.
Henley Beach is another popular place to check out while in Adelaide. It has restaurants, cafes and bars in a Mediterranean style setting.
Henley beach has water fountains for kids, a jetty, picnic areas, and beach showers.
Like Glenelg, the place also comes to life with its live entertainment at a number of venues at Henley Square. There many shops to choose from which include therapy and pampering. Henley Beach is only 20 minutes from the CBD.
New Year’s Eve
If you’re in Adelaide during New Year’s Eve you have to make it down to the CBD, for the specular fireworks near the river Torrens. It attracts hundreds of people, including families, who line up the river to watch the fireworks.
There are heaps of food, entertainment and a live DJ on hand. There are also designated dry zones so anyone caught drinking liquor is quickly arrested by police who closely monitor the area. The train service is free of charge on New Year’s Eve up until 6am the next day so most people don’t have trouble getting home. The authorities plan to replace the fireworks with a laser light show this year.
Adelaide is a lovely city to visit. The best way to see the city is to take a walk around. You appreciate the scenery more, get to chat with a few locals, and walking is also healthy for you.