Adelaide

South Australia

Adelaide is the capital of South Australia.  1.25 million people live there, out of 1.68 million in South Australia.  Its settlement is not as old as the east coast Australian cities, but it does not have a convict past (which they are quite proud of).  However, the city is old enough (late 19th century) to have some nice architecture, especially in their government buildings.

Ayers House

This house belonged to the namesake of Ayers Rock (Uluru), Sir Henry Ayers.  He lived there from 1855-1897 during his career as a mine owner/operator, government representative, premier of South Australia, and President of the South Australian Legislative Council.

The most interesting thing in this house (to us) was the summer sitting room, which was located in the basement.  If a wealthy family with a large house has to resort to going to the usually-only-for-servants basement, circumstances must be extreme.  Which they are.  South Australia gets much hotter in the summer than Victoria (up to 50 C sometimes).  And it really was noticeably cooler down there.

Haigh’s Chocolates

We had actually had Haigh’s Chocolates in Melbourne (in the Block Arcade) and thought it was pretty good chocolate.  When we found out they were based in Adelaide, and had factory tours available, we signed up right away (my mom loves factory tours).  Cameras/photography weren’t allowed in the actually factory (sorry!) but believe me when I say it was incredible.  So much of the work is done by hand, including shaping the centres of candies and coating all of the truffles (some up to three times).  There was then a shop (of course!).  The majority of the chocolate was focused on Easter, as it was coming up.  Being a true Australian brand, Haigh’s has joined the “Easter Bilby” movement.  When rabbits were released in Australia, they took over and became an invasive species that hurt a lot of the native wildlife.  Bilbies are marsupials that are roughly the same size and shape as bunnies, but have not had the negative effects that rabbits have.  So, recently, people have campaigned to have the Easter Bilby nationally recognized instead of the Easter bunny.  I, for one, am fully on board!!

Rundle Mall

The main shopping street in Adelaide; it is now pedestrian only and the street has lots of public art displays dispersed along it.  One of the oldest buildings there is the Adelaide Arcade.  It looks similar inside to the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney.

Adelaide Royal Botanic Gardens

Another beautiful and expansive botanic gardens in a state capital!!  The picture on the right is at the Australian-American war monument in the gardens, which a guide helpfully pointed us in the direction of after he found out we were American.

South Australian Museum

The best Natural-History-Museum-like museum we’ve been to here in Australia (sorry, Melbourne!).  It had a fantastic indigenous display with tons of artifacts.  And being in South Australia (where Coober Pedy is located) we had to check out the opal/gemstone displays.

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