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The City of Adelaide

The city combines creativity and liveliness with a safe and clean environment.

Adelaide is a multicultural city with a population made up of over 100 different ethnic communities. Many of these communities proudly maintain links with their culture. South Australians lead a relaxed but exciting lifestyle, in a state with a rich history, and a particular love of fine wine and food.

Adelaide may be a smaller city than you are used to, but its size means that it is not as expensive and is easier to navigate than larger cities. For example, a 20-minute tram trip can take you from the centre of the city to the beach! There are many things you can do in and around the city to help you become familiar with Adelaide and the local culture.

Want to know the weather in Adelaide? Visit the Bureau of Meteorology to find out the current forecast.

  • North Terrace

    North Terrace is sometimes described as Adelaide’s ‘cultural precinct’. Best of all, these Adelaide attractions are free and well worth exploring!

    Adelaide Botanic Gardens

    The gardens, with both native and exotic plants, were first opened to the public in 1857. They provide a great spot to escape the city, relax and become familiar with our native plants.

    Art Gallery of South Australia

    Next to the University, the Art Gallery houses collections of European, colonial, Aboriginal and contemporary art. You can gain a greater understanding of the culture by viewing the collection.

    South Australian Museum

    Next to the Art Gallery, the South Australian Museum has the largest Aboriginal cultural collection in the world, as well as collections focusing on the Pacific, explorers of the Antarctic, opals and Ancient Egypt.

    State Library of South Australia

    The State Library is a great place to hide away and study, with interesting historical, artistic and cultural spaces as well as books and free internet access.

    Migration Museum

    Located behind the South Australian Museum, the Migration Museum’s buildings were used as the Destitute Asylum in the 1880s. It houses exhibitions on the immigration and settlement of South Australia, focusing on our diverse culture.

    National Wine Centre

    The National Wine Centre is a unique building offering opportunities for tourists as well as University of Adelaide students to learn about winemaking and the wine industry.

    National War Memorial

    On the corner of Kintore Ave and North Terrace, this impressive memorial commemorates the Australian soldiers who died in World War I.

  • Other Attractions


    253 Grenfell St, Adelaide
    Tandanya is the national Aboriginal Cultural Institute—an Indigenous-owned and managed multi-arts centre. It showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and cultures from throughout Australia. The name ‘Tandanya’ comes from the language of the traditional inhabitants of the Adelaide Plains, the Kaurna people (pronounced ‘Gah-na’); it means ‘place of the Red Kangaroo’.

    The Jam Factory

    19 Morphett Street, Adelaide
    The Jam Factory is a centre for the design, production, exhibition and sale of craft and design work by leading and emerging Australian designers/makers.

    Popeye cruises

    Elder Park, River Torrens
    Buy a ticket for the Popeye passenger boats from the wharf in Elder Park. The 40- minute cruise travels along the lake to the Torrens Weir and past the Zoo. It is a unique way of viewing the Adelaide cityscape. Paddleboats are also available for hire from Elder Park.

    The River Torrens Linear Walk is a pathway along the river’s edge, stretching from the sea at West Beach to the Adelaide Hills. Many people walk, jog or cycle along the path or simply enjoy a picnic along the water’s edge. For more information about walking and cycling trails, including maps, visit the South Australian Trails website

    The Adelaide Zoo
    Frome Road, Adelaide
    Come and visit the Pandas! Visiting the Adelaide Zoo is also a great opportunity to become familiar with Australian native animals. For more information on opening hours and ticket prices visit their website.

  • Nearby


    Go and see a film at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, located in the heart of the city on Rundle Street. Visit the Palace Nova website for session times. The smaller Mercury Cinema offers a selection of arthouse, cult, and classic film.

    Arts and Crafts

    Urban Cow Studio at 11 Frome Street has some great local art and crafts. The Pepper St Arts Centre at 558 Magill Rd, Magill offer monthly exhibitions, art classes and an inexpensive gift shop.

    By the Seaside

    Take a trip down to the sea! Whatever the season, South Australia’s beaches are worth a visit. A swim or walk along the jetty are experiences not to be missed.

    Grange, West Beach, Brighton, Seacliff and Semaphore are great for swimming. For the most popular beaches: catch a tram down to Glenelg. Check out the shops on Jetty Road, buy an ice cream, and if the weather’s nice, go for a swim! If you do choose to swim, make sure that you're aware of how to stay safe in the sea.

    Visit the square at Henley Beach. Take a walk out to the end of the jetty, buy some fish and chips and watch the sea.

  • National Parks and Conservation Areas

    Wear your walking shoes and pack a picnic lunch! There are lots of parks and conservation areas to explore around Adelaide. They include the following locations.

    Belair National Park: catch the Belair line train from Adelaide. Get off at the last stop, cross the line to the other side and you’ll find the park down the hill behind the station.

    Cleland Conservation Park: near Mount Lofty, Cleland is a park where you can see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and other native animals in their natural environment.

    There is a bus that travels directly to Cleland. Contact AdelaideMetro (phone 1300 311 108 or visit the website) for timetable information.

    Morialta Falls and Waterfall Gully: in Adelaide’s ‘foothills’. Hike through the bush or just enjoy the tranquil sights and sounds near the waterfall.

    Mount Lofty Botanic Garden: the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden is in the Adelaide Hills, just down the road from the lookout at the top of Mt Lofty (or just up the road from Cleland). They offer beautiful walks and spectacular views. It is free to visit, and they are open every day.

  • Fishing

    Are you a keen fisherman who likes to spend time at some of South Australia’s amazing beaches?

    If so, South Australia has some great fishing beaches - but you need to be aware of the state's fishing rules to ensure you avoid penalties on your trip. Our fish stocks are a precious resource, and to help ensure there are enough fish for the future, limits have been set to control the number and size of fish taken.

    Visit: or call FISHWATCH on 1800 065 522 for more information on size, bag, boat, and possession limits that apply to fishing in South Australia. Information about closures and other restrictions is also included.

    Any species that are not listed do not have size or bag limit restrictions, but you are encouraged to only take what you need for personal use and remember, as a recreational fisher you are not allowed to sell or trade your catch.

  • Climate

    Bounded in the East by a mountain range (The 'Mount Lofty Ranges'), and in the West by the Southern Ocean, Adelaide enjoys what is sometimes referred to as a 'Mediterranean climate' with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Adelaide lies on the Torrens River and is sheltered from the Southern Ocean by its location on the Gulf of St Vincent.

    Summer temperatures can exceed 40 degrees Celsius (°C). While it can get cold in winter (12-19°C), it does not snow in Adelaide.

    A Guide to Temperatures in Adelaide

    Month Average Daily Max (°C) Average Daily Min (°C)
    January 29.3 17.1
    February 29.4 17.2
    March 26.3 15.2
    April 22.7 12.4
    May 18.9 10.2
    June 16.1 8.1
    July 15.3 7.5
    August 16.6 8.2
    September 19 9.7
    October 21.8 11.5
    November 25.1 14
    December 27 15.6

    South Australia is the driest state on the driest inhabited continent - though this is not always apparent from the city of Adelaide, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate. The semi-arid deserts in the northernmost part of the state are renowned for their high temperatures and low rainfall.

    There are generally no great extremes of climate in Australia - variations in climate are due to the size of the continent. You will find tropical rainforest in the northeast of the country, more temperate areas to the south, and desert areas in the interior.

  • South Australia

    South Australia boasts a diverse range of different landforms, from hills, grasslands and valleys, to the semi-arid and arid deserts in the north of the State. Australia is one of the oldest continents on Earth, and consists of a wide variety of landforms, mostly consisting of vast ancient crystal blocks. The lowest point in Australia is Lake Eyre in South Australia, which is 16 metres below sea level.

    National Parks and Conservation Areas
    The Australian government sets aside areas to protect and maintain the native Australian bush and wildlife. Most of these parks encourage visitors.

    Cleland Conservation Park in particular provides an excellent opportunity to see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and other native animals in their natural surroundings.

    Other parks such as those at Belair, Parra Wirra and Morialta are great for bushwalking and picnicking. Most of these parks can be reached by public transport.

    The parklands that surround the city centre are a unique and attractive asset to Adelaide. They serve many purposes, with sporting facilities, gardens, over 40kms of walking and jogging tracks, playgrounds, barbecue and picnic areas, and the Botanic Gardens.

    Adelaide Hills
    There is much to see and do in the historic Adelaide Hills, one of the first regions to be settled within South Australia. Twenty minutes' drive from the City of Adelaide, is the historic German heritage town of Hahndorf. The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens offer beautiful scenery with views of the City of Adelaide. There is also an abundance of great food and fine wine.

    Fleurieu Peninsula
    The Fleurieu Peninsula is home to some of South Australia's most picturesque swimming and fishing beaches, walking trails, and wine regions. The seaside region of Victor Harbor offers many different opportunities: surfing, fishing and swimming at its different beaches, whale-watching between June and September each year, and the chance to see more than 1,000 fairy penguins, nesting on Granite Island. The McLaren Vale wine region, 40 minutes' drive south of Adelaide, is home to more than 60 wineries. The 'Heysen Trail' , a 1,200km hiking trail through some of South Australia's best natural features, begins in Cape Jervis at the southern tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and follows some beautiful coastal scenery along the Deep Creek Conservation Park.

    Kangaroo Island
    Located just 16km from the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island is the third largest island off the Australian mainland, accessible by vehicle/passenger ferry and by air. It offers an abundance of wildlife largely unaffected by developments on the mainland, including sea lions, koalas, wallabies - and, of course, kangaroos! It is also home to Australia's largest sea lion colony, spectacular rock formations, and untouched sandy beaches.

    Barossa Valley
    Roughly 40 minutes north east of Adelaide is the Barossa Valley, Australia's most famous wine region. It is one of the world's great wine producing areas, with over fifty small and large-scale wineries. The Barossa is home to some of Australia's greatest and most well known wines, including the Penfold's 'Grange', and Orlando Wines 'Jacob's Creek'. Originally settled by German and English migrants, the Barossa has a rich European culture, and a reputation for fine food and produce.

    Flinders Ranges
    The Flinders Ranges national park, a mountain range about five hours north of the state, covers 95,000 hectares. It incorporates rugged scenery, seasonal wildflowers, tree-lined gorges and wildlife. Wilpena Pound, in the heart of the national park, offers excellent camping and bushwalking, abundant wildlife, and dense native vegetation.

    Coober Pedy
    Coober Pedy is a famous mining town in the semi-arid desert area of South Australia, about 850km north of Adelaide. It is home to Opal mining in Australia, and well known for its underground 'dugouts' that are home to fifty percent of the population.

  • Eating Out

    The University has several cafeterias and a coffee shop where you can purchase lunchtime food such as sandwiches, rolls, hot chips, pies and pasties, soups and salads.

    The nearby city has an enormous selection of snack bars, food halls and cheap restaurants which offer a variety of international cuisine. Areas to check out include: Rundle Mall, Rundle Street, the West End, Gouger Street and the Central Market.

  • Religious Matters

    Religious Centre
    A number of rooms are available for student use in the Lady Symon Building and many of the religious affiliations use these facilities for meetings or private religious observance.

    Islamic Requirements
    For assistance in obtaining halal food or visiting the Mosque you may telephone the Adelaide Mosque (8231 6443) for more information.

    Halal beef, lamb, chicken and various other meats can be purchased from the Central Market, on Gouger Street, Adelaide.

    Always ask the butcher first before buying any meat from a butcher shop or supermarket if you are uncertain about the label. Some butcher shops may only stock some halal meat products while other butcher shops will not stock any. However, if you tell your local butcher shop that you wish to buy halal products only, then they will often be able to order them for you.

    Any assistance required by Muslim students with respect to settling in is available from the mosques, Islamic centres and the Islamic Society. The Islamic Students' Society University of Adelaide (ISSUA) can be contacted through the Clubs' Association.

    Islamic Prayer Room
    Separate prayer rooms for male and female Islamic students are available at the University on Level 6 of the Union Building.

    Chaplaincy Services
    Chaplaincy services are available to students and staff, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Appointments can be arranged through the Religious Centre (telephone 8303 4161).
    The counselling provided covers issues such as spiritual, ethical, personal, marriage, vocational, advocacy and justice.

    Religious Organisations
    Here is a list of some of the religious organisations within Adelaide.

    Baha'i Centre of Learning, 279 Flinders Street, Adelaide

    Baha'i Information Office
    342 Brighton Road, North Brighton 5049. Phone: 8298 7822

    Buddhist Temple
    45 Smith Street, Thebarton. Phone: 8443 5856

    Buddha House Centre for Advanced Buddhist Studies
    3 Nelson Street, Fullarton. Phone: 8379 9153

    United Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation
    20 Butler Ave, Pennington. Phone: 8447 8477

    Buddhist Adelaide Non-sectarian
    Tibetian Budist Group, West Lakes. Phone: 8449 1618

    St Francis Xavier's Cathedral (Catholic)
    Wakefield Street, Adelaide. Phone: 8231 3551

    St Peter's Cathedral (Anglican)
    27 King William Street, Adelaide. Phone: 8267 4551

    St Stephen's Lutheran Church
    152 Wakefield St, Adelaide
    Phone: 8223 5491

    Chinese Christian Church of Adelaide (AACC)
    294-296 Morphett St, Adelaide
    Phone: 8231 9993

    Chinese (SA) Christian Church Inc
    10 Pitt St, Adelaide
    Phone: 8202 5848

    The Vietnamese Evangelical Church in South Australia
    28-32 Tait Street, Renown Park
    Phone: 8261 6929 (after hours) or 8266 1697

    Korean Adelaide Church
    40 Third Ave, St Morris
    Phone: 8336 3421

    Korean Adelaide Presbyterian Church
    309 The Parade, Beulah Park
    Phone: 8364 1751

    Ganesha Hindu Temple
    3a Dwyer Road, Oaklands Park. Phone: 8298 1278

    The Adelaide Mosque
    20 Little Gilbert Street, Adelaide. Phone: 8231 6443

    Islamic Arabic Centre & Al-Khalil Mosque
    Corner Torrens Road and Audley St, Woodville North. Phone: 8268 1944

    Gilles Plains Mosque & Islamic Society
    52 Wandana Avenue, Gilles Plains. Phone: 8369 0781

    Islamic Society of South Australia Incorporated
    & Park Holme Mosque
    658 Marion Road, Park Holme. Phone: 8277 8725

    Beit Shalom Synagogue
    39 Hackney Road, Hackney. Phone: 8362 8281.

  • Recreation

    Not all of your time in Australia should be spent studying. In fact, if you don't set aside time to relax, exercise and make friends your study will not be as effective as it should be. Australians enjoy their relaxation or leisure time and take part in a wide range of recreational activities.

    The Adelaide University Union organises social and recreational activities for students each term. The International Student Centre also organises a program of workshops and events throughout the year.

    There are a wide variety of clubs at the University of Adelaide, with over 100 religious, cultural, social, faculty or general interest groups. Students are encouraged to join clubs and take part in their many activities and outings.

    The Advertiser: Adelaide's daily local newspaper. It has local, national and international news. It is a good place to look at local advertisements if you want to buy things. The Wednesday and Saturday editions also include accommodation listings.

    The Australian: is the national daily newspaper. A good source of a wide range of national and international news and also special feature sections on different days throughout the week.

    The Age: is a Melbourne based daily newspaper, available throughout Adelaide.

    The Visitor Information Centre (telephone 1300 588 140) provides general information about activities in Adelaide as well as tourist information if you intend to do a little travelling further afield. Their office is located in James Place in the city.

    Australians are great sport lovers, both as participants and spectators. Adelaide University Sport offers many sporting clubs and there are also community sports clubs in Adelaide. There is a gymnasium on campus (The Fitness Hub), which has subsidised membership for students.

    Soccer, cricket, cycling, netball and Australian Rules Football ('footy') are the popular sports in Adelaide. Adelaide Oval, home to South Australian football and cricket, is located within five minutes’ walking distance of Adelaide’s central train and tram stations.

    Water sports are also popular in Australia because of our good weather and huge expanse of coastline. The suburban beaches around Adelaide are clean, safe and very popular with swimmers, sailors and windsurfers. There are a number of suburban Olympic size swimming pools open to the public for a small entrance fee.

    Movies, Television and Radio
    Going to the movies is a popular pastime amongst young Australians. There are several cinema complexes in the city, and a number in the suburbs as well. As a student you are entitled to a concession rate at cinemas. Movies in some cinemas are further discounted on Tuesday nights.

    DVDs and streaming video are popular with Australians and you may be invited to watch a movie on video at the home of a friend.

    There are a number of both FM and AM radio stations in Adelaide offering a wide selection of music, news and sports coverage:

    • The University has its own FM band radio station: Radio Adelaide (101.5 on the FM dial) broadcasting student radio programs with diverse information programs and a very broad range of music (from classical to jazz to metal...)
    • 5EBI.FM (103.1 on the FM dial) is predominantly a multicultural radio station and usually broadcasts in foreign languages.
    • 5RPH, (Radio for the Print Handicapped - 1197 on the AM dial) is a radio station where newspapers are read for people who have difficulty reading for themselves. This also provides a useful way for newly arrived students to improve their English.
    • Other popular music channels are SAFM 107.1, MMM (Triple M) 104.7 FM, JJJ (Triple J) 105.5 FM, Nova (91.9FM), and Fresh (92.7FM).

    Adelaide has six free to air television channels. The national television and radio station is called the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) which provides commercial-free viewing. SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) is Australia's primary multicultural television network. SBS has specialist international news services. ACE television is a community television provider. The 10, 9 and 7 commercial networks provide a range of local news and popular television viewing.

  • Holidays & travel

    There will be a number of weeks during the year when you do not have lectures or examinations. There are many beautiful places in South Australia to visit and you should consider taking advantage of the travel discounts often available to students. Before you finalise any travel arrangements, ensure that you have taken your supplementary exams into account.

    The Flinders Ranges, River Murray towns, Kangaroo Island and the many beaches along the South Australian coast are popular holiday destinations. For more information, check out the SA Tourism web site.

  • Festivals

    Adelaide has a number of nicknames that you will probably hear during your time in the city. As The City of Churches, Adelaide boasts a disproportionately large number of churches. Church spires complement the cityscape, particularly St Peter's Cathedral (North Adelaide), and St Francis Xavier (Wakefield St, City). They represent an important part of Adelaide's colonial history.

    South Australia also lays claim to the title The Festival State - you will often see this proclaimed on South Australian vehicle number plates. In fact, there are over 500 festivals held in Adelaide every year. These range from the traditional to the offbeat, and from international arts festivals to small regional events.

    Major ongoing festivals include:

    • Adelaide Festival of Arts, along with Edinburgh and Avignon, this is one of the three great arts festivals of the world, and is held in Adelaide's summer every year. Its sister festival is the Adelaide Fringe, held concurrently. The fringe is more alternative and attracts a diverse range of theatre, drama and music events.
    • Womadelaide is a world festival of music and dance, now held every year in the Botanic parklands of Adelaide.
    • During your time in Adelaide, you will have the opportunity to experience a diverse range of different cultures, celebrations and activities. For more information about festivals and events in Adelaide and South Australia, see ArtsSA or visit the SA Tourism Commission.

    The City of Adelaide is also host to many leading arts organisations such as the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia, Festival Theatre and Australian Dance Theatre, and enjoys regular visits from major interstate and international artistic groups.


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