Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Australia chapter Adelaide – South Australia has to say about Adelaide:
“Sophisticated, cultured, neat casual - this is the self-image Adelaide projects, a nod to the days of free colonization without the ‘penal colony’ taint. Adelaidians may remind you of their convict-free status, but the city’s stuffy, affluent origins did more to inhibit development than promote it. Bogged down in the old-school doldrums and painfully short on charisma, this was a pious, introspective place. As Paul Kelly sang in ‘Adelaide’:
Find me a bar or a girl or guitar
Where do you go on a Saturday night?
...And the streets are so wide, everybody’s inside
Sitting in the same chairs they were sitting in last year.
But even Paul would admit that these days - thanks in part to progressive ’70s premier Don Dunstan, who wore pink shorts to parliament - things are much improved. Multicultural flavours infuse Adelaide’s restaurants; there’s a pumping pub, arts and live-music scene; and the city’s festival calendar has vanquished dull Saturday nights.
And, of course, there’s the local wine. Residents flush with hedonism at the prospect of a punchy McLaren Vale Shiraz or summer-scented Clare Riesling.
That said, a subtle conservatism remains. ‘What school did you go to?’ is a common salvo from those unsure of your place in the social hierarchy.
Just down the tram tracks is beachy Glenelg, Adelaide with its guard down and boardshorts up; and Port Adelaide, a historic enclave slowly developing into SA’s version of Fremantle. Inland, Adelaide’s winking plains rise to the Adelaide Hills, just 12 minutes up the freeway. The Hills’ gorgeous valley folds, old-fangled towns and cool-climate vineyards are all close at hand.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD