It had been a number of years since we had been to Adelaide and with some Virgin Australia points to burn we booked ourselves flights down for a weekend.
The last time we stayed in Tarndanyangga we had stayed in a random part of town away from all the action and we remember walking down barren streets for ages to find dinner and entertainment. This time we would be staying in the dead centre of town next to Peel Street.
This would make it easier to get around and explore this city that had changed a lot in the last 3 years.
We started the day at one of the largest undercover markets in the Southern Hemisphere – Central Market. Taking up 4 blocks between Grout and Gouger Streets it is jam packed with fresh food, fish, meat, cafes, restaurants and live music. Think of a bigger better market than Victoria Market in Melbourne or Sydney’s Paddy’s Market minus the cheap items.
We walked the aisles and then settled in at the Big Table for breakfast and a coffee.
After that we walked a couple of blocks north to North Terrace and our collection point. We had booked a half day trip around the Adelaide Hills wine region to the south-east of the city with TrailHopper Tours.
Unlike other wine tours where you are driven around prisoner to the driver’s agenda and destinations the Trailhopper Tours had a menu of items you could custom build an itinerary from. Also there was 10 people max on each bus so not the usual army descending on the same cellar doors. This flexibility and range of choice would mean we felt like we were on a private tour all day – starting with the first stop on our menu…
Table for Two
Located on one of the gently sloping hills of Woodside and on the site of an old farmstead is the modern and sleek cellar door and winery of Petaluma Wines. Our bus took its time meandering around the gravel track up to the summit, creating the perfect atmosphere. At then only Karen and I got off so we had it all to ourselves.
Known for its trademark yellow labelled bottles the Petaluma wine was very easy to drink. Really great reds. The setting inside was also very cosy and the arrangement of the tasting was very civilised, a selection of flights at the table with some free grub thrown in. Not the usual jockeying for position at the bar thrusting your glass forward to receive some grape juice.
Trailhopper Tours ran an Instagram competition – best photo of the day would win a free tour in the future for 2 people. Karen laughed and seized upon the moment to take a snap of me with my selection of glasses. It was not a bad effort.
Worth Two in the Bush
Our next stop was just down the road and what it lacked in intimate personal touch it more than made up for in personality. Looming large and high on a water tower is the logo of Bird in Hand Wines. In writing this post and researching two points stood out. Their website (see link) is the only one for a winery that I have ever seen to have a pop-up telling you about the traditional owners of the land (in this case the Peramangk people). The second point is that from afar the logo of of Bird in Hand Wines looks like the mark of Saruman The White in Lord of the Rings. Now there is a thought – Uruk Hai sommeliers.
The site of former gold mine hosts a cellar door, restaurant and a garden with all manner of artifacts. The wine was ok too. Few decent white wines for BYO.
After a couple of tastings we opted to go and see the town of Hahndorf and grab some lunch.
Classified as Australia’s oldest German settlement and celebrating over 175 years back in 2015 – Hahndorf is a quaint little place with one main road lined with 100 year old elm trees and contains dozens of buildings in the ‘Fachwerk’ heritage mould. Shops and cafes are sandwiched between two beer halls and you will struggle to see this many lederhosen anywhere else east of Oder river. Lunch was a cheeseplate in Udder Delights – an artisan cheese shop and deli on the main street.
After our break from the grapes we headed back out to a small niche cellar door belonging to Nepenthe Wines.
Borrowing the name from Homer’s Odyssey and with some slick label design this wine was heavy on style and, luckily for us, substance as well.
Before we knew it the day was done. All that was left was a stroll along Rundle Street back in Adelaide and some dinner.
Writings on the Wall
We had noticed a number of walls adorned with Street Art. This is thanks to the Adelaide Fringe Festival and its Street Art Explosion programme which has allowed 58 artists to add their personal touch to the cities buildings since 2016.
We spent the best part of the morning up and down the streets chasing murals and paintings thanks to a digital map of the artworks.
After lunch we paid a visit to the Migration Museum down on Kintore Avenue. A large portion of the museum focuses on the South East Asian roots of a large number of South Australians and how the fledgling Chinese expatriates forged a foothold in this former British colony. Other parts such as the Impact Exhibition focus on how immigration affected the settled aboriginal peoples of the State.
After the museum we continued east along North Terrace past a number of State buildings before reaching the corner with East Terrace. A sign alerted us to the promise of a drink as nestled within the shadows of the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Located in a building that has parts shaped like a wine barrel and the entrance is covered in the seven wine varieties of grapes. The National Wine Centre of Australia.
Most of the centre was closed for a private function but there was a small museum and a wine bar open to the public so we decided to get yet another glass of South Australia’s finest.
In amongst the wines on offer to drink a familiar face peered out to us, Mr T. (2016 Juxtaposed Grenache by the Dodgy Brothers from McLaren Vale)
And that’s a wrap on a fun-filled weekend in Adelaide. Definitely a more hip town than last time we visited.
But before we go, remember that Instagram photo from earlier? Well it won Photo of Day from Trail Hoppers #HunkyHusband indeed.