When I was planning my month in Australia, I already knew that I wanted to see some of the highlights on the East Coast. I hadn’t thought about the South, but when I rebooked my tickets and gained 10 more days Down Under, I decided to add Adelaide – a city that I knew absolutely nothing about – to the list and stay there for 3 days.
For accommodation in Adelaide, I decided to use Couchsurfing for the first time. Shortly after I had made my trip public, Bruce contacted me and offered me to stay at his place near Glenelg, a beautiful suburb of Adelaide. I accepted his offer and it turned out to be a great experience and I now have a friend for life – well, two actually, because his dog Bud and I quickly became great buddies!
On November 15th, I arrived at about 10 AM and was picked up by Bruce at the airport. It was Sunday, so Bruce had the day off, and offered to show me around. He took me to Port Adelaide, Semaphore Beach, Glenelg and a hill with a stunning view of the city and its suburbs.
Port Adelaide is a suburb of Adelaide that lies 14 km. northwest of the city centre. The port used to be Adelaide’s main supply and link to the rest of the world and is still the main port for Adelaide today.
The area used to be covered with mangrove swamps and tidal mud flats, but was discovered by Captain Henry Jones in 1834 and not long after that, the area was chosen as the location of South Australia’s main port. Port Adelaide was established in 1836.
Today, Port Adelaide is known for its many well-preserved pubs and hotels from the 19th century as well as the iconic Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 at the entrance to the port. Bruce knows a lot about the area, so he was a great guide, and it was really interesting to walk amongst the old buildings and learn about the history of the place.
Bruce also treated me to a ticket to the South Australian Maritime Museum, which has a large reconstructed ketch and many displays showing the life of the ship travellers that migrated in large numbers from Europe to Australia in the 19th century.
The next stop was Semaphore Beach, a beautiful beach close to Port Adelaide that is lesser-known than the famous Glenelg Beach and is therefore much less crowded. The jetty, which was constructed in 1860, stands at 585 m. Bruce and I walked along the jetty and got some amazing views of the beach.
Glenelg is a popular seaside suburb of Adelaide that was established in 1836 and is the oldest European settlement on the mainland in South Australia. It’s located on the shore of Holdfast Bay and has several hotels, restaurants, attractions and a gorgeous beach, making it a popular tourist destination.
Before going to Glenelg, Bruce and I picked up Bud and brought him along to the beach. I took Bud for a walk on the jetty from 1859 – or rather, he took me for a walk! It didn’t take us long to walk to the end and back with his high speed!
Bruce then drove me to a hill just outside Adelaide, where I got the most amazing views of the city, the suburbs and the coastline.
In the evening, Bruce dropped me off in Chinatown in the center of Adelaide, where I met up with Katrine and Annemie once again. I found out, after I had booked my flight to Adelaide, that they were driving their car back to Adelaide from Melbourne the same day as I was flying out. I could’ve saved some money there and had a fun roadtrip, but I’m really glad that I gained a day – a day that turned out to be great and definitely worthwhile!
The girls and I had our dinner near Chinatown before saying goodbye once again, unsure of whether or not we would see each other again somewhere else in Australia.
On the second day in Adelaide, I went on a full day trip to Kangaroo Island, which I wrote about a few days ago.
As I wrote in my previous post, I met Romina on the ferry to Kangaroo Island and became good friends with her. Since Bruce had to work and Romina was staying in Adelaide for another night, we decided to spend our last day in Adelaide together and explore the center of the city!
We walked around the city for a bit, checking a few things of our must-see list. My favourite place was the River Torrens, which is a very peaceful and beautiful river that runs through the city. I also really liked St. Peter’s Cathedral, which is an Anglical cathedral that was founded in 1869. The inside of the cathedral had been decorated with colourful balloons, making it a very unique experience to the usual church visit.
The only thing that Romina and I had planned on doing that day was a free tour at the Haigh’s Chocolates Visitor Centre. It was a genius idea! A very informative guide showed us around the factory, told us about the history of Haigh’s Chocolates and showed us how they make their premium quality chocolate from cocoa beans from all over the world.
I loved watching the workers preparing and forming the chocolate and I was in paradise when we got to try some. We got 8 pieces each and it was glorious chocolate, I swear I could’ve eaten the entire shop!
And I actually had a major craving for chocolate that day, so the timing was spot on!
After the chocolate tour, Romina and I went to the lively Central Market, where we didn’t buy anything, but it was nice to just walk around there and feel the special atmosphere.
I wanted to go to the South Australian Museum, but unfortunately, it closed shortly after the tour had finished. Instead, we took a walk on the main shopping street of Adelaide, which is very charismatic with a lot going on all the time. It definitely feels like the heart of the city.
Unfortunately, Romina had started to feel ill because of the really hot weather, so she decided to go back to her hostel, while I continued on my sightseeing tour. Although we had limited time together, it was great to get to know her and to have a friend to explore with for a few days!
I decided to go to the Botanic Gardens as my last stop, but – unlucky as I am – I got there just 2 minutes after they closed. The parklands on the way to the gardens were beautiful though, and I saw many strange-looking native Australian birds that I may or may not have fed some potato chips.
I then decided to head back to Glenelg and spend some quality time with Bruce and Bud before saying goodbye to them the next morning. I really enjoyed my first Couchsurfing experience with Bruce and even after my short visit, it feels like a place that I can now call home. Both Bruce and Bud made me feel very welcome and I’m really thankful for everything that Bruce did for me. I’m so lucky to meet such amazing people on my travels!