Today we didn’t arrive into Adelaide until about 10 a.m. and since there was not much to the “sail in” we slept late and had a late breakfast before heading off the ship for our tour. We were docked in the industrial harbor, so it was a 25 minute shuttle bus ride into the city of Adelaide.
We did a ship’s tour – Hahndorf and the Adelaide Hills. Hahndorf is a small German community that was settled here back in 1839. Captain Dirk Hahn was the Master of the immigrant ship that brought these hard-working settlers to this area. They were fleeing religious persecution in Eastern Europe at that time. This is the most famous of the towns in the Adelaide Hills.
We were on a large bus for our tour. We drove through Port Adelaide where we saw old red brick buildings that date back to 1836. There was an abundance of this red stone then. We also passed an old brick church with a galvanized roof. These roofs are becoming more common in this area. It was hard to take pictures along the route because of the window glare and we were at the back of the bus.
As we got into the city of Adelaide, we went through the North Terrace area which is Adelaide’s historic core. As we passed the brick Parliament Building, we were there in time to see this demonstration – with small children holding signs as well. This was only half the group there – it was quite a large gathering, but peaceful. We continued on N. Terrace Street and went by many old brick buildings including the large and beautiful state library (pictured here), the South Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of S. Australia and the University of South Australia. But while there are many old brick buildings, there is also the more modern Festival Center which has been likened to a squared-off Sydney Opera House.
We also drove by lots and lots of churches (Adelaide is known as the city of churches) with about 80 different kinds of churches in about a square mile area. Once again, it was hard to get good pictures of these in a moving bus with sun-glared windows!
The city is also surrounded by lots of green parks and beautiful public gardens. The Torrens River meanders between these parks. The city takes great pride in being more than just buildings and goes to great lengths to protect the parks.
Once out of the official city limits, we began our way up to the Adelaide Hills and our destination, Hahndorf. We went on windy roads surrounded by green trees and hills to get there. Our bus drove us up the main street in Hahndorf – which was about 3-4 blocks – before letting us off to explore on our own. Hundred year old elm and plane trees line the main street where many original buildings still exist in excellent condition. It is a quaint street with lots of little eating places, pubs, little shops, and a few art galleries.
After walking around for a little bit, we chose to eat at the Hahndorf Inn which not only had a large eating area inside, but also tables outside by the street. Since it was such a pretty day, we chose to eat outdoors. In keeping with the village theme, we each had a German lunch. Doug had the Cheese Kransky and I had the Bratwurst; both came with German potato salad and a big pretzel. We also had a German beer. It was actually really good and was a change of pace from what we’ve been eating.
Back on the bus we went to the summit of Mount Lofty – the highest point in the Adelaide area. Because of a recent fire in Victoria, there was still a lot of smoke and haze, so we couldn’t see as far as is possible normally. But it was still a pretty view. There was also a tall, white column monument to Matthew Flinders, the explorer who discovered and named Mount Lofty.
Back in town again we went down King William Street named for the king. The town of Adelaide was named after the queen. Our guide told us that any street that crosses King William Street changes its name because no one was allowed to cross the king’s path.
We took the option of getting off in Adelaide at the Beehive Corner where the pedestrian mall is (Rundle Mall.) It had blocks and blocks of stores and restaurants, etc. – a great place to people watch. I enjoyed a Royal Gala apple from the Adelaide apple orchards as we walked up and down the wide street. At the end where we picked up the shuttle bus back to the ship, there was a family owned chocolate store our guide had told us about called Haigh’s Chocolates. Of course we had to try some and support the family business! They were really rich and good.
It was a long bus ride back to the ship because we were in rush hour traffic, but we did get to go past their China Town and see Victoria Square and other sites we barely saw on the way in. And there were long, long lines of people waiting to get on a bus.
For dinner the ship had an Aussie Outback BBQ up by the pool. They even had a local band playing. We didn’t leave Adelaide until 10 p.m. but we weren’t up when the captain raised the anchor to leave. We had to be up at 5 a.m. to be ready for our very early excursion on Kangaroo Island – just a short distance from Adelaide.
It was a somewhat relaxing day, but the excursion we chose was just fair. We would have had more fun seeing more of Adelaide itself.