One of Adelaide’s great features is its long frontage to Gulf St Vincent. Glenelg is South Australia’s best-known beach and its most developed piece of coastal real estate. It spills over with shops, restaurants, high-rise apartments and people strolling, sunbaking, cycling and rollerblading. It’s around 20 minutes from the city centre, on the sweep of Holdfast Bay. Since the late 1800s Adelaidians have flocked to Glenelg to partake of the sea air – the Glenelg tram, which was once the main mode of transport, still runs to the suburb from Victoria Square in the city. Other relics of the era have survived too, most notably the grandiose 1875 town hall. Housed within it is the Bay Discovery Centre, where an exhibition details the rich history of the area.
Enjoy plenty of family fun at The Beachouse, on the Glenelg foreshore; waterslides, mini-golf and fun for all ages. (08) 8295 1511 (www.thebeachouse.com.au)
History is re-created along the foreshore where a replica of the HMS Buffalo – the ship that carried the first South Australian settlers – now stands. Unlike the original, it has an onboard restaurant offering fine seafood dining, along with a small museum. Nearby is Holdfast Shores, a recent development with restaurants, boutique shopping and a massive marina. Walking trails lead up and down the coast (for information call into the Bay Discovery Centre), and the calm water is perfect for swimming, fishing and sailing. And there is, of course, the long, iconic South Australian pier – this is the spot to dine on fish and chips at sunset. Experience swimming with dolphins from the Temptation catamaran (0412 811 838; www.dolphinboat.com.au), or simply enjoy a relaxing twilight cruise.
Hallett Cove Conservation Park
The southern suburbs of Adelaide begin to blur into the Fleurieu Peninsula just south of Brighton. Here you’ll find Hallett Cove Conservation Park, which protects an incredible record of glaciation. A walking trail takes visitors on a guided geological tour to see some spectacular ochre- and sand-coloured rock formations. For the energetic, take the Marino Rocks to Hallett Cove boardwalk and reward yourself with refreshments at the Marino Rocks Cafe.