Adelaide, the Capital City of South Australia

Adelaide is South Australia's capital - a charming, cosmopolitan hub of more than one million people with a reputation as the 20-minute city - you can always get from A to B in less than half an hour.

Surrounded by parklands, the city also has more restaurants per head than any other in Australia. Its city streets are filled with lively cafes and restaurants that provide the best value and quality in Australia and reflect the huge diversity of its ethnic communities. And with immigrants from 150 countries making their home in South Australia, there's a culinary sensation to suit every taste.

Accounting for 70 per cent of the nation's wine exports, South Australia was the easy choice for the new National Wine Centre of Australia. Designed to showcase 10,000 Australian wines and more than 50 wine regions, the National Wine Centre is located in the heart of Adelaide.

Adelaide - Courtesy of southaustralia.com

Adelaide's Central Market and nearby China Town are great for fresh local produce at bargain prices. On Saturday morning up to 10,000 people from 60 nationalities jostle for fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and fish and a host of gourmet specialties. Most produce is harvested within 24 hours of sale and the heritage and character of the market remains, with the 1900s Grote Street facade still standing.

Adelaide - Courtesy of southaustralia.com

Adelaide is also known as Australia's Festival capital - thousands of art lovers from across the globe converge on the city for the biennial Adelaide Festival and Festival Fringe (the next festivals are set for March 2004). Other international events include Tasting Australia (October 2003), International Horse Trails (November 2002), WOMADelaide (February 2003) and Clipsal (March 2003).

Adelaide is the perfect place for an introduction to Australia's Aboriginal heritage and contemporary culture.

The South Australian Museum's Aboriginal Cultures Gallery on North Terrace is home to the largest collection of Aboriginal artifacts and archival material in the world, with 3000 items and interactive multi-media displays. The nearby Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is an award winning multi-arts centre featuring regular exhibitions by Aboriginal artists from all over the country, while a Tauondi tour of Adelaide reveals the diversity of South Australia's Aboriginal communities.

Joining the South Australian Museum on the cultural and political boulevard of North Terrace are the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Migration Museum, Government House and Parliament House, while to the west is Adelaide Sky City Casino and the Adelaide Convention Centre. The centre's $92 million expansion opened in September 2001, creating a total exhibition area of more than 10,000sqm and one of the largest multi-purpose convention facilities in the world. Incorporated in the centre is Regatta's restaurant, offering a range of quality dining experiences from breakfast to lunch, dinner, supper and after work drinks - all with great river views.

At the eastern end of North Terrace is the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The magnificent Bicentennial Conservatory houses a complete tropical rainforest and is the largest glasshouse in the southern hemisphere.

A 20-minute tram ride takes visitors from the heart of the city to the popular beachside suburb of Glenelg. Busking performances and street parties are common and visitors can try their hand at tandem bike riding, parasailing, windsurfing and sailing.

Adelaide's coastline is dotted with miles and miles of pristine beaches and abounds with attractions to suit every taste - from a miniature steam train at Semaphore to the flora and birdlife of Largs Bay and sailing at North Haven.

South Australia's maritime history can be explored at Port Adelaide, 20 minutes northwest of the CBD. Weekly walking tours are run through the old docks, while cruise boats ply the Port River, often attracting the local population of dolphins. The South Australian Maritime Museum and the mangrove forests are also popular.

Shopping is a breeze in Adelaide. The revitalized West End precinct of Hindley Street is home to the JamFactory Contemporary Craft & Design, Lion Arts Theatre and the University of South Australia. A recent influx of cosmopolitan cafes, bookstores and galleries is creating a new contrast to the nightclubs of Hindley Street.

Rundle Mall is the shopping hub of Adelaide with more than 550 retail outlets, and acts as a geographical bridge between Hindley Street and trendy Rundle Street, which boasts more than 50 cafes, restaurants, wine bars and pubs. This long stretch of retail and culinary experiences is the bustling centre of Adelaide almost 24 hours a day.