Home to Australia’s most extensive cultural and arts scene, Adelaide provides more to the backpacker than what meets the eye

Come at any time to find yourself wrapped up in the many international festivals that call Adelaide there resting place before digging a little beneath the surface to find laneways full of eateries and wine produced from the famous nearby Barossa Valley.

The ‘City of Churches’ holds the attraction of great city beaches just a short drive from the Central Business District, that provides both the chance to laze in the sun and get out that surfboard that has been getting a lot of use around the country.

Located in the south-eastern tip of South Australia, Adelaide offers a change-up from the eastern coasts.

Adelaide Oval photo by Stewart Bishop

It provides much to the backpackers’ delight a relief on that wallet of theirs.
Yes, you read it right, Adelaide is cheaper, and while quiet with the sound of traffic it is loud with the noise of culture, and there are many things to do all without stretching the budget.

With lower prices for the bare necessities, this means you can enjoy the 17 major festivals, including the most significant art festival in the southern hemisphere.

This festival is the Adelaide Fringe Festival which runs for 24 days and features over 4000 artists. Another great festival not to be missed is the Schutzenfest and delivers much of what us backpackers love the most food, dancing and lots of beer…lots of beer.

Not far out of town looking through the front screen as you drive you will discover the eastern stretch of a fearsome coast.
The beaches just out of the CBD area at the end of the Great Australian Bite. It is a rugged stretch of coastline that is mostly cliffs providing a shoreline that looks like some took a massive bite out of the land.

Here is where you will find a lot of great beaches and popular spots to enjoy, starting with Glenelg.
This town has the most popular of the Adelaide beaches which allow for relaxing day on the sand mixed in with dips in the water, great cafes to eat and drink before the beachfront turns into a cruisy nightlife scene after dark.

For those more inclined to ride the waves to the shore rather than lie on the sand, Boomer Beach is the place to go.
Huge swells tumble in unimpeded from the southern depths of the earth and make themselves comfortable – and puts your heart on edge – as they hit the coast.

Finding a sweet spot to eat out is easy in Adelaide and also a challenge if you are up for it. Discovering chic backside streets and laneways full of fantastic local food is both a tasty and cheap way to get a feed.
For those not disposed to the art of walkabout, head to Rundle St for some excellent restaurants that won’t kill the cash, before heading to the East End Market full with 200 stalls open daily.

As the day slowly becomes night, the bustling student population begins to make a presence Adelaide unbuttons its shirt takes off the nerdy glasses and rolls up its jeans as the city decides to surprise even the most placid of travellers with its nightlife strength.

The place to be is Hindley Street featuring Reds Square Bar and Swish while the rest of the town throws a deluxe of boozy pubs and great live acts such as the Exeter and The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, or simple The Gov.

Find yourself amongst a rowdy nightclub scene or go pint for a pint at the pub in a city that belies its quiet afternoon personality.

Get lost in the many festivals or spend days lazing at the beach, find laneways full of delights you never knew existed and dance the night away.
From Adelaide discover the colder climate and exquisite wines of the Barossa Valley and the underground town of Cooper Pedy.

In a state full of surprises, Adelaide sits comfortably at the top, giving the backpacker a great cultural palate, beautiful beaches and a nightlife scene that more than satisfies.

So be a little curious and discover what’s just beneath the surface.