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Adelaide City Highlights

a fountain in front of a body of water

Adelaide is a city with a rather interesting history, and there’s plenty around the city that remind us of how the city was built.

A little history lesson: Adelaide was named in the honour of Queen Adelaide and was founded in 1836. It was designed to be the only freely-settled British province in the country. You’ll notice that the city is set aside the River Torrens – this was a plan of Colonel William Light, one of the founding fathers of Adelaide, who designed the city centre and chose it’s location. His design set the city in a grid layout with wide boulevards, large public squares and plenty of parklands.

You’ve probably heard Adelaide referred to as the City of Churches, which came about simply because of the diversity of faiths of those that have called the city and surrounds home.

Adelaide is home to some rather famous sites, as well as plenty of older buildings that have been well designed. Our City Highlights tour will take you on a tour of Adelaide, stopping to look at some of the more prominent sites in the city, as well as a short drive into the Adelaide Hills, with a stop at Mt Lofty and Hahndorf.

Prominent Sites of Adelaide

Let’s take a closer look at some of the sites you’ll visit on our City Highlights tour.

St Peter’s Cathedral 

A landmark building in the city, St Peter’s plays a pretty important part in the heritage of Adelaide as well as being one of those historic buildings you just love. The foundation stone was laid on the 29th June in 1869 (St Peter’s Day), with the first section of the church open for full services in 1877. The remaining section of the nave was completed in 1901, the towers in 1902 and The Lady Chapel and crypt in 1904. To finish off, the front steps were completed in 1911.

An interesting fact: St Peter’s Cathedral has the heaviest ring of 8 bells in the southern hemisphere. The bells are rung by Bell Ringers before Sunday services, as well as at weddings and on other occasions.

a church with a large clock tower in the background

Plane Tree Drive

Driving along Plane Tree Drive you could be forgiven for wondering if you are still in the city. This pretty, treelined street circles the Botanic Gardens, as well as bordering the Adelaide Zoo. Take in the huge Moreton Bay Figs, and soak in the colours of the trees and plants along Plane Tree Drive as you explore.

Art Gallery of South Australia

In a historic building on the cultural North Terrace is the Art Gallery of South Australia. Established in 1881, the Gallery has been in its current site in 1900 – today the original stone building is the Elder Wing of Australian Art.

The Gallery has received some impressive collections over the years, including a collection of Asian decorative arts from Sir Samuel Way in 1916, and is home to the largest collection of Morris & Co decorative art outside of Britain and the finest collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures in the southern hemisphere.

Importantly, the Gallery was the first to acquire a work by an Aboriginal artist back in 1939.

a clock on the side of a building

Colonel Light’s Lookout 

Named after Colonel William Light, the lookout can be found on Montefiore Hill and lets you gaze out over the city of Adelaide, learn about the history of the city and soak up the peaceful surrounds. The statue was originally located in Victoria Square, but was moved in the late 1930’s and it is believe it currently sits where Light looked out over the land and started planning the city.

a tall clock tower sitting in the grass

Ready to explore Adelaide? Book a seat on our City Highlights tour and we’ll take you to some of the most prominent sites around Adelaide, as well as exploring Mt Lofty and Hahndorf.