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Important info & helpful tips
If you land in the capital of the state of South Australia, you are probably visiting one of the most populous "insider tips" on the continent. Long overshadowed by Melbourne and Sydney, Adelaide has steadily gained popularity in recent years. Its location makes it additionally attractive as a starting point for a continent crossing from south to north. In addition, the surrounding area has many highlights to offer, which are unique in Australia and can be best explored with a rental car from Adelaide.
The actual city is relatively small and very relaxed, which the visitor can already see at the airport. In the single terminal, customer counters for Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Redspot and Thrifty can be found directly across from baggage claim. The airport is located about six kilometers west of the city center and is a ten-minute drive away. Traffic allows for brisk progress at all times. If you want to pick up or book your rental car in the city, you have a wide choice of shuttle buses or local public transport.
In the city
Outside the core city of Adelaide, easily recognizable by a wide and green ring of parks and green spaces, the cityscape resembles a collection of villages and settlements. The decentralized structure creates a well distributed traffic, so that travel times can be calculated fairly close to distance. The River Torrens, flowing from west to east, is a good place to roughly get around.
Throughout the city, finding a parking space for the rental car is not necessary. Only in rare cases a street is "full" and the search extends on once turn further. Pay attention to no-parking zones and pay areas. The fluctuation of meter maids is high and the parking tickets sensitively expensive. One of the many "Free Parking Spots" in Adelaide are known to every city dweller and are only a question far away.
Many free offers
The city fathers and mothers have done a lot for the attractiveness of Adelaide in the last years. In addition to the establishment of numerous music and cultural festivals, many other free services have been created. They range from bicycle rental in the city center to several free bus lines and the Adelaide Greeters. The "green men" are made up of locals who offer individual city tours free of charge.
Recommended excursions by rental car from Adelaide
Owning a rental car in Adelaide is a very worthwhile thing to do, as you can discover an incredible amount with your own vehicle. Whether mountains, small villages, wine valleys, dream beaches or forests, the region has something great to offer for every vacationer:
East of the city, the development slowly runs out towards the Adelaide Hills. This is a low mountain range with mountains up to 700 meters high. The many small, very idyllic mountain villages with their lofty colonial summer houses can be found in this striking region as well as romantic spots from which the whole of Adelaide can be seen all the way to the coast. Forests, pastures, vineyards as well as a very interesting culture characterize the Adelaide Hills and make them a very attractive excursion destination. In addition, the view to the west offers many a spectacular sunset, which could hardly be more beautiful.
For German visitors the small village Hahndorf can be interesting for a day trip. The old German settlement is located about 25 kilometers from the city center and offers distinctive folklore between art and kitsch. On the slopes of the southeastern Adelaide Hills you can find folk music and wholemeal bread as well as bratwurst, pilsner and half-timbered houses. The village lives today from tourism and descendants of the aborigines are hardly to be found there anymore. Nevertheless, the drive into the mountains alone is worthwhile, which, in addition to many small towns, has green forests, good viewpoints and a relaxed way of life to offer.
Coast & Beaches
Adelaide as a coastal city has the rare advantage of not directly bordering the open Indian Ocean and the Great Australian Bight. The large offshore bay, Gulf St Vincent, is additionally protected by Kangaroo Island and forms a kind of inland sea. Starting in the east of the city, the coastline stretches south for about a hundred kilometers to the tip of the headland on which the metropolis is located. On the first fifty kilometers in the direction of Cape Jervis there are many beaches, which are easy to reach by rental car.
The most popular stretches of coastline and beaches near the city are West Beach and the lively Glenelg. Both are a fifteen-minute drive from the city center. Directly behind the airport West Beach offers the most typical kind of Australian beach. A mile-long ribbon of white sand separates the city from the blue and turquoise waters of Gulf St Vincent. To the south is the seaside resort of Glenelg. Next to the beach, the historic houses, often built with a Victorian twist, are reminiscent of their southern English counterparts. The place is very lively and constantly gaining in popularity.
About twenty kilometers further south the beach sections Christies Beach and Maslin Beach are to be emphasized. Here you can also see nudists doing naturist bathing, which is not very popular in Australia. Some other beaches are not so popular, but not less beautiful. Whether in Port Willunga or Aldinga Beach, the chance to have a stretch of beach to oneself is relatively high at the beginning of the worth seeing Fleurieu Peninsula.
Excellent wine regions
Many of the worldwide appreciated Australian wines are grown in the Adelaide Hills as well as in the surroundings of Adelaide. The most famous wine valleys are undoubtedly the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. A day trip to the mountains or the idyllic valleys is well worth it, as it gives you a great impression of the region's diverse landscape. The one-way journey takes about one to three hours, depending on the route. If you want to try more than one glass of the delicious wine and take part in a guided wine tasting, you should better leave your rental car and book a room in one of the guest rooms offered in many places.
The third largest island in Australia is called Kangaroo Island and can be reached by car ferry from the southernmost point of the headland. In Cape Jervis, about a hundred kilometers south of Adelaide, it departs at least three times a day, and up to eight times a day if there is seasonal demand. On the untouched nature paradise there are numerous accommodations for a relaxing vacation from camping and hostel to hotel or Bed & Breakfast. The most famous highlights are the picturesque Vivonne Bay, the wild Flinders Chase National Park, Admiral Arch, the Remarkable Rocks and the diverse flora and fauna.