Unlike other State capitals Adelaide doesn’t share a convict history. The city was founded as a capital when South Australia was declared a new British province on 28 December 1836 — a day now celebrated as Proclamation Day. It was basically a planned colony for free citizens; so we can assume most early settlers wanted to call Adelaide home.
Believe it or not Adelaide’s original nickname was the City of Churches and Pubs. What a town!! This was decided a little risqué by former leaders who succeeded in shortening it to just the City of Churches. Today, as pubs, bars and clubs outnumber religious symbols, the original name is making a comeback in the local lexicon.
After a few pub crawls through Adelaide you might feel the urge to treat your palette to something other than cocktails and beer. Fortunately the city is the gateway to the Barossa Valley wineries region. Obviously proud of the State’s winemaking credentials the city erected the National Wine Centre of Australia, an interactive exhibition about wine.
Moving on from booze Adelaide is also home to a thriving defence industry. The majority of Australia’s defence companies have set up shop in the town, as have their research arms. This doesn’t mean the population is alcohol crazed and armed to the teeth though.
The general populace appears to be soothed by a thriving arts culture, with plenty of diverse festivals. Every two years the Adelaide Festival of Arts is held covering opera, theatre, dance and music. Its annual alternative is the Fringe Festival, the second largest in the world, which features contemporary cabaret, art, comedy, dance and more. If that’s not enough check out WOMADelaide for world music, the Cabaret Festival, the Writers’ Week, a Film Festival and even a Festival of Ideas, which is more about talking than entertainment.
When it comes to sport it’s all about AFL. The city features two teams in the national league — the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. They also love cricket and the city boasts probably the country’s best looking cricket stadium in the Adelaide Oval.
One final note about Adelaide; it was the childhood playground for Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.