Category Archives: Places

Granite Island @ Victor Harbor

Granite Island is located in Victor Harbor which is about 80 kms from Adelaide city centre and takes about an hour and a half to get there by car. What struck us at first is that it is really small particularly compared to Penang Island in Malaysia from where we hail. It takes less than an hour to go around it on foot. You can walk across the 600 metre wooden causeway which connects the mainland to the island or take the horse drawn tram there. The operators are quick to reassure you that the horses are treated well as they work in short shifts, are fed regularly and taken to a nearby farm to roam when not put to work. We had no reason to doubt this as the horses looked very well fed and groomed. Trams run daily in 20 minute intervals between 10.30am to 3.30pm to the island and 11am to 4pm to the mainland. It costs AUD6 for a one-way trip or AUD8 per return trip for adults, less for children below 15 years old and families of four.

As to what you can do there, well, just look at the photos! Taking in the stunning views in all directions either from the mainland or island is well worth the trip. Bring a hat to shield yourself from the sun because as the island’s name suggests, is really just a piece of rock, very bare with only maybe one or two tress from which you can take cover. There is also a Penguin, Marine and Environmental Centre on the island which rescues and rehabilitates injured penguins. The centre conducts tours on Tuesdays to Sundays and public holidays from 11am to 4pm and costs AUD6 and AUD4 per entry for adults and children respectively.

Visit the Victor Harbor Visitor Information Centre for more information on Granite Island and other things you can do in the area including whale watching in the winter months. Also see this fact sheet for current attractions.

Address: The Causeway (look for Flinders Road), Victor Harbor, South Australia 5211
Phone: +61 8 8551 0777 (dial 08 8551 0777 if in Australia)
Hours: 9am – 5pm daily


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The Botanic Gardens of Adelaide (There are 3!)

Here’s a place that’s not food related, the botanic gardens of Adelaide. Adelaide has three – the Adelaide Botanic Garden, Mount Lofty Botanic Garden and Wittunga Botanic Garden. There is nothing better than spending the day at the botanic gardens for a picnic, go for a run or hike or just to take in the breathtaking scenery. The one we’ll cover this time is the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. It is only just under 20 kms from the Adelaide city centre but once you’re there, you feel like you’re hours away from the city which is great because you have that highly accessible choice of city vs. nature.

There’s a lot of ground to cover so start early. Make the Mount Lofty Summit your first stop – grab a map from the tourist info desk and view Adelaide city from there. On a clear day, you’re supposed to be able to see Kangaroo Island. Next, hike down through the gardens. Alternatively, you could drive down to the lower entrance (via Lampert Road), park there and work your way up through the gardens towards the summit. Meet there on Thursdays at 10:30am for the free guided walks in spring and autumn. If hiking’s not your thing, there’s a lake there which is a great spot for a picnic.

There are many trails but we recommend the Bank SA Nature Trail (note: gradient is rather steep but there are other easier trails you could attempt) because you get to see flora that is native to Mount Lofty. Doesn’t matter which trail you choose though – you can’t go wrong – they’re all beautiful! Also, if you’re lucky as we were, you’ll be able to see kangaroos.

Check out http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/Home for more information on all three botanic gardens and click here to download information specifically on the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.

We’ll cover the Adelaide Botanic Garden in a future post.

Address: Summit Rd / Piccadilly Rd, Crafers, South Australia 5052
Phone: +61 8 8370 8370 (dial 08 8370 8370 if in Australia)
Hours: 8:30am – 4pm Monday to Friday / 10am – 5pm (6pm during daylight savings) Saturday and Sunday (note: CLOSED if there is a danger of fire during the summer months – check with the Bureau of Meteorology before going)


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Adelaide Central Market – Part 1

Wow, what a place! A melting pot of people, cultures, languages – it’s the United Nations of Adelaide. More than 140 years old, it is supposedly the largest fresh produce market in the southern hemisphere. Food galore, too many to list but the three we bought from recently are:

  1. Springfield Butcher – Halal meats including beef, lamb and chicken
  2. Poultry Cuisine – Halal chicken
  3. Aubergine’s Fresh Produce – fruit and vegetables, not the cheapest but not the most expensive either – great balance between price and consistent quality.

You must visit this place if you are ever in Adelaide. Go to www.adelaidecentralmarket.com.au for more information.

Address: 44 – 60 Gouger Street, Adelaide, South Australia 5000
Phone: +61 8 8203 7494 (dial 08 8203 7494 if in Australia)
Hours: 7am – 5:30pm Tuesday to Thursday / 7am – 9pm Friday / 7am – 3pm Saturday / closed on Sunday and Monday


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I Am Thai Takeaway

It’s quite surprising to find Halal Thai food in Adelaide or anywhere for that matter other than the south of Thailand perhaps. Step into this place and you’ll immediately think that this is going to be an authentic experience given that the cooks are all Thais. Less authentic (but even less important) is the interior which is set up like a fish and chips shop. To summarise, this is authentic Thai food in a fast food setting. It is after all called I Am Thai TAKEAWAY. We decided to dine in anyway. There are three tables and a bar counter which can seat about 20 people all up. Note that this is not a full service restaurant.

We had beef Pad Thai (stir fried noodles), prawn Tom Yam Gung (sour + spicy soup) and green curry chicken. All were well executed with the flavours being well balanced between spicy, sour and sweet – not easy to achieve in Thai food. Each dish was AUD12 on average (approx. USD12) and of decent sized portions, enough for two. It’s cheaper still for lunch on weekdays for selected dishes priced at around AUD9 (approx. USD9). How does it stack up against Thai food in Thailand? Not quite there but it’s a good attempt and enough to satisfy the odd Thai food craving. We would have liked the food to be a little spicier but it was good on the whole. Give it a go.

Address: Shop 3, 200 Richmond Road, Marleston 5033, South Australia
Phone: +61 8 8352 3334 (dial 08 8352 3334 if in Australia)
Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm Monday to Friday (lunch) / 5pm – 9:30pm daily (dinner)


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Lawash Bakery & Kebab Shop

Nothing fancy about this place but who needs fancy when the food is great and good value too! Some say it’s Turkish food some say Middle Eastern but food of that region are similar anyway. The guys manning the charcoal fire and cash register were Afghan brothers by the way. We’ll be sure to confirm actual origin of food when we see them again.

We had the Chicken Al-Fam with rice which is a grilled half chicken in too many spices to figure out with buttered rice, salad and cucumber yoghurt dip for AUD12 (approx. USD12). Enough for two to share. Also had 2 skewers of the Shami kebab which is a spiced minced lamb which came with lots of Lawash baked flat bread (part pita, part turkish bread), salad and cucumber yoghurt dip for AUD8 (approx. USD8). We had their baklavas (pistachio, cashew varieties among others) for dessert (AUD1.40 / approx. USD1.40 each) which are truly amazing. They also have chicken and lamb kebabs – pieces are chunky, wraps, kurma and other breads which we’ll give a go the next time we’re there.

Totally forgot to take pictures of the food! We finished it before we could take any because the food was that good! Will add that later. EDIT (14 JUNE 2013): Finally got a picture of the food! See below.

Address: 115 South Road, Thebarton 5031, South Australia
Phone: +61 8 8354 0707 (dial 08 8354 0707 if in Australia)
Hours: 8am – 9:30pm daily


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First Trip to Adelaide

My wife and I first visited Adelaide in September 2011. We flew in from Melbourne for a day to get a feel of the place which we would call home for at least 2 years from 2012. From the airport, we took a short bus ride to the city. One thing that strikes you about Adelaide is how pleasant the people are, our first encounter with a lady bus driver. To top that off, the bus ride was free because the ticket machine didn’t work. We got off at the end of Grenfell Street which is parallel to Rundle Mall, Adelaide’s main shopping precinct in the city. From there, we walked to the Central Market, the largest fresh produce market in the southern hemisphere. It sure looked like it. We also made it a point to do our Solah at the Adelaide City Mosque which is not too far from the Central Market. It is reputed to be Australia’s first and oldest mosque – take a look at the picture of the plaque. Really nice that they retained the minarets. It’s bright and cosy inside. I especially like the small square green tiles laid in the area where the Imam leads the prayers. During this short trip to Adelaide, I now knew where I would go for my friday prayers. I still go there now that I’m in Adelaide for the long term.