A vibrant culture scene in Adelaide will enchant all visitors. From theatre and dance to sport and music, the city is home to an incredible array of attractions.
North Terrace is a captivating stretch of the city that houses some of its most esteemed cultural institutions. The South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of SA and State Library all reside here and combine to provide an enchanting experience for anyone who visits.
Rundle Mall is Adelaide’s major shopping and entertainment hub, with the city’s best restaurants and cafes, hotels and a number of tourist attractions all within close proximity. The renowned Dymocks book shop recently relocated to the western entrance of Rundle Mall, and is the perfect spot for book lovers to spend some time.
Founded in 1976, Rundle Mall was created by closing off a section of the street between King William Street and Pulteney Street to vehicular traffic. It is home to South Australia’s three largest department stores, 15 arcades and centres, over 700 retailers and 300 services.
One of the most notable features about Rundle Mall is its abundance of artworks and sculptures. A must-see is the set of bronze pig sculptures – Horatio, Oliver, Truffles and Augusta – which have become an iconic feature of Rundle Mall. They are a huge talking point, and everyone takes a photo with them. The Mall is also home to a massive pigeon sculpture, the Beehive Corner, and Salvador Dali’s Triumphant Elephant.
Rundle Mall is easy to get to and has plenty of public transport options. The tram runs along King William Street and has a stop right where it intersects with Rundle Mall, while the central train station is only a few minutes walk away. Buses can be found all over the area, with stops located on North Terrace, King William Street, Grenfell Street and Pulteney Street.
A handsome tree-lined boulevard teeming with historic and cultural treasures, North Terrace is the place to start your exploration of Adelaide. Here you’ll find the city’s top museums and the stately Parliament House.
The centre of the city’s arts scene, North Terrace is also home to the South Australian Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and the State Library of South Australia. This trio of buildings creates a strong sense of culture that’s difficult to find anywhere else in the city. Interestingly, the Museum has a very European slant, with works from Europe and some by early colonists. Many of these paintings fall into the history bracket as much as the artistic one, with scenes of stockmen trying to corral sheep and the start of major explorations of the continent.
Next door is the imposing Adelaide Club, built in 1891 for the city’s most influential political, rural and business men. It’s an elegant building and a great place to learn about the city’s rich social history.
Whether you’re looking for culture to complement climbing the Adelaide Oval, bushwalking with koalas or Glenelg dolphin cruises, a tour of North Terrace is an excellent way to get a feel for this cosmopolitan city. Join a guided tour, or use the free GPSmyCity app to turn your phone into a self-guided walking tour guide for the area.
Rhino Room is best known as the home of Adelaide’s comedy scene, helping generations of comedians to cut their teeth on stage, but it’s not just for comedy. It’s a great venue for local music as well, with the first floor band room housing some of Australia’s early hip hop stars including the Blackwood-raised Hilltop Hoods. It’s also a great supporter of visual artists, with the back entrance to the Urban Cow Studio situated just next door.
The massive bar/club on Capitol Hill boasts lots of kingly booths, sky-high ceilings, and a decor scheme that’s a sort of neo-deco-Egypto-minimalism. The gold leaf walls, inverted pyramid light fixtures, and mirrored pillars all contribute to the atmosphere of the place. The club is also a good spot to enjoy drinks and food. Sandwiches on Macrina bread are available, though it’s not exactly a place for a slam dunk dinner.
A $10 cover charge gets you in and gives you access to the bar, dance floor, and bathroom. The place has decent rap music blasting, but the dance floor is too small for dancing and the “bouncers” have a superiority complex. They’ll kick you out if they think you’re a bother or if you accidentally step on their mystical unicorn rug and they can smell it on you. Also, it’s often the most cannabis-smelling place in town.
The Light Room
Located above the award winning Aurora Restaurant, The Lab and Beag’s Garden Bar, The Light Room is the new destination for social interaction, fine art and immersive experience. Open Wednesday – Saturday, The Light Room brings together bars, dining, music, art and technology in an exciting new way to celebrate, connect, and explore.
Design by Georgie Shepherd, the bar overlooks Light Square through windows that spill sunlight into a space finished with leather banquette seating and polished concrete floors. A fusion of old meets new, the bar also offers a range of bespoke cocktails and beer accompanied by small bites and local wines.
Upstairs in The Gallery, discover a series of images from local photographer Chris Herzfeld that capture the beauty of dance. These images are a fusion of fashion and dance, with the land or urban scape acting as a character in the image. From the Gallery, guests can head through to The Studio and immerse themselves in the 150sqm of LED screens that encapsulate ‘Overture’ by Bigfat x Myles.
The Light Room is home to Adelaide’s biggest program of art, light and technology this winter. The Light Room Gallery and Studio are free to attend and will be open until late from 7 July – 23 July. Enjoy drinks and snacks in The Bar, then explore Poh Ling Yeow’s ‘The Girl: Exhibition’ in The Gallery before immersing yourself in The Studio amongst Overture.