The famous Khyber Pass is currently closed to anyone except Afghans or Pakistanis. Some travel blogs/forums claim that hiding in a vehicle and bribing the border guards works, but doing so is very risky and could lead to imprisonment. Even more risky, however, is the threat from Taliban near the pass, who have been known to kill/rob/kidnap Westerners. You are strongly discouraged from passing through the Khyber Pass. (May 2009)
There are a number of roads into Afghanistan:
As of mid-2009, none of these routes can be considered safe. The Khyber and the Quetta to Kandahar route are particularly dangerous.
Buses run regularly between Jalalabad and Peshawar, Pakistan. Also, between Herat and Mashad, Iran. Afghani buses are thouroughly checked by Iranian border police for possible drugs, so expect delays.
- Afghan Logistics & Tours, #106 Ansari Square, Street No 1, Shar-e Now, +9370 277 408, +9370 288 668, +93799 391462, . One of the first and biggest travel companies in Afghanistan, with a South-East Asia branch office in Singapore.
- The Great Game Travel Company, Street 3/1 House 2 Proje Taimani, +93 79 948 9120 (Kabul) or +93 79 968 6686 (Kabul) +44 28-9091-3001 (UK), . Offers high security tours in central and northern Afghanistan.
- Sitara Travel Consultants Waheed Plaza, 3rd Floor, 52 West Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area, P.O. Box 1662 Islamabad, Pakistan. +9251 287 3372-75, +9251 227 4892-93, . Services Along The Silk Road.
Planes fly between Kabul and the major cities (Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif) at varying frequency.
There is a growing network of public transportation between the country’s cities. Buses ply some routes and Toyota vehicles have a near monopoly on minivan (HiAce) and taxi (Corolla) transportation.
Jeeps and Land Cruisers are available for hire along with drivers who speak some English. There are tour operators in Kabul that can provide a car and guide. Petrol stations are scarce in the countryside, and fuel is expensive.
Paved roads are the exception, not the rule, and even those roads can be in poor repair. Once outside the major cities expect dirt roads (which turn to mud during rain or snow melt). The highway between Kabul and Bagram is dominated by military convoys and “jingle trucks”.
Stay out of the way of military convoys! They travel fast and are heavily armed. Driving too close or approaching quickly from behind is an excellent way to be mistaken for a car bomber, and they WILL open fire if they feel threatened.
A new highway links Kabul to Kandahar. The highway is in good condition but should not be considered safe due to frequent attacks by anti-government forces such as the Taliban and the poor standard of driving. The trip takes a minimum of 5 hours.
Dari, an Afghan dialect of Persian, is the native language of about half the population. Pashto is the native language for about 35%, mainly in the South and East; it is also spoken in Pakistan. About 11% have a Turkic native language, primarily Uzbek and Turkmen, and there are also 30 minor languages such as Balochi. Most people speak more than one language; Dari is the historical lingua franca, widely spoken as a second language. You’ll find a few people in Kabul who speak a little English but otherwise it isn’t widely understood.
As to English it is now at the climax of its flourishing in Afghanistan & the percentage of those who speak English now has reached unprecedented rates. Mr, Karazai & his cabinet are fluent in English. English was taught at past from the seventh grade, but now is taught from the fourth grade. Signs in English in the streets now common all over the country. English is the second foreign language in Afghanistan.
Afghani (AFN) is, perhaps non-surprisingly, the currency of Afghanistan. As of December, 2009, US$ 1 equals about 48.50 Afghanis, while â‚¬ 1 trades about 70 Afghanis.
Haggling is very much part of the tradition.
Afghanistan’s most famous products are carpets. There are carpets described as “Afghan”, but also at least two other carpet-weaving traditions. The Baluchi tribes in the South and West weave fine rugs, and the Turkoman tribes in the North do as well; both groups are also found in neighbouring countries. All three types tend to use geometric patterns in the design, usually with red as the background colour and with repeated elements called “guls” to make the pattern. Generally, these are not as finely woven as carpets from the cities of neighboring Iran. However, many of them are quite beautiful and their prices are (assuming good haggling) well below those of the top Iranian carpets.
- Baluchi rugs are usually small since nomadic people cannot use large looms; sizes up to 1.5 by two meters (4×7 feet) are common, but not many beyond that. They are popular with travellers because they are fairly portable. One very common type is a prayer rug, just large enough for one person to kneel facing Mecca. Another is the “nomad’s chest of drawers” — a bag, often beautifully decorated, that is a saddlebag when travelling and hangs on the wall of the tent when camped.
- Turkoman rugs, often labelled “Bokhara” in the Western rug trade, come in all sizes and a very broad range of quality. Some are woven by nomads, with the same range of sizes and types as Baluchi rugs. Others are made in city workshops; the best of these are almost as finely woven and almost as expensive as top-grade Persian carpets. One fairly common design is the Hatchli, a cross shape on a large rug.
- Afghan rugs are generally made in city workshops, mainly for the export trade. They are often large; 3×4 meters (10×12 feet) is common. Most are quite coarsely woven to keep costs down, but others have a fairly fine weave. If you need a big rug for the living room at a moderate price, these are likely to be your best choice.
It is fairly common for rugs woven by nomads — such as many Baluchi rugs and some Turkoman — to show minor irregularities. The loom is dismantled for transport and re-assembled at the new camp, so the rug may not turn out perfectly rectangular. Vegetable dyes are often used, and these may vary from batch to batch, so some colour variation (arbrash) occurs and this may be accentuated as the rug fades. To collectors, most such irregularities come in the “that’s not a bug; it’s a feature” category; they are expected and accepted. In fact, a nice arbrash can considerably increase the value of a rug.
Turkoman designs are widely copied; it is common to see “Bokhara” carpets from India or Pakistan, China produces some, and the Afghan carpet designs show heavy Turkoman influence. To collectors, though, the original Turkoman rugs are worth a good deal more. Good Baluchi rugs are also quite valuable in Western countries. Afghan rugs, or lower grade Baluchi and Turkoman rugs, generally are not collectors’ items; most travellers will find the best buys among these. Experts might pay premium prices for the top-grade rugs, but amateurs trying that are very likely to get severely overcharged.
Kelims are flat-woven fabric with no pile. These are nowhere near as tough as carpets and will not survive decades on the floor as a good carpet will. However, some are lovely, and they are generally cheaper than carpets. Things like purses made of carpet or decorated with kelim weave are also common.
Another common product and popular souvenir is the Afghan sheepskin coat. These have the wool on the inside for warmth and the leather on the outside to block wind, rain and snow. They often have lovely embroidery. Two cautions, though. One is that the makers use the embroidery to hide flaws in the leather; top-quality coats will have little or no embroidery. The other is that Australian customs have been known to incinerate these coats on arrival, to protect their large sheep population from diseases (notably anthrax) that poorly tanned Afghan products might carry.
There are also various bits of metalwork — heavily decorated pots, vases and platters, and some quite nice knives.
Guns are very common in Afghanistan and some are of considerable interest to historians and collectors.
- The traditional Afghan jezail is a long muzzle-loading rifle often elaborately inlaid with brass or mother-of-pearl. Be extremely cautious about actually firing one of these. The genuine ones are quite old, perhaps with metal fatigue or other problems. Many of the jezails available are not genuine, just copies made recently for the tourist trade; these were never designed to be firedand are more likely to kill the shooter than to hit a target.
- There are also pass-made rifles, from the Khyber Pass area. The most common are copies of the 19th century British army Martini-Henry rifle, a single-shot lever action weapon. Some are.451 caliber like the original Martini-Henry, but some take a more modern round;.303 is common. Until the Russian invasion in the late 70s — when anyone who could kill a Russian, rob an armoury, or pay the price (i.e. almost any Afghan) got an AK-47 — these were the most common rifle in Afghanistan. There are also pass-made copies of various other guns, anything from Webley revolvers to AK-47s. Quality is often dodgy, in particular the steel is often of low quality, and firing any of these guns is risky. Ammunition made in the pass often contained less powder or lower-grade powder than the standard ammo; some pass-made guns blow up if subjected to the higher stress of standard ammo.
These make a rather problematic souvenir. Importing a firearm anywhere can be difficult and it may be impossible in some places. If you are travelling overland and passing through several countries before you reach home, it is almost certainly not worth the trouble. Also, if you actually fire any Afghan gun, there is a risk that it will blow up in the face of the shooter.
Afghanistan has several sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including:
Almost every Afghan town has a fine mosque. Those of Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif are particularly remarkable.
Being an Islamic country, alcohol consumption is illegal. It is, however, tolerated in western restaurants in Kabul.
Hotels and guesthouses are available in all major cities, and while some may not meet international standards they are usually friendly and reliable.
Many foreigners are finding well paid work in Afghanistan as part of the reconstruction efforts. Often with the UN or other non-governmental organisations. Most of these jobs are within Kabul. Local wages are very low, especially outside of Kabul. However, everyone should read and understand the travel advice published by their respective governments or in the Stay safe section below.You will need a work visa if you are planning on working on a US military base.
Afghanistan is a volatile country, and downright dangerous in the southern and eastern areas — non-essential travel is stronglydiscouraged. The Taliban has now declared abduction of foreigners to be one of its primary goals. In July 2007, twenty-three Koreans were kidnapped from a public bus in Ghazni province, south of Kabul. Two of them were murdered while the rest were set free several weeks later after controversial negotiations with the Korean government.
The northern part of the country is considered to be safer than the south and east, however occasional incidents can still occur anywhere and a seemingly safe place can become the opposite in an instant. Several German media reporters were killed in the northern parts of Afghanistan, most likely by criminals or anti-westerners. 10 doctors (8 foreigners and 2 translators) were murdered in August 2010.
Landmines and other UXO (Unexploded Ordnance) remain a problem across the country, so plan to stick to well-worn paths, avoid red and white painted rocks, and do not touch or move any suspicious-looking item. According to the Afghan Red Crescent Society, approximately 600-700 people are injured or killed every year in accidents due to landmines and UXO. This is greatly reduced from over 1,600 in 2002. While travelling in Afghanistan you are likely to see mine clearance organisations at work.
Insects and Snakes are also something to be careful of, as the mountainous country has many vicious tiny creatures such as scorpions, spiders, snakes, etc.
In some areas, altitude sickness is a significant risk.
If, after considering the risks, you still choose to travel in Afghanistan, hiring an armed escort or travelling with an experienced guide are ways to decrease the risks. You should also check with your embassy, and be clear on what they can and cannot do for you in an emergency.
See also: War zone safety
Afghanistan has its fair share of health issues, and it would be wise to consult a travel doctor ahead of your trip about vaccinations and health risks. Respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and food-related illness are common, and malaria is a risk in many parts of the country.
Afghanistan is one of the dustiest countries in the world, and you should be prepared to be covered in it and breathing it for most of your stay, even in the major cities. Pollution from diesel engines can also make life unpleasant.
Flies are notoriously heinous here, likely due to poor sanitation. Winter brings some relief, but they come back full-strength when spring arrives.
Food should be approached with a discerning eye, hygiene standards can often be lacking. Hot, freshly cooked food is generally safer. Bottled water is also advised, unless you have your own purification system.
Bring any prescription medicine you may need from your home country, don’t count on being able to find it locally. You may also consider carrying pain relievers and anti-diarrheals, as they’ll be hard to find outside of major cities.
As in most parts of Asia, squat toilets are the norm, and toilet paper optional and sometimes scarce. Western-style toilets are seen occasionally in newer buildings and some private homes.
- Women in all parts of Afghanistan wear the burqa or chadori. On the other hand, many women in Kabul and Herat these days don’t wear the burqa but rather put on the middle eastern style hijab, which is similar to Iranian fashion. Western women are highly encouraged to wear a head scarf (especially outside Kabul).
- Showing the bottom of the foot is considered rude.
- The farther south you go the more conservative the people are.
Fixed line service is available in major cities (digital in Kabul) and mobile phones in most cities. SIM cards are available and international calls to Europe/US typically cost less than $0.5/minute. Outside of major cities your options are limited to a satellite phone.
- Roshan  +93(0) 79 997 1333. The most reliable service with the widest coverage. SMS is possible to most countries. SIM cards cost $5, local calls are 5Af/minute (10 cents/min).
- Afghan Wireless  Privately owned with 20% ownership by the government. AWCC has the only communications ring around the country offering high speed mobile and data services through out all provinces. AWCC also offers the highest speed fiber based connections to the out side world, with roaming to over 300 other operators in 120 countries. Services include Voice, FAX, GPRS and EDGE data services along with WiMAX and dedicated high speed internet service with 45MB links to NYC and 45MB links to Paris. SIM cards cost $1, local calls are 4.99Af/minute billing in seconds.
- Areeba/MTN  +93(0) 77 222 2777. The cheapest cell service, offers the least coverage. SIM cards cost $3, local calls are 5.5Af/minute.
- Etisalat  +93(0) 78 688 8888. A large network provider from the UAE, is the latest GSM network in Afghanistan.
- Thuraya  is the most reliable.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Adelaide  is the capital city of South Australia. In Adelaide, you can enjoy stylish architecture, boutique shopping, sandy swimming beaches, fabulous arts events, nightlife, fine dining, and some of Australia’s best cafÃ© strips. Its population is slightly over 1 million, which makes it by far the largest city in the otherwise sparsely populated state. It is also known for having the conveniences of a large city, while at the same time being far less cosmopolitan than the “Big Four”.
Adelaide is centrally located among the wine regions of McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, all of which are within day-trip distance.
Adelaide is at least a days drive away from capital cities on the Australian east coast. The shortest route from Adelaide to Melbourne takes eight to nine hours. Roads are all paved, and there are some freeway sections, but it is mostly two lane roads of reasonable quality.
- Melbourne – Adelaide = 736 km via Horsham (National Highway 8) or 901 km via Mt Gambier (National Highway 1)
- Sydney – Adelaide = 1422 km via Wagga Wagga and Mildura (National Highway 20) or 1659 km via Broken Hill (National Highway 32). The road through Wagga will save you some hours due to freeway most of the way from Sydney to Wagga, and the fast straight road from Wagga past Hay. The road through Broken Hill is perhaps the more interesting route, however.
- Adelaide – Brisbane = 2031 km via Broken Hill
Adelaide airport is around 7km to the west of downtown. West Beach, and excellent swimming beach with plenty of accommodation is located only 4km away.
Adelaide’s airport has regular international connections to Auckland (Air New Zealand ), Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific ), Denpasar (Pacific Blue ), Nadi (Pacific Blue ), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines ) and Singapore (Singapore Airlines  & Qantas ) as well as domestic connections to many Australian cities. Budget airlines Virgin Blue,  Jetstar  and Tiger Airways  offer the cheapest domestic airfares.
There is only a single terminal for international and domestic departures, and transfers are seamless.
The airport has ATM, currency change, food, shopping and lockers. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the terminal.
Between the airport and the city
The public JetBus services the airport, connecting airport and the city around every 15 minutes for most of the day. A ticket costs $4.40 during peak/$2.20 off-peak, and includes unlimited transfers within a 2 hours period. Alternatively a ‘multitrip’ ticket may be purchased for about $29 that will give you 10 trips (2 hours travel per trip, $2.90 per trip anytime). The city center can be reached with 15-25 minutes.
Skylink Adelaide operates a regular service to most traveler specified destinations within the CBD area from the airport, for example hotel drop off. The service is $8/$3.50, and services also run out to Keswick Interstate Railway Terminal ($4).
Taxis are available outside the terminal, at around $16 to the city centre (three people in a taxi to a hotel in the city is cheaper than the Skylink).
Rental cars are available.
Great Southern Railway  runs long distance tourist train services, The Ghan runs to Alice Springs and Darwin, The Overland, runs to Melbourne, and the Indian Pacific runs to Perth, Broken Hill and Sydney. These journeys are train experiences, and offer sleepers, and the opportunity to take your car with you on the train. However, they take considerably longer and invariably cost more than the journey by bus or plane.
VLine runs a daily combined bus/train journey to Adelaide from Melbourne. You can connect from NSW Countrylink trains to connecting Vline buses at Albury or Benalla.
Metropolitan train, tram and bus services are contracted out by the State Government under the unified brand name Adelaide Metro and use a unified ticketing system, “Metroticket”. The Adelaide Metro website  or the Passenger Transport InfoCentre (corner of King William & Currie Streets, Adelaide CBD) is the place to visit for timetable and route information. You have a choice of tickets:
- Single trip tickets ($4.40 for adults ($2.20 in off-peak)) allow the passenger to move freely around the transport network for two hours. “Multi-trip” tickets containing 10 of these are also available; or
- Alternatively, a $8.30 daytrip ticket is available, allowing unlimited travel within the Adelaide Metro area for an entire day. For tourists, this is worth purchasing if you are travelling for more than 2 hours in the one day.
Tickets and route information can be purchased from ticket machines on board trains (coins only), or from conductors on the tram or bus drivers. A small number of stations (Adelaide, Elizabeth, Gawler, Noarlunga Centre, Oaklands, and Salisbury), and a number of newsagents, delis and post offices also sell Metrotickets.
Accurate transit information can also be obtained through Google Maps.
The Adelaide Metro bus system is quite comprehensive, and extends out to the Adelaide Hills in the east, down to Maclaren Vale in the south (although buses there are infrequent) and as far as Gawler in the north. It does not cover the Barossa Valley. Routes that may be useful for tourists include:
- 864F to Crafers Park & Ride, then 823 to Cleland Wildlife Park and Mount Lofty Summit (from Currie Street in Adelaide CBD, limited services per day)
- 751W or 753 (from Noarlunga Centre station) – to Maclaren Vale (limited services per day)
- 117, 118, 150, 156, 232 – to Port Adelaide (different routes)
The free City Loop (#99C) bus runs Monday-Friday 7:40AM-6PM every 15 minutes, Friday 6PM-9:20PM every 30 minutes, Saturday 8AM-5PM every 30 minutes and Sunday (and public holidays) 10AM-5PM every 30 minutes. It has clockwise and anticlockwise routes each with about thirty stops taking in all the major cultural and commercial centres, beginning at Victoria Square and including Adelaide Railway Station. The buses feature ground-level access ramps.
Be warned that bus frequency declines sharply after 6PM, with hourly intervals being typical in the suburbs. Some services cease operation before midnight, so check your timetables and expect to catch a taxi if required if you are out after this time. Some special ‘After Midnight’ bus services operate either half-hourly or hourly after midnight on Saturday nights.
There is a tram that runs from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in Hindmarsh (north of the city), through North Terrace and King William Street in the CBD, to the popular seaside suburb of Glenelg. You can park in the Entertainment Centre carpark and take the tram into the city, which is more convenient than finding parking within the city itself. Stops within the city centre include Adelaide Railway Station, Rundle Mall and Victoria Square. Tram travel within the city centre is free, as is travel confined to Jetty Road in Glenelg. Otherwise the standard ticket system applies and the whole trip takes about 30 minutes. Tickets may be bought in advance or purchased from the conductor.
The Adelaide Metro train system has four main lines, with two additional branch lines:
- The Gawler Line, to Gawler Central in the north of the city.
- The Outer Harbor Line, which goes up the Le Fevre Peninsula in the north-west of the city via Port Adelaide. A branch extends off this line to the beachside suburb of Grange.
- The Noarlunga Line, which extends to Noarlunga Centre in the far south of the city, via the beachside suburb of Brighton. A short branch extends off this line to the suburb of Tonsley (which only operates Mon-Fri during business hours and peak hours).
- The Belair Line which extends to Belair in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills to the south-east of the city.
Visitors may find the Outer Harbor line useful to get to Port Adelaide (although the station is about half a kilometre south of the port area, but is an easy walk up Commercial Road), the Belair Line useful to access Belair National Park, and the Noarlunga Line to access the seaside suburbs of Brighton and Hallett Cove. Some of the larger shopping centres are close to stations (for example Westfield Marion is very close to Oaklands Railway Station).
The city centre is compact and can be easily covered on foot. Most attractions are centred around the blocks between North Terrace and Victoria Square on either side of King William Street.
Taxis are provided by several companies and can be hailed on the street or arranged by phone. There is a common rate of flagfall and a per-distance/time charge, both of which are increased at night and on weekends.
NGO “Bicycle SA”  provides a range of bicycle services, including free-to-use tourist bikes, from its offices in Currie Street, next to the Central Bus Station. Tel +61 8 232 2644. Bicycles can be hired, with the deposit of a drivers license or other ID, for the entire day for free, but must be returned before 4.30 or a $25 fee is payable. Arrangements can be made for bicycles to be hired overnight.
- Historic beachside suburb of Glenelg offering a jetty, the ‘Grand’ (a quality hotel) and many restaurants and cafes. Catch one of the historic trams from in Adelaide’s CBD on weekends and holidays (or new ‘light rail’ trams other times).
- Montefiore Hill in North Adelaide (provides a spectacular view of the city, especially at night)
- Adelaide Hills, including the Mt Lofty Summit which provides spectacular views of the Adelaide plains, Adelaide metropolitan area, Adelaide CBD, Glenelg and surrounding areas. There is a restaurant at the Mt. Lofty summit, which is moderately priced and there is a souvenir shop which also offers tourist information. The summit cannot be accessed by vehicle between late evening and early morning hours, however the lookout is still accessible by foot.
Other lookouts include Windy Point along Belair Road, and Skye at the end of Kensington Road.
- Hahndorf German settlement, a short drive up the freeway, attractions include a small chocolate factory, the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm (where you can pick your own strawberries for very reasonable prices!) parks with barbeque facilities and a playground plus many small stores selling all manner of products.
- Walking North Terrace will take you past the Casino (Railway Station below), Parliament House, Government House, the State Library, Migration Museum (free entry), Art Gallery (free entry), Adelaide University, University of South Australia, Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Botanic Gardens. A worthwhile trek!
- Catch an O-Bahn bus out to the North East suburban shopping centre of Tea Tree Plaza. The O-Bahn is a 12Km long guided bus way, where special street buses run on guided tracks at up to 100Kmh. It uses the unified metroticket system mentioned above.
- During mid-March, the Clipsal 500 supercar racing event is very popular, sporting massive street parties, huge concert line-ups and many fanatic Adelaidians.
- During late Feb-March, the Adelaide Fringe Festival (second largest of its type in the world) and Festival of Arts bring the city alive with music, arts, dance and culture from all over the world. Both are large and very popular events visited by people from all over the world. WOMAD (World of Music Arts and Dance) is another hugely popular music festival now held every year in March. People come from all over Australia and overseas to be at this very special event. Adelaide at its very best. If you are planning on visiting Adelaide make sure to come at this time of the year for an unforgettable time when Adelaide is at its brightest.
- Lazy walks along white sandy beaches.
- Conservation parks such as Cleland and Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary, Cleland is a good stop on the way down from Mt. Lofty. The park offers gas BBQ facilities (Entry fees apply).
- See the Rundle Lantern light display (Cnr Rundle St and Pultney St). From dusk to midnight every night with 750 light panels.
Museums and Galleries
- Migration Museum is on Kintore Avenue, Adelaide (behind the State Library).  Open everyday 10AM-5PM, except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Art Gallery of South Australia is on North Terrace, Adelaide (half way between Kintore Avenue and Frome Road in between the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide), +61 8 82077000, . Open everyday 10AM-5PM, except Christmas Day.
- South Australian Museum is on North Terrace, Adelaide (next to the Art Gallery of South Australia).  Open everyday 10AM to 5PM, except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
- Port Adelaide Lighthouse
- Port Adelaide SA Train Museum
- Glenelg Museum & historic tram
- Gawler Museum, via Gawler train line
- The South Australian Maritime Museum is located at 126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide. Contact telephone number: +61 8 82076255. Adult: $8.50 Concession: $6.50 Child: $3.50 Family: $22 (2 adults & up to 5 children)
- The National Motor Museum is in Birdwood, less than an hour’s drive from the city centre. 
- The National Wine Centre in the city centre 
- Adelaide Central Market, a vibrant hub of fresh food delights and one of the world’s largest undercover markets. 
- Belair National Park is a national park of 835 ha, located 11KM south of Adelaide City. Due to its history as a “Recreation Park” it has many good trails for bushwalking, as well as tennis courts and grassy areas available for hire, and a good adventure playground for children. Old Government House, the colony’s first official Vice-regal summer residence, is located within the park.  A vehicle entry fee applies to cars entering the park, or else its western parts can be accessed from the Belair line train, a 35 minute journey from Adelaide city. The park gates are open daily from 8AM to sunset, everyday except Christmas Day.
- Cleland Conservation Park  is a large National Park of 992ha, located 20 minutes from Adelaide City. Although it lacks the picnic and sports facilities of Belair, Cleland offers greater opportunities for tourists to get up close and personal with Australian native fauna. Visitors can feed and wander at their leisure among kangaroos, wallabies, Emus and waterfowl. Displays of Dingoes, reptiles, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Echidnas and Koalas allow easy viewing access, or stroll through the aviaries. Visitors also have the rare opportunity to be photographed holding a Koala, under supervision from Parks and Wildlife Officers. There is also an Aboriginal cultural tour.
- Morialta Conservation Park  is located 10 km north-east of the CBD, where the suburbs meet the Adelaide hills. It covers 533 ha, and contains numerous walking trails of various levels of difficulty, including trails that pass by three major waterfalls, and provide panoramic views over Adelaide itself. There is also a popular rock climbing area within the park. Note that the waterfalls only flow in the winter months, and are usually completely dry by Christmas.
- Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary  is a privately run wildlife sanctuary, strongly fenced off from the outside, allowing it to remain completely free of feral plants and animals, especially cats. Warrawong offers unguided day, and guided day and night tours for tourists. As well as allowing visitors to get up close and personal with well known animals like the Kangaroo, Warrawong also offers a unique opportunity to see a number of very rare or less well known native Australian animals, such as the Platypus, Tree Kangaroo, Quoll, Bettong, Potoroo, Pademelon, Bandicoot, Bilby and Possums.
- Go to the free Haigh’s Chocolate factory tour. Established in 1915, Haigh’s is one of the best chocolates in Australia. Located just 5 minutes from the CBD, the factory tour will give you a glimpse on how this fine chocolate is made and free samples! Tours run Monday to Saturday at 11:00AM, 1:00PM and 2:00PM, bookings essential.
- Check out the wineries, beaches, whale watching, fairy penguins and other attractions south of the city on the Fleurieu peninsula.
- The Adelaide Casino on North Terrace, adjoining the Festival and Convention centres. Adelaide Casino is South Australia’s only licensed Casino, and offers not just great gaming, but also three restaurants, and four bars, including the LOCO nightclub and Grandstand sports bar. Valet parking is also available.
- The Adelaide Botanic Gardens are free to enter and are a worthwhile visit; the gardens are quiet and relaxing even though they’re in the heart of the city. They contain many large grassed areas ideal for relaxing, and just outside the gardens are the city parklands where ball games and picnics can be held. There is a cafe in the gardens and a conservatory.
- The Bicentennial Conservatory is not free, but it is a worthwhile visit, simulating a tropical rainforest with mist falling from the roof. Be warned, it is warm and humid inside.
- West Beach is ideal for family walks and swimming – it is close to both Glenelg and Henley Beach. At Henley Beach there is Henley square which hosts some 15 restaurants – an excellent dining venue. Beaches south of and including Semaphore are all excellent white sand beaches, some with public toilets and cold water showers. If you want to ‘wet a line’ there are jetties at (suburban beaches, from north to south) Grange, Semaphore, Henley Beach, Glenelg, Brighton and Port Noarlunga.
- During the summer months get down to the Adelaide Oval for a cricket match. Australia plays host to a couple of touring nations each summer and they will play a few matches at this beautiful ground which is just minutes from the city centre. Tickets for internationals tend to be snapped up quickly, but domestic matches (South Australia play their home matches in Adelaide) are frequent and equally exciting.
- The local sport is Australian Rules Football. Home games for the local teams the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power are played at AAMI Stadium in West Lakes, usually referred to by its old name of “Football Park” or “Footy Park”. Getting tickets shouldn’t be a problem – check out the AFL website  for more details.
- Alternatively, the local footy league, the SANFL , has 4 games per weekend. Norwood Oval, home of the Redlegs , is situated on the Parade in Norwood which is home to a variety of restaurant, cafÃ© and pub options for after the game.
- Soccer is increasingly popular in Australia, although certainly not yet at the level of Aussie Rules or (in other states) rugby league. The local team in the national A-League is Adelaide United, who play home games at Hindmarsh Stadium.
- Take a tour of the Coopers Brewery , the only remaining large family owned brewery in Australia, well known around the world for their bottle conditioned ales. Founded by Thomas Cooper in 1862, the Brewery is currently run fifth generation Tim and Glenn Cooper. All proceeds from the tours go to charity.
- Go to Adelaide events – South Australia has been known as the ‘festival state’. Major events include the Tour Down Under  international cycling race in January, the biannual Adelaide Festival of Arts , the annual Adelaide Fringe , annual WOMADelaide  and the Clipsal 500 V8 race .
- Rundle Mall , is a pedestrian-only shopping strip, with many arcades and side streets coming off it. Runs parallel to North Terrace. Over 800 shops.
- The Central Market  offers fresh produce and a range of goods, with cheap multi-storey parking. Closed Mondays and Sundays. Located between Grote St and Gouger St, west of Victoria Square.
- Chinatown, a pedestrian-only area (Moonta St) adjacent to Central Market.
- The Tea Tree Plaza  complex (TTP for short) is a medium-sized shopping centre with over 250 shops. Tea Tree Plaza is the terminus of the Adelaide O’Bahn dedicated busway which begins in the city centre at Hackney Road. It is easy to get there from the city centre; most of the buses that stop on the Grenfell Street stops travel to the TTP interchange via the O’Bahn busway. It is easy to see from a distance as it has the large antenna and supporting pyramid type structure, well-known to the locals, on the roof of the Myer department store. Ample parking is available around, on top of, and underneath the complex. More information is at . The much smaller Tea Tree Plus shopping centre is right next to Tea Tree Plaza.
- Westfield Marion Shopping Centre  is Adelaide’s largest shopping centre with over 400 shops. There are buses direct from the city centre, timetables can be found at  More information on Marion Shopping Centre as well as how to get there can be found at their website.
- Harbour Town  a mid sized mall currently undergoing an expansion, featuring outlet shopping, situated up against the western edge of the Adelaide Airport. Only a short bus ride from the Airport, and 30 minutes from the city centre.
Many restaurants in Adelaide allow “BYO”. You can bring one or more bottles of wine to the restaurant and the staff will pour it for you and add a service charge to the bill, typically between about $8 and $20. Often this will work out cheaper than buying wine at the restaurant. Check beforehand with the restaurant.
- Gouger Street offers a wide range of tastes to suit many budgets in a variety of Asian, Italian and seafood restaurants as well as upmarket French, Argentinian and many other choices. From Friday to Sunday make sure to reserve a table to avoid disappointment. Gouger Street also incorporates Adelaide’s “Chinatown Arch” which fronts a large number of budget eating options. As well as The Central Market, which on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings are buzzing with produce traders, sights and smells.
- Hutt Street offers a small variety of upmarket restaurants that please most tastes, and also has a wide variety of gourmet shops and supermarkets.
- City East IGA the fine food store 116 Hutt St, +61 8 8223-1112â€“ won best IGA Supermarket in SA for its amazing food range, including: Greek, Italian, Chinese and Indian
- Kenji Modern Restaurant 242 Hutt St, +61 8 8232-0944â€“ nominated as the best Japanese restaurant in Adelaide.
- Alfonzo 202 Hutt Streetâ€“ an Italian eatery and shop; a great place to enjoy breakfast and lunch any time of the day.
- Rundle Street a large number of al fresco cafes and restaurants of varying budget and taste. It is the cultural hub of Adelaide and the equivalent of Melbourne’s Chapel Street.
- Jasmin Indian Restaurant, 31 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide 5000, Australia, (08) 8223 7837, . Thu-Sun 9AM-4PM (for breakfast & lunch); Fri & Sat 6PM-late (for dinner). $1-$19.
- An eclectic mix of small restaurants and cafes make Melbourne Street an interesting place to eat.
- Elephant walk 76 Melbourne St, +61 8 8267-2006â€“ particularly interesting because it is a small, cosy cafe which is very dimly lit. Each booth is separated by straw screens so you can’t really see the other patrons. It opens at 8PM and if they’re full, you’ll have to wait outside for a table.
- The variety of take-aways, pubs, cafes, bakeries and restaurants that line most of O’Connell Street means you won’t be wanting.
- The Parade, Norwood has a long stretch of shopping and cosmopolitian dining. Buses from the CBD numbering 122-124 or a very short taxi ride.
- Jetty Road / Mosley Square, Glenelg has a variety of restaurants and pubs at the end of a 30 minute tram journey.
- Stuart Road, Dulwich features two cafes, a licensed restaurant and a very good bakery. Catch the 145 or 146 from North Terrace which heads along Fullarton Road and up Dulwich Avenue.
- King William Road, Hyde Park is an upmarket strip of fashionable cafes, coffee shops and restaurants.
- Vietnam on Addison Road just off Torrens Road, Pennington is the finest (fun-est) Vietnam dining there is. The “cold wrap” is a must-have when dining there. Make sure to reserve a table because they’re always full.
- Raj on Taj King William Rd, +61 8 8271-7755â€“ Good, underpriced Indian food. There are two Raj on Taj restaurants, one in Hyde Park and one nearby in Unley. The Hyde Park one is the better of the two.
- Cafe de Vili 2-14 Manchester Street- Vili is an Adelaide producer of pastries, especially pies and pasties. This unpretentious eatery at their factory serves full meals in addition to pastries. Shift workers and night owls regularly eat there because it is open 24 hours, 7 days. It is a minor Adelaide icon.
- Fasta Pasta is the McDonalds of pasta; although found in other states its popularity in South Australia is due to the chain having started in Adelaide.
- Regent Thai 165 O’Connell St, +61 8 8239-0927- Excellent and consistent standard Thai menu. The friendly proprietor Chang was a refugee from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Try the oysters in coriander sauce, the red curry chicken, or ask for a whole fish steamed with ginger and shallots. Its sister restaurant at Glenelg, Phuket, is worth checking out as well. Mains $13-$18.
- Nu Thai 117 Gouger St, +61 8 8410-2288- Slightly more expensive than Regent, with a more adventurous menu. They have a huge blackboard inside with a long list of specials which change regularly. Arguably the best Asian restaurant on Gouger St.
- Amalfi 29 Frome St, +61 8 8223-1948- This little Italian place located just off Rundle St has a loyal following and is usually jam packed. It has an inventive range of pizzas and pastas, with quality a cut above the other Italian cafes filling Rundle St.
- Jasmin 31 Hindmarsh Square, +61 8 8223-7837- Arguably Adelaide’s best Indian restaurant. Beautifully decorated, with classical music playing and impeccable service. The very hot curries (vindaloo and tindaloo) are especially good. You might also consider trying the mixed entree or orange sponge cake.
- Chefs Of Tandoori 292 Unley Rd, +61 8 8373-5055- As the name suggest, founded by Indian chefs who deserted the Tandoori Oven across the road. Good Indian food at a very reasonable price.
- Fellini 102 O’Connell St, +61 8 8239-2235- This large North Adelaide cafe is packed to the rafters every weekend. The menu is Italian-based pasta, pizza and so on, but what keeps the punters coming back is the large size of the menu and inventiveness of the dishes.
- North – This is the signature restaurant of the Adelaide Casino, and offers exclusive a la carte cuisine, influenced by European and Japanese flavours. On the corner of North Terrace and Station Road.
- Hotaru Japanese Restaurant 162 Gouger St, +61 8 8410-2838 – A cosy Japanese restaurant with wonderful food, particularly the fresh sashimi, various sushi rolls and the grilled eggplant. The home-made sesame ice cream and green tea ice cream are just wonderful. Hotaru is located off the main Gouger St area.
- Enoteca  262 Carrington St, +61 8 8227-0766 – This restaurant is attached to Adelaide’s Italian Club, so you would expect top quality Italian food and that’s exactly what you will get, along with an extensive selection of local and Italian wines. The cuisine here ranks with the best Italian food in Adelaide.
- The Manse  142 Tynte St, +61 8 8267-4636 – Small, peaceful French contemporary restaurant tucked in a quiet corner of North Adelaide.
- Magill Estate Restaurant  78 Penfold Rd, +61 8 8301-5551 – While the food here is good, the real stars are the view and the wine list. This restaurant is owned by Penfolds, probably Australia’s best-known premium red wine makers, and overlooks the vineyards on their Magill property, not far from the city center. The grapes grown on this estate are used to make the Magill Estate label single vineyard Shiraz. The wine list allows you to order back vintages of the Penfolds (and other) wines going back 20 or more years.
- Windy Point Restaurant  Windy Point Lookout, Belair Rd – +61 8 8278-8255- A restaurant with a nice ambience, excellent service and good food prepared in a unique way, complete with a nice view of the city skyline. For those who wish to have a less formal setting, the adjacent cafe also offers a good selection. Usually only open for dinner from 6PM onwards, though lunches are possible with prior arrangements.
- AlphÃ¼tte  242 Pulteney St, +61 8 8223-4717 – A small Swiss restaurant tucked at the edge of the city centre, well known among locals for its steak.
- Auge  22 Grote St, +61 8 8410-9332 – A small Italian/Modern Australian fusion restaurant tucked in a corner opposite Central Market.
- Red Ochre  War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide, +61 8 8211-8555 – A nice modern Australian restaurant with a nice ambience situated on the River Torrens, with a good view of the city skyline.
- Shiki Restaurant  Hyatt Regency Adelaide, North Terrace, +61 8 8231-2382 – A Japanese restaurant with a nice atmosphere in one of Adelaide’s premier hotels. Mainly known for it’s teppanyaki but also serves other Japanese dishes like sushi, sashimi and tempura.
There are pubs and bars dotted all around the CBD, but a few districts are worth singling out. Rundle St and its neighbouring area (also known simply as “The East End”) have a number of popular pubs. Hindley St used to be notorious as the seedy home of Adelaide’s strip clubs and bikie bars, but it and its surrounds (“The West End”) have undergone a renaissance. The eastern end of Hindley St is more mainstream, whereas the western end (West of Morphett St) has a few trendier and more alternative venues. The seedy places are still there, but so too is a university campus and a number of trendy bars and clubs. Also important are Gouger St (still mostly restaurants, but an increasing number of bars and pubs) and O’Connell St, home to a few of North Adelaide’s popular pubs.
Smoking in pubs and clubs is banned under South Australian law. Many drinking establishments have outdoor areas where smoking is permitted.
- Grandstand, Adelaide Casino, North Terrace Adelaide, +61 8 8212-2811. Sun-Thurs 10AM-late, Fri-Sat 11AM-5:30AM. Situated on the first floor of Adelaide Casino, Grandstand is Adelaide’s premier venue for watching all live sporting events. Featuring several TV screens showing all the action from Fox Sports, Setanta and Main Event, Grandstand also has full Keno and TAB facilities. An excellent bar menu is also available, as are regular great drink promotions.
- Crown & Anchor, 196 Grenfell St Adelaide, +61 8 8223-3212. M-We 11AM-3AM, Thu-Sat 11AM-4AM. Situated just off Rundle St, this Adelaide institution is often referred to as “The Cranker” – or, less kindly, the “Crowd of Wankers” – and attracts those of an alternative bent. Goths, metalheads, punks and hippies all mingle in this multi-roomed venue, sipping beer. But don’t worry, piercings and tattoos aren’t essential to have a good time. Music playing could be just about anything.
- Worldsend, 208 Hindley St, Adelaide, +61 8 8231-9137. M-Fr 11AM-late, Sat 4PM-late, Su closed. Serves food all day. This lively pub features a beer garden and a solid restaurant. The crowd is generally early to mid twenties, many from the nearby Hindley St campus of the University of South Australia. While it definitely has a strong pub feel, the music is more like a bar, with live jazz and funk, house and drum’n'bass (rather than rock) the order of the day.
- The Exeter, 246 Rundle St, Adelaide, +61 8 8223-2623. This friendly old-school pub is much frequented by students from nearby Adelaide University and TAFE. At night, it has an alternative feel drawing crowds from all areas. Two back rooms contain a great little restaurant (the curry nights on Wednesday and Thursday are popular) and a small music venue, mostly showcasing live alternative bands. M-Su 11AM-late.
- The Archer, 60 O’Connell St, North, +61 8 8361-9300. The pub of choice for the younger crowd in North Adelaide, with a modern, hip feel and a large range of beers on tap. Be aware that it has to close earlier than most places (usually midnight) due to residential noise restrictions.
- The Cumberland Arms, 205 Waymouth St, Adelaide, +61 8 8231-3577. M 9AM-12AM, Tu 9AM-1AM, W-Th 9AM-3AM, F-Sa 6PM-4AM, Sun 6PM-2AM. Located in a strip of bars and clubs along the southern end of Light Square (adjacent to Hindley St), the Cumberland was bought out and refurbished some years ago. Nowadays it’s a cozy spot which does a good job of being all things to all people. The front bar areas conceal a dancefloor within, where a DJ is invariably playing house, and an outdoor area around the side. The popularity of “The Cumby” is cyclic, but if it’s not happening, one of the adjacent places will be.
- The Grace Emily, 232 Waymouth St, Adelaide, +61 8 8231-5500,  – Opposite “The Cumby” (above), the Grace has plenty of trinkets behind and around the bar to keep one’s eyeballs busy whilst nursing a Coopers or bloody mary. Local, interstate and even overseas bands play most nights. Every Monday night Billy Bob’s BBQ Jam sees a variety of local bands strut their stuff to impress the crowd with 3 or 4 songs (though perhaps more by popular demand) whilst a sausage sizzle out the beer garden feeds the hordes – a highlight of an otherwise quiet evening in Adelaide.
- The Austral, Rundle St., . On the main street for shopping and nightlife in Adelaide, which is really the same long street as Hindley Street but with a different name either side of King William Road, and the pedestrian only Rundle Mall in the middle. The Austral is the unofficial backpackers pub of choice.
- Coopers Alehouse, 316 Pulteney St.,  also known by the original name still on the front facade The Earl of Aberdeen, is the only pub to hold the complete range of Coopers Beers on tap, including the Vintage Ale. Also serves good food, including pizzas, in the attached Arnou Woodfired at the Earl restaurant. Ten minute walk from the Rundle St.-Pulteney St. intersection.
- The Stag, 299 Rundle St. (Corner of Rundle and East Tce.),  More up market establishment, with good views of the parklands from the al fresco seating, good range of drinks and weekly live music. The second floor balcony literally overlooked the old Formula 1 street circuit and was always crammed with race fans. With the shortened Clipsal 500 course this is no longer possible, but still a good place to go after the days races.
- Zhivago 155 Waymouth Street- This West End bar attracts a friendly, relaxed, mid-twenties crowd.
- First 128 Rundle Mall, +61 8 8223-4044- Situated in Richmond Hotel, this is the only nightspot on Rundle Mall. First started life as a chilled out cocktail bar, but rapidly became popular as an after-work spot on Fridays, and could now also be filed under “clubs”. On weekends they are packed out and play commercial house, but on weeknights it reverts to the original cocktail bar atmosphere.
- Fumo Blu 270 Rundle St, +61 8 8232-2533- Below ground cocktail lounge in the heart of Rundle St.
- Boho,  27 Unley Road, +61 8 8271-5544- A burlesque themed bar, with live music and burlesque and period performances, located a 5 minute drive, bus or Tram ride South of the CBD.
- Supermild 182 Hindley St, +61 8 8212-9699- Situated underground (look for steps leading down off Hindley Street West), this is a dimly-lit cocktail bar tending to have DJs playing eclectic electronica.
- Rocket Bar 142 Hindley Street  – Inconspicuously located off Hindley Street (it’s a door with a sign above it), Rocket Bar is a live venue that hosts international/interstate and local alternative indie acts. Also home to indie/alternative Modular nights and ABRACADABRA on Fridays. Open every weekend until late.
- HQ,  1 North Tce, +61 8 7221-1245- Previously known as “Heaven” and “Heaven II”, this complex at the far end of the West End has the best sound system and most floor space to be found anywhere in the city. It is easily Adelaide’s largest club. The big nights are Saturday, where you’ll hear mostly commercial house, with a little trance, and Wednesday, which is a retro night. Fridays can also be big, depending on what’s on; check the website.
- Mars Bar 120 Gouger Street, +61 8 8231-9639- Adelaide’s only gay club. Straight people are also welcome.
- Jive, 181 Hindley St, Adelaide, . 300 capacity mainly live venue that hosts local and interstate rock/alternative/indie acts. Also home to indie/alternative dance club Gosh! on Saturdays after the bands. Open every weekend and sometimes during the week too.
There is a choice of backpacker accommodation around the central bus station.
- Adelaide Travellers Inn, 220 Hutt Street, Adelaide, SA, +61 8 8224-0753 email email@example.com. Nomads Mad card Members receive $2 off per night or their 7th night FREE.
- Adelaide Central YHA, 135 Waymouth Street, +61 8 8414-3010 (fax +61 8 8414 3015, email firstname.lastname@example.org), . $25.50 per bed per night in a dorm room, $75 for a private double room and $90 for double en suite. YHA/Hostelling International members receive a 10% discount.
- My Place Adelaide,  257 Waymouth Street, +1 800 221 529, very clean, good social vibe and free breakfast & free bus to Glenelg beach
- The Austral, 205 Rundle Street, +61 8 8223-4660, . The Austral is a pub which provides accommodation upstairs from the bar area. Rooms are clean and fairly quiet despite the bar downstairs, although the mattresses aren’t great quality. Bathrooms are shared. Close to Adelaide’s centre. $35 per night single and $55 per night double.
- Plaza Hotel, 85 Hindley Street, +61 8 8231-6371 (fax +61 8 8231 2055, email email@example.com) . Single rooms $66 per night, double rooms $72 per night.
- Cannon Street Backpackers Across the Flinders Street Bus Terminal. Starting from $21 with in house bar. Lots of Irish and English backpackers that like to party hard, so place tends to be on a bit noisy.
- Blue Galah, Rundle St CBD, +61 8 8231-9295 (fax +61 8 8231 9598, email firstname.lastname@example.org) . $24 per night in a dorm room, $70 per night for a private single/twin/double room, weekly dorm rates are also available.
- Hostel 109, 109 Carrington Street, +61 8 8223-1771, . Small, quiet, modern, secure & centrally located. Very clean. Free Internet Access.
- Mantra on Frome, Adelaide, +61 8 8223-9000(toll free: 1300-987-604, email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8223-9014), . 88 Frome Street, Adelaide SA 5000. 4 star apartment hotel. 72 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, most with private balconies, fully-equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. All apartments feature living and dining areas with cable television and in-house movies.
- Mantra Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, +61 8 8412-3333(toll free: 1300-987-604, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8412-3344), . 55-67 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide SA 5000. Mantra Hindmarsh Square is only a short stroll from the Rundle Mall shopping and Rundle Street dining precinct and minutes away from the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide Casino, Festival and Entertainment Centres. Guests have a choice of 179 studios, one and two bedroom air-conditioned suites which have kitchenette, bathroom and laundry facilities. Some suites also offer a private balcony with views across Adelaide city.
- BreakFree on Hindley, Adelaide, +61 8 8217-2500(toll free: 1300-987-604, email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8217-2519), . 255 Hindley Street, Adelaide SA 5000. BreakFree on Hindley offers business and leisure travelers 142 self-contained studio and two bedroom apartments situated in Adelaideâ€™s contemporary West End. Guests will enjoy comfortable accommodation in well-appointed spacious apartments which include modern amenities and a range of premier guest facilities.
- BreakFree Directors Studios, Adelaide, +61 8 8213-2500(toll free: 1300-987-604, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8213-2519), . 259 Gouger Street, Adelaide SA 5000. BreakFree Directors Studios is a boutique hotel situated in the heart of Adelaide City. Located within proximity to the thriving central business district and major Adelaide city attractions.
- Golden Chain Motels, . has many locations in Adelaide serving quality accommodation at affordable prices. View a Map of Adelaide 
- Adelaide City Park Motel, +61 8 8223-1444(email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8223-1133), . 471 Pulteney Street. Tel: 800 231 444,. Double rooms from $88 per night.
- Holiday Inn Adelaide, +61 8 8231-5552(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8237-3800), . 65 Hindley Street. Double rooms $150 per night.
- Quest on King William, +61 8 8217-5000(email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8217-5050), . 82 King William Street. These serviced apartments are available for short-term or long term rental. One bedroom apartments from $145 a night short-term or $135 per night for long-term rentals.
- Quest Mansions, +61 8 8232-0033(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8223-4559), . 21 Pulteney Street. These serviced apartments are available for short-term or long term rental. Studio apartments $138 a night short-term and $111 a night long-term. One bedroom apartments from $196 a night short-term or $158 per night for long-term rentals.
- Esplanade Apartments, (email@example.com), . Absolute Beachfront 80 Seaview Road West Beach. +61 8 83530443, fax +61 88 3564478),. Apartments one bedroom from $75 per night and two bedroom from $90 per night.
- Frogmore Apartments 13 Military Road West Beach (close to beach with excellent Mt Lofty Range views). +61 8 83533874,. Apartments one bedroom from $75 per night and two bedroom from $90 per night, three bedrooms from $110 per night.
- Rydges South Park Adelaide, 1 South Terrace 1300 857 922 – The hotel is situated next to the southern parklands with views of the Adelaide Hills and features 97 rooms with 9 spa suites.
- Hilton Adelaide, 233 Victoria Square, +61 8 8217-2000(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8217 2001), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Deluxe king sized rooms from $250/night.
- Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury, 2 Flinders Street, +61 8 8112-0000(email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8112 0199), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. Located in the former Treasury building and consisting of 80 one & two bedroom apartments & studio rooms. The hotel overlooks Victoria Square and is only minutes to Rundle Mall and Adelaide’s Central Markets.Studio rooms from $210/night.
- Rendezvous Allegra, 55 Waymouth St, +61 8 8115-8888(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +61 8 8115 8800), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM.
- Stamford Plaza Adelaide, 150 North Terrace, +61 8 8461-1111(email@example.com, fax: +61 8 8231 7572), . Queen sized rooms from $225/night.
Salisbury east and Para Hills are areas known for rock throwing incidents involving buses. These include routes 205, 206, 560, 225, 226, T500, 229. However these events are rare and the suburbs are quite a far distance north of the city out in the suburbs and travellers are unlikely to venture there.
In the past few months of early 2009 there have been many violent incidents and social disturbances in the Northern suburb of Davoren Park  . It would be inadvisible to travel alone at night through this and/or surrounding suburbs.
In Adelaide, car theft and break ins are a nuisance. Do not leave valuables in view at any time even for a few minutes whilst leaving the vehicle unattended.
Many of the suburban railway stations are rundown and poorly maintained, with poor lighting and graffiti ridden bus stop style shelters. If catching a train at a suburban station, it is best to arrive at the station within 1 – 2 minutes of the scheduled arrival time. The trains are fairly reliable in comparison to Sydney and Melbourne. There are security guards on all trains after 7PM with many bus connections available. Exercise personal safety at Adelaide, Woodville and Noarlunga stations (and Gawler, Noarlunga lines).
Adelaide is no more dangerous than any other similar sized Australian city to walk around. If you don’t go looking for trouble, you usually will not find it. Police actively patrol the vicinities of Rundle Mall and Gouger/Hindley St, the latter being where many of the city’s nightclubs and bars are located.
Taxi ranks are located by the Adelaide Casino, North Terrace, outside the Hilton on Victoria Square, and the Western end of Rundle St where it intersects with Pulteney St. outside of Hungry Jacks.
The City Parklands areas on all sides (though most particularly off West Terrace) are to be avoided at all times after dusk. These areas are isolated and have little to no lighting at all, making them frequent locations for assaults. There are often homeless and intoxicated groups there who may cause trouble with passers-by as well.
There is extensive free Wi-Fi access (port 80 only) in the CBD and the airport provided by Internode . View coverage here: 
- Go to the wine regions of Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley.
- Explore the natural environment of Kangaroo Island.
- Head North to explore the natural beauty and frontier history of the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound
- Picturesque Victor Harbor, just an hour or so drive south of Adelaide. Granite Island is one of the few places you can see Fairy Penguins in their natural habitat. Visit the nearby surf beaches in Pt Elliot, Middletown and Goolwa.
- The stunning Flinders Ranges begin just one and a half hours north of Adelaide.
- Whispering wall at the Barossa Reservoir.
- The Yorke Peninsula is a popular holiday destination for Adelaidians, and less touristy than Victor Harbor, with towns dotted along the coast and the rugged Innes National Park at the foot of the peninsula.
- Travel the 1500km to Alice Springs ! You have already travelled several thousand kilometres to get to Australia, so another 1500km wont hurt! Main stops on the way are Port Augusta and Coober Pedy. Also, eventually, you will reach the turn off to Uluru.
- Go on a tour to Melbourne which moves along the coast. These tours usually will pass through the Coorong National Park, followed by the Limestone Coast and finally the Great Ocean Road before arriving in Melbourne. Some also include an Aboriginal bush tour as part of the package.
- Take a trip over to the Eyre Peninsula and see the historic town of Port Lincoln where you can see the massive tuna farms as well as going diving with Great White Sharks (in a cage) or swim with the dolphins and the seals.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Across Australia by train
This article is an itinerary .
Australia is crossed by two great railway journeys, The Ghan, which crosses north to south straight through the heart of Australia, from Darwin to Adelaide and the Indian Pacific which crosses east to west, from Sydney to Perth.
The Ghan is named after the Afghan camel trains that used to service the Outback, construction on the original Ghan from Adelaide started in 1878, with Oodnadatta reached in 1891 and, after a thirty-year break, Alice Springs in 1926. A separate but unconnected track from Darwin to Katherine in the north was also completed in the same year.
Unfortunately, the original Ghan was twisty, narrow-gauge and built straight through many valleys prone to flash floods that washed away tracks and bridges. A decision was thus made rebuild nearly all of the line in standard gauge, over 100 km to the west. The new line to Alice Springs opened in 1980, and the remaining 1420-km section across the continent to Darwin opened in 2004.
This isn’t a high speed transcontinental railway. This is a laid-back kind of train that knows how to take its time and enjoy the scenery. The trains are privately run by Great Southern Railways.
Any way you look at it, the Ghan and the Indian Pacific are expensive. The standard “Red Service” Daynighter reclining seat is $716 from Darwin to Adelaide, although the price is cut in half if you book a prepaid, non-refundable, non-changeable “Rail Saver” fare or use a child, backpacker or YHA fare. A “Red Service” twin share sleeper cabin is $1312/800 standard/concession per person, with no Rail Saver available. Don’t expect luxury: the trains used are refurbished 1970s-vintage American models.
If you fork out $1973/1357, you can upgrade to “Gold Service”, which has single cabins (shared shower), twin cabins (shower ensuite) and includes all meals in the dedicated restaurant car. Add another $1000 on top, and you can get a double-sized “Platinum Service” cabin.
If you have a car in Australia, the value proposition can improve slightly, if you take your car with you. On the premium fare there are often deals available to take a car for $99 extra, which you can the offset against the price of renting a car at your destination, or if you drive one way, the prospect of the 3000km drive home.
You can also leverage some value out of taken stops at the destinations along the way, with Alice Springs being the perfect stopping point on the Ghan, and Broken Hill and Adelaide both being good options on the Indian Pacific. There aren’t too many other options, though, with small towns, infrequent service and inconvenient arrival times making the other towns a hassle to stop at.
Darwin can be reached by plane from all major Australian cities and a few international destinations like Singapore, but does not have any other train services.
Sydney, Perth and Adelaide are well-connected by air, each with services to all other Australian capital cities and international destinations. There are public train services up and down the east coast connecting through to Sydney. There is a public train once a week to Broken Hill, which you can catch from Sydney, and then join the Indian Pacific there. This trip costs considerably less than the privately run Indian Pacific on the same route.
This itinerary assumes you start from Darwin and head south, but obviously it’s also possible in the opposite direction.
From Darwin(0 km), there is a departure every Saturday (9 AM) throughout the year, and an additional service on Wednesdays (10 AM) between May and October. The three-day, two-night journey takes around 48 hours from end to end.
The station is a fair way from central Darwin, about 20 minutes drive. The railway’s primary purpose is freight, and the line goes straight to the port at East Arm, without passing through any built-up areas. Dedicated buses connect between the Darwin Transit Centre in Mitchell St and the rail station for an additional fee. Taxi’s are possible, but expensive. There is no scheduled bus.
From Adelaide(2979 km), departures are on Sunday 12:20 noon throughout the year and Wednesday at the same time between May and October.
The Ghan stops here for around five hours, with an optional guided “Whistle Stop Tour” available.
The old Ghan railway from Darwin to Katherine stopped in central Katherine, and is now a tourist attraction. You can walk the old high level railway bridge across the Katherine river following the old alignment. However, is around 10km from the old station to the new one, so if you want to see Katherine, the tour may be your best option.
Passed through in the middle of the night in both directions, stops only on request.
Alice Springs is the former northern terminus of the Ghan and the largest town by far en route. The train stops here for around four hours, long enough for a quick peek around town. The station is on the edge of downtown, a couple of blocks walk to the Todd mall. Many people opt to break their journey here for a few days and visit Uluru, about 400 km away, but there is plenty to do for a few days in Alice and surrounds even if you don’t venture to the Rock. Alice Springs has all the services to make it possible.
Is a roadhouse in the desert.
Chandler is a tiny settlements where the the Ghan intersects the Stuart Highway. Marla is a purpose built highway service centre with nothing else there except the highway, train line and the station. The highlight of any visit there is to see the Ghan when it passes through, and the desert stretching off into the distance, if you are actually on the Ghan looking at the desert stretching off into the distance, best to stay on board.
If you do decide to get off, the motel, service station, and associated facilities are just across the road from the station.
By prior arrangement only, the Ghan can stop at Manguri, 42km away from the town of Coober Pedy. You musthave prearranged a pickup from here, since the location is very remote.
At the former mining town of Tarcoola, the Ghan merges with the Indian Pacificline coming in from Perth to the west.
Markets itself as a “seriously outback town”. Small town with just a pub. The train can stop here with prior arrangement, and the station is just across the road from the town. The Kingoonya Waterhole Hotel  is just a couple of minutes walk from the station and accommodation is available.
You can catch the train at Pimba with prior arrangement. Woomera is just 6 kms away from the station
Railway buffs may wish to get off here and ride the Pichi Richi Railway  78 km to Quorn, running along the original Ghan track and using original Ghan equipment. Departures are limited, especially outside the winter season.
The station is in the suburbs, around 5km from the town centre. The old station in the centre of the town is closed.
The end of the line — unless you switch onto the Indian Pacific and continue onward to Perth, Sydney or Broken Hill.
The Indian Pacific
On a connecting train
The Overland train (which is also a Great Southern Railways private train) also runs to Melbourne, although that 10 hour journey lacks some of the spirit of the Indian Pacific or the Ghan.
There are no interstate public trains that run into Adelaide.
And see what you missed
Australia’s pioneers had a grand vision for the railways, to cover a continent, and there are many places where this grand history can be seen. If you are catching the train one way, and travelling the other way, you can catch up with some of the interesting railway history you may have missed.
The town of Peterborough is well worth a stop – the town was built on crossroads of the Australian railways. In Indian Pacific stops there at night, and doesn’t do the town justice.
The Oodnadatta Track basically follows the original alignment of the Ghan before it was moved. And the Oodnadatta station is still there, but hasn’t seen a train for a while.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Aberdeen (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain) is Scotland ‘s third largest city, with a population of about 202,000. Aberdeen is the county town of Aberdeenshire, and the chief seaport in the north-east of Scotland.
Aberdeen is commonly referred to variously as “the Granite City”, or the “Silver City” on account of the grey, occasionally sparkling building stone used in older buildings in the city; and the “Flower of Scotland”, Aberdeen long having been famous for outstanding parks, gardens and floral displays. These days, Aberdeen also boasts the title of Oil Capital of Europe thanks to the supply of crude oil in the North Sea, and stands on a bay of the North Sea, between the mouths of the rivers Don and Dee.
Aberdeen is a relatively small city – quite a bit smaller than Glasgow or Edinburgh. It has a harbour and pleasant beach. It has a distinct identity from other Scottish cities, especially the two largest in the Central Belt. It has some of the oldest university buildings in Europe (King’s College was founded in 1495), and its citizens were fond of boasting in centuries gone by that Aberdeen had as many universities (Marischal and King’s) as all of England (Oxford and Cambridge). After the discovery of oil in the North Sea, the city expanded greatly and several new suburbs were formed. The city has seen continued growth ever since, and a range of new developments are planned over the next few years. The district of Bridge of Don has become, in just thirty years, one of the largest suburbs in Europe, and is one of many areas of the city which retain the feel of a village in parts. Perhaps the best examples of this are the line of suburbs stretching towards Royal Deeside, including Cults and Peterculter.
Although English is spoken, in many parts of Scotland accents and local dialects can seem confusing to visitors, even native English speakers.
The local Aberdeen dialect is Doric, which is very different from what is heard in other parts of Scotland. Upon first hearing it, the distinctive accent may seem utterly impenetrable, even to other Scots. It has its origins in the farming communities nearby and is not spoken as widely as it used to be. However, there is still a good chance you will encounter the dialect on your travels, so here are a few commonly used words with translations:
- “Fit like?”- A greeting, essentially, “How are you doing?”.
- “Nae bad yersel?”- A reply, essentially, “Not bad, how about you?”.
- “Fit?”- “What?”.
- “Fa?”- “Who?”.
- “Far?”- “Where?”.
- “Fan?”- “When?”.
- “Aye”- “Yes”.
- “Na’”- “No” (usually, an nsound followed by a vowel constitutes “no”.
- “Wee”- “Little”, though this famous Doric word has become common in other areas worldwide nowadays.
- “Dinnae ken”- “Don’t know”.
- “H’min”- “Excuse me good sir?”
- “far aboot ye fae?” where are you from?
- “ben a/eh hoose” – “Through the house/in the other room”
- “gie” – “give”
- “guy” – “very”
- “Here, will ye trap ma mate?”- “Excuse me, will you kiss my friend?”
If you politelysuggest you don’t understand, almost all Doric speakers will be able to regulate their dialect and adopt more standard English to converse with you. It should be noted that only a small minority actually talk in broad Doric (which is almost unintelligible, even to most Scots), however the accent and dialect will influence the language of a good deal more local people to some degree or another. A good number will have no traces of it whatsoever in their speech, particularly in the middle and upper social classes.
In most of the north east, meals are named differently from other areas.First meal of the day- Breakfast. Second meal of the day- Dinner, sometimes pronounced “daenner” but however it is said, it is usually very easy to recognise.
Aberdeen-Dyce Airport is situated 7 miles from the city centre. The airport offers a wide range of domestic and short haul European international flights. Buses run from the airport to the city centre throughout the day. The nearest railway station is Dyce (which is now connected via an Airlink bus 06:45 – 19:00 Mon-Fri, Â£1.50 each way), and connects to stations in Aberdeen and Inverness. Taxis are available outside the terminal and will cost around Â£20 to Aberdeen City Centre.
Major hub destinations include London-Heathrow (10 daily), Paris-CDG (3 daily) and Amsterdam (3 daily). Domestic destinations include Birmingham, Norwich, London-Luton (2-3 daily), London-Gatwick (3 daily), Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Newcastle. Other routes heavily cater to the oil industry including Scatsta-Shetland (12 charter flights daily), Stavanger (10 daily), Oslo (6 weekly). Occasional longer distance holiday flights also operate on a seasonal basis.
The list of destinations can be found on the airport’s website 
Aberdeen Station is located right in the middle of town, next to the Harbour and Bus Station, slightly down from Union Street, the main thoroughfare. Services come from the South via Perth and the North to Elgin, Inverness and similar places.
The three main operators serving Aberdeen are:
- East Coast, . Three direct trains a day serve the major east coast cities (Edinburgh, Newcastle, York and terminate in London (King’s Cross).)
- ScotRail, . Serves all the major Scottish hubs, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Inverness. The Caledonian Sleeper to London (Euston) leaves every night except Saturdays at around 20.30.
- CrossCountry, . Serves a range of destinations on the Cross-Country route, including Carlisle, Manchester and Birmingham. Some services stretch all the way down to Penzance in South West England – the UK’s longest train journey.
Ferries operated by NorthLink  arrive at Aberdeen harbour from Lerwick and Kirkwall.
Aberdeen lies halfway along the long A90 arterial road that hugs the eastern, North Sea coast of Scotland between Dundee and Peterhead. With relative ease this permits access by car from points across Britain.
From Aberdeen, the A96 runs roughly north-west over the Gordon Highlands to Elgin and Inverness.
It is also possible to rent a car in Aberdeen from well known companies such as Avis and Hertz and other local companies such as Logan Car Hire 
There are quite a few of these located around the city centre, mainly in points of interest. They are very useful for navigating the rather random layout of the city centre and also give details of where to go to catch a particular bus.
Aberdeen walking directions  can be planned online with the walkit.com  walking route planner.
Aberdeen does not have a particularly good rail service to the local outlying areas, but it does exist (there’s talk of a Crossrail but that’s years off). The station is on Guild Street next to the bus station (just south of Union Street). The local services run to:
Dyce – On the north west of the city along the Inverness line. This is an option for travelling to the airport, but you have to catch a taxi (these are generally easily available but a bit pricey). Believe it or not, the cheap day return (Â£2.60) is slightly cheaper than catching the bus (Â£2.70 for a day pass). This is certainly a preferable way to travel in rush hour too as the journey time is 10 minutes as opposed to the hour+ it takes on the bus. There are plenty of trains, though the frequency is quite scattered. The station is located just off the main street.
Inverurie – The next stop up the line from Dyce. Trains are less frequent than to Dyce, but the service has benefitted recently from the addition of some extra journeys. The station is located a short walk from the town centre.
Portlethen – The first stop south on the Dundee/Glasgow/Edinburgh line. There are extremely few services stopping here outwith rush hour. The station is on the east of the town on the road to the old village. A walk from here to the main shopping area will take you around 10-15 minutes, there are buses that run every 20 minutes just outside the station if you need to use them.
Stonehaven – The next stop down from Portlethen. Trains are fairly frequent (at least once an hour). Buses to Stonehaven centre depart from the hotel across from the station, or you can walk. (takes 10-20 minutes depending on your speed)
Aberdeen has a fairly decent bus network, though it is expensive to use (there are no multi-operator tickets either). The city is served by 2 operators First  and Stagecoach . On the whole, buses are modern and fairly comfortable with a few dinosaurs still doing the rounds. If you are connecting buses, it should be noted that you’ll probably have to change in the city centre as that’s where the majority of services run through/terminate.
First’s services are entirely within the city boundary, although they do serve the suburbs of Dyce, Cults & Culter and Kingswells. The network “branded as The Overground” is based on a colour coded system with all the main lines having a colour while the “less important” lines are left grey on the map, which is in the style of that of the London Underground. This makes it fairly easy to find your way around. Services begin around 5AM and end close to midnight with night services run at weekends (currently run at a flat fare of Â£2.20 single).
Fares are based on a fare-stage system and cost from 70p for a short journey to Â£1.60 for a longer one. Day passes are available for Â£3 (Â£2.70 after 9AM). Show a valid student ID for a discount on the day pass (Â£2).
First also run the popular (and rightly so) Park & Ride  (National Park and Ride Directory) from Kingswells (just off A944) and Bridge of Don (off A90). The Bridge of Don service runs from the Exhibition and Conference Centre, which is easy to spot on the main northbound road. Parking is free, and the service costs Â£1.80 (per person) for a return journey to anywhere along the route. Up to two under 16s go free when accompanied. Day passes are available for purchase if you are planning to change buses.
Stagecoach run the services to outside the city boundary. Locations closer to Aberdeen generally have more frequent services (for example, a 15 minute frequency to the suburb of Westhill) than those further out. In addition to this, they run 1 service wholly within the city boundary (the 59). For single fares, Stagecoach are generally a cheaper option within the city than First, but they lack the frequency and network of First. Fares are based on destination, however there is a day pass called the Explorer which, for Â£11, allows you unlimited use of the entire Stagecoach network in the area (as far out as Montrose or Peterhead for example).
Taxis are widely available from a number of ranks dotted around the city centre. The main ranks are located on Back Wynd, Market Street and the railway station. There are more located further up Union Street, they’re easy enough to spot. Taxis can be difficult to come by at night due to a shortage of them (ranks are patrolled by marshals at night on special nights) and can be difficult to flag down on the street as many drivers do not give any indication if they’re available for hire and will not pick up groups of males. To call for a taxi, phone ComCab at 01224-35 35 35. Fares are high, but always by the meter price and regulated by the Aberdeen City Council and last revised in November 2008.
Due to the many narrow roads and inadequate lane provisions, this can be rather treacherous at times. Cycle lanes are appearing as are cycle “boxes” at traffic lights so the situation is getting better for those who cycle. It’s getting easier to park a cycle too, the council are beginning to provide loops for chaining bikes to within the city centre streets and within the municipal multi-storey car parks.
It is possible to cycle from Aberdeen city centre to Peterculter along the Old Deeside Railway line. The line begins just outside Duthie Park and passes through Garthdee, Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber before ending at Station Road. It is mostly paved with very few breaks where it is necessary to cross the road. It is very scenic and relaxing, and is also used by people walking dogs, riding horses, other cyclists, and other people just enjoying a stroll so being courteous is a must. There are signs placed along the line with bits of history about the line and how it came to be.
- Aberdeen Art Gallery  Schoolhill. Tel: 01224 523700,  Open Tuesday-Saturday 10.00AM-5.00PM, Sunday 2.00PM-5.00PM. The Aberdeen Art Gallery is set in a Victorian building with an exquisite marble and granite main hall. In the several large rooms there are housed paintings and sculptures numbering in the hundreds, featuring Impressionist pieces as well as modern art and works by the Scottish Colourists. There is also a display of antique silverware and decorative pieces. There are also numerous special exhibits by many acclaimed artists, a recent example being Quentin Blake. For those who like art, an afternoon could easily be spent here, but at least a quick browse is well worth it for anyone. Admission free.
- The Gordon Highlanders Museum  St. Lukes Viewfield Road. Tel: 01224 311200, . Open first Tuesday in April to last Sunday in October, Tuesday-Saturday 10.30AM-4.30PM, Su 1.30PM-4.30PM (last admission 4PM). November-March open by appointment only. Closed Mondays. At the Gordon Highlanders Museum you can re-live the compelling and dramatic story of one of the British Army’s most famous regiments, through the lives of its outstanding personalities and of the kilted soldiers of the North East of Scotland who filled its ranks. Exhibits include a real Nazi flag from Hitler’s staff car, and there is a small cinema where you can watch a film on the history of the regiment. For the younger visitors there are a number of uniforms to try on, and there is also a coffee shop. For those interested in military history this small gem is a must. Admission: Adults: Â£2.50, Children: Â£1.00, Seniors: Â£1.50, Closed season: Â£3.00.
- The Maritime Museum  Shiprow. Tel: 01224 337700, . Open Tuesday-Saturday 10.00AM-5.00PM, Sunday 12.00PM-3.00PM. This attraction, rated five-star by the Scottish Tourist Board, offers an extraordinary insight into the mechanics and technology of ships and oil rigs, Aberdeen’s rich maritime history and the lives of some of the people who have worked offshore in the North Sea for the past 500 years. The newest part of the complex is a blue, glass-fronted building on the cobbled Shiprow, just minutes from Union Street. Inside is a spiral walkway, rising upwards around an eye-catching model of an oil rig. Connected to this structure are the much older buildings which take visitors through a series of castle-style corridors and staircases to reach the numerous room sets, historical artefacts and scale models. If your time in Aberdeen is limited, go and see this. There is so much to see, and even the buildings themselves are worth a look. There is also a restaurant – slightly expensive, but the food is pretty good. Admission free.
- The Marischal Museum  Broad Street (entrance through arch). Tel: 01224 274301,  Open Monday-Friday 10.00AM-5.00PM, Sunday 2.00PM-5.00PM. The museum is currently closed until mid-2010 due to the extensive building work being performed to convert Marischal College into the Aberdeen City Council headquarters. Covering 8000 years of local and world history, this generally undiscovered museum houses the results of numerous expeditions by local people over the past two centuries. The collection, spread over several floors in the stunning Marischal College building, includes pieces from such diverse locations as the Balkans and Tibet. As well as the varied international exhibits, the museum also presents an insightful look at the history of the north-east of Scotland under the banner of The Encyclopaedia of the North-East. Very worthwhile, and considering the range of excellent displays the free admission seems all the better. Admission free.
The nearest Aberdeen has to a Bohemian Quarter is centred around Belmont Street, halfway down Union St. It has many nice bars, live music venues, a couple of second-hand book stores and an arthouse cinema, named The Belmont.
- Satrosphere Science Centre(Aberdeen Science Centre), The Tramsheds, 179 Constitution Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5TU, 01224 640340, . Satrosphere Science Centre is Scotlandâ€™s first science and discovery centre, and first opened to the public in 1988. The centre has over 50 hands-on interactive exhibits and live science shows, which inspire the scientist within as well as entertain the whole family.
If you feel like a workout, a massage or a fun-filled swim, the Beach Leisure Centre  on the Beach Promenade is worth a visit. Access to the gymnasium is Â£4.40 (over 18′s only). The swimming pool offers a wide range of attractions, including water slides, rapids and waves, and is suitable for the whole family. These are the admission prices:
- Adult: Â£3.10
- Child: Â£1.55
- Student: Â£1.55
- Family: Â£7.40
- 5 flume rides: Â£1.90
- 10 flume rides: Â£3.15
If speculating is more your thing, why not go and watch Aberdeen’s home grown, Scottish Premier League football (soccer) team Aberdeen Football Club (or “The Dons”) at work at their home ground of Pittodrie  ?
Aberdeen’s long beaches are also ideal for water sports such as surfing, windsurfing and Kitesurfing.
If you want to go and see a show or a concert, there are four main venues in Aberdeen, each a distinct and atmospheric setting for any kind of performance:
- The Music Hall  on Union Street offers most of the classical music events, but is becoming a more popular venue for other forms of music.
- His Majesty’s Theatre  on Rosemount Viaduct plays host to the vast majority of musicals and plays which visit Aberdeen. Recent examples include the famous Miss Saigon. If you are in town over the Christmas period with children, a trip to a showing of the annual pantomime is a must!
- The Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC)  on the A90 (in Bridge of Don) is the venue for most of Aberdeen’s pop and rock concerts. In frequent years wrestling has been a fixture as well. The venue has recently been dramatically expanded, and most functions are now held in the brand new building. If you are stuck for finding the AECC, look for the tall viewing tower, a fixture of the new structure. It is easily visible from most points close to the River Don.
- The Lemon Tree  was once regarded as a rather “fringe” venue, and indeed it still is the launching platform for many alternative acts, but the sheer variety of talent on display (blues, rock, comedy and dance, to name but a few genres) rivals that of the three venues above. The interesting location creates a great atmosphere, and is one of the main venues for the annual International Jazz Festival (see below).
- University of Aberdeen, . One of the oldest universities in the UK, it is renowned for its teaching and research.
- The Robert Gordon University (RGU), . Awarded university status in 1992, this university has very strong ties with industry and has a high level of graduate employment.
- Aberdeen College, . The largest further education college in Scotland, it has campuses within the city and without.
The main street in Aberdeen is Union Street. It is wide and around a mile long with beautiful buildings on each side. It appears a bit worn and is mainly filled with standard Scottish high street shops. However it is worth a walk. Local independents include Nova on Chapel Street but sadly, Esslemont and Mackintosh, an independent department store, closed in 2007.
Aberdeen has a number of covered central shopping centers including the Bon-Accord Centre (general high street shops), St. Nicholas Centre (general high street shops), The Academy (boutique shops), Trinity Centre (general high street shops) and the newly opened Union Square (general high street shops/boutique shops and with a variety of places to eat inside the centre,
The city has all the department stores and high street shops you would expect in any modern Scottish urban area, clustered around the centres above and along the mile-long Union Street. The table below is a guide on where to find some of the major shops, and what they specialise in.
- John Lewis, Bon Accord Centre/George Street, department store.
- Debenhams, Trinity Centre, department store
- Marks and Spencer, St. Nicholas Square (off Union Street), department store and supermarket
- Next, St. Nicholas Centre/Berryden Retail Park, clothing and homewares
- Primark, Bon Accord Centre/Union Street, clothing
- GAP, St. Nicholas Square, clothing
- H&M, Union Street, clothing
- Waterstones, Union Street, books and educational guides
- HMV, Trinity Centre/Union Street; music, movies, and games
- One Up, Belmont Street, brilliant music store
- Forbidden Planet,Belmont Street, Science Fiction store
When shopping, don’t be limited to the malls and chain stores! Aberdeen has a vast collection of small, tucked-away shops which can provide everything from Bohemian dressware to Indian furniture. If you are adventurous enough then you may uncover a hidden wonder.
- Ethnic Style, Schoolhill road(Outside of Bon Accords Main entrance). Fairtrade clothing and other assorted items from fairtrade suppliers
Aberdeen has hundreds of restaurants, catering for every taste, to choose from. As with shops, there are well-known, easy to spot places, and out of the way ones. However, we’ll leave the exploring up to you. Here is a list of more popular haunts in the central area, sorted by “cuisine”:
If you want a lunchtime soup or sandwich try the Beautiful Mountain or Books and Beans on Belmont Street. Both are popular because of their good soup, sandwiches and atmosphere.
- Earl Of Sandwich, Market Street. The best sandwich shop in town playing the best music in town. Moving soon to just around the corner on ‘The Green’, the original village center of Aberdeen.
- Pizza Express, Union Street. A very good menu with great food. Modern setting. Not the cheapest, but reasonable.
- Lahore Karahi, King Street. A relatively new entrant to the established Aberdonian Curry Houses, Lahore Karahi offers arguably the most authentic Pakistani/Indian cuisine, and at the best of prices too.
- Musa art and music cafe, 33 Exchange St. A great restaurant/cafe/art gallery with the best food in Aberdeen and sometimes with live music
- La Lombarda, 2-8 King Street. One of Aberdeen’s most popular Italians, and with good reason. Good location next to Castlegate.
- Little Italy, 79 Holborn Street. A bit pricey, but a wonderfully rustic decor makes for great atmosphere. A bit out of the way.
- KURY, 22-24 King Street. Consistent rave reviews make this Indian restaurant a hotspot. Slightly overpriced, but it’s worth it.
- The Royal Thai, . The oldest Thai restaurant in Aberdeen and it shows in how exceptional the food is.
- Yatai, 73-75 Skene Street, a short walk from Union street. Small and a little expensive, but excellent Japanese food including Sushi.
- Chinatown, 11 Dee Street, just off Union Street. Great Chinese food along with nice, vibrant decor and a bar make this restaurant highly recommended.
- Jimmy Chung’s, 401-405 Union Street.
- Yu, 347 Union Street. Reasonably-priced food. Good, but nothing to shout about. Convenient location.
- The Illicit Still, off Broad Street. Sensibly priced pub grub.
- The Bassment, Windmill Brae, off Union Street. Really good American grill reasonably priced. Also do excellent cocktails, served with more than a little flare!
- The Beautiful Mountain, Belmont Street. Fine sandwiches, soups, smoothies and Sunday breakfasts!
- Kilau, Little Belmont Street. Crepes, sandwiches, coffee, art and Irish Tony!
- Nazma Tandoori, Bridge Street. Alongside the Blue Moon, Holburn Street, this is the most authentic and finest Indian restaurant in Aberdeen.
Like any Scottish city Aberdeen has its fair share of bars and nightclubs. There are hundreds of licensed premises in the city to choose from that cater for every taste. Due to the large student population there are always student deals around to find if you want them, that often extend to everyone and not just those with student cards.
The classiest and most approachable starting point for a night out is Belmont Street. It houses 9 bars and 3 nightclubs.
- Triple Kirks [Exodus Nightclub]. An excellent student & local drinking hole and part of the ScreamPubs chain. Exodus focuses on Indie/Alternative and Classic Rock, Pop & Soul.
- Revolution Bar. Part of the Revolution chain specialising in cocktails. Has a wonderful smoking terrace out the back.
- The Wild Boar. A quieter setting, sometimes with acoustic live music. Known for its wine selection.
- Siberia (or Vodka Bar). 99 flavours of Vodka and a smoking terrace out the back.
- Cafe Drummond’s. A small late-licence venue which focuses on live bands.
- O’Neils. Irish themed pub with a nightclub upstairs.
- Ma Camerons. Shows live football in a traditional pub setting with a roof garden.
- Old School House. A quieter pub.
- Slain’s Castle. A highlight of Aberdeen’s pub scene. An old church converted into a gothic style pub. Famous for it’s Seven Deadly Sins cocktails.
- Enigma. Located in the Academy Shopping centre, with a secluded licenced courtyard.
All of the above bars serve a variety of food at reasonable pub prices, with the exception of Cafe Drummond’s.
One street along from Belmont Street, is Liquid Nightclub. Located on Bridge Place, this is by far Aberdeen’s biggest nightclub and regularly features guest DJs. Entry is usually around Â£5 it has discounted drinks every night. Also nearby is Espionage, catering for a slightly older market. No door charge, but full price drinks.
On either side of Belmont Street and you’ll find many other pubs:
- The Prince of Wales St Nicholas Square, Just off of Union Street. Boasting one of the longest bars in Aberdeen and eight Real Ale pumps, sometimes called the “PoW” or quite simply the “Prince”, this pub is one of the hidden gems of Aberdeen packed with locals, oil workers and Students alike. They keep their beer exceedingly well.
- Soul in the converted Langstane Kirk. Uppermarket.
- The Moorings which can be found by heading down Market Street and turning left when you get to the harbour, is probably the finest watering hole for those of a rock’n'roll persuasion. Regular live music nights (both local and touring bands), a welcoming atmosphere and Aberdeen’s best jukebox make this a must for any visiting rockers. The pub’s logo, a mermaid twined round a Flying V guitar, features on T shirts for sale behind the bar.
- The Mariner Hotel, 349 Great Western Road, 01224 588901, . A cozy hotel in Aberdeen’s pretty west end. Rates from 70 pounds to 150 (for couple suite). The hotel features an amazing restaurant with excellent options both for meat-lovers and vegetarians.70-150.
- Aberdeen Youth Hostel , 8 Queen’s Road, AB15 4ZT. Tel: 0870 004 1100. A SYHA Hostel in a historic building near the city centre.
- The Marcliffe at Pitfoddels, North Deeside Road, Pitfodels, AB15 9YA  is a 5 star hotel just outside the city center with a Spa and conference facilities
- Mercure Ardoe House, South Deeside Road, Blairs, AB12 5YP Phone: +44 (0)1224 860600 is set in a Victorian mansion house, that looks somewhat like a castle. It is located just outside of town.
- Skene House, 6 Union Grove, AB10 6SY, Phone: +44 (0)1224 580000 has three hotels in the town, all set in old tenement blocks. Each room has its own kitchen and living room and is basically an apartment that is run like a hotel.
- Malmaison Aberdeen, 53 Queens Road, AB15 4YP, Phone: +44 (0)1224 321371, formerly the Queens Hotel.
- Hilton Treetops Hotel, 161 Springfield Road, Bieldside, AB15 7AQ Phone: +44 (0)1224 313377 is a large comfortable hotel located in a suburb of Aberdeen
- The Grill, Union Street(Opposite the Music Hall). A small severely plain interior, but a haven for a whisky connoisseur; whiskies from Scotland and around the world. Tasting menu available
Common sense should see that your visit to Aberdeen be trouble free. Petty thefts don’t appear to be a problem, at least during the day. Beggars don’t tend to bother people further than asking them for spare change or a cigarette. They can just be ignored.
There’s a big rivalry between the football clubs Aberdeen and Rangers. However a big police presence on match days nowadays ensures minimal trouble in and around the ground and city centre.
Don’t attempt to drive in the beach area after around 9pm – the area is a magnet for socially-deprived “boy racer” types, who display little road-sense and take over the area at night in intimidating fashion.
Aberdeen is a good location to stay if you want to see castles, play golf or go on a distillery trail. Within 30 miles you can visit Crathes, Drum and Dunottar Castles.
The Malt Whisky Trail route is about 30 miles north and involves a number of distilleries including the Glenfiddich and Glen Grant tours.
If you want to play golf, the Royal Aberdeen golf course was founded in 1790 and is the sixth oldest in the world and the Royal Deeside course in the River Dee’s valley are both excellent.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is in the Nelson Tasman region of the South Island of New Zealand, between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay.
Located in the Nelson and Marlborough Regions on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. The park is closed to vehicles, and access is either on foot (from one of the various carparks mentioned below) or by boat, or if you’ve got money to spend it is possible to charter a helicopter or small plane (Awaroa only).
Some of the land in the park is privately owned – mainly in Awaroa Bay and Torrent Bay. It is important to remember this when visiting the park – the locals are friendly but they don’t want loads of travellers walking through their backyards all the time! However these areas are clearly marked so you shouldn’t have any problems.
The first European to visit the area around Golden Bay was Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, on December 18, 1642. There he met a settlement of Maori, the native peoples, briefly fought with them and left.
Around 1855, more Europeans began to arrive and permanent settlements began to spring up. These settlements began to pillage the land’s resources – logging for homes and ships, mining of granite, and creation of pasture through burning.
The park, created out of protest due to concerns about heavy logging in the area, was officially opened in 1942, 300 years after Abel Tasman’s first visit. The initial grant was 15,000 hectares of government land and has since grown to over 22,000 hectares. It is, however, New Zealand’s smallest national park.
The most notable feature of the park are its beaches. The golden sands bring many visitors, some for just a day, others for overnight trips. However, moving away from the beaches and inland, the park is mountainous and rough.
Some areas of the park are very tidal. Watch out in particular for the estuaries at Torrent Bay and Awaroa – these can drain almost completely at low tide! So be aware of this before anchoring your boat in some places. In fact, at low tide it is possible to walk from Torrent Bay to Anchorage by walking across the empty estuary – this takes about 25 minutes, whereas the track around the outside of the estuary takes closer to 2 hours. Some beaches also have unusual sand bars – if in doubt, don’t go too close to shore in your boat, or you might run aground unexpectedly!
Flora and fauna
Much of the nature vegetation has been destroyed by the area’s early inhabitants, but left alone, the park is slowly renewing itself. All four species of Beech trees can be found within the park, an unusual find.
Wildlife, like much of New Zealand, consists mostly of avian life, but also like much of the country, the rarest birds, such as the kiwi, are not present. Other wildlife, such as the blue penguin, can be found in the more isolated areas of the park now that their population have begun to dwindle. You can still see lots (and hear!) lots of birds – keep an eye out for wood pigeons, tuis (you will definitely hear these even if you don’t see them), wekas (rare, flightless birds), oyster catchers (by the sea) and cormorants.
Much of New Zealand’s native wildlife is under attack due to introduced species and the Department of Conservation (DOC) along with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) are trying desperately to halt these attacks. Stoats, a relative of the ferret, were introduced into New Zealand to control rabbits in the 1880s. However, those stoats, then and today, prefer the native animal populations such as the blue penguins over rabbits or their other “normal” prey.
When exploring Abel Tasman or any other national park, you may observe traps for introduced species such as the stoat or the possum. Please do not disturb these efforts to maintain New Zealand’s natural wildlife.
The Abel Tasman National Park is in one of the sunniest places in the country with over 2000 hours of sunlight per year. There is moderate rainfall that is spread out over the year and snow is occasionally found in the park’s higher elevations.
- Average Temperatures
- Summer, December – February. High: 72F, 22C. Low: 55F, 13C.
- Fall, March – May. High: 64F, 18C. Low: 46F, 8C.
- Winter, June – August. High: 55F, 13C. Low: 37F, 3C.
- Spring, September – November. High: 63F, 17C. Low: 45F, 7C.
There are four carpark entrances to the park. From here, you walk into the park.
- Marahau. The southern entrance, 67km on a sealed road from Nelson.
- Wainui. 21km from Takaka. The road is sealed for all but the final 2km.
- Totaranui. 32km from Takaka. The road is sealed for all but the final 13km.
- Awaroa. 31km from Takaka. The road is sealed for all but the rough, final 12km. This road has two fords which are susceptible to flooding.
Most companies depart from the Marahau or Kaiteriteri going to the main beaches of the park.
- Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park +64 3 528 2027, FREEPHONE 0800 – 223 582. .
- Vista Cruise: comfort, speed, environmentally friendly.
- Vigour Water Taxi: the adventurur’s choice.
- Abel Tasman Water Taxis, 64 3528 7497, 0800 423 397, . Sailing from Kaiteriteri for NZ$24 to NZ$39 one way. There are also round trip touring packages available.
- Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi, . Sailing from Marahau for NZ$23 to NZ$50.
- Southern Exposure, 64 3527 8424, . Sailing from Marahau and several major beaches for NZ$22 – NZ$34.
- Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, +64 3 528 2027, FREEPHONE 0800-223 528. Guided sea kayak tours from 1 to 5 days. Can be combined with guided walking tours.
- Southern Exposure, 64 3527 8424, . Offering guided and unguided kayak rentals.
- Guided tours. One to three days for between NZ$95 and $510. The two and three day tours are catered.
- Unguided rentals. Two to five day rentals for between NZ$99 and NZ$180. Both double and single sea kayaks are available, however for a single you are required to prove competency.
The only fees associated with the Abel Tasman park are those required for sleeping in the park.
- Great Walk Hut. If tramping on the Coast Track and planning to stay in huts, you will need to book with the DoC and pay a fee between NZ$10 – NZ$14, per night, depending on the season.
- Standard Hut. If tramping on the Inland Track and planning to stay in huts, you will need to pay a fee of NZ$5 per night.
- Backcountry Campsites. Expect to pay about NZ$7 per night.
- Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, +64 3 528 2027, FREEPHONE 0800-223 582. From 1 hour to 5 days in the park.
- Water transfers in style and comfort
- Cruise & Walk (guided / unguided)
- Guided Kayak & Walk
- Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi, . Hut-to-Hut pack transfers for NZ$8 – NZ$12 depending on weight.
- Seals. Fur seals can be seen in a number of places in the park and there is a large colony at Tonga Island. Do not get closer than 20 meters of the seals.
- Tonga Island Marine Reserve.
- Approach on foot. Start from Awaroa Hut toward Venture Creek and then over Tonga Saddle to Onetahuti Beach. If coming from the carpark at Tonga Quarry, a low tide crossing is required.
- Approach by sea. The nearest boat ramp is at Totaranui and caution should be used due to unmarked reefs as well as strong winds.
- By bus or hired boat. Consult the visitor centers in Motueka, Takak, or Nelson.
- Cleopatra’s Pool. This is a beautiful rock pool with a natural, moss-lined waterslide! It is located about 1 hour’s walk from both Torrent Bay and Anchorage. If you follow the high tide track between these two places, you will eventually reach the turn-off to Cleopatra’s. A couple of things to be aware of – firstly, the track to the pool crosses the river (there’s no bridge, you have to hop across a few rocks), so if it has been raining over the last couple of days, it can be quite dangerous to cross. Secondly, the bottom of the ‘waterslide’ sometimes has a few hidden rocks – check it and clear away any big rocks before using the slide.
- Falls River bridge. An impressive footbridge which crosses the Falls River. It is located on the track between Bark Bay and Torrent Bay.
- Cascade Falls. A beautiful waterfall hidden in amongst stunning bush. The river, while cold, is also a good spot to cool off. Cascade Falls is located about 1.5 hours walk from Torrent Bay. This is one of the more difficult tracks as it is quite steep in parts, but it is definitely worth the hike! Set out from Torrent Bay on the High Tide track to Anchorage and follow the signs – the turnoff to Cascade Falls is approximately 15 minutes from the Torrent Bay campsite.
- The Kaiteriteri Webcam – Kaiteriteri Webcam
- Abel Tasman Coast Track. A 51km walking track that is classified as one of the Department of Conservation’s “Great Walks.” Plan on three to five days to complete the entire track. There are several crossing that are dependent on the tide.
- Abel Tasman Inland Track. An easy to moderate 3 to 5 days through the park’s hilly interior.
- Hunting. By permit only and not allowed from the third Monday in December until Waitangi Day. Check local papers for specific dates. An additional permit is required to bring a hunting dog.
- No cycling and No horse riding. Neither activity is allowed in the park.
- Swim – the beaches in the Park are quite safe – the surf is minimal and there is little risk of riptides. The water is also quite warm during the summer. Some of the more tidal beaches are also quite shallow just before and just after high tide, so are really great for young children.
- There is nothing to buy anywhere inside the park.
- All food must be carried into the park. There are no shops at which to purchase food or supplies. However, there is a cafe at Awaroa Lodge in Awaroa Bay. You don’t have to be a guest at the lodge in order to eat here. Bear in mind that it is definitely not cheap, compared with similar style cafes outside of the Park.
Please help to maintain the park’s natural beauty – take all your rubbish out with you!
- Potable water is usually provided at the huts, but be prepared to treat drinking water through boiling, chemical, or filtering.
- As always, be sure to consume plenty of water during your hike, whether overnight or just for the day.
- Meadowbank Homestead – Awaroa Bay  Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, +64 3 528 2027, FREEPHONE 0800-223 528
- Torrent Bay Lodge  Wilsons Abel Tasman National Park, +64 3 528 2027, FREEPHONE 0800-223 528
- Awaroa Lodge, 064 3528 8758, fax 064 3528 6561, . Built in 1991 and located at the northern end of the park on 19 hectares of private land, the lodge offers 12 suites, 10 deluxe rooms and 4 family rooms. NZ$230 – NZ$380, depending on room, view and season.
- Department of Conversation Huts. The DoC has 8 huts within the park, 4 on the Coastal track, 4 on the Inland track. All of the huts have heating and mattresses.
- Coast Track. Bookings are required between October 1 and April 30, , 64 35469339, 0800 422 358. Backcountry hut tickets or passes are not valid for the Coast Track.
- Anchorage Hut. 24 bunks.
- Bark Bay Hut. 28 bunks.
- Awaroa Hut. 22 bunks.
- Whariwharangi Hut. 19 bunks.
- Inland Track.
- Awapoto Hut. 12 bunks.
- Castle Rock Hut. 8 bunks.
- Moa Park Hut. 4 bunks.
- Wainui Hut. 4 bunks.
- Totaraniu Campground. Camp office, potable water, flush toilets, cold showers, fireplaces and car parking, but no electricity. Totaraniu is split into two sections:
- Coast Track Campground. This section of Totaraniu is used by trampers on the Coast Track and is limited to one night. Bookings are required year round.
- Main Campground. An extremely popular 850 site campground at Totaraniu. A ballot system is in place for bookings between December 1 and February 10. Stays longer than one night are allowed.
- Other DoC Campsites. All 20 sites have water supply and toilets. Some have cooking shelters and fireplaces. Bookings are required year round. Campers do not have permission to use hut facilities. Camping limited to two consecutive nights at any given campsite.
- Apple Tree Bay. 15 tent spaces.
- Stilwell Bay. 3 tent spaces.
- Akersten Bay. 3 tent spaces.
- Observation Beach. 6 tent spaces.
- Watering Cove. 5 tent spaces.
- Te Pukatea Bay. 7 tent spaces.
- Anchorage. 50 tent spaces.
- Torrent Bay Estuary. 6 tent spaces.
- Torrent Bay Village. 10 tent spaces.
- Medlands Beach. 5 tent spaces.
- Bark Bay. 40 tent spaces.
- Mosquito Bay. 20 tent spaces.
- Tonga Quarry. 10 tent spaces.
- Onetahuti Bay. 20 tent spaces.
- Awaroa. 18 tent spaces.
- Waiharakeke Bay. 10 tent spaces.
- Anapai Bay. 6 tent spaces.
- Mutton Cove. 20 tent spaces.
- Whariwharengi Bay. 20 tent spaces.
- Adhere to standard Leave-no-trace camping and hiking. Do not stray from the beaten path as this practice causes permanent damage to the landscape. Be sure to carry out all trash and pick up after others.
- Safety is your responsibility – always let someone know before you head into the backcountry. Leave your intentions with a local DoC office.
- Be prepared. Check the weather and consider your equipment. On the coast track be sure to consider the tide schedule before starting – there are two crossing that must be made during low tide.
- Insect repellent. Sandflies (small biting insects) tend to be very bothersome.
- Sunscreen. The sun can be very powerful.
- Spare food and fuel. Always be prepared to stay an extra day or two.
- Kaiteriteri . You can pick up petrol, some groceries and find accommodation here.
- Marahau . Accommodation and shopping here.
- Takaka .
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
You can get to Ã‰vora in several ways:
- By bus  or , (from Lisbon the ticket is about 10 euros)
- By Intercity train from Lisbon (ticket currently 10 euros in touristic class) 
- By car (distance: 140 Km, from Lisbon take the A2 by either bridge, then A6, then N114 to Ã‰vora; tolls)
One of the nicer ways to see the city is by horse carriage ride. You can find them near the Cathedral.
Otherwise there’s no real problem in walking between most of the main sights.
There are some Roman ruins you definitely need to check out, there is also the Capela dos Ossos (Bone Chapel), which is totally ornamented with real human bones, creepy, kitsch, but a must see. Contrarily to what sometimes is said, it is not unique.
The old aqueduct with houses built into the arches is interesting. It is completely dissimilar from the superbly structured one at Elvas, except that both seem far too much work for the trickle of water they carried.
You must visit the Almendres Cromlech megalithic complex, an important megalithic monument in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the largest existing group of structured menhirs in the Iberian Peninsula, and one of the largest in Europe. ItÂ´s situated about 10 km from Ã‰vora, going by Guadalupe. Continuing this trip, near Valverde, the Anta do Zambujeiro dolmen, also very unusual by its size.
In less than an hour you can get by car to Monsaraz (exit via IP2 to Beja, then turn to Reguengos), a nice, well preserved walled town on top of a hill overlooking the Alqueva Dam waters. There’s plenty where to sleep (cheap Bed and Breakfast and Turismo de HabitaÃ§Ã£o, and an Inn) and where to eat. Around it are a couple important menhirs, one of them with engravings (Balhoa) and the other about 5 m high, and a anta(passage dolmen). The Xares cromlech is a conjectural reconstruction, and was removed from its original place due to the Alqueva waters.
- There is a nice and big park (Jardim PÃºblico) where you can have a nice stroll.
- Show yourself and see others at the PraÃ§a do Giraldo, the city’s social center
- Roman ruins – Templo de Diana
- Ã‰vora Cathedral and Cloisters
- Historic Centre of Ã‰vora – UNESCO World Heritage .
- Ã‰vora University  main building (on a ancient Convent, founded in 1559)
- Eat and drink local and regional products.
Ã‰vora, a university town, is expensive. There’s nothing typically local for you to buy there, and most certainly there are no bargains.
There are several traditional dishes:
- Migas com carne de porco
- Carne de porco Ã alentejana
There are also several traditional desserts, all from conventual origin:
- Bolo podre
- PÃ£o de Rala
Drink and carry plenty of water especially in the hotter months (July and August, eventually September). Especially in August, you will be advised not to go out in the sun between 2 pm and 4 pm, unless you are used to it.
Remember that just going in for a drink is a perfectly acceptable way of getting in to see the public areas of a Pousada.
Alentejo wines are some of the best-loved in Portugal, and there’s a variety of them. Some can be quite expensive.
- Pousada de Ã‰vora – LÃ³ios, Historic Luxury Hotel, Largo Conde Vila-Flor 7000-804 Ã‰vora, +351-266 730 070(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +351-266 707 248), .
This luxury hotel is located in the heart of historic the centre of Ã‰vora, a city classified by UNESCO as World Heritage. The Pousada de Ã‰vora, Convento dos LÃ³ios, was originally a convent and one of Ã‰vora’s most precious architectural buildings.
- Pousada de Vila ViÃ§osa – D. JoÃ£o IV, Historic Luxury Hotel, Convento das Chagas – Terreiro do PaÃ§o 7160-251 Vila ViÃ§osa, +351-268 980 742(email@example.com), .
The Pousada de Vila ViÃ§osa, D. JoÃ£o IV, is set in the former Convent of Chagas de Cristo in the historical village of Vila ViÃ§osa. Very characteristic with its intricate themed rooms, full of legends and tales.
- Pousada de Estremoz – Rainha Santa Isabel, Pousada HistÃ³rica, Largo de D. Diniz 7100-509 Estremoz, +351-268 332 075(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +351-268 332 079), .
The castle of Estremoz is the result of the restoration of the magnificent Palace that King D. Diniz built for his wife, Queen Isabel, the Saint.
- Pousada de Arraiolos – Nossa Senhora da AssunÃ§Ã£o, Historic Luxury Hotel, Convento dos LÃ³ios 7041-909 Arraiolos, +351-266 419 340 / 266 419 365(email@example.com, fax: +351-266 419 280), .
The Pousada de Arraiolos, Nossa Sra. AssunÃ§Ã£o, is an example of perfect harmony between the traditional and modern concepts of Portuguese architecture, adapting the austerity of a 16th century convent to today’s standards of comfort and well-being.
There are several hotels and you can get directions in the Tourist Office, which is located in the main city square – PraÃ§a do Geraldo.
- Casa Palma, rua Bernardo Matos29A. 20 euros for a double (in February 2006, required some haggling).
- Hotel Ibis Ã‰vora, Quinta da Tapada UrbanizaÃ§ao da Muralha, (+351)266 760 700, .
- Casa D. AntÃ³nia(Turismo Rural Alentejo), Rua Direita, 15 Monsaraz, (+351)266 557 142(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (+351)266 557 142), . A simple family environment is a principal characteristic of Casa D. AntÃ³nia. It has one suite and six rustic double rooms, all offering air conditioning, cable TV, private bathroom with WC, and a breakfast typical of the region. It has an Alentejan patio with a garden offering panoramic views to the west. Here you can enjoy the pleasure of looking out over the remarkable landscape of this vast plain. The summers are hot and dry, the winters short, with rain and sun. Our mission is to combine an enjoyable family atmosphere with the kind of comfort and tranquillity so many seek in this day and age.
There’s a multitude of Bed And Breakfasts, though most will be fully booked during the high season.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Richmond (New South Wales)
Richmond is an historic town on the north-western outskirts of Sydney in the Australian New South Wales, located on the Hawkesbury River.
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• Monday, October 11th, 2010
Royal National Park
The Royal National Park  is in on the southern fringe of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia around 35km south from the city centre.
The Royal National Park is the second oldest national park in the world. It is easily accessible from Sydney and is popular for picnics, walking and other recreation. The picnic areas within the park are largely at Audley, next to the Hacking River. The boatshed and Visitor’s Centre are there too. However, there are many other picnic areas within the park, and many other areas to explore.
This is general guidance how to get in to the park. The park itself is large, so check your plan your itinerary carefully, especially if you are not driving, to ensure you can get to where you want to be. Information on accessing specific destinations within the park is contained within the destination information, below.
Cityrail  has services from Sydney City to Loftus, Engadine, Heathcote and Waterfall stations which are on the western perimeter of the park. From each of these stations you can access several signposted bushwalks. You can even walk beween them. At each of these entry points there are shops to purchase food a drinks. However it is not straightforward to access Audley, the main picnic areas, or the coastal areas of the park from these access points. The services run to these suburbs at 30 minute frequency and take 45 minutes for the trip.
To access Audley from Loftus walk east from Loftus following the tramline and the 45 minute easy walk to Bungonia Lookout over the river and Audley. Consider it you want to walk down the hill to Audley (or more to the point, consider if you want to walk back).
To access Audley From Waterfall follow the Uloola track for 3 hours to Audley passing Uloola falls, follow the signs from the station carpark.
Cityrail runs hourly services to Otford on the southern boundary of the park. This is an access point to the southern end of the coast walk. It is a 10 minute steep uphill walk from the station to the park boundary at Bald Hill, it is signposted. It is about an hour walk to Werrong beach (nudist) or two hours to Burning Palms beach from this point.
Cityrail runs services to Cronulla to meet a ferry  to Bundeena. This is an access point to the northern end of the coast walk. The trains run every 30 minutes and the ferries run every hour. Don’t expect them to connect. Turn left out of the exit to the station, and then left through the railway underpass to get to the ferry. About 5 minutes walk. It is 15 minutes walk from the ferry wharf at Bundeena to the park. You will need to know where you are going, and consult a map.
Topographic maps of the park can be viewed online at the New South Wales Lands Department . Bundeena has a nice beach by the side of the wharf, and nice cafes. It is not strictly speaking within the park, but it is surrounded by it.
Loftus Tramway Museum runs hourly trams from Loftus station to the top of the hill at Audley every hour on Sunday. From the end of thr tramline there is a 1km sealed path to walk to the lookout at the top of the cliff. It is a steep 30 minute walk down to the main picnic areas at Audley. The tram line is only about 2km long, and it is possible to walk the length of the tram line from Loftus the days the tram isn’t running.
You can drive into the park at Audley, at Waterfall and at Stanwell Tops. Follow the signs from the Princes Highway. A entry fee applies for all cars taken into the park. Sometimes there are attendants at the gated entryways selling entry tickets. Even when these are not on duty you are expected to pay. Rangers check cars for displayed tickets in the parking lots. You can buy tickets from the Visitor’s center and the kiosks. You do not have to pay if you are just passing through the park and do not stop. There are parking and picnic facilities within the park.
There are well developed roads to get around by car within the park, and these can be used to access the walking trails and the major picnic areas. There is plenty of parking at the main picnic areas.
Cycling is permitted on the trails but not the tracks unless marked (trails designed for ranger or fire access by 4wd, tracks are narrow, with steps, designed for walkers). Bicycles can access many trails that are closed to cars. The main sealed through roads through the park are steep and hilly, with many bends, and with cars that invariably exceed the speed limits and advisory corner speeds.
There are still many areas of the park can only be accessed by walking.
Maps of the park are available for purchase from the visitors centre in Audley, or many map and bookshops around Sydney. Individual brochures for the walks and beaches are available at no charge. Detailed topographic maps are viewable online at the NSW Lands Department .
- The historic boat shed at Audley dates from late 19th century. Audley was a popular spot for visitors from Sydney at that time.
The Bungoona Lookout is easy to access, paved path walk, suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. The view over the Hacking River valley is impressive.
Flora and Fauna
- Lyrebirds, Crimson Rosellas are common within the park. The Lyre birds tail fans out like a peacock, and they can often be seen in pairs. Crimson Rosellas common, some are used to being fed and they will eat out of your hand (although strictly speaking, you probably shouldn’t feed them).
- Goannas can be seen around Audley (and elsewhere). Large monitor lizards.
- Kangaroos and Wallabies, are rarer in the park then they used to be before the last bushfire. Wallabies can be seen in the bush by the Hacking River. Kangaroos on the open plains around around Era.
- Turtles and fish can often be seen in the rocks from the weir at Audley.
- Kookaburras, Cockatoos, and Galahs are common all over the park, as in most of Sydney
Stay safe. Carry enough water for your trip, water is not usually available in the park, and what water there is is often not safe to drink. Let someone know where you are going and when you will be back. Although the park is not of the scale of other Australian National Parks, it is still possible to become lost.
The park is one of the best places to do day walks from Sydney. You can walk along spectacular sandstone cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean with views to the north to Sydney or to the south to Wollongong. Alternatively you can walk in the river valleys behind the headlands. There you will find tall rainforest trees such as the Lilly Pilly Acmena smithii or the fragrant Celery wood Polysias elegans.
Some of the walks are described on the park web page 
- Lady Carrington Drive from Audley or Forest Island. This is a well marked trail from Audley, and probably the most popular walk in the park. You can cycle this trail as well with a mountain bike. It is mostly flat, wide and follows the Hacking River.
- Coast walk. The Coast walk is a 30km walk starting at Bundeena and ending at Otford. See the section above on how to access these points. Along the way it passes most of the Park’s significant beaches, including Wattamolla, Garie, Era and Burning Palms. It climbs headlands, goes along sandstone cliffs and around rocky foreshores. It passes depression-era huts set in a valley with deer at Era, and no shortage of kangaroos. This walk is recommended to take 2 days. You can stay at Garie Beach YHA or camp at North Era with a permit. If you are fit and keen the walk can be done in one day. If you plan your walk during the migration of the humpback whales you might get lucky and see a mother and her calf.
A comprehensive list of the walks available, and details of the routes can be obtained from the Visitor Centre.
- Wattamolla lagoon and surf beach is a popular safe swimming spot that you can drive to. It is a truly beautiful spot and the combination of lagoon and surf swimming between rugged cliffs is fantastic. However you will not be the first person to discover the location, and it is quite popular on summer weekends. At many times Wattamolla is simply a paradise lost, now with too many people, tourists, groups and crowds to truly relax. Try a weekday evening to have more space to yourself, arriving at 4PM during the summer still gives you 3 full hours to enjoy the beach. You will no doubt see people jumping from the cliffs into the lagoon below, and swinging from ropes and jumping. The lagoon is very variable depth, and people have had serious injuries jumping here, and needless to say the activity is not allowed. The surf beach is not patrolled, and is not really suitable for surfing, due to the cliffs to either side of the beach. Access Wattamolla by car. Follow the signs to the National Park from the Princes Hwy at Loftus. Continue straight ahead through Audley on Sir Bertram Stevens Drive until you get to the Wattamolla turn. Around 15 minutes drive from the Highway. Wattamolla is also around the halfway point on the Coast Walk from Otford to Bundeena.
- Garie is a surf beach also accessible by road. It is patrolled on weekends in summer from 10AM. There is a kiosk selling ice-creams, coffee etc, weekends in summer.
- North Era. North Era is patrolled Sundays in summer. You can camp there, right on the beach, with a permit. The shortest walk to car access is to Garrawarra Farm, around 30-45 minutes down the hill. Most people camping there are doing the coast walk from Bundeena to Otford.
- Burning Palms. The quickest way to access Burning Palms by car is to park at Garrawarra Farm and walk down the hill to the beach. The walk will take around 30 minutes or so, but its a steep hill on the way back up. Alternatively you can walk from Otford along the coast walk in around 90 minutes. Burning Palms is patrolled on Sunday’s in summer. The short walk ensures that Burning Palms is always nice and uncrowded.
- Werrong is a nudist beach, accessible in about 60 minutes walk from Otford.
- Little and Big Marley are unpatrolled beaches, and can be subject to rips, so take care. There is a lagoon behind Big Marley, but its not as nice as Wattamolla and not really suitable for swimming. These beaches are only accessible by walking, and you can usually expect to have them to yourself.
There is no swimming in the river at Audley.
The historic boatshed adjacent to the Audley picnic area has row boats and canoes for hire. From here you can paddle around, or head out on a half day trip up to the headwaters of the Hacking River. Private craft are not allowed in the river.
You can use a mountain bike in the park on trails (wide roads with a barrier to prevent access by cars) except where signposted. Pick up the brochure on cycling in the park from the Visitor’s Centre.
- Lady Carrington Drive is a popular family off-road easy cycling location, and bikes can be hired from the boatshed which is an easy cycle from the start of the track. They can give directions at the boatshed.
- If you have your own mountain bike you can catch the train to Waterfall and cycle along the Uloola Trail to the falls. Follow the cycleway south from the station past the primary school, and down the service trail. It is around 12km return cycle along wide and mostly well graded trail. You can cool off by paddling in the water by the falls if they are flowing.
Kiosks and Take Away
There is a kiosk at Audley within the Park open most days. They have gourmet pies and cappuccino. There is a kiosk at Wattamolla beach and at Garie beach usually open on weekends during peak times. Nice for an ice cream on a hot day, but don’t rely on them being open for camping supplies as they seem to close up if the business isn’t there.
There is a selection of coffee shops and take away places at Bundeena. There is a coffee shop and take away at Otford outside the park’s southern boundary. On a sunny weekend you will likely find an ice-cream van or two at Bald Hill, near the southern exit of the Coast/Cliff Walk.
The park is an excellent place for a picnic.
There are free electric barbecues provided at Audley, Wattamolla, with many picnic tables provided. There are still some fireplaces left for wood fires
There are picnic tables at regular intervals along the roads through the park.
Whatever you want to drink, bring it with you. Water for the walk or beer for the barbecue.
- Garie Beach YHA , Garie Beach, ph +61 2 9261 1111 (email email@example.com, fax 02 9261 1969). This hostel is accessible by walking 10km along the coast track from Otford pr by walking 1km along the beach from the Garie Beach car park. The facilities are very basic: there is no refrigeration or power points. There is solar powered lighting and gas stove-tops, as well as composting toilets. Dorm beds are $13 per night adults and $8 children. You can rent the entire facility for $120 per night.
National Parks and Wildlife Service, Farnell Avenue, Audley Heights, ph +61 2 9542 0648 (fax 02 9542 1420). Contact the NPWS for camping permits if you intend to camp in any of the campgrounds. Camping elsewhere in the park is forbidden.
- Bonnie Vale camping ground. This campground has 40 sites. It is in the north-eastern corner of the park near Bundeena. You access it by road off Bundeena drive. The campground has excellent facilities including drinking water, toilets and hot showers, but there is no power. You can camp in caravans. The fee is $14 per night for adults and $7 per night for children. Bonnie Vale is a 15 minute walk from the Bundeena ferry wharf.
- North Era camping ground. This campground is accessible by walking along the coast track from Bundeena or Otford, or by walking the much shorted walk from the parking lot adjacent to Garawarra Farm. The campground has composting toilets, but no other facilities, and wood fires are banned. The fee is $5 per night for adults and $3 per night for children.
- Uloola Falls camping ground. This campground is accessible by walking along the Uloola Track from Waterfall, Heathcote or Engadine. The campground has composting toilets, but no other facilities, and wood fires are banned. The fee is $5 per night for adults and $3 per night for children.
- Mobile phone reception is very limited in the park. There are no transmitters in the park. If you need mobile phone reception move around, and try and get to the highest ground possible.
- Most trails within the park are well developed and well marked. However some trails, particularly the coastal trails, include rocky ground, sea rocks, and beaches, where following the trail on the ground is difficult.
- Eastern Brown snakes are sometimes seen sunning themselves along the less well traversed tracks or rocks next to the tracks. Sometimes they can even be seen on Lady Carrington’s Drive. They are a shy snake, and usually waste no time getting out of your way. Don’t do anything silly like try to touch one, scare it away with a stick, or corner one. Give them space, and they will get out of your way. Their bites can be dangerous, even deadly. If you do get bitten, get help.
- Leeches come out when it rains. They don’t hurt, they do you no lasting harm, and will drop off when they have had their fill. They do leave you a bit bloody though if you try to pull them off. If you don’t want them on you, avoid walking in the rain, or wear thick long socks and long pants, checking them occasionally and avoiding brushing against plants. Insect repellent will deter them, but it also washes off in the rain, so it a bit hopeless, really.
Visit the Sydney Tramway Museum , open on Sundays and some holidays, just adjacent and North of the park turnoff from the Princes Hwy at Loftus. You can’t enter the tramway going south on the Princes Highway, so if you are heading south, follow the Old Princes Highway through Sutherland.
Travel south along the coast road via the new Sea Cliff Bridge. A bridge built over the sea by the cliff edge, just south of the park and Stanwell Park.
Travel further south along the highway, and in around half an hour you will be in Wollongong.