Home to weekend farmers’ markets, rolling lavender farms and off-road cycling trails — who says that these South Australian and Tasmanian cities are only known for the finer things in life?
These cities in Australia’s southern states may be known for their laid-back atmosphere and gentle pace, but there is actually plenty to see and do — at wallet-friendly prices. Be it shopping at bustling farmers’ markets or riding the longest single-span chairlift in the world, it’s non-stop action for visitors.
Adelaide, South Australia
No matter the season, the South Australian capital will let you sample the best of Australia — from food hubs to wildlife and interactive nature — at inexpensive prices.
Explore the city on two wheels by hiring an Adelaide Free Bike from one of 20 locations in the city, complete with a helmet and bicycle lock for free. Take the leisurely River Torrens Linear Park Trail, which runs through the city to the coastal suburb of Henley Beach. Pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach or unwind at one of the many cafés in Henley Square.
Or ride to Adelaide Central Market, in the heart of the city, where you can stop and sample a mouth-watering array of fresh, homegrown produce. Shop for locally farmed seafood, gourmet cheeses and pastries across more than 80 stalls at reasonable prices or join a market tour, which includes generous tastings of local produce and coffee or tea. Open from Tuesday to Saturday, it has free entry — and complimentary Wi-Fi service for those planning to document their food adventures on social media in real-time.
Take a walk on the wild side at Adelaide Zoo, Australia’s second oldest zoo and home to more than 3,000 animals. Enjoy a free guided tour, or pay for a range of special experiences, including a chance to mingle with a penguin colony and handfeed lions, for just under A$50 each.
For a breath of fresh air (literally!), visit the Adelaide Botanic Garden. Offering year-round, free access to all, the Garden spans landscaped greenery and stunning architecture, including a must-see Victorian glasshouse with a fascinating collection of plants from the ancient island of Madagascar. If you are travelling with kids, drop by the Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden for a sensory playtime session with vegetables, fruits and herbs.
Hobart and Launceston, Tasmania
Whether it is unique food or affordable adventures that you are after, Tasmania’s two main cities have it all.
Be sure to visit Salamanca Market in Hobart, the Tasmanian capital, which houses over 300 stalls offering an array of products from delectable coffees and cakes to Tasmanian art and crafts. Open on Saturday mornings, the marketplace is the perfect spot for those in search of local bites and gifts at great prices.
When visiting Launceston, Tasmania’s second biggest city, drop by nearby Bridestowe Lavender Estate. Home to one of Tasmania’s most beautiful sights between November and February, it’s the one-stop shop for all things lavender. Watch the grounds come alive for just A$10 during flower season, or enter for free during off peak season. Those visiting between December and February also enjoy a complementary guided tour. Shop for unique souvenirs, such as hand creams, soaps and Bobbie, the famous lavender-filled heat pack bear. Or, head to the Woodcroft Café on the estate for lavender ice cream and brownies.
No visit to Launceston is complete without a stop at Cataract Gorge, just a stone’s throw away from central Launceston. It’s home to the world’s longest single-span chairlift, which is a must-visit for adventure and nature lovers alike. View rugged cliffs and the river from above in an eight-minute ride, before cooling off in the free outdoor swimming pool open from November to March. End your visit with a barbecue or picnic amid exotic plants and the occasional peacock or wallaby. The variety of free yet fun things to do ensure it’s a must-not miss experience.
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