Of the many things to do in Adelaide, going on a walking tour of the city’s heritage buildings is a must. Colonel William Light left a legacy of a well-planned metropolis that is still noticeable in Adelaide’s orderly streets and buildings. Many of these heritage buildings in Adelaide South Australia have been restored to its original condition. Here are some of the best buildings to admire amazing Adelaide architecture.
1- Adelaide Arcade
Completed in 1885, the Adelaide Arcade was the first retail establishment in Australia to have an electric light.
Today, it is a beautifully restored showpiece in the centre of Adelaide’s Rundle Mall and has been carefully renovated and restored to its original condition.
Even the tile designs are exact replicas of the tiles that were used in the original. It’s a grand old building and a showpiece of wealth that reflects the boom of the 1880’s.
Today, the Arcade is a bustling shopping spot that has over 100 specialty shops and a resident ghost.
Francis Cluney – a caretaker who fell into the generator and is said to haunt the halls of Adelaide Arcade.
Where: Rundle Mall, Adelaide.
2- Regent Arcade
In 1928, it was a special outing to visit the majestic Hoyts Regent Theatre, which was then billed as “Australia’s most luxurious theatre”.
Theatre-goers during that time were treated to silent movies like Flesh and the Devil starring Greta Garbo.
The Regent Theatre served Adelaide until the 1960’s when it was redesigned to incorporate a shopping arcade and two small cinemas.
Today, the Regent Arcade has over 30 speciality shops – among them is a good selection of cafes, a speciality bottle store and fashion stores.
Where: Rundle Mall, Adelaide.
3- State Treasury
Located in Victoria Square, one of Adelaide’s most important colonial sites – the original State Treasury building – was constructed in 1839 and designed by colonial architect George Strickland Kingston.
In 2002, this impressive colonial building was converted into a 21st-century luxury apartment hotel, the Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury.
Inside, there is a museum which displays maps and instruments from South Australia’s early settlers.
Underneath the building, there are secret tunnels that once housed gold pounds. South Australia’s first Cabinet room is also open for viewing.
Where: Corner of King William and Flinders Street, Adelaide.
4- Beehive Building
In October 1896, 10 months after the world’s first motion-picture public viewing in Paris, similar first screenings were held in Adelaide’s Beehive Building.
In 1915, the Beehive became home to Haigh’s Chocolates, the oldest family owned chocolate manufacturer in Australia.
Founded by Alfred E. Haigh, who made sweets and chocolates above the shop at night, Haigh’s is an Adelaide icon.
During the 1950s and 60s, Haigh’s tray-boys and tray-girls lined up at the front of the screen during interval to sell their chocolates.
One of only a few specialist chocolate retailers whose chocolate making begins with the raw cocoa bean, Haigh’s makes over 200 different kinds of chocolates.
Their apricot creams are divine. At Easter time, the bright displays of chocolate eggs, baskets and bunnies are eye-catching.
Where: Corner of Rundle Mall and King William Street, Adelaide.
Discover South Australia
Other places to visit in South Australia include touring the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, exploring the desert town of Coober Pedy and the old mining town of Burra. Adelaide is fast becoming a cool capital in Australia. Check out Queen Street in Croydon for unique boutiques and cafes.