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Published on March 12th, 2020 | by john.weir

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News from Adelaide and beyond

Bush Fire Update – Kangaroo Island

The bush fire season in Australia has been severe and around 3% of Australia was affected. However, most of the country is open for business and even in areas that were hit hard, like Kangaroo Island, there is still so much to offer visitors. Less than half of the island suffered fire damage and in burnt areas, like the Flinders Chase National Park, the regeneration is already underway. This is a landscape which is full of flora reliant on fire for regrowth, and to see an area regenerating in front of your eyes is a special experience.

Currently Flinders Chase National Park is closed but it is anticipated that it will be open for licensed tour operators to take their guests in, over the next few weeks. In the meantime, over half of Kangaroo Island (approximately three times the size of Singapore) wasn’t affected at all and visitors are encountering native wildlife in the wild, relaxing on white sand beaches, indulging in the island produce and meeting the very welcoming locals – locals who have been hugely touched by the support shown by the British public during the fires. The South Australian Tourism Commission has been running a domestic campaign encouraging people to support the island community with a visit. The domestic #BookThemOut campaign has been supported by PR campaigns encouraging international visitation in key markets such as the UK and USA.www.southaustralia.com

Bed Boom for Adelaide

The vineyard city of Adelaide is one of the world’s best small cities and it is expanding its offering of accommodation for those coming to enjoy its laneway dining and small bar scene, galleries and museums, beautiful beaches, thriving festivals and its proximity to some of Australia’s best wineries.

  • QT boutique hotel will open in the centre of Adelaide on Currie Street in late 2021. This will be the 11th QT hotel in Australia. A design-led hotel with a luxurious and quirky flair, complemented by a signature style of service, QT’s South Australian foray will be Adelaide’s first lifestyle hotel. https://www.qthotels.com/
  • The new six-star luxurious hotel at Adelaide’s Skycity is due to open mid-2020. The interiors have been designed by Hecker Guthrie Walter Brooke and the 120 rooms in the hotel will range from 50sqm to 305sqm and be opulently appointed. https://www.adelaidecasino.com.au/expansion/stay-in-luxury/
  • British hotel giant InterContinental Hotels Group will bring its upscale Crowne Plaza hotel brand back to Adelaide after striking a deal with local developer Kyren Group to operate a new 329-room hotel in the city’s tallest building. Set to open mid-2020 the hotel will boast a stunning outdoor pool area with some serious wow factor.
  • The iconic Adelaide Oval cricket ground is adding a 138-room hotel set to open in September 2020. The hotel will integrate with the Eastern Stand offering spectacular views including St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide Parklands and the city skyline. https://www.adelaideoval.com.au/oval-hotel/
  • The Westin will open in Adelaide’s old General Post Office (GPO) building in 2022. This 285-room property will see new life breathed into this stunning old heritage building and offer a five-star accommodation proposition in the heart of Adelaide’s central business district. https://westin.marriott.com/

In addition, a new Sofitel (251 rooms) is due to open in the city in late 2020 and Langham Place at beach suburb Glenelg (146 rooms) is likely to open mid-2021.

Adelaide: New Bars on the Block

Adelaide’s bar scene, which has been thriving for the last five years, is going from strength to strength with a host of new openings including these local favourites:

  • The Guardsman is a new $6m (AUD) bar and restaurant located within Adelaide Railway Station’s rediscovered Grand Public Dining Hall. Owned by SKYCITY Adelaide the space has been sitting dormant for over 30 years and has just been restored to its 1920s glory. As well as a great drinks menu, the food menu celebrates all things South Australian. It opened in January 2020. www.theguardsman.com.au
  • Leigh Street Wine Room, which opened in September 2019 focuses on serving minimal intervention wines in a stunning design led space. The tapas are pretty tasty too! https://leighstreetwineroom.com/
  • Plain Jane which opened in June 2019 is a tapas bar over two floors which is full of interesting features. The orange and greyscale mural splashed across one side of the upstairs area, the arched glass windows, the chesterfield armchairs and the brass chandeliers all create a sumptuous atmosphere in this little Leigh Street nook. Make sure you try the Parisienne Jane, a velvety concoction of Chambord, vodka, pineapple and Sirop de Monin. https://www.facebook.com/plainjaneadelaide/
  • Stacked Social in the suburb of North Adelaide opened in August 2019. Inspired by the Rat Pack, this cognac and poker bar is reminiscent of the types of lounges Sinatra & Co would frequent during that era. Don’t miss the Cognac Tasting Board and a game of poker in the elegantly designed Poker Room. www.stackedsocial.com.au

In 2019 Localing commenced tours of Adelaide’s wine bar scene for guests to the city wanting to uncover hidden gems and local haunts.

https://www.localing.com.au/adelaide-tours

New Winery Sleepover, Clare Valley

Many of South Australia’s vineyards have added accommodation giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a winery sleepover, waking up overlooking the vines. The latest to open is the Hill River Estate on the stunning family run Hill River Clare Estate vineyard, about a two-hour drive north of Adelaide. Sleeping six people in three rooms this property is also home to kangaroos and kookaburras.  https://www.hillriverclareestate.com.au/accommodation

One of the Darkest Places on Earth – Official Dark Sky Reserve Announced

In November 2019 the International Dark-Sky Association named the Mid Murray area of South Australia one of the darkest places on the planet, making it one of the best places globally to view the Milky Way. A 90-minute drive from the vineyard city of Adelaide, Swan Beach Conservation Park is in the heart of the reserve in a region which offers incredible star gazing, Aboriginal history, native wildlife and colourful local characters. https://www.jugglehouse.com.au/tours/

Ranges to River: New Walking Experience

Offering diverse wildlife, contrasting landscapes and unique history, the eight-day new Ranges to River experience combines two of Australia’s Great Walks – the Murray River and the Arkaba Walk. Guests will stay in eco-camps at Arkaba Luxury Lodge in the Flinders Ranges before transferring to the Riverland for three nights onboard on a modern houseboat. Priced at $4,820 (approximately £2,500) per person departing from Adelaide or $3,920 (approximately £2,000) per person for a self-drive option. Currently there are three departure dates available: 11 June, 16 July and 6 August 2020. Bookings for this special itinerary cannot be made online. https://www.murrayriverwalk.com.au/ranges-river

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