5 day trips from Adelaide you can do by public transport

Brand SA News journalist Vanessa Keys has recently returned to South Australia after more than a decade living interstate and overseas. Since being back on home soil, Vanessa has revisited some of the state’s best attractions, beaches, parks and boardwalks, all by public transport! She shares her top five SA day trips below.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Adelaide is that you need a car to see all the good stuff. This is absolutely not true – and I speak with confidence, having recently moved back to Adelaide after a 12 year hiatus, sans car. I haven’t driven in a decade and my London-born partner is yet to learn, but this hasn’t been a barrier to falling in love with South Australia. In the last four months, we’ve picked strawberries at Beerenberg Farm, hiked through Morialta Falls, picnicked at Port Willunga, swam at Moana, walked along towering cliff tops in Hallett Cove, and more.

Here’s five car-free ideas for getting out of the city:

1. Moana Beach and Port Willunga
It’s only 35km south of the city, but Moana’s stretch of golden sand, sloping dunes and gentle surf gives it a bona fide holiday vibe. After you’ve spent a few hours soaking up the sun, catch a bus through vineyards and paddocks to picturesque Port Willunga. This beach is a real beauty: long expanses of white sand and cliffs that shield swimmers from the wind. When hunger strikes, order from the kiosk at The Star of Greece – you can get grilled Kangaroo Island whiting for a fraction of the price that you’d pay inside at the restaurant. They have an epic wine list, too.

Getting there: Take the Seaford (SEAFRD) line from Adelaide Railway Station until the last stop, Seaford. Walk south along Griffiths Drive for 20 minutes until you reach Moana Beach. To continue to Port Willunga, leave the beach and walk eight minutes to Commercial Road. Take the 750 bus from stop 89 until you reach stop 109 at The Esplanade. To return, catch the 750 outside The Star of Greece to Seaford, and catch the train to Adelaide Railway Station.

Whiting, chips and salad from The Star of Greece kiosk.

2. Morialta Conservation Park
Lace up your walking shoes, grab a hat and pack a picnic: Adelaide’s best bushwalking spot is a speedy 30-minute bus ride from the centre of the city. Morialta Conservation Park is set around a narrow gorge, framed by three waterfalls and bound by steep ridges and cliffs. There’s trails for every age and ability, from families with strollers to experienced hikers. And don’t forget to look up – we spotted eight koalas and a kookaburra on our last visit.

Getting there: Catch the H30 bus from stop I1 on North Terrace, and get off at stop 26 on Morialta Road. Take the path past the playground until you reach the First Falls car park – all the hikes start from there.

A furry friend spotted in the treetops at Morialta Conservation Park.

3. Port Adelaide
Once an industrial harbour, Port Adelaide’s colonial buildings are now home to an eclectic mix of theatres, artist spaces, bars and restaurants. From the train station, it’s an easy 15-minute walk to the wharf, where you can admire the heritage-listed buildings (historic Hart’s Mill is a highlight) and enjoy a coffee at Folklore Cafe, where every table has a view of the water.

Seafarers can climb aboard the Dolphin Explorer, a cruise that travels along the Port River through the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, while landlubbers might prefer to discover the Port’s history at the Maritime Museum, the National Railway Museum or the Aviation Museum. Hungry? Make a beeline for the renovated Port Admiral Hotel. Order a pint of their house lager – The Port Local – and the crumbed mac and cheese croquettes. Trust me on this one.

Getting there: Take the Outer Harbour (OUTHA) line from Adelaide Railway Station to Port Adelaide.

Explore the Port’s history along with the collection of funky street art, cafés, pubs and artistic spaces scattered throughout.

4. Hallett Cove boardwalk
Suspended above spectacular cliffs, the Hallett Cove boardwalk is a signposted walk that follows the coast between Marino Rocks and Hallett Cove. You can begin the walk at either end, but if it’s hot and you fancy finishing with a swim, I recommend starting at Hallett Cove (check out the glacial pavements along the northern cliff tops) and walk south past Marino until you get to Seacliff or Brighton beach – after that long walk, the water feels so good.

Getting there: Take the Seaford (SEAFRD) line from Adelaide railway station and alight at either Marino Rocks or Hallett Cove beach.

Take in impressive views along the Hallett Cove boardwalk.

5. Hahndorf and Beerenberg
The quaint German village of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills has everything a day trip requires: a hearty breakfast (try the homemade crumpets at Udder Delights), wineries (Landhaus do generous tastings for $5 a head), bakeries (Otto’s is legendary) and more German bratwurst and pretzels than you can shake a stick at. After you’ve finished perusing Main Street, walk 450m south until you reach Beerenberg Farm. Here, it costs $4 a head (12 years and under go free) to pick berries until your heart’s content. Cap off the day with a gin flight and produce plate at Ambleside Distillery – and don’t worry, the bus stop is within stumbling distance.

Getting there: Catch the 864 along various stops in the CBD, including Currie Street and Pulteney Street, continuing your trip through Stirling, Aldgate, Bridgewater and Verdun, until you reach Hahndorf. Visit Adelaide Metro to plan your journey.

Pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg Farm.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Meet the chefs leading SA’s food waste movement

Banana peels, vegetable skins and corn husks aren’t ingredients typically associated with fine dining but local chef Kane Pollard is on a mission to change the way we think about food waste. He’s the head chef and owner of Topiary, a restaurant that’s nestled amongst towering gum trees in Tea Tree Gully.

He’s worked there for nine years and owned it for seven, successfully transitioning it from a cafe that sold sandwiches and scones to an award-winning restaurant that’s leading the charge when it comes to the South Australian food waste movement.

The Topiary’s housemade halloumi and its ricotta, semi-dried tomatoes and garden basil.

Everything you eat at Topiary is made on the premises – the butter, cheese, cured meats and fish, sour cream, yoghurt, all the breads, mustard – but Kane doesn’t stop there. Everything that’s bound for landfill is given a new purpose: corn husks become a malty corn bisque soup, excess sourdough starter is turned into a flaky tart shell, the stones from fruit are used to infuse oils and vinegars, and whole bananas are roasted in their skins and turned into a banoffee parfait.

“A good example is the cheese making process, during which you separate the curds from the whey,” says Kane. “It’s a long process and to discard three quarters of the total volume seemed nuts.” Kane and his team experimented with reducing the whey down and turning it into a caramel, and also using it in place of water to brine meats.

“Now, we add milk and draw the ricotta out of it, and serve it alongside the cheese that it came from,” he says. “So on the menu we serve ‘halloumi and its ricotta’, and the combination of the fried, salty, chewy cheese and the light, fluffy, sweet ricotta is incredible. It still blows my mind that they come from the same pot.”

The Topiary’s whole grilled eggplant, cultured buttermilk, cured yolk, and society garlic.

Kane’s not the only SA chef who’s putting waste on their menu. Tom Tilbury at Coriole restaurant Gather aims to operate a zero waste kitchen, with a stringent ban on single-use plastics and an expanding menu of dishes that use the whole animal and vegetable.

“All of our pork offcuts that don’t get used are cooked down, shredded and turned into a creamy pork rillette,” says Tom. “It’s served on a puffed bread cracker that’s made out of the odds and ends of sourdough. We soak it down, puree it and then deep fry until it puffs up. Absolutely no bread in our kitchen goes to waste.”

That mindset is echoed by a growing number of restaurants in the CBD, including regional Thai restaurant Soi38, South African BBQ hotspot Africola and Asian grillhouse Shobosho, who repurpose ingredient waste from Maybe Mae and the Shobosho kitchen into their cocktail list.

Coriole Gather’s pork rillettes, apple, savoy cabbage, sourdough crackers.

“There’s no such thing as waste – it’s just another ingredient,” says Africola’s head chef Duncan Weldemoed. Take their much-loved cauliflower steak: all trim goes in a pot, is cooked down and turned into a puree used to dress the steak. Their romesco pepper and barbecued carrot dishes are also marinated using trimmings that would otherwise end up in compost.

For Soi38 owners Terry Intrarakhamhaeng and Daisy Miller, the obsession with using waste started with mushrooms. “We use a lot of mushrooms in our curries and stir frys, and had all these stalks leftover,” says Daisy. “So we cook them down with peanuts and pickled sweet radish and turn them into dumplings.”

Africola’s head chef Duncan Weldemoed.

SA isn’t just leading the war on waste in the kitchen; the state is also home to a new national research centre created to combat Australia’s $20 billion food waste bill. Dr Steven Lapidge, CEO of the Fight Food Waste Co-operative Research Centre (CRC), says SA was the “natural home” for the centre.

“From container recycling to banning plastic bags, SA’s been a leader in sustainability for a long time. We also have the lowest food waste per capita,” he says.

Steven says dozens of initiatives are already taking place across the state: at the University of Adelaide, the 40% of potatoes that are graded out for cosmetic reasons are being turned into products like puree, dairy-free ice cream and vodka.

“SARDI (South Australian Research and Development Institute) is working a lot with the seafood industry,” says Dr Lavidge, “particularly with lobster waste, which they’re turning into lobster oil and powder for other foods.”

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone, left, Interim Dean of Waite Campus Associate Professor Chris Ford, Dr Steven Lapidge and Food SA CEO Catherine Sayer at the Waite Campus for the State Government’s announcement of the Fight Food Waste CRC.

CRC’s mission is to grow these initiatives by identifying businesses with troublesome waste streams and assigning them dedicated research resources to help find ways to stop food ending up in landfill.

For waste to be taken seriously by diners, aesthetics plays a big part, says Kane of Topiary.

“We want waste to be the key ingredient, rather than just making sure it gets used,” he says. “That means the dish needs to not only taste exceptional but also look beautiful. We want to change perceptions.”

Join Kane for a five-course dinner that showcases his zero-waste approach at his Tasting Australia event, Waste Not Want Not. $60, 6.30pm, Topiary. Tickets on sale now.

Main image features Topiary head chef and owner Kane Pollard.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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