Imagine being transported to another world; that’s what you’ll experience when entering the gates of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Spend an hour, or spend the day, but don’t miss this 50-hectare oasis right in the city centre.
#1 Before you go:
Take a quick peek at Friends of the Botanic Gardens website for guided and self-guided tours. Free guided tours from the Visitor Information Centre at Schomburgk Pavilion begin at 10:30 each day, except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
To go it alone, download the latest self-guided walking map and information sheet to discover what’s in season, and where to find it. For a paper version, collect it from the Gardens Visitor Information Centre.
#2 Garden Access:
7 gates provide access to Adelaide Botanic Gardens. The Main Gate on North Terrace at the beginning of Botanic Road: further along Botanic Road at the East Gate, Wine Centre, and Goodman Gates off Hackney Road, Conservatory and Friend’s Gates off Plane Tree Drive, and finally Gingko Gate off Frome Road by Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Try Not to Miss...
#3 The Garden of Health:
Situated adjacent to Royal Adelaide Hospital and entered via Gingko Gate, the Garden of Health consists of over 2,000 plants used in Western, Eastern, and Indigenous medicine. Separated into 2 sections, the Garden of Contemplation promotes a healthy lifestyle, while the plants in the Garden of Healing assist in nurturing the patient back to health.
#4 The Dahlia Garden:
Before dahlias became simply decorative garden plants, they were a fundamental food and medicinal crop for the Aztec people. Their long hollow stems, used as pipes, carried water from mountain streams to villages. Late summer is when the Dahlia Garden is in full bloom.
#5 The First Creek Wetland:
Developed for the long term sustainability of the gardens, the wetlands are not only a pleasure to view, they serve an important purpose; a collection of 20,000 odd plants, some rare and endangered South Australian varieties, help purify storm water run-off to eventually become the sole watering system for the Botanic Gardens.
#6 Botanic Gardens Restaurant (BGR)
With 180° views over the main lake and gardens, this award-winning restaurant resides in a beautifully maintained heritage rotunda. Shaded by well-established Morton Bay Fig and Gum Trees, BGR is a haven to relax and enjoy head chef Paul Baker’s garden-to-plate menu.
Much of the herb and vegetable component of the menu comes from just outside the restaurant’s doors. The wine list is local too, showcasing South Australia’s well recognised and smaller boutique wine labels. The garden comes into play again providing barley for a limited edition craft beer, Botanic Ale.
In the kitchen, Chef Paul prepares seasonally changing menus. Ever flexible, dishes are often tweaked based on produce availability. Expect flavour and texture surprises from indigenous plants and herbs and every plate leaves the kitchen Instagram-ready. BGR takes part in Adelaide’s Festival of Food with 7 other restaurants. The concept attracts foodies to these iconic venues with a dining package offering remarkable value.
House-made bread precedes an entrée tasting plate, a main is chosen from 5-8 options, and there are petit fours to finish. This package at BGR is just $42.50 for lunch Tuesday through Friday, and $52.50 for Saturday lunch and Friday dinner.
Their entrée tasting plate will likely consist of whipped buffalo curd with lovage verde, green tomato & quinoa; dry aged beef tartare with harissa, sprouted legumes and labneh, and tommy ruff escabeche with mussel custard and squid ink crackers.
Mains may include pork belly with warrigal greens, braised abalone and crispy saltbush, Mulloway with fermented cumquat, broccoli, pickled lettuce & hazelnuts, and lamb neck with freekeh, quince, onion caramel, parsley cream and vanilla.
On the Wine Discovery Journey familiarise yourself with Australia’s wine industry. Interactive exhibits cover the first vine plantings in Australia, the unique peculiarities of the country’s individual wine regions, and the influence wine has had on Australian Cuisine. In the Tasting Room sample from as many as 120 Australian wines, or relax over a chosen glass at “The Wined Bar” and partake of their South Australian produce-driven menu. Outside, NWC has vines producing many of the grape varieties presented on the Wine Discovery Journey. Wander through to recognise Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semillon, and Riesling.
The centre itself has won architectural awards for the use of natural lighting, metal and wood producing a building designed in the shape of a wine barrel.
Discover Adelaide Botanic Gardens, a sanctuary in the city where you can #eat #drink #explore and #shop at paraphernalia.co, it’s a place we love….
Shona’s award winning travel blog shares tips and tricks on where to eat, drink, explore & shop in any given destination. At home ordering street food or perusing a fine dining menu, she seeks out venues with a conscience who promote local produce and sustainability. Find her in markets, museums, art galleries and on walking tours as well as wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. Wherever she is, she’s always looking for something a little different to share with her readers. Follow her travels at www.paraphernalia.co or subscribe to her Shenanigans Report http://paraphernalia.co/subscribe-form/ so as not to miss a post. firstname.lastname@example.org