In keeping with its climate, Adelaide, capital of South Australia, has a Mediterranean ambience as it straddles the Torrens River, and is filled with churches, gardens, civic buildings, sidewalk cafes and a plethora of museums, galleries and festivals catering to the culturally inclined. The city was originally laid out in 1836 by Colonel Light in a square mile (three sq km) grid of wide streets with gracious colonial architecture. This has resulted in a compact inner city area, geared for easy exploring on foot, allowing the central area to be surrounded with hectares of parklands, walking trails, sports grounds and picnic areas on the banks of the river. The main boulevard is North Terrace, along which are the restored Mortlock Library, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum with its spectacular whale skeleton and collection of Aboriginal history. Aboriginal culture is also catered for at Tandanya, a multi-arts cultural centre that has galleries, performance areas and a café serving native cuisine.
Visitors who have had enough of culture can take a cruise or gondola ride on the Torrens River, or ride a vintage tram to the nearby seaside town of Glenelg with its magnificent white sandy beach, popular despite the occasional rumour of sharks. Adelaide's Central Market is the place to go for foodies. Among the noisy, colourful atmosphere and wondrous smells are fruit and vegetable stores and a large selection of meat and fish along with gourmet specialities introduced by the waves of immigrants who call Adelaide their home. Also popular with visitors is the Adelaide Zoo and Cleland Wildlife Park, which features local birds and animals including koalas and kangaroos.
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