You've done the Adelaide Fringe Festival; now try out Illuminate Adelaide this winter. Plus, the best things to do and where to stay during your visit.
Step into a dream at Light Cycles, a bewitching nighttime trail that transforms the Botanic Garden into a fantasy world with music, projections and lasers, before you ramble through Adelaide Zoo when the residents are asleep and Light Creatures’ whimsical giant animal lanterns become the star attraction.
Both experiences are part of Illuminate Adelaide, the most recent addition to the city’s already packed cultural calendar. The Adelaide CBD’s northern end will become a nocturnal playground during the festival from 16 July to 1 August, with 150-plus intricate projections and installations.
On the event’s final night, massive block party MAAD (Music and Art After Dark) takes over more than a dozen cultural institutions in the West End, with exhibitions, film screenings, light shows and live music culminating in a DJ set by Illuminate’s artists in residence, electronics band The Avalanches.
The places to hang out
Fortify yourself against the cold at Daughter in Law, a modern Indian restaurant in the city’s East End that serves up colourful street food and tweaked classics to an ’80s soundtrack. The bright and bold interior matches the spice-spiked menu and the drinks list is just as fun – think mango lassi Mai Tais. Further west, social enterprise Aurora is creating a blueprint for finedining restaurants that give back to their community.
Fire-licked proteins and vegetables from the custommade braai are followed by extravagant creations from the pastry kitchen. And because the eatery is part of a not-forprofit food and arts hub, every bite helps fund local creators.
See the bill from dinner put to good use at The Lab, located in the same four-storey bluestone as Aurora and partially funded by the restaurant. The walls of this performance venue are lined with 50 square metres of LED screens and digital artists use all 14 million pixels to create a backdrop for Adelaide’s most exciting hip-hop, rock, classical and jazz musicians.
At Sôl, the ninth-storey bar in the curvy contemporary tower that rises from Adelaide Railway Station like a cousin to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, vistas stretch from the distant Adelaide Hills to the shimmering coast. Closer in, don’t miss the opportunity to se leafy North Adelaide from above.
The place to stay
After toasting the sunset, make your way downstairs to one of Eos by Sky City’s Radiance River View Suites, among the largest in Adelaide. Locating the room is your only job; there’s a butler to unpack your bags and an on-call mixologist who’ll whip up any drink you can dream of.
Image credit: Duy Dash, Sharon McCutcheon.