May 10, 2023
6 mins Read
Considered one of the most beautiful sporting stadiums in the world, Adelaide Oval has long been synonymous with the city of Adelaide. But this South Australian structure isn’t just a place to head for an event: a new hotel, an adrenaline-fuelled rooftop climb and a two-hatted fine dining experience have seen the sporting icon emerge as a destination in its own right.
Stroll through the Bradman Collection, filled with memorabilia owned by the man himself. On loan from the State Library of South Australia, this purpose-built museum includes a movie theatre, personal items owned by The Don (including a baggy green) and interactive displays – take a shot at hitting a ball against the corrugated water tank with a cricket stump, just like Sir Don did. Entry is free, but the museum is closed on game days.
Go behind the scenes and learn the secrets of Adelaide Oval on a Stadium Tour. Climb the stairs and see a different side to the heritage-listed, hand-cranked scoreboard, then stand under the shade of the Moreton Bay figs that were planted in the 1890s to block people from watching without paying an entry fee. Finally, walk around the hallowed pitch itself.
While the route can vary, tours also take in the change rooms, media rooms and historical memorabilia from the oval’s varied history.
Tours are volunteer-led and have a personal touch, giving you insight into how the venue isn’t just an architectural wonder or sporting icon, but an important piece of our culture that’s treasured by locals and admired worldwide.
Specialised cricket, footy, history and kids tours are also available on a seasonal basis.
Stroll around the oval’s gardens to take in the statues of sporting greats including Sir Donald Bradman, Clem Hill and Russell Ebert, before settling in at Koffee Ink Cafe, located at the stadium’s south gate. This small eatery has fresh coffee, pastries and sandwiches perfect for a light lunch overlooking the river.
Check in to Australia’s only stadium hotel at Oval Hotel, the new 138-room hotel located on the eastern facade of Adelaide Oval.
Each room is elegantly designed with muted colours to draw your attention to the spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of either St Peter’s Cathedral, the city, river or parklands outside, using the latest technology to control the lighting and temperature inside.
Guests will find a custom-designed signature king bed, a walk-in rainfall shower and luxurious amenities. All rooms offer easy access to the stadium for concerts and sporting events, as well as being just a short stroll away from Adelaide’s CBD.
Adelaide is known for its incredible food scene, and Oval Hotel’s Five Regions Restaurant has made a big splash in the culinary world, being awarded two Chef Hats three years in a row.
The dining concept is unique, as every three months the chefs work exclusively with a winery from one of the five South Australian wine regions – the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Coonawarra – to create a five-course fine dining experience inspired by and matched to the wines.
Previous seasonal tasting menus have included dishes like kangaroo with blueberry, kingfish with smoked marrow mayo and caviar, and baby squid with dried Coffin Bay oyster and mushroom broth.
Dine in for an a la carte breakfast at Oval Hotel’s Bespoke Wine Bar & Kitchen, which has a fantastic view over the pitch. Try a croissant with smoked leg ham or a hearty breakfast skillet of herbed kipfler potato and roasted capsicum hash. For true indulgence, order the lobster eggs Benedict with speck crumble.
Suit up for one of Adelaide’s best adrenaline-fueled activities, RoofClimb Adelaide Oval. Follow your guide and head up to the roof of the western stand, which offers 360-degree views across the City of Churches to the Adelaide Hills and out to the ocean.
There, perched 50 metres above the hallowed turf of the oval below, you’ll learn about the city, take in the scenery and lean out for the perfect photo. You can also try the world’s only stadium rooftop seating, which offers a bird’s-eye view straight down the pitch for cricket lovers, or lingers right above the goal line for footy fanatics.
The tours last for two hours, and morning, twilight and even game time options are available.
Come back down to earth with a cold beer in the courtyard at Malt Shovel Taphouse, which sits on the river across from the oval. Specialising in craft beers on tap, rotisserie meats and shared plates, the casual beer garden is the perfect place to soak up the pregame atmosphere or simply have a relaxing bite to eat in the sunshine.
Adelaide Oval hosts rock concerts, cricket and other major sporting and cultural events, but there’s nothing like experiencing it on an AFL game day. Whether you’re there to barrack for the Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide or your own local favourites, there’s no better way to get a sense of the incredible energy of the oval during a game as tens of thousands of fans cheer on their team.
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