May 26

Today was a day of travel and adventures. We all left our hostel in Canberra at 4:45 this morning. We then lifted off at 6:00 towards Adelaide. While reading our emergency cards during our flight a few of us learned that Quantas Airlines does not allow “Furbies” on the plane…
Anti-Furby Images
We landed om Adelaide around 7:30 a.m. Our group then arrived at our new hostel, the Blue Galah. After a short break from our travels, we broke into groups and scattered through out the city on a scavenger hunt, searching for smart growth characteristics.
During our hunt, a few of us visited a local pancake house, which was quite the tasty treat.
Sarah’s scrumptious strawberry pancakes.
After we filled up, some of the things we looked for included: Mix land use, compact building design, ranges of housing options and the preservation of open and green space, just to name a few.
Throughout our search, several of us also took note to Adelaide’s sustainable transportation system. Buses are all over the roads and are filled with locals.
In addition to the usual bus systems there is also a solar powered bus which runs from one side of Adelaide to the other. As if that wasn’t enough, there is even a electric tram located in the middle of the road, moving people around the busy traffic. As we walked through the city, the preservation of green space could not have been more obvious. There are several parks which serve as an escape from the busy city. The parks are filled with statues, plaques and various pieces of art. Like Portland and Ann Arbor, Adelaide also has a green belt around the city. This belt provides open and green space for the city and its citizens, while also demarcating the limits of the city and its development.

One of the groups taking pictures of their scavenger hunt findings.

WWI Art downtown Adelaide
Once our scavenger hunt was completed we were free to explore Adelaide even more. Some of us went to the State Library and continued our research. Others visited various locations like the mall, the art museum, and the botanical gardens. We all met up and ate at a Thai restaurant called Tastes of Siam, where we enjoyed a plethora of Thai dishes.

The entire group after dinner.

The city of Adelaide is full of smart growth principles. It preserves open areas with plenty of green space within it’s parks. There are plenty of transportation options for people to move about. Options for all socio-economic classes are found throughout its variety of housing options. Adelaide seems like a great place for us to continue our studies. Tomorrow our adventure continues as we head to Kangaroo Island for a scenic adventure and camp out.


  1. Ben,
    Great info on the city of Adelaide. I would have known your did this blog by the picture of the pancakes!

  2. Adelaide sounds like an amazing place. Not to mention, ending the day with my favorite food! You all seem to be experiencing so many new things, and I hope you embrace it all. Hey Ben– I can’t say I was surprised to see a picture of a scrumptious “breakfast” on the day of your blog!!! Your favorite thing!!

    Love to All,
    Mom Yanke

  3. Good Morning Ben,
    I finally got the chance to catch up on these blogs to see what you, Anna and your group are doing. What a fantastic experience this is for all of you…sounds like you’re learning so much. I can’t wait to see all your pictures. I notice you guys take off pretty early every morning. Can you imagine Jordan getting up at 5:45 to go site seeing :). Glad you are having so much fun but I’m also really looking forward to you being home. Love, Mom Fox

    • Hey Mrs. Fox!

      Yes, we sure are getting up early each day. However, we have to beause definitely are busy during the day. But we’re having a lot of fun and learning a lot. When I get back we’ll do a viewing of pictures and I’ll tell you all about it.

  4. One thing I noticed is that this city is very pedestrian friendly. They make walking everywhere a breeze. The sidewalks are wide and and all undercover of overhangs to protect you from the rain. Also one thing I thought was very unique was that they have all way stop lights where and scartter walks where pedestrians have full range of the intersection. you could cut right across the middle instead of crossing one street, getting to the other side and having to wait for traffic again. These are just a few of the other things that this city does beside providing convenient mass transportation that helps the city become less car dependent. Another thing that seems to be a theme everywhere we go is that most companies are trying to be sustainable in some way. On the scavenger hunt day a few others and I went on a Haighes chocolate factory tour and were surprised to see that even they had a pamphlet describing there efforts to become more sustainable and and helping to preserve endangered species. We were not expecting that at all and it was just kind of cool to see that. We had gone there on our free time just for fun and were not expecting to learn anything about sustainability, but we did. That shows another reason why Australians just seem to be more educated about sustainability. The topic is everywhere. Its almost impossible to not be educated about it here.

  5. It is really interesting to compare and constrast cities in Australia, such as Canberra, Sydney, and Adelaide, with each other and compared to U.S. cities. The activity we did on this day helped my understanding of how Adelaide uses their land efficiently. I noticed many apartments on top of restaurants and shops that demonstrate a great use of compact building design. As Ben and Michelle mentioned, Adelaide makes their town VERY walkable with the many bus systems and numerous crosswalks, where you can “scramble” diagonally across the intersection. Adelaide has a wonderul sense of aesthetics, whether it is because of it’s beautiful historical statues or its gothic and romanesque architectural designs. During the scavenger hunt, my group even noticed a sign next to a river stating that they are reusing water for irrigation. It’s good to know that Adelaide is putting forth the effort to not only save money and water, but to educate the public on it’s sustainable methods.

  6. What I have been overwhelmed by is the amount of art there is everywhere just randomly outside buildings. It is crazy how much more important art is in Adelaide in comparison to at least where I live, Grand Rapids. When we were on our scavenger hunt our group came across huge sculptures everywhere and what appeared to be skateparks multiple times; turned out they were just art statues. The scramble walk is really cool and I must say my favorite part is the free electric tram running through the middle of King William Street, super convenient.

  7. I really liked the idea of the green belt around the city. The concept behind this is that the city allocates an area around the city as green space, belonging to our version of the department of parks and recreation. It is designed to stop urban sprawl, while also creating an area where people living in the area can relax and get away from the ‘busier’ side of the city. The green belt around Adelaide’s city center had a creek running through it, open grass areas, playing fields, playground, bike paths, trees, ect. It was a beautiful open space that you wouldn’t expect in a larger city like Adelaide.

  8. To add to the blog, one of the smart growth principles that I noticed was the multiple use of solar panels. I saw a group of solar panels that were shaped like trees, which is cool because they are environmentally sustainable because they are using alternative energy and they are socially sustainable because they are a form of art that people will appreciate walking by.

  9. One thing that I noticed while walking about Adelaide, was that they were reusing old buildings and reformatting them into something new such as old banks into pubs or new apartments in old buildings. This reuse helps keep urban sprawl to a minimum and utilizes the green belt well.

  10. Adelaid was really intresting. Everyting was like campus you could walk anywhere and transportation was free if you took the Electric bus which just gave a circle around the city. What I liked about this city is that there are so many diverse people from all over the world. Especiallly when we stayed in the Blue Galah. Also the way the city was built in the green belt. Everything outside of the belt are parks. We also went to a Cental Market and had a first hand a experience on they sell their goods. Most of what was sold in the market was local farmers. We also saw that they did not give out any kind of bags but reusable bags. So if you went shoping you had to bring your or buy a reusable bag there. Which was enviormentally sustainable.

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