The inner-southern suburb of Clarence Gardens is within brisk strolling distance of South Australia’s ‘first port of call,’ beachside Glenelg.
This is where the first British settlers stepped ashore in 1836 and proclaimed the state in a ceremony alongside an old gum tree which still casts a shadow on the exact spot. A replica of the pioneering settlers ship, HMS Buffalo, is moored near the new Holdfast Shores marine and boutique shops complex.
Clarence Gardens is also strategically placed for forays south to the interesting river port of Old Noarlunga on the Onkaparinga. South, too, is McLaren Vale, home to such historic wine labels as Hardy and Seaview and another 40 wineries whose cellar doors are open daily for local wine tastings and sales.
The suburb of Clarence Garden, in fact, offers visitors the best of both beach and natural forest in that it lies halfway between Glenelg and one of Adelaide's most popular bush playgrounds.
The 835ha Belair National Park protects one of the relatively undisturbed areas of the Mt Lofty Ranges and its core is a haven for natural flora and native fauna. The park is networked by walking and cycling tracks, and there is disabled access to the 15-minute Playford Lake Walk.
The park is fringed by sporting ovals, tennis courts and nine picnic areas, while Old Government House - a mid-19th century vice-regal summer retreat - is open to the public.