Sunday, July 3, 2016

Mount Lofty Summit and Windy Point: best Adelaide city views

The old lighthouse on the top of Mount Lofty, South Australia ... and the sun is shining.
First priority: pick a nice day for this visit, because it can be chilly and windy up here...
They do charge for car parking at Mount Lofty, but a $2 ticket will last the whole visit.
The Summit Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining...
...Adelaide's Central Business District, as seen from Mount Lofty Summit -- a long zoom shot.
Can't complain about the views, while you're having coffee and lunch! 
Looking north from Mount Lofty Summit. The city is over your left shoulder right now...
"You are here" ... a visual guide to knowing what you're looking at!
An even longer zoom shot of Adelaide's CBD and parklands...
...and a wider shot, on a different--white-sky--day with very different lighting conditions.

The Ash Wednesday 1983 Memorial Placque, "In honour of all firefighters who fought the fires in South Australia"
on that day, "and especially those who gave their lives..." Golly, what memories this brings back. Shivers.
Fitting, that this should be a Sri Chinmoy Peace Summit.
On a warm day, this is a great place to picnic with incomparable views, and -- 
Watch the skies for utterly weird clouds. Or is this an alien spaceship pretending to be a cloud?!
Many people come here for the walking trails. It's a great place to hike ... word of caution:
be sure you can handle very steep trails, wear good shoes, carry water, and be snake-conscious. 
The high-tech fire lookout tower and heritage listed lighthouse, top of Mount Lofty.
Picadilly Valley as seen from the north side of the restaurant. (The info board is perfectly readable, if you view
this image at full size), and --
A wide shot of Picadilly Valley, in fine weather and morning light...
A long zoom short, showing the market gardening which is Picadilly's mainspring.
The Summit restaurant on a bright spring morning ... lunch, anyone?
The reflection in that window glass tells you exactly where you are!
The Summit Restaurant can get very busy, but we were lucky on this day...
...and the food and coffee were excellent. 
Back to the van, and ... now, will the Millennium Possum start, or ...? Phew! She did. So -- off to Windy Point
now, and more city views. (The poster features an Australian magpie and a superb fairy wren.)
The lower car park at Windy Point Lookout, on Belair Road. As the crow flies, you're about
10 or 12 K's from Mount Lofty, and just a tad bit south of due west. It's rather further by road, of course. 
An Australian magpie, and a crow, keeping an eye on picnickers at Windy Point.
Australian magpie. Don't let them fool you: meat pie and chips are NOT their
natural food. Their favorite food is salted peanuts. Really.
Adelaide's western suburbs and he Gulf St. Vincent, son from Windy Point.
Westfield Shopping Town at Marion shows clearly in this zoom shot from Windy Point.
Glenelg's highrise apartment houses and hotels, in a zoom shot from Windy Point...
Adelaide,'s CBD, from Windy Point, on a clear day in early winter, 2016. Note the cranes.
Glenelg, in a zoom shot from Windy Point on a clear day. See this at full size, check out the old
Glenelg Town Hall, just left of middle of picture. Compare with this, which appears in another post,
Glenelg on Labour Day 2011. Now, that is very neat.

The images for this post were actually gathered over several visits to these locations, but you can easily do both in the same morning, with lunch at any of the numerous cafes between. The Summit Restaurant is right there on the highest point in the Mount Lofty Ranges, and the food and coffee are great. Or you could come down around the mountain to Aldgate and find anything from marvelous pizza to full-on fine dining, then head from there to Windy Point on Belair Road.

If you're photographing the city, you need to do this in the morning, because you're looking at the sea in most of these shots ... the sun sets on the Gulf St. Vincent. Since you want the sun over your shoulder to get good pictures, head out early.

If you just want to do one of the two lookouts, you could head for Mount Lofty Summit, get some great pictures and then head down to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, which we covered in another post right there. (If you're picnicking, the gardens also have more sheltered tables.)

There's a very good gift store adjacent to the cafe on Mount Lofty, and some extremely challenging walking trails. By contrast, Windy Point offers mainly only a gourmet restaurant -- that's extremely well reviewed. We hear good things about their cheesecake. One of these days...!

Heading out to these destinations -- be sure to pick your day. It can be cold and windy, not to mention deeply overcast. On a sparkling day with clear air, the views are spectacular. On a dull day, spritzing with rain ... well, there's definitely better places to be and, luckily, plenty of them not far away!

Next: High Country ... the view from Mount Alma. Or, "Welcome back to the shire, Samwise."

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