Considered one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world, the Adelaide Oval lies in the parklands between the CBD and North Adelaide. While it has served as the headquarters for the SA Cricket Association since 1871, it also hosts Australian rules football, rugby and soccer matches, together with big-name music artists.
The Adelaide Oval’s history stretches back more than 100 years, but it recently underwent a major redevelopment which increased its capacity to almost 50,000 and created more modern facilities. Its famous hill, built in 1898 using earth from the banks of the River Torrens, was retained, along with its historic 1911 Edwardian-style scoreboard and iconic Moreton Bay figs, planted in the 1890s. Today it hosts international cricket matches and AFL home games for both the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power, making it the city’s premier sporting hub. Behind-the-scenes cricket tours offer a fascinating look at this legendary venue and its history, including a visit to the Bradman Collection of Australia’s favourite batsman, and the opportunity to take in its magnificent views across to St. Peter’s Cathedral. In the same fashion as the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, the Adelaide Oval hosts South Australia’s version, taking adventurous punters across the roof of the Western Stand to the southern Riverbank Stand. It offers outstanding panoramas across the city and River Torrens, particularly at night when the buildings are illuminated.
There are bus services that stop on King William Road just outside the entrance to the Adelaide Oval, with the road often closed to other traffic on game days to ensure safe passage for pedestrians accessing public transport. Alternatively, it’s a scenic walk from the tram stops or train station on North Terrace across the Riverbank Bridge which spans the Torrens River.
The Adelaide Oval was established in 1871 after the South Australian Cricket Association was formed. The first state match was played between SA and Tasmania in 1877, in the same year as the first South Australian Football Association match.