Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Discovering Adelaide 4 - The Rundle Mall

Rundle Mall, originally Rundle Street is the main retail shopping strip in Adelaide City Centre. I remember it as a child as a busy, bustling street with tramlines down the centre and buses, including double decker buses.

The picture on the left was taken in 1938,  some 40 years before the street became a pedestrian mall.  Rundle Street was named in 1837 after John Rundle a member of the British  House of Commons and the original director of the South Australia Company which planned and set up South Australia as a new colony in Australia -  a colony of free settlers, not convicts.

Rundle mall is home to some 1000 retail businesses and services, including all the major retail shopping complexes and smaller chains and boutiques. There are also numerous arcades and plazas housing smaller retail shops.

Back before the Mall was created in 1976, a favourite landmark and meeting spot was the  Beehive Corner on the corner of Rundle Street and King William Street.

On the opposite corner was Lawrence's tobacco shop and just a little way down was a milkbar known to every teenager and young adult in Adelaide. Sigalas's made hot dogs, hamburgers, milkshakes, sodas, nut sundaes and the most amazing Banana Splits. It was Adelaide's first American style milk bar and it took  us by storm.

The sculpture "The Spheres" by Bert Flugelman (affectionately known as The Malls Balls) is now the favourite landmark and meeting place. It is also a great place for reflection photography.

Probably the most beloved sculptures are the 4 bronze pigs - Horatio, Truffles, Augusta and Oliver. Few can resist patting the pigs as they walk past and children just have to sit on them . When  it was mooted a few years ago to move the pigs from the Mall, there was an enormous outcry - the pigs stayed!!

Rundle Mall is a favourite place for buskers and there are always some there - all ages, talents, sizes.

Dotted along the strip are small outdoor cafes where old friends can meet up for a coffee.

And overlooking these small concerns are the large department stores, some of which have been there in one form or another for a hundred years.

I really love Rundle Mall  -  it has great shopping, restaurants, street art, music, pop up eateries and best of all it doesn't get as crowded as the big regional shopping centres. It is my go to place for Christmas shopping. Visit Adelaide - visit the mall.

Liz Needle  -  linking with "Our World Tuesday".

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