The grand Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury.
The grand Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury. Contributed

What secrets the walls must hold

IF the walls of the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury could talk, oh the secrets they could tell.

Filled with character and old-world charm, this heritage-listed hotel is steeped in history.

Once the home of offices for the State Treasury, it is now one of Adelaide's oldest and most significant historical sites.

The original building, designed by Irish engineer and politician George Strickland Kingston was constructed in 1839, just three years after the settlement of the colony.

The then-Governor Gawler used the opening to proclaim that Adelaide would be the site of the capital city, finally putting to rest much controversy as to where the principal centre would be located.

The population rush in the late 1850s saw the original building demolished. Over the next 70 years it was gracefully rebuilt to accommodate Government offices, creating the classically-inspired property we see today.

It is thought that the famed sandstone network of underground tunnels was built in the early days of the reconstruction to transport documents between the main building and the nearby post office, Town Hall and Parliament House.

This underground area still contains a furnace believed to have been used for smelting Victorian gold into Adelaide Pounds for currency during the gold rush.

From 1876 to 1968 Members of the South Australian Government met in the Cabinet Room. The decision to give women the right to vote was made in this very room, around the grand table which still stands proud today.

And if that is not enough to excite the history bluff within, the Beatles famously dashed through the courtyard to elude a stampede of Australian fans while on tour in 1964.

Adina has completely restored the building's heritage features. The internal fittings have been stripped to reveal original features such as an ornate wooden staircase, vaulted brick ceilings, cast iron columns, footings and walls.

The hotel lobby features a permanent display of artefacts discovered during the work, including glassware, cutlery and coins.

It is a refreshing change from the sometimes beige and clinical interior of chain hotels.

The Adelaide Treasury features 79 apartments comprising studio and one-bedrooms, all with in-house movies and Foxtel. Each apartment features all the conveniences including a television, air-conditioning, CD player, mini bar and kitchenette or full kitchen.

Guests can relax in the sauna, take a dip in the heated swimming pool or work out in the fully-equipped fitness centre.

Breakfast is available at the on-site restaurant and includes toast, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, filter coffee and fruit juice. A continental breakfast basket can also be delivered to your apartment.

Guided tours of the underground tunnels and the historic cabinet room can easy be arranged.

At Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury you are within an easy stroll of all the action. The Botanic Gardens, art galleries, the Adelaide Casino, the shopping, restaurants and cafes of Rundle Mall, and the superb fresh produce from Adelaide Central Market are all a five-minute walk away.

The writer was a guest of Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury.

>>More Travel Stories


  • Great places to eat: The Franklin Boutique Hotel, Press Food and Wine, Central Market, Treasury Restaurant
  • Great places to shop: Rundle Mall, Rundle Street, Norwood, Jam Factory
  • Great places to drink: Apothecary 1824, Cushdy
  • Things to do: Adelaide Zoo, Art Gallery of South Australia, Haigh's Chocolate Factory tour
  • How to get there: Flights daily from Brisbane, taxi from airport to Adina $20-$25

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