I arrived in Adelaide, to be greeted by Helen and Ernie at the bus station. Helen is my Mum’s cousin, who emigrated to Australia in the ‘60s. Ernie is her husband. It took about 30 minutes to get to their house, in Morphett Vale. I met Scott, their son and my 2nd or 3rd cousin (we’re still not exactly sure and we still have conversations about this!) I was so tired from the trip, all we did all day was sit in the living room chatting, drinking tea and eating cake. I finally retired to bed at 9.30pm- I really don’t know how I managed to stay awake until then, but I had a good nights’ sleep and felt so much better in the morning. The long journeys around Australia really take it out of you.
I was up early the next day to take a trip to the Barossa Valley wine region. I left at 9.30am and it took about an hour and a half to get there. On the way the tour bus stopped at the “Whispering Wall”, which is a horseshoe shaped dam. It’s known as the whispering wall because if you go to the far side and speak to the people on the other side, it sounds as if the people are standing next to you! You can hear them really clearly- apparently it’s to do with the shape of the dam.
We then drove to the first winery- The Chateau Yaldara. Founded in 1947 by a German winemaker called Hermann Thumm. The name Yaldara comes from the local aborigine word meaning “sparkling”. We had a tour around the factory to learn how the wine and port was made, and then, my favourite part, the tasting. It was lovely.
We had a lovely lunch, and afterwards I bought two bottles of McGuigans Black Label for $20, which was a bargain. But then I wondered how I was going to get them back to the UK. They never made it home- they got drunk that very same night.
Next stop was Grant Burge Winery, where we had a few more tasters.
The last winery was Langmeil where we got to have a tour of the vineyards. We learned how to tell a young vine from an old one: the really old ones, which were over 100 years old, have old and gnarled trunks; the young ones are small and slender.
After the wineries we drove to Menglers look-out point, where we could see all the vineyards in the area, and some strange looking sculptures made of stone. The sculptures are meant to reflect environment and atmosphere of the Barossa Valley. The surrounding area is beautiful with hundreds of vines sprawling into the distance. It is quite spectacular.
The next day we went on a tour to Hahndorf and Cleland Wildlife Park. Hahndorf is a little German town with quaint little shops, and cafes that are situated on an avenue of gorgeous trees. You could really spend all day in this charming little place.
Next was Cleland Wildlife Park, which is set in 35 hectares of bush-land, and it was the best wildlife park I had been to in Australia. The kangaroos, emus and potaroos roam around the park and you can feed them. It’s a lovely setting- nice and relaxed with animals all around you.
The following day my family took me to Belair National Park for the day. It’s only 13 km from Adelaide’s city centre, and was declared South Australia’s first national park in 1891. We drove through the park and came to a large clearing with green grass, BBQ and swings. We unpacked the cars and sat round and chatted, while the kids played football and messed about. We had a picnic lunch at 11.15 am. We didn’t realise it was so early but we were all starving. We had a great day, in the glorious sunshine, enjoying the games and food. At 3.30 pm we packed up and we were just about to leave when someone suddenly said “Is that a Koala in the tree?” Sure enough it was a cute little koala asleep in the tree above us. We never noticed all day, even when we went for ice creams directly below him.
After a fun filled time in Adelaide with my family, it was time for me to go to Perth-my final destination before I left Australia for good. I said goodbye to Helen, Ernie, and Scott, thanking them for letting me stay and for all the laughs we had. I got on the Indian Pacific train and cried my heart out. I had such an amazing time in Adelaide and didn’t want to leave. Just when I thought I had finished crying a new thought, about one of the many things that I had done in Australia, would cross my mind and set me off again. I finally pulled myself together and spent the next 36 hours on one of the great train journeys in the world.
Next Time: Fishing off Australia’s West Coast 🙂 🙂