Barossa Valley

10 things not to miss in Australia

Quite simply, I love Australia!

I love Australia!

 

I have been there four times to date, each time doing different things and staying in different parts of the country. There is so much more that I need to see but, in the meantime here is my list of ten things not to miss in Australia.

 

 

Adelaide to Alice in 7 days
Embark on a wonderful adventure and see some of Australia at its best with a trip from South Australia’s capital to Australia’s red centre. Walk the paths of Kings Canyon and sleep under the stars near Uluru. Drive through the opal capital of the world, see huge salt lakes, hike in Wilpena Pound and much, much more. Make some more memories with this fantastic tour.

Website: www.adventuretours.com.au for further information of this tour and many more.

Uluru, Australia

Australia Zoo, Queensland
Australia Zoo is located about an hour north of Brisbane, in Beerwah near the Glasshouse mountains. The zoo is 100 acres and there are opportunities to see some fabulous animals, take guided tours, have animal encounters and a lot more. Australia Zoo is a team of passionate people who want to educate others about animal conservation. A vision that Steve and Terri Irwin have made a reality. A fabulous day out.

Address: 1638 Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah, Queensland 4519
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Admission: Adult $59.00; Child (3-14 years old) $35.00; Family 4 (2 adult + 2 child) $172.00; Family 5 (2 adult + 3 child) $189.00; Pension $47.00; Student; $47.00
Website: www.australiazoo.com.au

Australia Zoo, New South Wales

Barossa Valley, Adelaide
The whole of Australia is famous for its wine but the Barossa Valley is a must see in Adelaide. Barossa is home to more than 550 grape growing families, many with the sixth generation still working the same plot of land, supplying quality grapes to more than 170 wine companies.
There are many tour companies offering a variety of Barossa Valley tours; most include three of four tastings at different wineries, lunch and a drive through the beautiful Adelaide Hills with a stop or two at local attractions, such as the Whispering wall and Menglers lookout point.

Website: www.adelaidetours.travel/tours/barossa-valley to get an idea of what’s on offer.

Barossa Valley, SA
Source: www.ytravelblog.com/barossa-valley-food-wine/

Being a Jillaroo, New South Wales
If, like me, you love horses, an Australian Jillaroo or Jackaroo School is a perfect way to spend a few day in the Australian outback. Learn skills such as horse whispering, sheep shearing and cattle mustering. Look after your own horse for the eleven days and get involved with jobs around the farm. Leconfield is a working farm and you are there to help, so if you are willing to put the effort in then this is definitely an adventure worth doing. Rest assured there will be plenty of laughs along the way and you will come away with some fabulous memories.

Address: Leconfield Jackaroo, Jillaroo School ‘Bimboola’ Kootingal, NSW. Australia 2352
Website: www.leconfield.com

Jillaroo, New South Wales

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
If you are in Sydney a trip to the Blue Mountains is a must-do. The mountain range is truly spectacular and covers an area of some 10,000 square kilometres. It was declared a World Heritage Area by UNESCO in 2000.

Get to Echo Point lookout, in Katoomba, for fabulous views over the mountains and, in particular, the “Three Sisters,” a natural rock formation that stands proud over the Jamison Valley. Another highlight in the area is to travel down to the valley on the scenic railway. This is no ordinary railway. It is the steepest funicular railway in the world. Originally part of the Katoomba mining tramways, constructed between 1878 and 1900, it plunges deep into the valley floor. Once on the valley floor, there are many trails that are popular with hikers and nature lovers.

Website: www.bluemts.com.au for visitor information, how to get there and much more.

Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Source: www.australia.com

Circular Quay, Sydney
Circular Quay is a harbour located in the north of Sydney’s central business district. There are walkways, parks and restaurants around the quay and it’s also home to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are also many bars, cafes and restaurants and it’s a popular place for tourists and locals alike who come to enjoy the jazz bands and musicians that play regularly. Circular quay is also the place to go for ferries, trains and buses.

Website: www.sydney.com/destinations/sydney/sydney-city/circular-quay for attractions, events and much more.

Circular Quay, Sydney

Fraser Island, Queensland
Fraser Island was listed as a World Heritage site in 1992. There are many tours to choose from, so choose wisely because there is so much to see. There is a large diversity of habitats; rainforests, eucalyptus woods, mangrove forests, sand dunes and coastal areas. It also hosts a wide range of fauna, from dingoes, whales and birds to the occasional salt water crocodile. It is the biggest sand island in the world. 80% is covered in plants and trees due to the mycorrhizal fungi which occurs naturally and is present in the sand. Visit 75 mile beach and see the Pinnacles and Eli Creek or enjoy one of the island’s 100 or so lakes.

Website: www.fraserisland.net for further information on Fraser Island.

Fraser Island
Source: www.australia.com

Indian Pacific; A Trip Across the Nullabor
The Indian Pacific train is one of the few true transcontinental trains in the world. The route: Three nights and four days via Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook and Kalgoorlie, one way, 4,352km. Whether you’re journeying from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific or the other way round, enjoy travelling across the Nullarbor Plain, on the longest stretch of straight railway track in the world. It is definitely a trip worth taking.
Fares available include the Gold Service; Sydney-Perth $2529AUD or $2019AUD if booked in advance (based on a single cabin).

Website: www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/trains/the_indian_pacific for everything you need to know about the Indian Pacific.

Indian Pacific, Australia

Noosa Heads, Queensland
Noosa Heads is small town on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. You’ll find boutiques and restaurants which run parallel to the calm waters of Noosa Main Beach. A great way to spend the day is to explore the hiking trails for the chance of seeing local wildlife and wonderful views of the ocean. Or you can spend time relaxing on any of the beautiful beaches in the area.

Website: www.visitnoosa.com.au

Noosa Heads, Queensland

Walpole, Western Australia
When in western Australia, visit Walpole which is famous for its giant Tingle and Karri trees, and one of the best things to do there is go and see the “Valley of the Giants.” The elevated tree top walk is 40 metres high, making for spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Beneath the canopy walk there is also a pathway around the Tingle trees for walkers. There are also Eco tours and cruises and wildlife parks in the area.

Address: Valley of the Giants Rd, Nornalup WA 6333, Australia
Open: Daily, 9.00am-5.00pm
Website: www.valleyofthegiants.com.au

Valley of the Giants, Walpole, WA

Have you been to Australia? What was your favourite place? Or maybe you have a favourite activity that you did. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

 

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Travels Round Australia-Adelaide

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.

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ADB_Williamstown_Barossa_Res_whispering_wall_2.jpg
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ADB_Williamstown_Barossa_Res_whispering_wall_2.jpg

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.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_Yaldara
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_Yaldara

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.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/farehamwine/10981784455/
Grant Burge Winery Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/farehamwine/10981784455/

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.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/joceykinghorn/9867575406/
Langmeil Winery Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/joceykinghorn/9867575406/

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.

Menglers Hill Look-Out Source: http://fractalthoughts.com/old_fractalthoughts.com/2007/february_07.html
Menglers Hill Look-Out
Source: http://fractalthoughts.com/old_fractalthoughts.com/2007/february_07.html

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.

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ADH_hahndorf_35_inn_2.jpg
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ADH_hahndorf_35_inn_2.jpg

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.

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleland_Wildlife_park_entrance.jpg
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cleland_Wildlife_park_entrance.jpg

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.

Source: http://vk5pas.org/category/national-parks/page/5/
Source: http://vk5pas.org/category/national-parks/page/5/

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 🙂 🙂