Tag Archives: Jacob’s Creek

8 nights/7 days in Adelaide

Good sign isn’t that?

Adelaide wasn’t a place I expected to be spending more than 4 days in, so it’s nice to have found somewhere completely unexpected.

Whereas Perth had the location (and weather) but lacked the personality and the people, Adelaide delivered the opposite. Immediately on arriving at my hostel, it was obvious I was onto a good place…

Day 1 in Adelaide was supposed to be a quiet rest day following 5 days of tours… instead I was up at 6am to go dolphin swimming. Not in a pool with specially trained dolphins – totally wild ones instead. Thanks Ji Hyun!

We missed the tram, which was a good thing as we wouldn’t have made it to Glenelg in time anyway… one taxi later and $98 and we on the Temptation, a catamaran to take us into the harbour.

It was borderline torture – being dragged on a rope behind a boat at 8am isn’t exactly my idea of fun but it was worth the effort (even if I had to bail out a few times). We certainly saw some dolphins – including a little baby one too (no more than 2 weeks old). Definitely worth the early start.

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From there we headed back into Adelaide Central Market – somewhere completely unexpected. It’s a mecca of fresh fruit and a tourist haven. Noodles in the Chinese quarter for lunch capped off a pretty good day (I slept for most of the afternoon).

Day 2 ended up being my quiet day doing the essentials (like washing) but I did manage a quick walk around Adelaide Botanic Gardens and the old F1 track… and ended the night in Grace Emily –  a pub with live music. There’s plenty of places like it at home, not many in Australia… certainly a good suggestion by my tour guide Sandy to go there (more on her later…)

The next 2 days I spent on Kangaroo Island – where I managed to meet Amalie and Sofie from the Uluru tour… and kept bumping into Sandy again, who was doing a one-off Kangaroo Island tour for a different company…

It’s an astonishing place – certainly far more interesting than Rottnest in Perth (though Rotto definitely has it’s charms). Another early start didn’t help, especially after the tour company I booked through gave me the meeting address…. failing to mention that they meant the bus terminal.

It’s a long way there – 2 hours on the bus, another on the boat (again, a place not for mother unless flying in). Once there, we started with a sheep shearing demonstration, followed by the Eucalyptus farm, Sea Lion watching and sandboarding…

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I’ve learned that sandboarding is definitely not something I’m good at. “Tumbling with Style” is perhaps more accurate, since I didn’t make it down the slope once without falling off the board. One fall was particularly nasty – and our guide Kate was “kind” enough to take a picture of me afterwards…

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before heading to our accommodation for the night, we had a few hours to do our own thing. 90 minutes on the river in a Kayak was certainly worth the effort… and we had a wild Koala to take a look at…

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There was just enough time for a quick cycle to the beach for sunset… Amalie and Sofie definitely missed out on a a stunning sunset!

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Day 2 took us to Flinders National Park, the Remarkable Rocks and the Natural Bridge – far more impressive than the one I saw at Torndirrup National Park on the South Coast near Albany… especially when there were plenty of seals to watch!

From there we headed up to Stony Bay for an hour on the beach before heading home. 2 pretty awesome days…

…but not the end of the story. Again, I’d planned on going pretty much straight to bed…I checked back into My Place hostel to find JB and Alonso. After hearing the suggestion of going to Grace Emily…

…2 Frenchmen, one Taiwanese and a Welshman go to a bar. With live music. The punchline?

Once again, I met Sandy. My night ended around 4am.

Valentine’s Day was mainly spent wondering why men who obviously felt at home on the beach were carrying single red flowers. Clearly not one of my finer days…

The Barossa Valley was far more interesting – a day of wine tasting, including seeing THE Jacob’s Creek that’s named the safe wine option I buy for house parties… along with 3 other wineries, including one that has a family tradition of making port that’s kegged and left untouched for 100 years. Today as I’m typing this (Feb 20th) is the day they’ll open the 1912 keg (apparently a 500 litre keg will reduce to 200 thanks to fermentation over the years). It’s not cheap stuff – a 375ml bottle of 100 year old port will set you back $975. Thankfully you can pay $30 for a quick taste – definitely worth putting the money down for that. Compared to the 3 and 10 year old ports we had, the 3 year old is caramelly in taste and texture, the 10 is syrupy. The 100 year old is similar to the 10 but the texture is closer to water and the taste is ridiculously strong….

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Which leaves my final full day in Adelaide – a final walk around the Market before going to the Zoo (where I got to touch River the Koala thanks to his keeper being there to feed him when I went to have a look) and the South Australian Museum – not as interesting as I’d expected, except for the opalised fossils.

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There’s no question that Adelaide has plenty to offer – certainly far more than I expected it would. I’ll definitely be going back at some point. Just a pity the bus to Canberra took nearly 19 hours. I’d also definitely recommend “My Place” at a good hostel to stay – it’s certainly the best one I’ve had so far.

I’m almost up to date now. I’m typing this from my hostel in Canberra, where I’m moving on from tomorrow evening to Sydney. A completely different place, if only for the thunderstorms… more soon.