G’day! We are finally in Australia! Our first destination on our travels of this amazing country, is to Adelaide in South Australia. South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent on earth with Adeliade as its capitol. The region has long been occupied by the indigenous Aboriginal people however, official settlement began on the 28th December 1836!
17th November 2016 – Max Temp: 30°C
After a gruelling 38 hours travelling & waiting around we finally checked in to the Majestic Minima Hotel, Adelaide! The art hotel has welcomed local South Australian artists to transform each guest room in to a piece of art of their own creaton. We are currently staying in room #106, which was created by Thomas Buchanan with his art creation of ‘Landmark’. In this piece he aimed to capture the “beauty of a lived environment.”
18th November 2016 – Max Temp: 24°C
We started the day with a 3 hour city tour which explored the history and landmarks of Adelaide CBD. Founded in 1836, we discovered that Adelaide was named after King William the 4th’s wife, Adelaide. William requested the city should be named after her instead of the English prime minister of the time, the Duke of Wellington, Adelaide is also known as the ‘city of churches’. Along the tour we were lucky enough to visit the impressive Adelaide Oval, St Peter’s cathedral and Haigh’s chocolates factory. Haigh’s chocolates is the longest running family owned chocolate buissness in the whole of Australia and has just become a century old. Here we were able to watch how their chocolate was hand made from the cocoa bean all the way to being hand packaged with a few free samples along the way. 🍫😍 Obviously we couldn’t leave the factory without buying some of our own!
The next stop was a short tour cruise along the River Torrens on a ‘Popeye boat’ where we spotted two tiny river turtles playing in the water. The river had a bit of fallen debris on it due to recent bad flooding in Adelaide. The cruise ended up outside the entrance to Adelaide Zoo which was our next stop.
Adelaide zoo is Australia’s second oldest Zoo after Melbourne Zoo. Here we were able to experience our first encounters of Australian wildlife from Kangaroos and Koalas to Echidnas and Cassowarys. At the moment the Zoo currently has two Giant Pandas on loan from China and are the only ones that you will find in Australia. 🐼 Adelaide Zoo is also home to one of Australia’s most venomous snakes, The Eastern Brown, which was happy to hiss at us!
19th November 2016 – Max Temp: 29°C
Today we decided to leave the hustle and bustle of the city and head to a coastal suburban area in Adelaide called Hallet Cove. We decided to explore the Hallet Cove Conservation Park which had a beautiful 7km boardwalk and walking trail from Hallet Cove all the way to Marino. Along the way we spotted a couple of Dwarf Skinks (Types of lizard) and, although warned about them habitating in this area and much to our relief, we didn’t see any Eastern Brown Snakes!
Next we moved on to the beach-side suburb of Glenelg, which was full of bars and restaurants. We were extremely hungry after our morning boardwalk so we decided to grab some tucker at ‘Outback Jacks’ in Marina Park. After, we took a stroll past Glenelg Beach to Moseley square where they had beautiful Christmas decorations hanging from palm trees! This still feels very strange to us in blazing heat but is helping us to settle in to the Aussie way of celebrating Christmas!
20th November 2016 – Max Temp: 36°C
Today we went on a small road trip to the beautiful Barossa Valley wine region. The main industries and exports of South Australia are wheat, wool and wine! More than half of Australia’s wines are produced here in SA including, the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale (Where Hardys is produced) Coonswarra, the Riverland and Adelaide Hills. Our first stop was to the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, where we were able to explore their vineyards and discover all the types of grapes that they grew there. This included wines that are very common in the U.K. such as Merlot (Our favourite), Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
We were lucky enough to have our own intimate wine tasting session with one of the guides at the centre who took us through an assortment of wines. He suggested an order that prevented our taste pallets being over powered by the wine before.We discovered a liking for a wine neither of us had tried before called Lamoon. This is a red, spicy berry wine that compliments authentic Thai and spicy cuisine. The result of Lamoon is due to a collaboration between an internationally renowned Thai Chef and the globally recognised Jacob’s Creek. We decided to treat ourselves to our own bottle as this type of wine is only available at the Jacob’s creek centre and in Thailand.
Whilst exploring the glorious vineyard we learnt about the cycle of wine making here in the valley. It starts in the Spring (September-November) as the green shoots begin to apear and then begin to flower. In the summertime (December – February) the flowers begin to turn in to grapes and get larger as the weather gets warmer. In Autumn (March – May) grapes for sparkling wines are picked first followed by white then finally red. Finally, in Winter (June – August) the vines begin to to change colour and become dormant ready to begin the cycle again in Spring. After our Jacobs Creek experience we drove to the local village of Tanuda in Jacobs Creek for lunch. This was by far our favourite day in South Australia and a lovely last day to have here.
So our time has to come to depart South Australia and head towards Victoria! It’s safe to say that it has gained a place in both our hearts from its scenic coastal / beach-side suburbs, to the culturally vibrant CBD of Adelaide to the breathtaking Barossa Valley. Here’s hoping one day in our future we will be able to come back and visit again.