After leaving yet another state behind (VIC) we entered another. South Australia. Wayne had been here for work a few times, but hadn’t really gotten to see much of the state.
We arrived at Mount Gambier first. Home of the Blue Lake. I must say, it took us by surprise. It was so blue that I had to take my sunglasses off to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. The story goes, that each summer the salt crystals in the bottom of the lake heat up and rise to the top, making it the bright blue colour that it is. It only happens for a few months of the year and we were lucky to be there when it was happening. It’s also the towns drinking water, so no swimming or kayaking – you pretty much just look at it, or take pictures !
The town of Mount Gambier was really pretty. I really loved it. The people were friendly, the shops were quirky and it was really quiet. Possibly too quiet as we found out on Saturday when we went to get some things after 12pm. Everything was shut ! Mount Gambier is built on Volcano’s (collapsed volcano’s ) so there are lots of caves and historic sites. We were there on 2 very hot days though, and as per usual the walks to the caves and the sinkholes weren’t pram friendly. We did manage to see 1 though which the girls thought was pretty cool. We also checked out the gallery and the Library so the girls were happy to be indoors with some airconditioning.
I’d heard about VH so was interested to go there and check it out. It’s a small harbour-side village (with the 2nd runner up of the STATE fish and chip cook off) and they have a Tram which is drawn by a Horse ! A big Clidesdale horse. We took the tram ride over to Granite Island (but didn’t see any penguins) and then had fish and chips for lunch. Another really hot day so after doing some groceries it was back to the caravan park for a swim. The following day we drove out to Port Elliot which is another beachside town, really pretty and the kids had a play etc. It was cooler this day & we were pretty exhausted after all the driving and sightseeing we’d been doing so we had a pretty easy day back at the caravan park.
To be honest, by this stage, especially Wayne and I, are a little bit over the full on days we’ve been having. We were non stop in Tasmania with only 1 lay day. So 20 days we were out and about everyday visiting something, doing something, driving somewhere and with only a few weeks left we kind of had an “unspoken agreement” to do NOT MUCH at all.
Day 1 we get to Adelaide Shores, which is a larger than large caravan park on the beach and about 10km’s from Glenelg. We took a few hours to set up because we planned on being here for about 8 days. We had noticed that there were a couple of vintage vans over the road from us and wondered if there was a show on or something. That evening as Wayne and I were sitting outside with a drink and playing with the girls, the park manager came over and said ‘would we move to another site’. Turns out there was a show on, and Channel 10 were coming to film the Vintage vans (there was more to show up evenutually) and they didn’t want a brand new van in the shot when filming. There was no ‘please would you mind’ or ‘sorry we made a mistake’ We didn’t just plonk our van there, they told us the site # initially. At the end of the day though we understood and didn’t really mind, so Wayne asked for a site right opposite the pool and playground (which we got) and we packed up again and moved the following morning. That very morning Wayne and I declared a NON SIGHT SEEING WEEK was in desperate order, apart from visiting the Barossa and Hahndorf. The girls were happy, actually beyond happy which made us think for a sec ‘have we done the right thing? Taking them on this trip for 8 months, have they not enjoyed it’ .. those thoughts quickly passed though, I thnk they are like us at this point in the trip, they want to just play and swim and ride their bikes. So we decided to go to Hahndorf the following day.
I loved Hahndorf and I think it’s safe to say that it’s my favourite place in Adelaide (having only seen a few other places!). Establised by the Germans way back when (I’m a bit hazy on the details I’m sorry) and is full of German pubs, German restaurants and of course other eateries too. We parked and had lunch straight away. I had a Chicken Snitty (as my cousin Bren calls it) and Wayne had every single Sausage you could imagine. A nice glass of crisp white wine, sitting in the sunshine, it was beautiful. Frankie slept through lunch too so we were able to enjoy that much more (sorry Frankie darling, when you read this when you’re older, you’re so much fun but you don’t like sitting still in your pram at the moment) xx
After lunch we basically just walked the strip. Up and down and all around. We visited the Lavender shop, and the Puppet store, Wayne and I managed to like the same wall clock so purchased that (after some serious negotiating on the delivery fee from Adel to Perth) and after we’d just about had enough Wayne ordered an extra large pint of German beer and all of a sudden I became the designated driver!
Great day,and Hahndorf – I can see what all the fuss is about.
Ok, I’ll be honest.. It wasn’t much fun. For 2 reasons really. One of those reasons is the kids. What fun are they going to have driving around wineries all day? The 2nd reason is the driving. Wayne and I can’t both be sloshed after tasting all these lovely wines and then drive back to Adelaide. It was a long drive and halfway there we had decided that this wasn’t going to work. Our kids (for the most part ) are really good travellers and Olivia and Sarah are old enough to know the rules and we can pretty much take them anywhere. Frankie being almost 20months is a little different. She’ll scream when she wants something, manage to wiggle her way out of her pram at any given notice and if she doesn’t want to be somewhere she lets that point known very loudly ! We did however think ‘we’ve come this far’ so we might as well have a drive through anyway. I think we caught Barossa at a bad time. There wasn’t a hint of green, it was all very dry and desolate. We found a park and had some lunch from a bakery (laughed at the Irony as we sat and sipped our WATER) and said (not for the first time this trip) this is something for us to do on our own when we catch a bus ! Wayne was insisting that he buy me a bottle of wine from at least 1 winery as we were here, but by this time in the day I was a little over it and just wanted to get back. Save the wineries for when we are in our home state and we can hopefully get a babysitter (hint hint Ray and Dor’s).
Back at the Caravan we all declared once and for all NO MORE…
We spent the remaining days walking around Glenelg (found a great coffee shop called PURE and couldn’t begin the day without getting a coffee from here). Spent a day at the beach, spent more time in the park and playgrounds, the girls rode their bikes, swam in the pool and we watched movies. We ended up leaving Adelaide a day earlier than planned. Time to move on and head back to WA. We felt like we were just wasting time and would rather tack the days missed from Adelaide onto Esperance. Sorry Adelaide, we didn’t really give you a chance.
Next stop The Nullabor – in Summer this time!