Sunday morning we were up at a reasonable hour and preparing to drive the relatively short distance between Victor Harbor and Adelaide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelaide). We had booked a caravan park site on the north-eastern side of the city and had to negotiate some city traffic before reaching the site; however, with the assistance of our “Bitch in a Box” (GPS Unit) we safely drove through the Sunday morning traffic and reached the Levi Park (http://www.levipark.com.au/) Caravan Park by 11:00am.
They say in the advertising blurb that this is a leafy park and they are not exaggerating; there are many long established trees most of which seem to be deciduous and with autumn upon us there are leaves everywhere and more accumulating every day. The park is about 4 kilometres from the city with a bus stop right outside the front gate; one disadvantage is that we seem to be under the flight path to the airport so we have a lot of aircraft noise at various times.
Our site is reasonably good but was difficult to maneuver into as the park roads are relatively narrow, but with the advice of another resident and some to and fro movement we set up without bruising anything. We erected our annexe as we are staying here for ten days and thought it worth the effort.
Monday morning we slept late and then headed off for the city to see the sights. Bus travel for seniors is free between 9:01am and 3:00pm so we took advantage of this concession and caught a local bus right into the centre of town. A short walk from the bus stop is Rundle Mall (http://rundlemall.com.au/); the mall is said to have 700 retailers including the three largest department stores, 300 non-retail services and offices and 15 arcades and centres. There were people everywhere in the mall and it seemed to be reasonably busy in most of the shops. Mind you we didn’t see all 700 shops but we visited a few.
Tuesday we had booked our vehicle in for a service with the local Nissan Dealer and we were up early to find the dealership. We had a general idea of the location of the dealership and drove there in a short space of time; the challenge was to find the service entry and exit the peak hour traffic safely. We went around the block twice before we managed to access the right location and then booked the vehicle in. The dealership offered a lift to the City in one of their courtesy vehicles but since our caravan park is in a different direction we declined the offer and elected to walk home; trouble was, in a strange city, we didn’t know the shortest route back to the park and probably walked twice as far as we needed to – exercise is good for you. Returning to pick up the vehicle in the afternoon also involved an amount of guess work in an effort to find a shorter route and our choices bought us on to the right road but probably 500 metres further north than we should have been – as I indicated exercise is good for the body and we slept soundly that night.
Wednesday morning a trip to the Adelaide Botanical Gardens (http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/Visit/Adelaide_Botanic_Garden) was the chosen outing. The free bus ride saw us disembark opposite the gardens and near the access to the Adelaide Zoo. The entry point we arrived at took us into the National Rose Trial Garden section of the Gardens and we started the day “smelling the roses”. There are some lovely blooms in this garden and taking the time to smell the roses rewarded us with some delightful aromas and a visual feast of blooms.
From the Rose Garden we moved to the Bicentennial Conservatory where we discovered a lush rainforest growing inside the unique building and we explored the exhibit from the elevated walkways and paved pathways at ground level. This is quite an interesting exhibit and we enjoyed the time. Outside the conservatory we walked through an area of large established trees representative of an Australian forest. The Simpson Shadehouse (established in the early 1900s) and then discovered Diggers Garden Shop and the Café Fibonacci (of course we had to have a coffee). From the terrace adjacent to the shops we moved to the Amazon Waterlilly Pavillion to take a look at the huge water lilies being cultivated on site.
We also had a look at the Economic Garden (where vegetables and fruits of many different varieties are being cultivated), then took a walk through the Palm House and around the main lake and eventually left the gardens emerging on North Terrace adjacent to the Royal Adelaide Hospital. We spent almost three hours at the Gardens but could easily have spent the whole day as there are so many more interesting displays to see.
From the Gardens we walked along North Terrace to the war memorial which commemorates the fallen of the 1914-18 war (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_War_Memorial_%28South_Australia%29) past campuses for both the University of South Australia (http://www.unisa.edu.au/) and the University of Adelaide (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/). The South Australian Museum (http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/) and the Art Gallery of South Australia (http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/agsa/home) are also located in this precinct and a little further along the road Government House and the Parliament are both located. There is also a lot of statuary along this stretch of the road particularly in the vicinity of the universities.
Returning east along North Terrace we walked to the National Wine Centre of Australia (http://www.wineaustralia.com.au/) and had lunch at the Concourse Café located in the centre. There is a tour of the facility conducted each day at 11:30am (a bit too early for us) and a self-guided tour that can be followed. Unfortunately there was a Rotary Function being conducted at the time we were there and we were unable to follow the recommended tour – maybe we will need to go back another day. Just up the road from the wine centre we caught a bus to Paradise (or at least part way there) and returned to the caravan park.
Thursday morning saw us using the public transport system again as we went in search of the Markets. Adelaide Central Markets (http://www.adelaidecentralmarket.com.au/) is a huge market with over 250 stalls under the same roof; the market also boasts a Coles Supermarket and a hotel in addition to the many smaller traders. We caught the bus into town and hopped off near King William Street (the main drag) then proceeded to walk the four or five blocks to the market which is located in Gouger Street near Victoria Square (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Square,_Adelaide). We spent a couple of hours walking round the market, bought some fruit and food and looked at lots of stalls and shops then walked back to the city to catch the bus back to the caravan park.
On Friday we decided to take a trip to the Barossa Valley (http://www.barossa.com/) to explore the area and some of the many wineries and other attractions. We first drove out to Gawler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gawler,_South_Australia) and from there drove along the Barossa Valley Way (http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=168929&cmd=sp) through the small towns of Lyndoch and Tanunda to Nuriootpa and then to Angaston returning via the northern expressway to Adelaide later in the afternoon.
Our first stop was at the Cellar Door of McGuigan Wines Chateau Yaldara (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_Yaldara)(http://www.southaustralia.com/info.aspx?id=9000931). This property has been owned by McGuigan Wines since 1999 and was formerly owned by Hermann Thrumm after whom the road to the property is named. At the property a great café – Café Y – has been established and provides great food. From Chateau Yaldara we returned towards Gawler to Barossa Fruit Wines where they make wines from many different fruits but don’t make anything from grapes. We sampled a few and purchased a few and then drove back along the Barossa Valley Way.
There are about 80 wineries in the Barossa, many with well-known names like Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek and Chateau Tanunda; there are many smaller wineries and cellar doors such as Whistler Wines and Hentley Farm which may be less well known. In addition to the wineries there are many Bakeries, Restaurants and Cafes to visit and many accommodation houses to allow one to stay awhile to enjoy the whole experience.
We visited the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre (http://jacobscreek.com.au/experience/the-jacobs-creek-visitor-centre/welcome?lang=en-AU) and picked up some samples for later savouring then drove to Tanunda and the smaller village of Bethany (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethany,_South_Australia) where we stopped for lunch. After lunch we drove through Tanunda (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanunda,_South_Australia) to see what was there and on towards Nuriootpa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuriootpa,_South_Australia) where we visited Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop (http://www.maggiebeer.com.au/visit-us) to see what was what.
Back into Nuriootpa and a drive through the town on our way to Angaston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angaston,_South_Australia) where we called in to the Barossa Valley Cheese Company (http://www.barossacheese.com.au/) where we sampled the cheeses made onsite by the company. With some cheese safely ensconced in the Waeco we moved up the road to the Angas Park (http://www.angaspark.com.au/) retail outlet to check out the company products and pick up some supplies for Ron (later on).
Having had an interesting day we headed back to Adelaide and the comforts of our caravan.
Saturday morning saw us initially shopping for supplies and then we headed along North East Road (Adelaide – Mannum Road) with a view to visiting Birdwood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdwood,_South_Australia) and the National Motor Museum (http://history.sa.gov.au/motor/about.htm). We drove through the Adelaide suburb of Tea Tree Gully (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Tree_Gully,_South_Australia) and the small town of Inglewood before reaching the larger centre of Gumeracha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumeracha,_South_Australia). A medieval fair (http://medievalsa.org/) was being conducted during the two days of the weekend; there was quite a bit of traffic and lots of pedestrians heading towards the venue and if this is any guide the fair will have been quite successful.
Just outside Gumeracha the road runs past the Big Rocking Horse (http://thebigrockinghorse.com.au/) which is a toy factory making lots of timber toys; a lot of imported timber toys are also sold at the retail outlet. There is a café and dining facilities on site as is a wildlife park adjacent to and part of the complex. The Big Rocking Horse is claimed to be the biggest in the world; visitors can climb the structure and take in the views from the top platform.
The road to Birdwood is quite hilly and winds around the edges of the Adelaide Hills following the course of the Torrens River and Angas Creek and for the most part is double white line with turn out lanes for slow vehicles to allow others to pass. There are some vineyards and lots of sheep grazing with occasional olive groves; it is quite pretty country to drive through. On reaching Birdwood the museum is well signed and has lots of parking available for visitors. There is an entry fee to the museum with a two for one offer for entry to the SA Maritime Museum available.
Although the museum is sponsored by Holden and certainly has lots of Holden vehicles on display there are displays of many, many makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles befitting the title of National Museum. We wandered through the displays and took lots of photos of the various displays noting examples of a number of different vehicles that we had owned from time to time. After a couple of hours hunger took over and we left the museum in search of sustenance at the Pomegranate Cottage Café (which appears to be for sale http://www.realcommercial.com.au/property-other-sa-birdwood-500675319) and enjoyed a very tasty meal at a reasonable price then returned to Adelaide.
On Sunday we decided to take a trip to Port Adelaide so after checking the bus route on the web we set off into the City on our local Paradise Bus to catch the bus to Port Adelaide. As it turned out the bus stop we needed for the Port Adelaide bus was that at which we left the local bus and we didn’t have to wait too long before the Port Adelaide bus arrived. We passed through lots of different parts of the city and eventually arrived at Port Mall (in Port Adelaide) where the bus terminated. It was then just a short walk to Fishermen’s Wharf where a market was in progress (http://www.fishermenswharfmarkets.com.au/Home/Home.asp). We had a look through the fairly large building but couldn’t find anything that took our fancy.
From the market we walked to the SA Maritime Museum (http://maritime.historysa.com.au/) to take a look at the various exhibits. We spent a pleasant hour or so in the museum then headed back to the bus stop for the return journey to the City. Along the way the route passes AAMI Stadium (http://www.aamistadium.com.au/index.php) at Westlakes which is home base for Adelaide’s two AFL teams the Crows and Port Power. We were soon back in the City and it didn’t take long for us to catch the 281 bus back to the caravan park.
Monday dawned a little cloudy with a coldish lazy wind that didn’t bother to go round but went straight through you; couple this with some intermittent rain that did little but make a nuisance of itself and the day started off perfectly. Laundry was the order of the day and getting it dry was the challenge; fortunately the day did get a little warmer and the sun made an appearance around lunchtime. A day consumed with domestic chores and little else. Tomorrow we will pack up the caravan and truck in preparation for our exploration of the Yorke Peninsula starting on Wednesday morning.