Following our days cruising from Melbourne to Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road we stopped in Adelaide for two nights. Here we would learn more about Aussie Culture – wine, art and possums.
Day 19: 21 November 2017
We arrived in Adelaide in the afternoon with grandiose hopes of cooking (and especially eating) a Aldi pizza and lasagne in our paid for campsite’s kitchen – it’s amazing what foods you miss when living out a van. Unfortunately the camp kitchen was a little less stocked than we expected and our dream ended with us having to return to Aldi to ask the server whether we could get a refund for our meals because “we don’t have an oven”. He must have thought we were a right pair of tools.
After a chicken salad dinner and time spent working out tomorrow’s plan for Adelaide we went to bed. We were then disturbed by noise under our van. Louise giving me a poke to find out what was going on and me reluctantly agreeing led to us discovering that we had just had a proper Aussie experience that would make for a month long story line in Oz soap Neighbours. It was a possum!
Day 20: 22 November 2017
We waked into Adelaide through the Botanical Gardens. These were our favourite Botanical Gardens on our adventure around Oz. We first came across the Bicentennial Conservatory which is the largest single span glasshouse in the Southern Hemisphere. it houses a mini-rainforest and if you are not sweating by the time you go in, you will be by the time you come out! Whilst it is fairly small there are still a lot of walkways to navigate and admire the lush fauna.
This was the highlight of the Botanical Gardens but there was also The Palm House, Waterlily Pavilion, sculptures and bamboo forest to find and explore. All in all a very good garden.
Next door to the Botanical Gardens is Australia’s National Wine Centre. We timed our visit perfectly to coincide with their free wine tour. For this we got a guide who told us more about wine in Australia and the role that the National Wine Centre plays in the industry. It was an interesting tour but disappointingly there was no free wine tasting. All the more disappointing when they boast of having one of the largest wine cellars in the southern hemisphere holding up to 38,000 bottles – and I thought Aussies were supposed to be generous people!
After that it was time for more culture at the South Australian Museum. Here we were treated to some fantastic aboriginal art, aboriginal artefacts, a giant squid and a group of naughty school kids getting shouted at. There were loads of old boomerangs too – apparently the Aborigines just couldn’t throw them away 😉
It was then across to Adelaide Central market which is an iconic market that has been trading there for over 149 years. There was a really nice vibe to this market with a great selection of traders and some really cheap food produce stalls.
We then decided to venture to the West Terrace Cemetery which guide books rave about as a great place to learn about local history and characters. We were expecting to read tales of ex-English cons who came over to Adelaide some of which set the foundations for the city as it is today whilst others ransacked, raped and pillaged before being gunned down by a wild posse. Unfortunately it wasn’t as exciting as that so we left and explored the main part of the town before calling it a day.
Day 21: 23 November 2017
Today we would be starting our 4,000km (2,500 mile) drive through Australia’s red centre stopping at Uluru (Ayers Rock) and King’s Canyon on the way. More on that adventure next time…