It was a considerably successful & good trip. Much more than I could ever have anticipated, based on the unique circumstances. Hmm… the stars are certainly shining upon me. Merci! 🙂
Being in the land of unhurried lifestyle, we didn’t do much activities in this trip really. So it can’t be said as an overly exciting trip. It was nonetheless, a truly slow and relaxing trip, with plenty of time to smell the flowers and to stare open-mouthed at the rich and vibrant red & yellow trees, and of course, our incessant photo stops in between.
Not too bad, I’m getting more and more adept at this kind of travelling style now. The impending number #4 must have had something to do with it. Hehe. 😉 Age is just a number right? Well someone actually commented when I told her my itinerary in Adelaide, that it sounded pretty much like an old folks’ tour. Haha.
A city of only 1.3million population, we did come across plenty of aged folks here. Reminds me a lot of Perth actually. A quiet peaceful city with a lot of greens and plenty of facilities for the aged & disabled. And miles upon miles of vineyards. In fact, 70% of all Australian wines come from Adelaide, and 50% of them are premium wines, some of the best in the world, as claimed. So a wine tasting tour is rather inevitable.
The city itself is not a particularly old city. Just about 170 years old from the time when the first pioneers came by boat in 1836 and discovered South Australia. However they are proud to announce that they are not a convict city.
The attraction here is that the city centre is in close proximity to the beaches (20 minutes), the charming villages of Adelaide Hills, about an hour’s drive to the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, areas of natural beauty, fine wine and great food. Adelaide also claimed to be Australia’s cultural capital, with a huge Festival Centre hosting lots of national cultural and sporting events.
The greatest charm for me is simply the cool weather and the beautiful autumn leaves. Yup, I can just walk all day long under those red and yellow trees. Simple pleasures… 🙂
Some quick tips for the short term budget traveler :
1) Metrocard Visitor Pass – For those who prefer not to rent a car, this A$25 card gives you unlimited rides on buses, trains and trams for 3 days, and takes you almost everywhere in and around Adelaide in all directions from the city centre – the historic north, McLaren Vale in the South, Glenelg and all the pristine beaches in the west, and the pretty towns and villages of Adelaide Hills in the east. Check out : www.adelaidemetro.com.au
2) CBD travel – There is also a free connector loop circling a smaller radius in the city, running simultaneously in both directions, so you can hop on and hop off at any stop and visit almost all the city attractions – China Town, Central Market, North Terrace, museums and art galleries, Rundle Street shopping & eating area, Gouger Street (Asian eateries), Botanic Garden, the Adelaide Oval, the beautiful River Torrens among some of them.
3) Bicycles – on a cool and beautiful autumn day, why not explore the city by a free bike? It’s fun and easy, and the city is safe enough and with lots of amenities for the cyclists. Bikes also come with safety helmets and plenty of route maps, if you will, depending on which direction you feel like exploring on that day. This way, you can get a little further than just on foot. If you have limited time like just a few hours, just take the scenic River Torrens Linear Park Trail or the Park Lands Trail. Check out : bikesa.asn.au/adelaidecitybikes
4) Barossa Valley – If you want to follow a wine tour here but couldn’t afford to spend the whole day drinking wine, or have either time or budget constraint, you might want to consider a half day tour operated by Enjoy Adelaide Tours. It’s the only company in Adelaide offering half day tours to the Barossa Valley, and at very affordable prices too. Check out : www.enjoyadelaide.com.au
5) Kangaroo Island – You can follow a day tour from Adelaide but it is kind of a rip off and you would spend half the day inside a bus anyway. Don’t bother going alone as the logistics is not worth the trouble and you can’t save much anyway because of the monopoly ferry business. So if you must go to KI, and if time permits, it would be much better to take the 3d2n tour package which includes accommodation and most meals. You’ll be surprised that the price actually is not much different from the one-day tour.
6) Internet – If you need internet on the go, Optus Yes is your best deal for prepaid 3G internet, with charges of only A$2 per day for 500mb data plus unlimited phone calls and texts. Just grab a A$2 sim pack from a supermarket checkout and load it with any amount you wish.
7) Fish & chips – Don’t be fooled by the huge signboards and labels in (almost every other) restaurants especially in the beach or harbour area saying “International Award winner/ Finalist for the Best Fish & Chips of the Year.” They are really no big deal. Just fish fried in rather tasteless batter. (What a waste of fresh fish, I’ll say!)
Adelaide is known as a green city, about half of the city is made up of parklands. In fact the entire city is surrounded by a ring of greenery all around it. Many parks and gardens are cozily nestled within the city centre itself, so a visit to Adelaide is not complete without a stroll, picnic or simply a roll in the grass (or a hug of a gigantic tree trunk!) in the picturesque Botanic Gardens, or any other park within a stone’s throw away.
It was a sunny day, which made for good photography opportunity. But not particularly warm, the weather was just perfect. It was a relaxing stroll.
A day in Adelaide Hills
Quaint, peaceful towns and picture book villages amidst a landscape of rolling hills, dotted with historic churches, cottages, little stone buildings and sheep.
Stirling, Aldgate & Bridgewater – Scottish villages.
“Four seasons, a thousand reasons.”
Red and yellow trees waving softly in the cool gentle breeze, its shiny lustre amidst the bright happy sunshine, never fail to put a delighted smile on my face. 🙂 Even dogs are seen everywhere, enjoying the cool peaceful stroll in the streets and lazing in the café together with their happy owners chilling out with each other on such a wonderful autumn day.
The Old Rumbler, the giant waterwheel in Bridgewater, a historic icon from the 19th century flour mills era, still turns today at the Bridgewater Mill Inn.
To be continued in : Adelaide – PART 2