au: adelaide

Who Said Anything About Climbing Rocks?

A View Of The Hidden Beach

Day 2 of the Kangaroo Island was supposed to begin with a bush walk.  It all seemed to go according to plan as we made our way to Flinders Chase National Park and started off on a dusty red trail leading into a forest like area.  You could hear a stream nearby as we made our way through the bush.

Once we hit the water, it became very obvious we would have to make our own way to the beach by climbing on/over/around rocks that were scattered everywhere.  Even though my heart was filled with hesitation (I had images of tripping and falling as I’m slightly accident prone), I trekked upwards and onwards.  I jumped over rocks  and scaled them as required.  I may have even slipped on one only to find myself in a fight with a branch hidden behind another rock – I won’t say who won but I think the bruise and scrape on my knee is all to telling.  On the verge of throwing in the towel, the hidden beach was within sight.  Phew.  It was beautiful and worth every exhausting moment it took to get there.

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Sucker For Advertising

My Favourite Little Guy from Seal Bay

The journey to Kangaroo Island started at the crack of dawn and many transfers later (small pick up van to charter bus to ferry to Adventure Tours bus), we were finally on our way.  The first thing that our tour guide told us was that Kangaroo Island isn’t the Wildlife Sanctuary that it’s advertised as since two-thirds of it is actually farm land.

That was the one fact that made me break into a cold sweat as I was starting to feel like this could be a miserable two days.  Yup, I travelled miles and miles to wind up in a farming community with seniors and couples.  Don’t get me started on the demographics that made up my particular tour as I’m trying not to bitch about seniors, couples or foreigners refusing to speak English.

Have no fear though, despite the warning and the tour starting off at a sheep shearing farm (something that I’d never ever get to witness in New Zealand…), Kangaroo Island was all I expected and more.  Between Seal Bay, the Koala Sanctuary, and the random kangaroo and wallaby spotting throughout the island, I was happy as a clam.  This trip might not make me the next wild animal whisperer but it’s definitely worth the visit.

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Little Joey In My Belly

Jacob's Creek

It was an early 7:45am start to my Barossa Valley wine tour.   For the world of me, I was unclear was why we anyone they would plan to get us drinking that early but hey, that’s just me.  Thankfully, it was a slow start in the morning where we made some insignificant tourist stops such as Rocking Horse and Whispering Wall before hitting the first of our four wineries.   Granted, we were at Richmond Grove before 11am but the double-digit makes it a little more acceptable in my books.  The buzz started early and continued on at Jacob’s Creek.  The first two wineries were my favourite of the day.  The third stop was Seppeltsfield where the lady doing our tasting seemed a little less than enthusiastic to be stuck with us.  After the turbo tasting was completed (she kept pouring wines that resembled the taste of overly sweet vinegar until we gave up on her), we made our way to the BBQ being prepared for us.

The BBQ meal being prepared consisted of steak and salads.  Kangaroo steak, just encase you were curious.  This was my first time trying Kangaroo and I’m not 100% sure if I’m a fan.  The meat was a little tough and tasted more of marinate than anything else.  I think my main roadblock, however, is the cuteness of the animal than anything to do with texture or taste.  Next time, I think its best that I just stick to chicken.

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What About Breakfast At Tiffanys?

Mmmm, Gelato

Truth be told, it wasn’t breakfast, it was dinner and it was at a place called Tiffany Thai.  It was last-minute dinner plans with a chatty Kathy that I had met moments before (have no fear, I did the mental check and there were no ear-rape alarm bells going off).  She was my new single serving friend who had just gotten into the city that day as well.  Unlike me, she’s been travelling around Australia for the last 3 months and so as the entrée and mains were ordered, we started dishing on travelling dirt.

The food was fabulous and the conversation flowed freely which made for a rather enjoyable evening.  The time just flew by as we discussed what’s worthwhile or overhyped in both New Zealand and Australia.  If that wasn’t enough though, my new single serving buddy also had a soft spot for food.  As we were approaching the end of the meal, she suggested finishing it all off with some killer gelato.  A perfect end to an unexpected but rather delightful night.

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Not As Groovy As Advertised

I had everything booked through Groovy Grapes Getaways and then they cancelled.  No explanation as to why and I’m still a little miffed that they dropped the bombshell over email.  I was later to find out that tour cancellation is pretty common amongst the tour operators in Australia.  Sadly, it looks as though customer service isn’t a big deal in all parts of the world.

After the original offer of shifting my tour dates (ahem, consider the costs of changing flights much?), they offered to book me in tours with their competition or a full refund.  The idea of taking the refund and then scrambling to get something booked last-minute was so unappealing that I took the alternative arrangement even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.   So what I was left with in the end was the Barossa Valley Tour with Groovy Grapes, Kangaroo Island Tour with Adventure Tours, a day long train trip from Adelaide to Melbourne (something that I’m already dreading), and a Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour with Wildlife Tours from Melbourne (yes, I’ll be backtracking which makes the train trip that much more dreadful).

Since these tours are short in length and I’m hopping from one tour operator to another as if I were on crack, the chances of meeting a tour buddy for this leg of my Australian adventures is slim to nil.  I already have the taste of sour grapes lingering and the trip hasn’t even begun yet.  Thanks for that Groovy Grapes.

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