Monday, April 24, 2017

NZ/Aus Days 37-40: Adelaide

Four whole days. Four whole days? Did it ever feel longer? After our go-go-go finish of New Zealand and excitement of arriving in Continent Number Seven, four complete days in one place felt heavenly.

Adelaide, and specifically the gem of a spot Craig found on Christie's Beach, turned out to be perfect. The beach was literally at our doorstep (or more seriously, by the end of our stay, all over and in our apartment). The water was calm, the shore sandy, and temperature well above what we'd been experiencing the last little while in NZ. We strolled the coast, lazed in the sand, swam in the ocean, and tormented Baby by getting her to try new things. Actually, after our first failed attempt of getting her in the water in New Brighton, things went very smoothly for her second attempt. Perhaps we prepped her well by all of our sunrise/sunset walks where she was intent on watching the waves roll in and out. She even smiled this time! We also enjoyed watching three dolphins play in the water just off shore.

The great thing about Adelaide is that everything is close. On our second day, we took a short drive to the Onkaparinga River National and Recreation Park. Our main focus: koala hunting. (To be clear, we were searching for one to SEE it in the wild, not capture or kill it!)

We'd barely left the parking lot when Erin quickly pointed across a field and exclaimed, "There!" It wasn't a koala, sadly, but instead, a bright-eyed kangaroo mom and joey. Our first kangaroo sighting!!!

We proceeded to have the slowest-paced hour and a half nature walk of perhaps the history of all time. There was so much to be watching for in such a "barren" shrubland. Koalas, of course, and now kangaroos, the vast variety of colourful birdlife that suddenly seemed to be surrounding us, along with some busy anthills to step over. Then add on the famously huge and scary Australian spiders and snakes (of which we saw none, thankfully). And the nature itself wasn't all to shabby, either...

It was rainy on our third day, which was fine because we'd planned a little drive into McLaren Vale to visit some wineries. We were pleased with the atmospheric vineyards and friendly staff who led us through an educational and thorough tasting at the Oliver's family estate. It was nice to have a variety of wines to try after the sav blancs and pinot noirs of New Zealand. And, it was fun to spot a kangaroo in the field across from us!

And on our fourth day, we felt energetic enough to do a bit of everything. A short morning hike led to more kangaroo and bird sightings but no koalas. That was followed by two delicious and atmospheric wine tastings thanks to some perfect recommendations (thanks Kevin, Heather, and Kirsty!). Then we still had time left to go to the beach! Adelaide really does have it all!

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