It was 5am when we left for Tullamarine Airport on the morning of Easter Sunday, fully excited to hop on to our flight to Adelaide, a city that I had heard so much about from my colleagues and mates.
A bright and sunny sky bid us farewell at the Tulla only to be welcomed later by pouring rains and gloomy skies at the Adelaide Airport. We walked up to the Hertz car park and picked up our Suzuki Vitara and began driving on the streets of Adelaide. The calm and tranquil atmosphere of the city took us by surprise.
We rolled up on South Road at Elly’s Café for some quick brekkie to gas ourselves up for our first task of the day – a 10km hike at the Newland Conservation Park, 100km south of Adelaide City. The drive up to the park was amazing as we manoeuvred through the freeway, that lead us out of the city, and the hairpin bends and steep roads (Adelaide is surrounded by hills, hills and hills!!!) that gave us the adrenalin rush.
Then began the hike, under the scorching heat of the sun, that was accompanied by a light drizzle and moderate breeze – the typical Australian weather you know!!! A major part of the hike required us to walk along the cliff that overlooked the serene, blue waters of the Great Australian Bight. Awed by the beauty of these cliffs, we couldn’t resist ourselves from clicking pictures of every curve, narrow walks, the tall bushes and of the water splashes against the cliff rocks.
We made our way to Victor Harbour, a beautiful place 15km from the hiking spot, post the tiresome hike for lunch and then some sight-seeing. This coastal town is beautifully designed and is really pretty. We had a quick lunch of Pizzas and milkshakes at a popular eatery and believe me, the milkshakes were yummy, large in quantity and cost only $5!!!
From the waterfront, we walked on to the causeway that lead us to Granite Island, a place home to a wild penguin colony. It was a surreal experience to sit back and enjoy the coastal scenery and breeze.
Now, comes one of the most memorable episodes of the trip – our stop at Hahndorf Village, a place known for its Deutsch-styled architecture, food and brewed beer. I’ve got no words to express how amazing the beer, that we had at the brewery, was. Every sip of it was refreshing and original. I can say that I’ve never had such beer in my entire life.
The next day, we began quite early as this was our day to explore the city of Adelaide. We first went to Rundle Mall, located on a section of Rundle street that was closed for vehicular traffic in 1976. Walking past the nice and pretty retail stores, eateries, lifestyle and other services stores were a fun experience. In a way, you could call this street the Bourke Street of Adelaide!!
From here, we went on to see the Parliament of South Australia. There are 2 parliament buildings over there- the old and new, with the new one being the majestic, grand structure and the one that is currently used for Assembly sessions.
Being from India, where cricket is considered to be a religion, we were really excited and humbled to walk into the beautiful Adelaide Oval. The green grass, bright sun and clear skies made it all the more suitable for us to click pictures and selfies. An interesting point to note here is that there is a separate gallery dedicated to the life of Sir Donald Bradman, a legendary cricketer, consisting of portraits, paintings, pictures and paraphernalia used by him.
Off we drove to Glenelg beach, one of the prettiest, well-maintained, beautiful beaches that I have seen across Australia. Drawing the condemnation and ire of the Melbournians, I could say that this beach is far more pretty than our St. Kilda. You need to visit it to experience its stunning beauty. There were families that had come down, children playing, good music, a magician performing and shops abuzz with activity, which made the atmosphere exceedingly lively. We ended the day with some good naan bread and curry at a popular Indian restaurant called Drunken Monkey!!
We were up at around 3am the next morning, as we had to drive up to Cape Jervis, a place 100km south of Adelaide City, to load our car onto a ferry at 6am that would take us to Kangaroo Island. This was the longest and most adventurous day of our entire trip.
The 45min ferry ride brought us to the eastern tip of the island, from where we had to travel 150km to reach Flinders Chase National Park, which is on the western tip, to view the Remarkable Rocks. Kangaroo Island is pretty large than what we had expected. The entire drive was absolutely fantastic, with roads exactly like the ones that appear on the tourism board websites.
The location of these rocks, their very shape, positioning and colour left us awestruck and in admiration. The Remarkable Rocks were indeed Remarkable.
Our next port of call was the Admiral Arch, which was a 5 min drive from the Rocks. We had to walk down a series of boardwalks, like the one at the Nobbies Centre in Phillip Island, to reach the Admiral Arch. Whilst walking, we could observe a variety of seals like fur, swimming, fighting, lounging and also a breed that had come up from New Zealand. It was such a pretty and funny sight to look at some of the seals deep in their slumber or some fighting with each other with their flaps.
Our next task for the day brought us to the Little Sahara Desert, where we all had fun sandboarding in the dunes. I was so bad at it that I couldn’t even get it right once!!! It is interesting to note the diverse geography of the Island. You’ve got a National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, a desert and Sea all around you. The activities that can be done here are versatile and multiple. Some people come here and camp for 7-10 days.
We were so exhausted and tired after this gruelling day that we just sat back at the Kingscote Pier towards sunset, enjoyed the cold breeze and later travelled back to our lodge, the British Sailor’s Society in Adelaide City.
The fourth and final day of the trip took us to the picturesque, crystal clear waters of the Semaphore Beach in the morning. Bright and sunny as it were, this beach was the right place to be in after a good, satisfying breakfast.
Having enjoyed the weather at the beach, we then drove to see the Pink Lake – Lake Bumbunga at Clare Valley. We were really thrilled and elevated for this but were left a tad bit upset when we saw that there was no water in the lake and it was all dry. Probably we visited the lake at the wrong time of the year.
Undeterred, we then went to our final and last calling of the trip – the Barossa Valley, the beautiful valley of vineyards. The entire valley is adorned with miles and miles of vineyards, a sight that is pleasant for your eyes and taste buds!! We did a little bit of wine tasting here to experience the authentic and original South Australian wine.
We all wanted the trip to close on an adventurous note, so we decided to do a night drive of 750km from Adelaide to Melbourne. A night drive was something that I was yearning for ever since I learnt how to drive. Believe me, it was one of the most memorable drives of my life. The steep roads, curves and hills in South Australia were replaced by the straight, flat roads and farmlands in Victoria.
For the places that we visited and the company that I had during the trip, I would fondly call this trip as ‘Easter in Adelaide’, which will be one of the most cherished, memorable and admired trips of my time in Australia.
I will remember every bit of it.