Thursday, May 13, 2010

Family Visits Down Under

October 2005 - T-chan's family and her Auntie have come down to Australia for a family get-together... it's been some 10 months or so since we left Sapporo in January... T-chan meets up with them in Sydney. They caught up with the family of one of the Aussie student's that they hosted back in Sapporo... one of the many connections that T-chan's family had with Australia.

Adelaide, Things to Do, Sydney,

Then they all came back to Adelaide... quite a bit smaller than Sydney (Adelaide has a population of about 1 million people). Adelaide is actually quite narrow, running parallel north-south to the sea - on a plain between the sea and the lower Adelaide Hills ranges... as seen below from atop the Mount Lofty Summit (approx 760 m high)

One of the good things to do in Adelaide is visit the Cleland Wildlife Park, which is a huge nature reserve that allows you to walk in amongst the native Australian animals. Of course, for a small fee you can  buy the obligatory food... those animals all looked very well-fed.

Lots of kangaroos and wallabies...

And some very cute babies as well!

And yes - you can have your photo taken with the koalas... for an additional fee you can have the koalas perched on top of you... however... koalas are notorious for going "whoopsie" all on your clothes. Be warned. Also - for me, this is about as exploitative of native animals as I can get...

During the trip we also made a return visit to Carrick Hill, where we got married. It was strange to go back there - but very nice. Brought back many fond memories of both our wedding and all of the preparation that went into it.

Of course - it also made me feel young again.

We also discovered Carrick Hill's own Japanese Tie... don't ask me what the connection with Momotaro is... but it appeared to be one of the donated pieces...

There's actually a lot of art works scattered around the grounds... it's well worth a walk around.

Adelaide is a city of living heritage... it's gone to a lot of trouble to try and retain the old style buildings (and sometimes just the frontages) that have been around since the city was first established in 1836. Some argue that this policy of strict building control has limited development in the city - and kept Adelaide with a small country town feel.

Certainly - there's a lot of quaintness about the city... and it's definitely a fairly slowly-paced city compared to Sydney or Melbourne.

But it's a nice place to relax and take in the summer's rays

Or go down to one of the beaches (such as Glenelg) and really enjoy the beach culture.... which whilst not as strong in Adelaide as the Eastern seaboard is still a great way to relax in the city. Unlike in the east, Adelaide sits on a fairly protected peninsula... lowsy surf, but easy family-friendly beaches. And almost no nasties except for the very occasional shark.

Or whilst your in the city, have a nice stroll around the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, or the Adelaide Zoo next door (which has gone Panda crazy since the arrival of Wang-Wang and Funi in late 2009).

There's plenty to see around the city...

Or if you want to get out....

View Larger Map

One of the best places to visit is Victor Harbor, about 80km, or 1h40mins drive from Adelaide to the south. It's a very scenic drive, but be warned - it's also a little dangerous so be careful in the winding roads. "Victor" is a great sea-side escape from Adelaide. It's almost always quite a few degrees cooler than Adelaide, so take some warmer clothes. It's a bit of a throw-back to an earlier tourist era - but is become more modern very quickly.

One of the attractions is taking the horse-drawn train (or walking) to Granite Island. It's a great place to walk around, and there's a fairy penguin colony on the island that you can visit in the evening as part of an organised tour. This is also a great place to go whale watching near metro Adelaide.

There's some nice coastline along Adelaide's southern approaches - so take your time.

The hills are also worth meandering through...

There's a nice little place called Ross Roses Garden.

Stop of for an afternoon or the whole day at the wineries at McLaren Vale... and I'd recommend popping into my favourite winery D'Arenberg! This is one of many 10's of small and large wineries across the valley. Great for a day of tasting - just bring your designated driver.

Otousan has a similar idea of a good afternoon as myself. 

Anyway - this was just a very brief visit to Adelaide... I'll try and do something a little more complete later on. T-chan's family had a great time here, and enjoyed the warm weather immensely (coming out of a cold Sapporo winter). Unfortunately their time finished too quickly and they had to go back home. See you soon!
Posted by Picasa

No comments:

Post a Comment