Adelaide

We’re now in Adelaide for the first time, staying at Windsor Gardens caravan park just on the outskirts.  Weatherwise, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag.  The first day we visited Port Adelaide and had beautiful sunshine.

Largs Bay – very pet friendly.  Winston is pleased to see sand again.

The next day it was cold with a biting wind. I’m reliably informed that Adelaide is freezing in winter as the winds gust in from the Antarctic.

We had a good look around the city which is very elegant and spacious.

The Central Market is a must see.  It’s huge, with hundreds of food stalls and produce from all across South Australia.

Adelaide Hills

The town of Hahndorf was originally a German settlement and it still has a strong German feel which makes it a very popular tourist destination.  You can buy German pastries, German meats, cuckoo clocks and souvenirs along the main street.  Everywhere was looking very autumnal.

We shared a German sausage platter for lunch at the Café Assiette – it actually lasted us for dinner and breakfast the next morning.

The only downside is that with its narrow streets, Hahndorf isn’t really motorhome friendly.

There are some lovely dog friendly beaches not far from the city.  This is the beach at Semaphore.

 

The Barossa

We couldn’t visit the Barossa without calling into the Jacobs Creek Visitor Centre.  It’s a beautiful setting and they certainly make it easy for you to sit and relax, with beanbags on the lawn, overlooking the vineyards.  You can also learn about the history of the winery and walk along the famous creek.

As well as all the famous wine names, Barossa is foodie heaven.  Maggie Beer’s farm shop is just outside Nuriootpa.  For overseas readers, Maggie Beer is Australian cookery royalty.  There is a huge quince orchard at the farm.  It seems that quince trees thrive in South Australia even when neglected but no-one knows what to do with them apart from making quince jelly.  We bought a jar from a farmers’ market but it would have been better used as sealant.  Maggie Beer has developed quite a few recipes including her famous quince paste.  There is an interview with Maggie in the current issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly.  It was a very interesting path that led her to where she is now.

Our Barossa feast:

Penfolds Father Tawny Port.  Garlic metwurst from Linke’s Meat Store in Nuriootpa, a selection of cheeses from the Barossa Valley Cheese Company in Angaston, Maggie Beer’s pheasant pate and Barossa Bark crispbread.

 

Barossa Vintage Festival

The Parade: Saturday 22nd April 10am – 1pm Tanunda to Nuriootpa

Followed by an afternoon of music and Barossa food and wine on the Nuriootpa Oval and a stagger back to the campsite next door!

Each town has their day in the spotlight and on Sunday it was the Lyndoch ‘Feast, Folk and Fossick’ celebration.  It has to be said, they know how to lay on a bbq.

On the right hand side is the queue for the meat

The Clare Valley, SA

We stayed in the town of Auburn as our base for exploring the Clare Valley.  There are several walking trails to choose from including the Riesling Trail to the North and the Rattler Trail to the south, and also a walk through the historic town.  Many of its stone buildings are National Trust listed.  It was nice to see all the autumnal colours of the trees which we don’t get in Brisbane.

There are many cellar doors to choose from.  The Sevenhill vineyard is a must-see. It was established by the Jesuits in 1851 and originally produced altar wine.  Visitors can go on a guided or self walking tour of the winery and grounds, visit the museum and sample wines at the cellar door.

The area is also full of olive groves so you are spoilt for choice when it comes to gourmet olives and olive oils.

Historic rail country (2)

As it’s now school holiday time in South Australia, it was great to find a quiet free camp just south of Peterborough.  For almost 90 years from 1880, Terowie was on the main line from Adelaide to Port Augusta.  Passengers and freight had to stop at Terowie and change trains as it was the ‘break of gauge’ point where the broad and narrow gauges met.  We followed Bob the Railway Dog’s interpretative trail along the old railway line from the restored railway station to the cemetery.

Saw this beautiful bright green parrot in the cemetery which we think is a Mallee Ringneck parrot.

During WWII, there was an Army staging camp in the town.  General Douglas MacArthur made his famous “I will return” speech on the railway platform in March 1942.

The station closed down in 1989 and the town is largely deserted now.  The Terowie Citizens Association are doing their best to keep the history of the town alive and have restored several buildings.

Historic rail country (1)

It was a long drive from Broken Hill, with little to break the journey and we planned to stay at the RV park when we reached Peterborough.  However, there was no shade, it was dusty and full of spiky Three Corner Jacks (also known as the Devil’s Thorn so you get how painful they are). We had a walk round town to stretch our legs before a re-plan and took a look in at the Town Carriage Museum.  This turned out to be great fun as there was a virtual ride aboard a restored first class sleeping carriage from the early 1900’s.

There is a statue of Bob the railway dog nearby.  Bob was a familiar sight to passengers at the end of the 19th century as he loved to ride the trains.

Bob’s story – not sure his statue does him justice

As a bonus we saw the Indian Pacific pass by.  This is a passenger train which travels from Sydney to Perth through the Blue Mountains and across the Nullarbor Plain.

 

Border crossing

The NSW/South Australia border is 50km from Broken Hill.

South Australia is the only Australian mainland state that is fruit fly free and if you are carrying fresh fruit, you need to either eat it or bin it before crossing the border.  A gentleman had to check inside our van at the inspection point.

Quirky Broken Hill

At the Line of Lode historical site
Broken Hill had no actual connection to the Titanic

This site lays claim to the only hostilities on Australian soil during WWI.  When on New Year’s Day 1915, a picnic train was fired upon by Turkish sympathisers.  Six people were killed including the attackers.

A Rolls Royce owned by the painter and Broken Hill resident, Pro Hart

Broken Heel

Broken Hill is quite possibly the drag queen capital of the Outback thanks to the 1994 movie ‘Priscilla,  Queen of the Desert’.

If you haven’t seen it, three drag queens go on a road trip from Sydney to Alice Springs and Priscilla is the bus they travel in.  It’s a road trip full of bitching, sequins, prejudice, mechanical problems and Abba.   The trio stopped at the Palace Hotel in Broken Hill for the night despite a hostile reception from the locals.

The hotel was already famous for the murals that cover its walls and ceilings but now attracts visitors with quirky Priscilla events such as drag queen bingo on Tuesdays with Shelita Buffet and the annual Broken Heel Festival in September when drag queens from far and wide descend on the town.