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Adelaide to Appollo Bay

Written on: Friday January 19th, 2007

A journal entry from: The Winter of 2006/2007

We arrived in Adelaide at 10:30 am and already the temperature was 34C, whew!!  We picked up our campervan from a place close the airport and were pleased to discover that the campsite we?d booked for two nights was also very close and on the ocean.  The campervan is very adequate for our needs (glad we didn?t bring the golf clubs though).  It has a toilet, shower,  fridge which is very efficient and runs off a battery all the time, sink, microwave, gas range and grill and is well equipped with electric and range top kettle, toaster, pans, cutlery and dishes.  The sitting area makes up into a bed that is more than double, we?ve decided to leave it made up all the time as long as the weather is OK, we can eat outside.  It?s easy to get the van in and out of city streets and really nice to have your stuff with you all the time, you don?t have to think about whether you need rain gear or not as you always have everything with you.


We had a quick lunch at our campsite and then drove into Adelaide for a look around.  Adelaide doesn?t give the impression of being a big city, the city centre is actually two areas Adelaide and Adelaide North but both areas are surrounded by tons of green space and there?s five huge squares within in the city centre, again with green space.  Unfortunately it was really brown space as Adelaide?s in the middle of a drought too.


After we?d looked around the city we went back to the campsite picked up a couple of beers and wandered over to the beach where we hoped to find some cooler air.  The days are longer here and it didn?t get dark until 8:45 pm, it was lovely to sit outside of our campervan, and it did cool down.


The next day was a bit cooler, we drove around the outskirts of Adelaide taking in the LeFevre Peninsula and stopping for a walk around Port Adelaide which was the area first developed by the Europeans who landed there.  There were some interesting old buildings, it looks like the area is undergoing a period of revitalization and I would imagine if we come back in ten years we wouldn?t recognise it.  In the afternoon we drove to the Fleuria Peninsular dipping into various beachfront villages.  The coastline in that area is fabulous, miles and miles of sandy beaches.  We stopped at Port Noarlunga and had a walk on the beach for an hour.


Thursday morning we left Adelaide and started our trip towards Melbourne.  A lot of books I?d read sang praises of the The Coorong, an area where a spit of land protects the coastline forming a lagoon and is a gathering place for a vast amount of migrating birds particularly in December/January, so I was really looking forward to the day.  It was all very disappointing really as we hardly saw any birds, we decided to take a track to see if that would lead us to more wildlife but the insides of the van rattled so much we decided to turn back.  We did stop at a spot later on where we parked up and took an hour?s walk across sand-dunes to a beach but only saw kangaroo dung and got pestered by flies.  Yes the flies in the Adelaide area are similar to those in the Perth area, take a look at the picture of Roger?s back and these are the quiet flies, there are always others flying in your eyes, nose, mouth and ears.  I guess to live here you just have to get used to them.   We stayed the night at Robe a small town on the coast, we took a walk into the town and were surprised that it wasn?t too busy as it?s supposed to be a holiday place and the Australian schools are closed for holidays.  The population of the town is only 800 though so that would probably account for its quietness. 


Friday we knew we would be driving quite some time without seeing the coastline, it was raining so we decided to put some miles behind us.  Our first stop was at Mount Gambier a neat place which is mostly sitting on dead volcanoes.  One of the volcanoes is now a lake that supplies the city?s water.  The lake is phenomenally blue but apparently when March comes around it gradually turns to a grey colour only to turn back to blue in November in the course of a couple of days. We stopped for lunch at Portland, an industrial port but quite pretty.  We had lunch overlooking the bay and then drove out to a hiking trail where we hiked through the Enchanted Forest, it was a good trail with some lovely views of the oceans and cliffs.  We then drove on to Port Fairy.parked the campervan for the night and went for a walk.  There?s a bridge across to Griffith Island where there?s supposed to be Mutton Birds, not sure what Mutton Birds are though so don?t know if we saw them or not.  There were a couple of birds that had funny beaks.  We then took a stroll along the river and into the town centre which has 50 buildings with heritage status.  They were all built around 1850 and have been kept in excellent condition, most of them are used as municipal buildings and some are still being used in their original capacity ? hotels, pubs etc.  This is the type of place we both love, near the ocean, quiet with some history to it.

 Tomorrow we head for the Great Ocean Road