Driving home for Christmas : Adelaide to Brisbane

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Checking out the local drop!

DSC00638After the Nullarbor, we slowed down a little to visit the Clare Valley, a beautiful wine region north of Adelaide. The wineries are relaxed and we enjoyed a glass or two (less for Ben) at both the Mad Bastard and Sevenhill Vineyards.   We particularly enjoyed the tour at Sevenhills, as it’s the oldest vineyard here, run by Jesuit monks to make altar wine. They now make some lovely commercial wines too, and we even played a family game of cricket in the stunning grounds – howzat!

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Adelaide

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Slide called THE BIG WEDGIE!

AdDSC00730elaide was somewhere we all wanted to see, but we just happened to arrive in time for a record heatwave here – it was over 43 degrees for  3 days in a row. So we were indoor tourists during the day, and beach tourists at night! Adelaide Museum has a great opal display to look longingly over, and Glenelg Beach was gorgeous for swimming and people watching (and giant slides for the boys). We were very impressed by Adelaide as it is a small friendly city surrounded by gorgeous beaches on one side and scenic hills on the other – all within 30 mins drive!  We even stayed in a  lovely area called Walkerville.

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Sunset at Glenelg

 

Trying out the wines at Jacobs Creek.

Trying out the wines at Jacobs Creek.

 

Paddleboat "Melbourne"

Paddleboat “Melbourne”

From Adelaide we headed north into even hotter temperatures – travelling through the other well-known wine region the Barossa Valley – the Penfolds cellar door had some good wine on sale for Christmas!DSC00891

Our next stop was Mildura, and a record 46 degrees (hottest place in Australia that day), where we did a paddleboat journey on the mighty Murray River. If it hadn’t been so hot we’d have enjoyed this little oasis of river and agriculture even more. But the heat was a good excuse to spend the afternoon watching the new Star Wars movie in blissfully cold air conditioning!

Beautiful Barossa Valley (but we preferred the Clare Valley).

Beautiful Barossa Valley (but we preferred the Clare Valley).

Heading north again, we drove across the Hay Plains; dust, farms & wheat fields as far as the eye  can see.  It was so dry we could see mini willie-willies in the distance forming funnels as they lifted the dust high into the sky.  The radio was full of bushfire warnings too. (Later we saw the devastation on the Great Ocean Road as fires destroyed towns and homes along this stunning coastline, so sad.)

Our new home!

Our new home?

DSC01088Then it was to Dubbo to visit the awesome Taronga Western Plains Zoo. The enclosures are so large here you drive around the zoo in your car, stopping for photos and keeper talks. Unfortunately, the hot weather broke and it rained heavy and constant all day, so we had to do a second day to make the most of our visit, but if you ask Ollie it was worth it, especially when he got to interact with the wallabies.

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DSC01178Then we were on the home stretch to Brisbane, via the pretty country town of Goondiwindi and through the beautiful Mount Tamborine region – making it to Brisbane on Christmas Eve! Hurray!!

So we did it, 5,000 kms in just over two weeks, across a vast landscape of deserts, wheatfields, crystal coastlines, laidback Aussie towns and cities, and excellent vineyards.  It felt quite momentous arriving back where we’d started 6 months ago after completing a complete lap of this vast, incredible country.

We could now relax and enjoy a fantastic Aussie Christmas with my family, followed by a chilled New Year watching the fireworks over the Brisbane River.  Here we toasted to whatever the New Year brings us; let’s just hope it will be as amazing as 2015, for all of us!

Finally, thank you to everyone who supported, helped, questioned, laughed at, accommodated or journeyed with us on this trip, either physically or via this blog.  We really have appreciated your time and interest and at times you have inspired us too with your comments and best wishes. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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Finally, a few examples of Aussie humour:

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NOT our lunch stop!

Most Aussies are a friendly!

Most Aussies are a friendly!

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8 Responses to Driving home for Christmas : Adelaide to Brisbane

  1. So glad you could spend Christmas with family.

  2. Liam Harvey says:

    Happy New Year to you all! It looks and sounds like you’ve had a great Christmas!

    When do you reckon you’ll be heading back to the UK?

    Best wishes,
    Liam

    • Adele says:

      Hi Liam

      Thank you so much for your comment. Hope all it good in Outwood – we do miss it. But, we’ve been VERY lucky and its been a fantastic year of travelling! We’ve been seeing your own cruising adventures too, you’ve been on some good trips. We don’t have a date at yet, but we’ll let you know when we get home.

      Happy New Year to you, the Walkers x

      • Liam Harvey says:

        Hi Adele and everyone!

        All is good in Outwood thanks! Admittedly it’s slightly colder than Australia (and we had a bit of snow today, too) but it’s still home and look forward to seeing you back here at some point and having a catch-up! I’ve got some more travelling come up this year, too! Watch out for the photos!

        In the meantime best wishes to you all, the Harvey’s x

  3. Joe Walsh says:

    Practising your cricket skills, giving people wedges, seeing Rinos and hanging out with a storm trooper!

    Pretty cool!
    And to finish it off having a nice refreshing glass of wine
    From joe

    • Cameron Walker says:

      Thanks Joe

      Yeah, I’ve definitely been having some fun over the last couple of weeks and the wine in Australia is FABULOUS! Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet in cinemas?

      At the moment we are in Brisbane and have gone to see some big cricket matches
      at The Gabba Stadium ( Lots of Fun! ). Hope you had a good time in Norfolk and and a good Christmas!

      From Cammy 😉

  4. Tom W says:

    Hi Guys hope to see you home soon but all your posts have been really helpful to keep us up to date with what you’re doing I hope you had a great Christmas .Looks like wherever you are you still are practicing your cricket skills
    Hope you have had a great time BYE!
    Tom

    • Oliver Walker says:

      Hi Tom, thanks for your message. We had an awesome Christmas and got lots of presents from our family and Santa. I got a Lego expedition ship and a sunken cargo boat that i put together on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We went to see the Brisbane Fireworks and it was spectacular, there were so many colours. Hope you had a great Christmas too, from Ollie

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