Tag Archives: backpacker

How the Germans do it… (a Photo Essay)

21 May

It’s been another miserable weekend on London (one would imagine you’d get a decent amount of sunshine towards the end on May) which has made us think of the sunny South Australia we experienced just a couple of months ago.  So when choosing the topic of our next blog post we thought we’d look into the influence the good old Continent had on Australian culture, architecture and cuisine over the past century or so. And as a picture is worth a thousand words we’ve gone for a photo essay.

Enjoy!

Adelaide Hills are located some 25km south-east from Adelaide city.

Be sure to stop by at Mt.Lofty lookout (711m above the sea level) to admire the views of the hills, Adelaide city and the ocean in the distance. Check out the stunning views of Adelaide and the ocean we got from the lookout.

The Bridgewater Mill, nestled in the heart of Adelaide Hills, is home to a beautiful Petaluma restaurant. I wish we had time to stop by and enjoy a meal overlooking the giant mill and waterwheel (which is still functional) the cellar door is named after.

The Adelaide Hills were amongst the first areas of South Australia to be settled by European settlers. A number of towns in the Hills were started as German settlements; Hahndorf being the prime example.

Being in Hahndorf is just like being dropped into a town in Bavaria, where the main street is lined with German bakeries, butchers and bars…

…where you certainly have to taste a traditional Apple Strudel while embracing the laid-back pace of life.

And don’t miss the unique Beerenberg Strawberry Farm…

… where you can pick the freshest strawberries straight from the field. ‘Pick your own’ has been running here continously (in season) since 1975.

So what do you think? Do the Germans do it good in South Australia?

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It’s a total steal! 10 Awesome things to do in Adelaide for (almost) nothing; Part 2

3 May

Not long ago we posted our Top 10 things to do in Adelaide for (almost) nothing, Part 1. And now we’re back to finalise this little affair and make sure you all know how to get the most out of your limited budget while in Adelaide. So read in Part 2:

6. A CONCERT OR WHAT?

South Australia has been nicknamed ‘Australia’s Festival State’ , this is for one reason only – more than 400 festivals take place around the state every year. So whether you’re into sports, music, food and wine or comedy, there is something happening around you literally every day. Many of the events are free to attend (like the below pictured Orchestra Under the Stars concert in Elder Park) or you can always find a bargain ticket. The Adelaide Festival Centre offers great discounts and events for international students (for details on events coming up visit www.afct.org.au).

Also, there is a new arts access program for young people called the Fringe Benefits (www.fringebenefits.com.au). As a Fringe Benefits member you can enjoy exclusively discounted tickets to performing and visual arts events, major festivals, concerts and gigs all year round, plus special benefits at selected clubs, pubs and retail outlets.

7. HAIGH’S CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Whether you’re a true chocoholic or just like to nibble from time to time, Haigh’s Chocolate Factory is a paradise. Here you can enjoy special chocolate tastings, see chocolates being made and discover the heritage behind Haigh’s, Australia’s oldest chocolate manufacturer and a true Aussie icon, where chocolate is handmade. And  let me tell you a little secret – when you book a factory tour (which is free and takes about 20 minutes) you’ll get a few delicious samples to taste. Now if free chocolate is not amazing then I don’t know what is :)!

8. BEACHED AS

You might have heard of this but the beaches in Australia are free:). There are plenty of beaches in Adelaide and most of them are less than 30 minutes from the city. And what’s more, Adelaide’s warm climate means you can enjoy them practically all year round. The most popular are the iconic Glenelg, Henley, Brighton and West beach, all with a vibrant pub culture and full of cafés, restaurants, little shops and miles of clean white sand.

9. WINDOW SHOPPING MATE

Rundle Mall is the shopping heart of Adelaide, located right in the city centre. It was created in 1976 as Australia’s first pedestrian mall. You’ll find more than 600 retail stores and 15 arcades there, outdoor cafes and bars to relax in. The Mall is renowned as a venue for performances, promotions and events, from fashion parades, to buskers and street performers (I don’t have to remind you that all these are free, right?).

10. BOTANIC GARDENS

Are you a flora fan? Interested in Australian native plants? Head down to Adelaide Botanic Gardens in eastern part of the city.  On a sunny day, bring a picnic and snooze the afternoon away on one of their lush green lawns. We walked around the gardens and learned about the way the Aboriginal people used the plants for food, shelter and protection (read about us Discovering the Aboriginal Way here).

So, that’s our Top 10 awesome things to do in Adelaide for (almost) nothing. Have you found them helpful? Do you think we’ve left anything out? Share your thoughts below :).

 

Wildlife on your doorstep…

3 Apr

South Australia combines the best Australia has to offer – constant sunshine, 4,800km of coastline, beautiful metropolitan beaches, unspoiled wilderness just off the shores of the State, countless wine regions producing the best wine in Australia and so on… What more? It is also considered to have the most accessible wildlife in Australia. It’s one of the few places you can swim with wild sea-lions and dolphins, walk down eucalyptus-lined lanes spotting koalas, and view groups of kangaroos grazing the land. Majestic whales, playful sea-lions, dainty Leafy Sea Dragons and parading penguins play on our coasts and in our seas.

The natural choice for the thrill- and wildlife-seekers would probably be Kangaroo Island (‘KI’ to the locals), Australia’s answer to the Galapagos. The island is just off the shores of South Australia (a short flight form Adelaide or a ferry ride from Cape Gervis) and it is arguably the best place in Australia to see an abundance of native wildlife up close and in their natural habitat. Take me up on that, been there, seen it, was absolutely stunned. We spent two amazing days on Kangaroo Island and couldn’t believe our eyes: the place is like a zoo without fences, with rare bird life, tammar wallabies, short-beaked echidnas and plenty of kangaroos and koalas.  Check out our posts about Exploring Little Australia, Part 1 and Exploring Little Australia, Part 2 to get the idea.

Appreciating not everyone can get to Kangaroo Island Adelaide itself offers some great alternatives:

Cleland Wildlife Park

The park is located just 20 minutes from Adelaide city in a beautiful natural bush land setting, this 35-hectare park is home to over 130 species of Australian wildlife. The animals are used to visitors so you can feed and pat them. You can even hold a koala and have this special experience captured with a souvenir photo.

Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo is home to more than 1,800 animals and almost 300 species of exotic and native mammals, birds, reptiles and fish exhibited in over 8 hectares of magnificent botanic surroundings.

Everywhere we have been in Adelaide, people have asked us if we’ve managed to see the panda’s yet – and we sure have observed this spectacle. Wang Wang and Funi (the only giant panda’s in the southern hemisphere), that currently reside at Adelaide Zoo, are huge! Funi, the female, was feeling a bit lazy and spent most of the time sleeping, whilst Wang Wang was enthusiastically tucking in to a huge amount of bamboo.

We also got to see a Tasmanian Devil, who didn’t look much like ‘Taz’, some very loud monkeys and some very cute bilbies. Bilbies are native to Australia, but unfortunately have become extinct due to the introduction of competitors like rabbits into the ecosystem. The zoo is undertaking great conservation work to try and reintroduce them into the wild, which is being supported by Haigh’s Chocolate who produce chocolate Easter bilbies instead of Easter bunnies!

So there you go; wildlife literally on your doorstep. What do you think? Can you get any closer than this?

The perfect day: Sun, Surf, Cricket and Tchaikovsky

26 Feb

So today we finally got to go to the beach! We were up early to meet Michael, a vet student at the University of Adelaide, who had kindly offered to drive us to Middleton Beach, about an hour south of Adelaide. The drive was very picturesque, taking in vineyards and avocado farms. But the real pay off was getting down to the sapphire blue waters, lapping the perfect white sand. We had little time to take it all in, however, as we had serious matters to attend – surfing lessons!

We zipped ourselves into our fetching wetsuits, and lathered up with sun cream. Our instructors from the Sun & Surf School talked us through the fundamentals – what was the front of the board, what was the back of the board and how we should lie on it. Next we were talked through how to stand up on the water, which is the notoriously tricky part… But we didn’t hang around in the sand for too long, we were all keen to get out into the sea. The water was so refreshing, and considering it was 39 degrees today, a very welcome break from the baking sun.

To say that Owen was a surfing prodigy doesn’t really go far enough in expressing his God-given talent. Hawk-like he would spot the perfect 20-30 footer, then with the power of an Ox he would paddle. One, two, three, four. Left, right, left right. Finally, as if being lifted to the heavens by his own maker he rose to his feet. God looked down upon this gnarly ride and smiled. Ottilie was good too… The whole experience was rather exhausting though (just look how knackered we were), no wonder all surfers are so physically fit!

In the evening we headed back to the previously explored Adelaide Oval (read about our ‘behind the scenes’ tour here) to catch the final session of the Ryobi One Day Cup Final between the South Australian Redbacks and the Tasmanian Tigers. Lying on the grass under a setting sun, beer in hand… it was a great way to end the day – especially as it was free! We arrived just in time to see fallen Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, rock up at the crease for the Tassies, chasing a total of 285.

In the end it all boiled down to the last over with the Tassies looking good needing just 5 runs off 6 balls with Ponting in his 70s and his captain, George Bailey, having just made his century. Amazingly, Bailey was given out for lbw on appeal  with four balls remaining. More incredibly, with 2 runs required off 3 balls, the Redbacks held out to win the game on the last ball, becoming Ryobi One Day Cup Final champions! Couldn’t believe how good my first game of cricket was!

We headed home across the river Torrens and stumbled across another crowd of 15,000 people congregated for Santos Symphony Under the Stars – a free performance by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

We caught their version of Star Wars before an awesome firework-led finale of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. An amazing end to a pretty sweet day.

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