A Travellerspoint blog

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Day 45: Animal spotting


View Antje is out of the office. on An.Ke's travel map.

We started into the day with a last stop at one of the Great Ocean Road's viewpoints before heading inland to the Tower Hill Reserve, a volcanic crater where we did a walk to the peak and then had lunch. On our way to the reserve we were already looking out for Australian wildlife and once there we saw emus, copperhead snakes in the grass (note to self: don't go through unmowed grass, ever!) and a koala! Oh my god, that is just the cutest animal I've ever seen, even if it's chlamydia infested... and we also saw a ginger cat, truly amazing ;)

Afterwards we drove to the Mackenzie Falls where we hiked down to the bottom of the falls, which was good exercise but totally worth it. On the way back to our bus some people of our group also spotted a kangaroo and I was already a bit disappointed that I missed it. On our way to the hostel though, we passed a cricket field where a whole herd of kangaroos was just hanging out and we could get really close to them and even pet them. They are such interesting animals :)

And the perfect end to the day was our first Australian barbecue - very yummy!

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Posted by An.Ke 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 46: Locked up :)


View Antje is out of the office. on An.Ke's travel map.

We started the day with an early morning hike up the Pinnacle in the Grampians. It was a 2-hour round trip and at times a bit exhausting (especially since I am no mountain goat, my natural habitat clearly is flat land ;) ), but the view from the top was breathtaking. Afterwards we visited the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Center and learned the story of how the Grampians aka Gariwerd were created and a bit about their culture and the changes since the arrival of the Europeans.

We then continued our journey to Mount Gambier in South Australia (time travelling into the past by 30 mins) where we stopped at the Blue Lake. The lake changes it's colour from grey to bright blue every year at the beginning of November and stays that way until March - and apparently scientists have not completely figured out why that is. We were lucky and the lake had already changed it's colour to the most stunning blue!

We stayed the night at a jail turned hostel and also got a short tour there from the owner. A very interesting place and I really liked just how passionate he was about living there and restoring it. He even got Aborigines to cleanse the place of evil spirits, so it was totally safe to stay there ;)

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Posted by An.Ke 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 47: Adelaide


View Antje is out of the office. on An.Ke's travel map.

We left Mt. Gambier at 5.30 am to make our way to Adelaide. 8 hours and of course a few stops later (like for example in Kingston to have look at Larry the Lobster ;) ), we checked in to our hotel in Adelaide and then had the afternoon free... Half of it we spent doing laundry (exciting times! ;) ) and afterwards Sally and I walked around the city for the remaining 2 hours. We strolled over the campus of the University of Adelaide for a bit, down to the river Torrens, then to the botanical garden and also quickly through the pedestrian shopping area. It's a really lovely city and apparently a hotspot for weddings - we saw what felt like 20 wedding couples during our walk. And pelicans. And flying foxes - whoa! :)

In the evening, we met with our new guide for the remainder of our trip, Blinky, and we also had 3 more girls joining our group. For dinner we all had Indian and the we went to a bar for some drinks and potentially dancing - but since we were up since 5 in the morning I did not manage to stay up past 11.30 pm, so no dancing for me :/ But a good night's sleep in a double bed!

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Posted by An.Ke 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 48: Ghost town with a pool


View Antje is out of the office. on An.Ke's travel map.

We left Adelaide around 8 am and drove to the Clare Valley where we arrived at a winery at 10 am to then immediately have a wine tasting. Not going out the night before actually paid off for that and I was able to enjoy the wine they offered ;)

Afterwards it was about a 3-hour drive to the Flinders Ranges, final stop Quorn, where we stayed the night. We had the afternoon to explore the town (1400 inhabitants) or just go to the pool! Kirsty and I decided to do a bit of a longer walk towards the pool to kill two birds with one stone... The town was really eerie though, very wide streets completely empty as if everyone had been evacuated or was dead after a fallout - we really didn't see anyone. It was Sunday though and very hot...

So we made our way to the pool pretty quickly (where there finally were some town folks) and because it was opening day we got to enjoy the refreshing water without having to pay admission and there even was a barbecue towards the evening and everybody got a free sausage - what more could you ask for?! :)

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Posted by An.Ke 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 49: Stuck... x2


View Antje is out of the office. on An.Ke's travel map.

We drove from Quorn to Wilpena and started the day with a good 2-hour hike into Wilpena Pound, a more or less flat walk through the forest.

After that it got a little more adventurous as our route to our next stop, Beltana Station, would have us driving on dirt roads and through the Brachina gorge, a pretty much dried up riverbed. The first part went really well even though our bus is not a 4-wheel drive and only those cars were allowed to use that track... Then we moved on to a part of the riverbed open to all vehicles - and there we got stuck! The first effort to get the bus out of the wet sand only got us in deeper and then Silvia just threw herself down and started to dig out the wheel pretty much by herself. Others were looking for flat stones and wood to put underneath the wheel for some traction while Blinky and our two guys, Kieran and Jaan, were removing the trailer we use for our bags and food. At some point it looked like there was no way we could get out without help so Blinky already made a call for someone from Beltana to pull us out - using a satellite phone as of course we would get stuck in an area with no mobile phone reception... But after he made the call, Silvia and some other girls had dug out so much sand that it looked like we should give it another try - some people actually pulling the bus in the front, others pushing in the back - and lo and behold we got the bus free and back unto more solid ground! Afterwards we emptied the trailer and in another team effort pulled and pushed the 1-ton trailer to the bus so they could be reunited :)

We then actually all stayed off the bus as there was another bit coming up that looked a bit tricky to get through and Blinky managed that just fine with the empty bus. So we all got on again and about 300 meters further down, we got stuck again!!! This time in completely dry but very loose sand...

So we took the trailer off AGAIN and then just pushed the bus for a good bit onto the hard ground - and it was really just us pushing that moved the bus, Blinky said he had no traction whatsoever. Just as we started to think about how to best proceed with the trailer, two girls in a 4x4 with a tow-bar (yeah!) came along and they then pulled the trailer up to our bus - our saviours! ;)

Once that was done Blinky just wanted to get us out of there as quickly as possible, so instead of having a scenic ride through the gorge, he floored it (well, as much as that's possible off road with a bus and a trailer, definitely a pretty bumpy ride ;) ) and we arrived in Beltana only an hour later than we had originally planned. Now that really was an adventure! :)

Beltana is working sheep and cattle station and there we had a chance to watch some baby goats being fed, then jump into the pool and for dinner we had barbecue again. And after that they set up a projector and a screen and we had a little open air cinema to watch "Red Dog", an Australian movie based on a true story - pretty cool end to an exciting day :)

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Posted by An.Ke 17:00 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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