Sunday, January 10, 2010

Australiogue - Chapter One (27/12/09 - 29/12/09)

Country - 1; States - 2; No of accomodations = 8; No of attraction stops/towns - 11, Days - 14; Fuel - 221L; Photos - 719 (single cam); KM driven - 2214; Amt of Sunblock & moisturiser - Unlimited; Roundabouts driven - Countless; 3-point turns made - Countless

Experience - PRICELESS

It all started with 2 like-minded ladies with the heart & mind for adventure & travel round the world. And the rest, is history... So many stories, adventures & details to share, so little time! Or rather too much to type.. Henceforth begins the Australiogue (i.e. Australia Travelogue). Taking into account the length of the trip, amount of photos & details to share, this shall be broken down into chapters for more comprehensive reading. As to the total number of chapters to be presented shall depend entirely on the discretion of the author, yours truly.
A brief rundown of the places we visited - Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Mt Gambier, Naracoorte Caves, Great Ocean Road (it's considered 1 big attraction), Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne City, Dandenong & Yarra Valley. Due to time constrains, we were unable to visit some of the other popular tourist spots, & we deeply regret that but with what we had, we were fully satisfied with our itinery. As the Chinese saying goes - 来日方长.

Summary of some important information on Australiogue:
Main leads: Angeline Voon & Dian Shan
Guest Appearance: Clara Chen
Main transport tool: 3.8L Beige Ford
Timeline: 26 December 2009 (2350hrs) to 9 January 2010 (1700hrs)
Special thanks to Singapore Airlines for making this trip possible & the handy blanket to keep us warm when the nights were cold

Australiogue thus began on 26 December 2009, when we headed to the airport (T3) for our 2350hrs flight to Adelaide. After a 6hrs overnight flight, where I managed to secure the entire row of 4 seats to sleep horizontally & rather comfortably, we arrived in the hot & sunny Adelaide on 27 December 2009 Sunday. The town seemed to be still asleep when we arrived at 1000hrs, with hardly a person or car in sight. Mr sunshine, however, was already wide awake & working extra hard at providing its mightly, piercing rays at us. As we strolled the rather sleepy town up & down in like 2hrs, finally we arrived at the shopping district of rundle mall when hold & behold, the city is ALIVE!! After a rather disappointing visit to the Botanic Gardens (where the flowers seem not to be blooming well) we headed for the Chinatown for some lunch. For all those who have not been to Adelaide, its Chinatown is only a single short stretch of street with a few Chinese stalls & eateries, hardly any Chinatown feel to it.

From Top: Adelaide Post Office, Me with a big red Post Box, The mini Chinatown in Adelaide
After some more wondering around, we headed back to our hostel to await the 1520hr bus for our Kangaroo Island 1D1N tour! By this time, Angeline was already falling victim to slumberland & slept all the way throughout the almost 2hrs bus ride to Cape Jervis for the ferry across. Upon arriving at KI, we were transported by the van for 1 more hr to our accomodation for the night, arriving at close to 2020hrs. After some musing around & figuring where n how to get to the penguin tour, we finally found out that we were to make our own way to the penguin center which is a 5-10mins walk from our hostel.
From Top: Can you spot the "Voon"? That's my fren's name & We're in Room 2; LIttle penguin being shone red light (FYI, they cannot see red so it doesnt actually hurt their eyes)

LUckily we were in time for the 2045hrs tour & saw our cute little penguins, also known as Fairy Penguins. The night started to beccome cold & windy & by the time we were out to spot penguins, it was freezing cold & dark! But we managed to spot a few penguins on the shore or hiding in the rocks. Cute Cute Cute! After freezing our asses of for 1hr, we were starving & cold & with no food or eatery in sight for a nice dinner. So we headed back to our hostel & munched on apples & biscuits. Thank god for the apples!

Kingscote Airport on KI, where all flights must fly 'overseas' - Get it??
The 2nd day was the highlight~ We went on our Kangaroo Island Highlights tour where we visited all the famous spots on KI! The views were fantastic & breathtaking! & The sun was sorching hot but thank god for the cool sea breeze! It was a long day but it was a very fruitful day. We stopped by the Admiral's Arch, Seal Bay, Remarkable Rocks & passed by fantastic views along the way. Of cos we were treated to a nice lunch along the way!

Seal Bay conservation park. Lots of Sea-Lions & seagulls! Sea-lions just suntan, sleep, rinse in water & come up to suntan again so lazy
Little Kangaroo Sleeping So Cute
Birds of Prey - Eagle!
At Remarkable Rocks They are really Remarkable!
More of the Remarkable rocks
At Admiral's Arch
Admiral's Arch - You can see lots of Seals!
Admiral's Arch - Seals suntanning
The long long day ended when we arrived back in Adelaide hostel at around 2200hrs, tired & sleepy, ready for bed & recoup our energy for more adventure the next day!

The next day, we collected our car! A 3.8L beige ford from Avis & started our road trip to visit Victor Harbour! Angeline was the test driver & she was really nervous! Hahah... The drive to Victor Harbour was straight forward with the signs all clearly marked out & easy to follow. Of cos it helps that I can read a map pretty good! & had researched it on Google Maps prior to the trip so we had no trouble at all reaching our destination!

Horse tram ride!

Me on Granite Island, overlooking Victor Harbour
That's the bridge connecting Victor Harbour to Granite Island
After 1hr of driving we arrived at Victor Harbour & just in time for the next Horse Tram ride across to Granite Island! The ride was about 20mins (the horse trotted slowly across). The view from across was really superb! We did a walk around Granite Island & was greeted with fabulous views of Victor Island & beyond! After that, we drove all the way (20mins) to the other side Golwa where we landed on Coorong National Park. & the day just ended like that! The thing with Australia is that almost everything place is far away & requires like 1hr driving! So it makes your day pretty short as the shops close at 5pm everyday!

At Coorong, doing the jump!

Our car - S232 ABA, can buy 4D??
At Port Elliot where boys were jumping off the pier even though it's prohibited
& therein, ends our Adelaide adventure as we venture out to Mt Gambier that following day, a 6hr drive from Adelaide.

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