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Adelaide & Barossa Valley

A quick morning-flight from Sydney and we were already landing in another of Australia’s big cities, Adelaide. I think in the two hours and 1,000 or so miles from the outskirts of Sydney to the outskirts of Adelaide, you must pass over about twenty houses at most.

It is a bizarre expanse of nothingness Australia, a place where everybody lives in the main urban centres and the huge area in the middle is almost completely empty. We picked up our car from the airport, a brand-new Toyota Corolla, and drove the one-hour trip up in to the Barossa Valley.

For some reason, we only booked our flights four days apart here, so we only had four days for the entire state of South Australia… Probably not enough in hindsight, but then, if we tried to go everywhere, we’d never go back home… Now there’s an idea.

We booked in at a cabin on a campsite in the main town of the Barossa Valley, Tanunda, then went off in the search of wine. First stop was the tourist information office, where they gave us maps and ideas of which wineries to visit, and also quoted us a price to hire bicycles, I don’t remember the price exactly but it was something similar to the GDP of a mid-sized European nation.

Needless to say, we didn’t take them up on their generous offer and walked between the Vineyards we could instead. We stayed just two days in the Barossa and managed to visit 11 different Vineyards.

Now that might not seem that many, but when each winery is giving you free tastings of 5-10 wines, maybe 30ml per wine and you visit 5 or 6 in one day, you do the maths. We couldn’t have, we were hammered.

It was, without doubt, the best countryside walks we have ever done and the two days flew by tasting amazing wines and enjoying the area of the world where the standard breakfast is bacon and eggs with a glass of sparkling Shiraz; the Barossa Berocca. Our kind of people.

We left the Barossa with two days to go before the flight to Melbourne and still yet to see Adelaide, we drove down through the Adelaide Hills region but it was throwing it down with rain and didn’t seem that appealing in the grim weather.

Our apartment on the north side of Adelaide was a nice stop for a couple of days and in comparison to the business of Sydney, Adelaide looked like a country town. The city centre is fairly built up and busy, still nice enough to walk around though, but the entire city centre is surrounded by green areas and parks, it is a great city, certainly one of Australia’s finest, but unfortunately the winter climate was not the best and it rained a fair bit.

We walked down to the centre and went to the South Australia Museum, a fantastic museum of natural history that is one of the finest we’ve ever been to. I think you could visit every day for a week and not see it all, and completely free to get in. Australia really is a great place for family life.

Whilst walking around the centre, we stumbled across the Adelaide Central Market, a market that belongs in Barcelona or Rome more than the fast-food haven that is Australia, but this market was quite simply outstanding, food from every corner of the world including the best pork sandwich I have ever eaten in my life. A small Italian-run stall selling only roast pork sandwiches, it was delicious, I almost had a second it was that good, but I was too full from the first still 🙂

On our last night, we walked out to the local pub, had a great sharing board of meats, cheeses, pickles, smoked fish and much more with a couple of glasses of local wine, all for a very reasonable price, which is not always that easy to find in Australia. It was a great way to finish a fantastic four days in South Australia, an area of the world we’re sure we’ll return to one day.

Next stop, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road…

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