Week 4 (3rd–9th Mar) – Southern Australia and Adelaide

For our final day on the Great Ocean Road, we went to Loch Ard Gorge and spent the afternoon at a lovely fishing town called Port Campbell, then watched sunset at the 12 Apostles, which was beautiful but we were possibly more interested in watching an echidna waddle and mooch around. Echidnas are awesome – if you don’t know what one is, google it!

Back in Southern Australia, we spent the day at Mount Gambier, a dormant volcano with a city built on it. One of the craters has a bright blue lake in it, aptly named “Blue Lake” – unnaturally blue, especially in comparison to its sister Valley Lake just next to it. There’s also an awesome place called the Umpherston Sinkhole, a collapsed cave with beautiful Victorian gardens in it. At night, possums come out of the cave walls where they live and the locals come down and hand-feed them apples. One nice local gave us some apples to feed them with. Totally worth visiting.

To finish off our Adelaide campervan journey, we visited Mannum and relaxed by the Murray River among a chorus of noisy corellas. As we had breakfast by the river, Nick got pecked on the bum by a cheeky black swan and I got pecked by an overzealous pelican. Nice.

Back in Adelaide, we headed to Glenelg to stay with an old work friend Martine and her boyfriend Tim, who very kindly put us up for a few days, took us to their friend’s 30th party at a swish apartment, took us for a “walk” up (what felt like vertical) Mount Lofty with spectacular views over Adelaide, and then to the Adelaide fringe where they booked an “alternative” comedy show. The show was a comedian called Wilfredo, a faux Spanish singer who was described by the Independent (methinks) as “strangely endearing” – after the first 5 minutes of thinking “what the hell is this?!”, we spent the rest of the show in stitches. There was only about 20 people in the audience so I even had a verse of a slightly questionable song dedicated to me. We spent the evening at the fringe in the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony, which was beautiful – trees strung with lights, little comedy stages, and everyone relaxing on sofas.

The next day, we packed our rucksacks and said goodbye to Adelaide, boarding another 3 day train – The Ghan – to Darwin. After our experience on the Indian Pacific, we had the good sense to spend most of our days chatting to people in the dining cart and only going to our seats to sleep. En route, we stopped at Alice Springs (in the words of King Julian, “It’s a bit of a dump!”) and Katherine (where we didn’t make it out of the station waiting room, as the tours are pretty expensive). The scenery is pretty impressive, with sections of track that curve so you can see the front of the almost 1km train, wild emus, and the progression into the rainforest-y Northern Territory.

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