20 Jun Our South Australian Extravaganza Part 2
In Part 1 of Our SA Extravaganza we travelled from “Paradise” NSW to Williamstown SA via Jugiong, Junee, Hay, Mildura, Paringa, Renmark, Burra and Clare.
Leaving Williamstown we were moving to the 2nd phase of the extravaganza and a three nights stay at Brown Hill Creek. To do so we decided we’d each take a different route and meet in Hahndorf for morning coffee and cake, with caravans still attached. Although our route was supposed to be the quickest and shortest, we found ourselves driving on several dirt roads, which slowed us down considerably. Patrick and Heidi arrived in Hahndorf just before us.
We wandered along the main street for quite a while, just looking at all the offerings.
We ended up at Otto’s Bakery. It had plenty of room inside, out of the cold.
Brown Hill Creek
It was only 30 minutes from Hahndorf to our new 3 night base, Brown Hill Creek Caravan Park, 10 kms from the Adelaide CBD. After setup, and a rest we went back to Hahndorf to see Hans Heysen’s Gallery.
I came to know Heysen’s water colour paintings in my 20’s and loved how he captured the Australian trees and bush. So it was great to visit his home and studio.
Heysen frequently travelled to the Flinders Ranges to paint, driving some 450 kms from his home in a Model A Ford, with a fold up camper trailer in tow.
The following day Patrick and Heidi went in search of a replacement caravan fridge vent, while Maggie and I visited Glenelg.
I met a young Ferrari fan who was delighted to explain to me the special features of all the new models.
As lunch hour approached, Maggie and I decide to drive south along the coast towards Seaford. On the way we discovered Brighton (SA) and stopped for “a bite to eat” at the Brighton Food & Wine Cafe – good food, wine and service.
Across the road from the cafe is the “life savers” sculpture, a pier and the Arch of Remembrance.
Mt Lofty is not far from the Brown Hill Creek camp, offering views of Adelaide from a great height, plus another opportunity for coffee and cake, so this was the place to start our second full day in Adelaide. It was cold up there that day, even wearing several layers of clothing, so we had a quick look at Adelaide through the mist, then scurried indoors for our hot morning coffee (and cake of course).
What to do for lunch? … Well … we all wondered what further culinary delights Hahndorf could offer, so we made our way there (again), chauffeured by Patrick. Lunch was at Haus Restaurant, German fare with beer the majority choice.
Spending time in Hahndorf was satisfying, as it was one of the SA places I had a strong desire to visit, even if it has become, as some say, a little less authentically “a German village”.
Another destination I had strong desire to visit was McLaren Vale, mainly because of its reputation for producing great wines, some of which I can afford.
The following day Maggie and I were a bit slow breaking camp at Brown Hill Creek, so it was agreed Patrick and Heidi would go ahead and find a nice cafe in McLaren Vale for morning coffee and Cake. They arrived about 30 minutes before us. We arrived when they’d just finished their second coffee and cake.
From McLaren Vale to our next camp, Port Willunga Tourist Park, was only 15 minutes. We had booked in there for 6 nights.
That afternoon Maggie and I walked 15 minutes to the ocean, to discover the multicoloured cliff faces and green hills bathed in sunlight.
Day 2 at Port Willunga Maggie and I decided to visit two McLaren Vale wineries. Our first stop was at Serafino cellar door, just over one kilometre out of the McLaren Vale township. It was a rather “schmick” place, with well priced tasting options.
We enjoyed the various wines we tasted, but the big hit was a Tawny (port) that had been aged in barrels for 30 years. It tasted just like a Fortified Vintage Shiraz – beautiful. We purchased a bottle to share with our friends, Patrick and Heidi.
Geoff Merrill is a famous McLaren Vale wine maker and I was very keen to have a wine tasting at his winery. This we did and enjoyed the tasting, so purchased a bottle of Shiraz.
From Port Willunga we also visited Victor Harbour on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Once again Patrick chauffeured us all there and back.
Driving through the outskirts of Victor Harbour we saw a mansion in the distance, perched on top of a hill. It was a summer residence built for Alexander Hay and his wife circa 1880. They called it Mt Breckan. Following Hay’s death in 1898 a fire destroyed much of residence. It was rebuilt as an exclusive guest house. It as been used for many purposes since then, but now the land around the mansion has been sub-divided and is being developed as an exclusive housing estate.
Heading back to camp we stopped for lunch at the Victory Hotel, Sellicks Hill. A great place to eat, with friendly service and their own label wines.
On the fourth day of our stay at Port Willunga we rose early for the 1 hour drive to Cape Jervis and an 8.30am appointment with the Kangaroo Island Ferry. Both caravans and our Jeep were left at the caravan park, as Patrick once again offered to drive the four of us in his Prado for the next two days.
At the Oyster Farm Shop we had fresh oysters at around 11 am. This was the first time on our SA trip that we had something other than coffee and cake for morning refreshments.
Lunch was at Aurora Ozone Hotel, Kingscote – great KI wine and food with friendly service.
After lunch I left the restaurant without my phone. I didn’t realise my mistake until later that afternoon approximately 100 kms from the hotel. Maggie phoned to make certain the staff had found it. They had and gladly put it in their safe for me to collect the next day.
Further north to the coast and a little west is Emu Bay.
60 kms from Emu Bay on the north coast is Seal Bay on the south coast, where we visited the Sea Lion colony.
After an early rise that morning and a busy day site seeing, the drive from Seal Bay to our overnight accomodation seemed to be a long one (much longer than our electronic maps suggested).
Day 2 on Kangaroo Island began with a visit to Cape Du Couedic on the south western tip of the Island, within the Flinders Chase National Park.
Once again the board walks and observations decks were first class in their spaciousness, sturdiness and the views they offered.
The power of the ocean was on full display, as swells turned to waves and crashed on the rocks.
Still within the Flinders Chase National Park and a short drive north east of Cape Du Couedic, are The Remarkable Rocks.
Over thousands of years sea spray, wind and rain have eroded the softer surrounding rock, exposing large sections of granite, which in turn have fractured to form smaller, interestingly shaped granite sculptures resting on a granite dome.
There was just enough time to have lunch (but where), then pick up my phone from the Kingscote Aurora Ozone Hotel and be back at Penneshaw by 4pm to catch the Ferry back to the main land. We chose the Rock Pool Cafe at Stokes Bay Beach for a late, seafood lunch … beautiful.
Arrival back at Port Willunga Caravan Park was around 6pm that night. As we were moving in different directions the next morning we had a celebration of our trip together and went to bed.
After breaking camp the next day, Maggie and I headed for home, while Patrick and Heidi went to visit friends and relatives in Victoria.
Hope you enjoyed Our South Australian Extravaganza Part 2 and feel free to leave a comment below.
Stay Safe and hopefully you will join us on our next adventure.