Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Our Easter 2008 Vacation...

Ok, so we travelled to Halls Gap the day before Good Friday and set up camp there. Spent some of the day on Good Friday in Stawell, got some fish and chips for lunch. We ate in a lovely park there and got to feed some ducks and water chooks, it was nice.
Next day we travelled past the Giant Koala and all the way to Dimboola to have a look see there. We got to see the sad empty river that used to flow through Dimboola and is actually home to Australia's first ever Rowing Club. What a pity. A local police officer told us that there was plenty of water there up until about 4 years ago when it all just disappeared. Perhaps someone used it to irrigate their property? Who knows. We drove through Dimboola and had a look at The Little Desert.. it sure was that. Amazing how the plant life and soil colors change as we drive through the Little Desert and back towards Halls Gap where it is still quite dry yet more hydrated than the area of Dimboola.
It was quite a hot day on the Sunday and we were swimming in the pool at The Gap when an almighty storm encompassed the area and a deluge of rain came through. It was quite remarkable as we stood there under the shelter of the pool area and watched the lightening and the rain so thick we couldn't see the road across from the pool itself. Half the little kids there with their mums were crying, I think it would have to be the first lot of rain they ever did see, even since they were born, sad isn't it?

An amazing thing happened quite soon after the deluge stopped, there were literally thousands and thousands of bugs that took flight out of the wood that surrounded the park. We were soon to learn that they were termites who got their wings to fly. The rain precipitated the event. The birds and the ducks were seemingly happy with the event.

With the receding of the storm it left alot of campers washed out, and muddy. Some people had to hose out their annexes and tents, others left the place only to return the next day to clean up and pack up. The day was warm on the Monday, and so the canvases dried out easily on the bitumen roads of the caravan park.

It was, however, set to be another day of some rain and so we set off to drive to Mt Gambier in the state of South Australia. We packed lightly and left the van at Halls Gap.

We drove to Dunkeld, a cute little town with great views of the Grampians mountains and a nice looking pub to have meals at. From there we drove on up to Mt Gambier and took in the spectacular views of farms, wild life and some amazing densely planted forests of enormous native trees. We also got to see alot of "road kill", kangaroos and other animals too.

We had a look at Umpherston Sinkhole ( Or also known as The Sunken Garden) first off when we got to Mt Gambier. Then we went to my lovely Aunt's place there and she was delighted at the surprise visit... she had just got into her kitchen loaded with groceries when I peeked through the glass and she was like, "Wow!".

After a cuppa we were off on the Riddoch Highway which took us through wine creating country of Penola, Naracoorte, Keppoch, Padthaway and up to Keith. We stopped and went into the IGA Grocery store there in Keith and got some rolls and cold meat and some rice crackers.

Taking the Dukes Highway from Keith through Coombe, Tintinara, Coonalpyn, Kiki, Yumali and Coomandook (What? I don't make the town names up okay, LOL). We arrived next at Tailem Bend and then drove to and through Murray Bridge. We crossed the Murray River and stopped at a nice little park land there next to the river to take in the views. We were then only 40 mins from Adelaide itself.

Through the rolling Adelaide Hills we drove, passing trucks that were forever testing their breaks lest they need to roll into the sidings of sand made especially for them if they loose their breaks all together..and it looked like they had been used more than once by the markings in the sand there. You could see some lovely old homesteads right next to the freeway that would have been gorgeous in their day. I am sure that the homestead owners would not have envisaged a freeway rolling right past their backdoors in the future.

We arrived at Glenelg in Adelaide, a lovely bay side town, much like our ST Kilda here in Melbourne. We stayed there the night in a motel and took the kids to a fun park the next day. The BeachHouse is an awesome fun park, all indoors. The kids had a ball there riding the dodgems, going down the three water slides they have there, riding the bumper boats that squirt water at each other and riding the renovated Carousel too. We had lunch at a nearby Chinese take away place and I got to watch the World Tournament of Beach Volleyball played out there on the Glenelg Beach right in front of The BeachHouse.

After the kids had their fun we rode the Glenelg tram into town and it took 40 minutes until the ride terminated up inside the heart of Adelaide, near the Adelaide Train Station. Then, we rode it all the way back again to the end. More on our trip next post :)


Jay said...

You guys go on such fun little adventures! I wanna go too! ;-)

Team Gherkin said...

That sounds like a really memorable family holiday! Goo d on yas!

All those place names I can believe... except "Keith"... oh, come ON now! hahahahahaaa

I haven't been down that way since the early 80's. Makes me think I should head off that way before I hot Greece later this year, perhaps?

Mal :)

Jules said...

I so love your holidays!!

Did you ever look into any of my 99 suggestions re horseriding???

Andrew said...

What fun Cazzie. I love the sunken garden.

G-Man said...

Hi Cazzie..
It doesn't look too bad there for being Winter..
Your kids sure are growing up fast ...G

jillie said...

Looks like everyone had a great time. I got to spend Easter in Mexico. Not much different than the U.S.

The kids look like they enjoyed it.

Steph said...

Your kids will have such wonderful memories, caz!

Mom said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday full of great memories

Donn said...

Water chooks?
Tintinara, Coonalpyn, Kiki, Yumali and Coomandook sounds like a psychodelic accounting firm.

Your kiddies are going to have the bestus memories.Wow.

Middle Child said...

AWWW can I come too? We used to doo all this stuff...I wanna do it again...shucks.

Keshi said...

FUN FUN FUN! I've been missin ya hun. Glad to see u've been doing well and having fun with ur family.

btw there's another Sinhalese song in my blog for u to listen :) Im sure u'll like the music in it.



Bo Bo said...

That’s it I’m going away