Sunday, 14 January 2018

Exploring South Australia - With Friends


One thing that I loved about Malaysia was that during the years I lived there, a lot of people came on their holiday trips and of course, we enjoyed hosting them. We met so many old friends and made fond memories. When I moved to Adelaide, I knew that I will for sure miss this and that for a long time I will not be hosting any friends! But, we just had our FIRST friends from Malaysia who visited us during the year-end holidays for 3 days and I cant get over the fact that we had so much fun!

Maheen and Naeem were our first friends when we moved to Malaysia and thus they hold a very special place in our hearts. We were ecstatic when we came to know that they are coming to Adelaide to see us during the year-end break. They landed in Sydney from where they took a flight to Adelaide and from Adelaide, they drove to Melbourne.

Ahsan and I planned the places we were taking them - also made sure to keep it free and easy as it was summer and we did not want them to fall sick because of dehydration or exhaustion which is very common in Australian summer. So, we covered all important places ensuring all the 'must dos' in Adelaide while having enough breaks and rest and enjoy some good homecooked food too.

We let them rest the evening they arrived but, from the next day, our itinerary was fully packed.

Day 1: Barossa Valley

The first day we all woke up early and left for Barossa Valley at 10:30am. Our target was to reach back home by 7pm as we were expecting some other guests at home for dinner.  I have done a detailed post on Barossa earlier which is linked later in this post. Only that this time we went to Steppelsfield vineyard instead of Jacob's creek. People go to vineyards for wine tasting but we just go to enjoy the beautiful landscape...

We loved this cute outlet of Vasse Virgin; a company that produces skin care products using extra virgin olive oil.  Filled with soaps, creams, lotions, scrubs etc, the little corner smelled divine! Virgin Vasse will soon take a bigger space in the vineyard, offering soap making sessions and other activities.

For lunch, we decided to go for tried and tested Maggie's Beer Farm Shop as the food served is Halal and we knew we will not be disappointed.

Lunch at The Eatery @Maggie's Beer Farm Shop
From there, we went to the Whispering Wall. You can read about these places in my detailed blog post here: Day Trip to Barossa Valley - Exploring South Australia

The highlight of the day was this 10 minutes helicopter ride over the valley. The views were spectacular but more fun was the feeling of sitting in a helicopter, with those cool headphones and mic! I promise the background score in mind was that of Top Gun!

Here is a shaky-hand time lapse that I made

After the ride, we headed back home to have a scrumptious Nihari dinner with some friends we had invited over! In Pakistani hospitality, home-cooked food ranks the highest!

Day 2: Gorge Wildlife Park, good ol' Hahndorf and countdown at Elder's Park

A trip to Australia is incomplete if you haven't fed food to Kangaroos and held a Koala bear, so we went to Gorge Wildlife Park which is just 30 mins from Adelaide City. It is small wildlife park with an entry fee of  $17 for adults and $14 for kids and there are 3 timings for Koala holding. You get to hold a Koala for a few minutes and can have a photograph taken. Koala though remains busy eating and doesn't acknowledge you at all!

Kangaroos are roaming around freely and you can feed them anytime. The drive to Gorge Wildlife Park is gorgeous and you would want to stop the car at every few minutes to take photographs.

After Gorge wildlife park, we had lunch at Hahndorf - German Village. We came home right after lunch as it was new year eve and we wanted to rest well so that we could go to see the fireworks at 12.

There are a few options to see new year fireworks in Adelaide. At the Glenelg beach, Semaphore beach or at Elder's park near Adelaide Oval. As we live at a walking distance from the city and we knew parking would be a nightmare, we walked to the city to enjoy fireworks at Elder's park at 11pm, just in time to see the countdown and fireworks.

Day 3 Rundle Mall & Glenelg Beach

We started the next day with a relaxed, late brunch at Cafe Settebello, Norwood that we all enjoyed.

We took a bus to Rundle Mall to walk around the city centre and see the old buildings. In the evening, we went to the gorgeous Glenelg beach to see the sunset and enjoy dinner with all our friends.

At the end of the trip, we felt that 3 days were not enough as there was so much more to do & see!

There is nothing better than exploring a place with your friends and this trip will remain fresh in our memories for a long, long time! You can follow me on Facebook and Instagram to explore Adelaide with me!

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