Cruise South-East Asia and On to Australia / New Zeland travel blog

Dunes West of Melbourne

Directional Signs

Some Greenery....

Need to Have a Better Look....

After a 3 1/2 hour flight and two time zones we arrived in Melbourne airport. Although we were the first to get off the plane, we encountered huge snaking lineups for immigration. When we updated our passports in 2013 the new electronic ones were not available. This resulted in our being in the "other" category in a line along with 600 others - not a good system. By the time we got our rental car we had nearly eaten up our 2 hour time zone advantage.

Our destination was Warrnambool on the Great Ocean highway. The weather was cool and windy, definitely contrary to the forecast of 28 degrees C. Traffic was very heavy as it was a Sunday with winding roads following the coastline. The further west we drove the traffic thinned but showers and fog took over. We stopped at a few scenic stops but did not find them to our liking given the weather. In our previous 30 days of travel we had seen lots of scenic coasts.

We arrived at our destination motel shortly after 5:00 pm only to find no one at a locked reception. After talking to someone else in the same boat we were able to contact their "emergency contact". They had left electronic keys under mats but no messages were posted anywhere. The room was fine and we were contemplating finding something to eat when we met a young couple from the Netherlands. They had bought some "roo" steaks and asked us to join them. Away we went with salad fixings and a bottle of wine. The barbecue and eating area was the best feature of the place. The four of us found the red meat tender and very flavourful. A great time was had by all until the wind blew us inside.

Our destination the next day was vague - reasonable distance from Adelaide to allow us time to see that area before our flight to Hong Kong and home Thursday. A local gal suggested we leave the coastal route and head north at Mt. Gambier. Her suggestion was excellent as this little gray strip on the map was a 110 kph newly ashphalted road. Our 600 kilometer trip went a lot more quickly and lo and behold, vineyards started to appear. This was the Coonabara region and names like Penfolds and Lindemans were recognized quickly. The next 200 kms. Had a mix of grazing land, planted forests (all pine) and a few more vineyards.

All of a sudden we were in the Barossa valley north and east of Adelaide and more than meeting our target. What now had to happen was finding a B&B at a vineyard where could taste real grapes and tip a glass or two......

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