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Road Trip: Sydney to Adelaide


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Hi Everyone,

As we travelled further and further out of Sydney towards the NSW outback, the road became mostly dead straight and all around was flat with some trees which became less as we went along – very VERY dry. Very much like driving in the Karoo. There were even 'gannabossies'(?) in the veld very similar to the Karoo!

The first night we spent in Cobar in NSW. Cobar is a Copper mining town with a couple of beautiful historical buildings. My hubby is really into photographing all these old buildings and churches that date back to the 1800s (he took around 1500 photographs!).

The next night we slept over in Broken Hill where we spent Christmas Eve. Broken Hill reminds me a lot of Kimberley. It is a silver mining town. There are tours to the underground mine and a visitor's centre and restaurant on the mine dump.

About 26 kilometres from Broken Hill is a town called Silverton. I believe this is where silver was discovered first and then a larger area of silver was found in Broken Hill, so everyone moved on to Broken Hill.

Silverton is a ghost town, dirt roads and all, with the most beautiful old sandstone buildings dating back to the mid to late 1800s. If you ever go to Broken Hill, you must pay a visit to Silverton!

For those of you who remember the movie Mad Max (Mel Gibson), the movie was made in Silverton. The black Mad Max car is parked right in front of the hotel which is fully functional with a beer garden and all!

We then moved on to Adelaide and Victor Harbour and back to Adelaide. We went as far as Port Adelaide in the north west, Gawler in the north, Glenelg in the west, Fleurieu Peninsula in the south, Murray Bridge in the East and most of the villages around Adelaide such as Sterling, Hahndorf and Lobethal. These villages have many old historical buildings.

I could not believe how cold it was in Adelaide and Victor Harbour and that in December! I'm sure this weather was the exception for this time of the year. Bob, you can possibly let us know?

Victor Harbour is a small holiday place, very cute, but I think a bit overrated and very expensive. Not much to do and I could not spend a week there without getting bored.

What a beautiful city Adelaide is – many old historical buildings and churches. The place has a feel of peace and tranquillity. There are lots and lots of cycle ways and walk ways all over the city and outside. I'm sure there is not one single person living there that does not own a bicycle – this goes for old and young!!!!! I saw many grey oldies riding around on bicycles. The city is much the size of Port Elizabeth, or maybe a bit bigger (my comparison is based on the size of PE in 1999).

Adelaide reminded me of Christchurch in New Zealand, not the size, but the look and feel – old churches and buildings with the river (channel in Christchurch) flowing through the place. Even the city being on the flat at the foot of the mountains.

Adelaide seems much bigger than Auckland in New Zealand and the CBD is definitely much bigger, even though the population in the 2 cities are similar. The Adelaide mall (Rundle Mall) is quite nice and similar to Sydney's Pitt Street Mall.

Mara have you been to Adelaide? You might just decide to retire there rather than Auckland!! Quite a bit drier than Auckland.

Adelaide is beautiful and clean and the city is surrounded by many parks and natural bush areas. The old buildings and Georgian homes are clean and well maintained – much better than Sydney.

The one thing I did not enjoy in Adelaide over and above it being cold, was that there was always a wind. Not necessarily a gale force wind like Port Elizabeth or Cape Town, but just an irritating wind – I don't know if this is the way it always is. I don't like wind (hated it in Auckland) and this is why I love Sydney so much. For a place that is located on the coast, Sydney is wonderful with most days where there is no movement in the trees.

We left Adelaide without having seen everything we would have wanted to, so we know we will have to return, this time via the Great Ocean Road.

On our return trip we went through part of the Barossa Valley and visited the Wolf Blass Winery and bought a couple of reds – good winery.

The bit of the Barossa Valley we saw was beautiful, although dry, but nothing is quite like the wine route and Stellenbosch in South Africa – no mountains and flat!

We stayed over in Mildura in Victoria and saw the new year in at the Mirror Lakes National Park where they had a band playing from 8pm and then 2 sets of fireworks – one at 10 and the other at midnight.

We popped into all the little villages and towns along the Murray River on our way back. We came across an interesting town called Echuca (named after a sister town in Canada) in Victoria. The town is on the Murray River and was buzzing with people and looked really interesting. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to spend there. This is definitely one of the towns we will go back to.

The last night was spent in Griffith in NSW. After seeing all the interesting towns and villages in South Australia and Victoria, Griffith was boring in comparison and just an ordinary 'platteland' town – sorry Otto.

Worth mentioning though, is we had the best motel in Griffith of all the motels/hotels we stayed in during this holiday and that includes the Rydges in Adelaide. If you ever visit Griffith stay in the Yambil Motor Inn.

What an experience! This was a first visit for us to South Australia and Adelaide after living in Sydney for the past 3½ years (and Auckland, New Zealand for 3½ years before coming to Aus) . We did more than 5000 kms in 10 days and slept in 7 motels/hotels in total. I'm exhausted and need a holiday!!!!!

A Happy New Year to all!!


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  • 2 weeks later...
The last night was spent in Griffith in NSW. After seeing all the interesting towns and villages in South Australia and Victoria, Griffith was boring in comparison and just an ordinary 'platteland' town – sorry Otto.

Boring? Thanks for complimenting my town.

Laat ons maar weer gaan, dinge bly maar net dieselfde...

Edited by Wyle Otto
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I had to chuckle at the last comment of needing a holiday after hitting the road for 10 000 kms. :)

Yup, Adelaide copped some strange weather last month. I guess that's one reason why we spent the end of December with mates on the Gold Coast, up in Queensland . . . . another road trip involving a few 000 kms!

I also find it interesting to hear how people see Adelaide.

I lived in Hobart, Tasmania (a city of 175 000 people) for 13 years, and whenever I came back to Adelaide (pop. 1 100 000), it felt enormous with the suburbs seemingly going on for hour after hour.

A mate I did Matric with in the 1970s ended up being a taxi driver in Sydney (pop. 4 000 000) while he was getting his company off the ground. He thought Adelaide was small in comparison, when he came back to Adelaide to live after 3 or 4 years in Sydney.

. . . . . . I guess things are all relative to the situations we get ourselves accustomed to.

The platteland of "New South" was pretty dry . . . . never seen it so dry before with the "Hay plains" (200 kms either side of the Outback town of Hay) being like a dust bowl. We encountered cattle and sheep on the roadside which seemed to provide the only feed for stock with the fenced paddocks alongside the road all eaten out of feed. This meant you had to be aware of cattle strolling across the roads at times and getting ready to brake if necessary.

Adelaide ought to remind New Zealanders of their city of Christchurch. Both places were designed by the same bloke . . . Col. William Light in the 1830s and 1840s.

They are subsequently "sister" cities, although Christchurch has only 350 000 people living there.

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Sounds like a fun trip.

Any chance of posting some of your husbands pics?


Johan Swanepoel

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Hi Johan,

I will post some pics as soon as hubby has them ready - named and reduced in size.


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Thanks for putting your thoughts down. That was very interesting to read.

You can't judge a whole state's weather though on a few days spent there... funnily enough, my mum, who visited here over 6 weeks, couldn't wait to get back to SA becasue she found it way too hot here! :ilikeit: We very rarely have wind here in summer and the average temperature over the last 2 months has been around 30 (varies between 40 and 22 :D ). we find that the weather here seems to go in cycles during summer - the temperatures build up and up gradually over 10 days or so up to way over 30, or even 40, then plummets suddenly to the low 20's and builds up again, and so it goes. It's lovely, because you never get too hot for too long. Remember that Adelaide is almost exactly on Cape Town's latitude though, so don't expect it to be a Durban or Johannesburg clone in terms of climate :D

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Hi Annette,

Thanks for the explanation on the weather. While in Adelaide, we chatted to the local people and they agreed the weather was out of sorts for that time of the year. When we left Sydney, the weather here was also not normal - pretty cool - and I believe Christmas was the coldest in Sydney in however many years (can't now remember the number of years).

Before we came to Australia, I often watched the temperatures in all the capital cities and from what I can remember, Adelaide was not as hot as Sydney in summer and slightly cooler in winter.

Adelaide is really a lovely city and I could possibly live there. I am a little concernd that I might become bored though. I'll have to get my bicycle out the garage (where it is currently gathering dust)........ This can only be good because I will get rid of all these kilos around the thighs and hips!! There certainly are beautiful walkways and cycle ways in and around Adelaide. When we go back, we will explore all of these.


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