Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Adelaide, Australia December '11

Adelaide December 2011

Day 1
Adelaide is 6.5 hour away from Singapore. We arrived at about 9.30am.  Our friends, Yvone and Buey picked us up from the airport. It was a sunny morning, our friends said we brought the sunshine to Adelaide.

Central Market
The Central Market has a wide selection of fresh produce, such as fruits, vegetables, meat, nuts, cheese, chocolates, etc. We had a late breakfast at the popular Zuma Cafe located in the market, which served typical Australian breakfast and nice coffee.

We bought some cheese, quince and biscuits to go with the cheese, nuts and coffee bean chocolates at the market.  The cheese and quince was a hit with everyone.

Haigh's Chocolates Visitor Centre

After breakfast, we headed to Haigh's Chocolates Factory tour (advance booking required). Haigh's is a famous family-owned handmade chocolate brand in Adelaide.  They have a flagship store at Rundle Mall.  The products are  not exported and are only sold in Australia. At the factory tour, we learnt how they produced chocolates, which are mostly handmade. The highlight of the tour was of course free-sampling of chocolates!

Needless to say, we did not leave empty handed.

Next, we went to Hahndorf along Mt Barker Rd up in the hill. It is a small German town with many quaint shops flanking both sides of the street.

We had late lunch at Hahndorf Inn, where we ate German sausages and kangaroo meat.

Here's the kangaroo meat.  The meat was a tad too tough. We should have asked for it to be cooked medium rare.

We planned to do strawberry picking at Beerenberry Farm which is very near Hahndorf.  Unfortunately we were there 15 min late as last entry to the farm was 4.15pm  We were not overly disappointed though because we did strawberry picking in Brisbane before and we were going to do cherries picking another day.

Dinner - Vietnam
Our friends gave us a Welcome Dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant which served really authentic Vietnamese food.  We had seafood vermicelli salad, deep-fried softshell crabs, wraps and claypot rice.

The skins for wraps have to be softened in warm water before we wrap them with ingredients like prawn balls, meat balls, veg and very nice sauce.  The wrap is a house specialty -every table ordered this dish. 

Day 2
We took a free bus from where we stayed (Oaks Embassy) at North Terrace to East Terrace Continental for breakfast. The cafe was quite busy on a weekday morning.  A popular place for breakfast in the city.

A garden opposite the cafe.

McLaren Vale - vineyard hopping
McLaren Vale is about 45 min drive from Adelaide, and has many picturesque vineyards. Tips - the tourist visitor centre gives out very good map of McLaren Vale.  

Vineyard No.1 - Tapestry

 Vineyard No.2 - Wirra Wirra

Vineyard No.3 - d'Arenberg.

We had lunch at the popular, award winning restuarant at d'Arenberg (advanced booking required)

Coffee and dessert at Bracegirdle's (Mclaren Vale), an award winning bistro famous for it's coffee and chocolate desserts.  Their chocolate dessert is something to-die-for......there are a couple of other outlets at Burnside and Glenelg.

Sticky dates pudding ....mouth watering good...
Ice-cream bomb with melted chocolate......not enough.....

Vineyard No. 4 - Coriole Vineyard

Vineyard No.5 - Chapel Hill

Rundle Mall
Friday late night shopping at Rundle Mall.  Shops close at 9pm on Friday, which is LATE by Australian's standard.  Normal closure time is 5pm. It is the "Orchard Rd" of Adelaide.  Bubble tea store at the mall.  We tried the red bean one.

Yvone was trying to book dinner for us at a hot stone restaurant which is hugely popular.  She did not manage to make a reservation.  She reserved a place at an Italian restaurant, Rigoni's Bistro at Leigh St instead.  The restaurant serves excellent seafood linguini...highly recommended by Yvone.  However we were too full to have our dinner at 6pm after a heavy lunch cum dessert and gave it a miss.  Well, we can return the next time....

Day 3
Goolwa Beach - cockling
Goolwa is about 1.5 hour drive from Adelaide.

En-route to the beach, we drove pass an Alpaca farm and spotted some alpacas grazing at the field. Interesting looking creatures with long necks - they look like llamas with long wool.

Nice sandy was drizzling but our spirits were high......

Armed with 2 buckets and 5 pairs of bare hands, we went on our Cockling expedition, led by the ever-enthusiastic  Yvone.....
"I feel something!"
"Hurry hurry! Don't let it escape!" 

Cockling was the highlight of our trip!  It was "addictive" and we simply forgot the time until  Yvone gave a time-out......
We had bountiful harvest.....2 buckets of cockles!

Lunch at a Fish & Chips bistro, Flying Fish near Goolwa beach.

Victor Habor
After lunch, we headed to Victor Harbor (in the vicinity of Goolwa beach)  and rode the horse-drawn tram across the Causeway towards the neighbouring Granite Island.

Granite Island. 
We walked up the viewing platform to catch the panoramic view of the mainland.
That day was very windy and weather was threatening.  We were unable to venture far as we had to catch the last tram ride back to mainland - they closed the tram service earlier in view of bad weather.

 "Help, Jie jie! I'm being swallowed by a serpent!"  
Does the rock look like serpent head?  Yes,it is called the Serpent Head rock.

Time to make our way back...

Meanwhile, the cockles we caught at Goolwa Beach was left to rest and spit out the sand...

...and the cockles became our dinner under the hands of Buey - who cooked up a storm of yummy Vongole .......
Wah , so much how to finish =.= we never had so much cockles in our lives!
Here are the "cocklers", feasting on the harvest.

Yvone & Buey's garden.  
They grow, amongst other things, brinjal - we bought home some of the brinjal and they were very good.

Lobethal Light Up
After dinner, we drove up Adelaide Hills to the township of Lobethal to watch the Lobethal Christmas light-up and a live Nativity show. The light up and show is an annual affair at Lobethal where the Nativity show staged real animals (camels, lamb, donkey....), cute children dressed up as angels and a live baby Jesus!  

People from Adelaide would drive up the hill to watch the nightly show and thereafter drive around the township to marvel at the lit-up houses.....Some of the lightings were so elaborate, they could easily rival our Orchard Rd light-up except they were done up by individual households and less commercialised. The sight was awesome!

Day 4
Adelaide Showground Farmer's Market (every Sunday morning)
A very interesting market which sells organic produces, cakes, pastries and even have cooking workshop for kids. They have indoor and outdoor sections.

Marvelling at the avocado plant....typical city dweller.....

Look, can you spot the difference between these carrots from those we see at NTUC.....
The indoor section.

Pho Min beef noodle
Early lunch at an unglamorous Vietnamese restaurant, but it serves yummy Pho (beef noodles) and delicious Vietnamese coffee.The pho comes in 3 sizes, for ladies, a small should suffice.........
Yvone told us that at lunch time, queue will form as they do not accept booking.  Hence we went for an early lunch to beat the crowd.
 *slurp slurp*

After lunch, we went to Burnside Village, a newly refurbished shopping mall, which has the first Zara store in Adelaide.....

Cherry picking at Marble Hill.  
The farm's owner, Helen, is Yvone & Buey's friend, who lived in Singapore for a few years. The weather was not  good and Helen was trying to dissuade us from picking cherries at the hill.  But we were not deterred by the rain.  We braved the element and enjoyed the act nonetheless. Helen called us heroes.  We ate the cherries as we picked them!  The cherries were soooo sweet. What an experience!

We enjoyed a cuppa, Devonshire scones, meringue and chocolate cake thereafter.

 Here's our harvest......

We even chanced upon 2 koalas at the farm......Can you spot the koala? :)

Mount Lofty - Adelaide Hills
We had a late check-in at Mt Lofty Grand Mecure hotel.  The good thing about visiting in summer is that the sun set at around 8.30pm!

Dinner at the hotel's restaurant.  The restaurant has fantastic view of Mt. Lofty.

Day 5
Warrawong Wildlife Sanctury - Adelaide Hills
We went bird-watching at Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary.  Advanced booking is necessary for the guided bird-watch.  Binoculars are provided if you did not bring your own. Our guide is a Thai with an Australian wife - he worked in the Singapore zoo for 6 months. After the walk, we had coffee and scones at the cafe, which was part of the package.

The young lady in our group joined the nocturnal walk the night before and she said it was good, spotted many nocturnal animals. 

These beautiful ferns were "migrated" from Tasmania.

 A bird siting in a nest. (Hint: you can see it's tail sticking out)
 Eucalyptus trees aka gum trees

A couple of chicks followed us for a while during the bird-watch, expecting us to feed them. (We didn't.)
Petting kangaroos.

Colourful lorikeets (and an invading duck).

 (These aren't lorikeets BTW)

Mt Lofty Botanical Garden just next to our hotel.

We spotted a kookaburra....

Mt Lofty Summit
A panoramic view of Adelaide city from the hill top.
Tip - Bring along a binoculars to enjoy the view.

Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill (Adelaide Hills)
A very famous, award winning restaurant which requires advance booking.  Highly recommended.

Wagyu beef - in curry sauce...interesting....and very delicious
Veal with mint.....
Salmon served with white fungus, mushroom and slices of abalone.....very interesting combination and  very well put together....

Outside the restaurant - an old water mill built in 1860 that is still working!

Glenelg, a pretty seaside town, about 15 min from city.  It can be accessed by tram from Adelaide.

Bracegirdle's Glenelg outlet at Jetty Rd.  Yes, we went there again....

Ice-cream fondue - Make your own ice-cream.......

Harbour Town (factory outlets bargain shopping) is only a few minutes drive from Glenelg.  Unfortunately we forgot the shops close at 5.30pm.  The mall was closing soon after we got there.  Blessing in disguise $$$

We had dinner at a family- run Chinese restaurant, Hong Kee near Gouger Street (the Chinatown and foodies area), frequent by our friends, which serves very good, unpretentious home-made dishes.

After dinner, we adjourned to an Italian restaurant, Sorelle at Magill for dessert.  The pizza dessert is out-of- this world! Yummy! The other food looks good too....must try if we return.  

What a sweet way to round up our 5-day trip to Adelaide. We had a wonderful trip  with great company and good food!

Many thanks to Yvone and Buey for their hospitality! 


  1. Wah, you guys did soooo much in less than a week. Amazing. I would love to visit the same places you all did and eat all that (award winning) delicious food. The markets are nice too. Nice photos too!!

  2. Well documented! Buey was disappointed that there was no pic of her... she looked up n down the blog many times... hahaha... Happy to know you all enjoyed the hols and will even consider visiting again!

  3. Ting
    Yeah, you should go and try all the nice food......We were able to do so much in 5 days because Adelaide is actually quite an easy place to travel around as the places of interest are not too far apart. The further we traveled from one place to another was not more than 1.5 hours - one way.

    Thousand of apology to Buey that her nice face was not in the pics :( Nonetheless, we have not forgotten to give her due credit for the yummy vongole!