Awesome Adelaide

We have now flown from New Zealand to Australia and our first stop is Adelaide. We have had three action packed days in this vibrant and exciting city.  This weekend there are three major events;  te Adelaide V8 Motor racing, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Writers week, so there was certainly plenty for us to see and do. The city has a very welcoming feel to it.  We immediately felt at home and found it very easy to get around, both on foot and on the tram.

We are already finding our culinary choices have opened up enormously.  Happy days.  We had lunch at the two bit villians café in Adelaide Arcade and it was delicious.  It even included a Vegan Chocolate Sundae.  A very rare but enjoyable treat. The arcade itself is a very fine Victorian building which has been very well preserved.

 Adelaide Mall Group

 We headed to the Botanical gardens, which is a delight for the eyes with many trees that were completely new to us, as were the birds that we also encountered.  We have no idea what some of them are called, but perhaps some of you might.

Adelaide Bird GroupAdelaide Botanical Group 2Adeliade Botnaical Group 1

 This morning we headed to the beach, which is a flat, accessible, white sand haven.  Volley ball is obviously popular here as there were plenty of courts.  It was not too crowded, which might be usual, but we rather suspect had something to do with the cool breeze blowing.  It was not as warm as these pictures might suggest.

 

This evening we went to see the Parade of Light, a nightly show during the Fringe Festival, projected onto the city museum.  It was a cross between a light show and a film and was very mesmerizing to watch.  Here are a few of the pictures we captured.

 Adelaide lights 2Adelaide Lights 3Adeliade lights 1

We found another sign that made us chuckle.  I think the meaning may have got lost when they wrote this one out, but just to be clear, we didn’t try drinking the water!!

Sign Adelaide airport

 

 

We have really enjoyed a few days in one place, but tomorrow we go on the ocean road to Melbourne.  We look forward to sharing it with you.

 

 

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Christchurch charms

We landed in Auckland and after a quick overnight stop, travelled on to Christchurch. After the country had experienced a heat wave, the tail end of a cyclone hit the island causing major disruption and some coastal damage. We now find the temperatures considerably lower at around 18c and plenty of rain – not far off the Irish summer conditions now.

Christchurch city centre is still in a sorry state, 7 years after a devastating earthquake struck, killing 181 people. Many of the cities oldest buildings were affected including the Cathedral that the city is named after. There are many parts of the city that are still empty or roads closed down or rubble sites. However the New Zealand ingenuity shines through with many pop-up businesses, car parks and even a ‘pop up’ Cathedral made of materials such as shipping containers, polycarbon and cardboard. It sounds like a very ugly affair, but as you can see from the picture, its really very elegant.

We visited the Antarctic centre in Christchurch, which was the stop that Captain Scott and his expedition stopped in 1901 to prepare their supplies before travelling on to Antartica. Christchurch has been a key centre for Antarctic explorers ever since and houses an impressive visitors centre. In the visitors centre you get to see some of the rescued little blue penguins , experience what a snow storm feels like when it hits -24c (bloody cold, I can tell you), and see a 4D Ice voyage film where you are shaken, stirred and liberally sprayed with water.

As part of the experience we took a ride on a Hagglund, which is an amphibious all-terrain vehicle specifically designed for arctic conditions. That sounds tame, but was more like a roller coaster ride, as they took us through a specially designed assault course to showcase its capability.

After the excitement of the Antarctic, we took in the serene surroundings of the Botanical Garden. The range of trees and plants is wonderful to see and the rose garden had a riot of colour. In addition to the amazing trees and plants, there were some wonderful sculptures. We even got to meet a mother duck and her Ducklings. Very cute.

 

 

And what about this cute little rainbow we saw.  Anything strange there?

Next stop Waimate for our next working experience.