Kangaroo Island: The Island was beautiful! It was much larger than anticipated and although I wasn’t expecting the longer bus ride, it was worth it. We were able to see fur seals, kangaroos, echidna, and koalas. The first stop we made on the bus tour was right on top of the cliffs. The scene reminded me a lot of Ireland’s the Giants Causeway but a little warmer with warm blue water.
Our tour guide Kevin was highly knowledgeable as he grew up on the island and now has his own home on the island. He told us about how kangaroos can swim, and if the predator comes into the water after them the kangaroo uses its arms to push the predator down into the water and drown them. The seals were another stop, that showed how large the males can be, the largest being 300 kilos (660 lbs.)! The pups were adorable as they played in the little tidal pools and waddled around. Seals will go out to eat for three or four days at a time and then come back and lay out on the beach for another three to four days.
Lastly, we saw the koalas, which was a game of hide and go seek mostly. They didn’t move much and have no reason to as they have no predators.
Overall, Kangaroo Island was an amazing trip that had the best scenery I have ever encountered.
Wine Center: The wine center held a lot of parties and weddings. We took a tour of the building and with that, learned about the wine in Australia, the different grapes and leaves in general, and were even able to create our own virtual wine. Australia produces 40% of the worlds wine and are able to keep the Phylloxera bug out of their vineyards by very strict rules and also by placing rose bushes at the end of each vine because the bug will go to the rose before the grapes. We then had wine tastings, with a white, a rose, and a red. We learned a little bit more about the different blends of the wines. The wine center was also the largest automated tasting in the southern hemisphere. It was a beautiful building and café.
Impressions of Adelaide: While this wasn’t the biggest city, it was an amazing start to our trip. On our last day after the wine center, we explored the city by walking around botanical gardens. There was a very large china town presence around the entire city, so we had stopped at a Chinese restaurant. The food was great and the company even better. The weather in Australia has been wonderful so far and if a low of 60 is their winter, I might have to consider moving. Now off to Melbourne!