Tag Archives: Clare

Adelaide Hills

Our previous visit to Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia was brief so we were keen to settle in and enjoy this town, famous as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. We stayed at the Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park, a spectacular location just out of town. This has a convention centre, cabins and Restaurant 5245 in addition to the caravan park. Once the current renovations are completed it really will be a ‘super-park’ and a credit to the local Schirripa family.

Hahndorf park 4

Hahndorf park 1 Hahndorf park 2

There is still a strong German flavour in the town, with bakeries and smallgoods and butcher shops on the busy Main Street (parking is often hard to find!) As well there are lots of pubs and cafes serving local produce. We chose the Hahndorf Inn which has been cooking delicious food since 1853, and still operates from the same heritage premises.  We shared the Bavarian Shweinshaxe – crispy pork hock with sauerkraut and creamed potatoes with a dark ale. Yum! The servings are VERY generous and we heard one couple literally groan as their ‘Taste of Germany’ platter arrived (all meat and pretzels!) Check out the range of platters here.

We enjoyed visiting the Hahndorf Academy. This is a regional centre for the arts and heritage based in a 150-year-old building co-located with the local information centre. There are several galleries with changing exhibitions, a migration museum, artist’s studios, art classes and a shop with LOTS of beautiful art and craft pieces!

A highlight for us was visiting The Cedars, the home and studio of painter Hans Heysen, famous for his drawings and paintings of the Australian bush. Back in 2012 we retraced many of his outback painting trips in the Flinders Ranges after reading a biography of his life, so this showed another part of this amazing man’s creativity and perseverance. The Heysen home and gardens including his studio have been preserved by his family and local volunteers provide guided tours.

Heysen house 1 Heysen house 2 Heysen studio

Many of his original works are on display, but seeing his working studio was amazing. All of his painting materials and tools, sketches and notes have been preserved, and we stood on the piece of worn carpet exactly where he stood at his easel! Lovely to see the car and camping trailer he used for his expeditions – possibly the first version of a pop top!

It was also inspiring to learn more about his daughter Nora who was also a trailblazer – the first woman to win the Archibald Prize (and still the youngest person ever to win it) and the first female war artist.

It was fun reacquainting ourselves with Mt Barker, another busy town in the Adelaide Hills. While our FJ Cruiser was being serviced in preparation for our upcoming LONG trip home to Perth, locals suggested we visit Auchendarroch. This is a magnificent 30 room mansion which now houses the local cinema, a very busy tavern and function rooms. Beautiful grounds and gardens also. After lunch we headed for the nearby local library to get our free latest magazine ‘fix’. A perfect day!Auchendarroch 2 Auchendarroch 3 Auchendarroch 1

Then it was time to head north to the Clare Valley, one of our favourite places in the whole wide world. Regular blog readers may remember our last visit to Clare was so very cold and wet that we changed our travel plans to head further east and north as quickly as possible!  However this visit was warm (the first time we’ve used the cool function on our air conditioner for a long time) and lived up to our high expectations. We revisited Mr Mick’s fab cellar and restaurant for cold bubbles and wonderful tapas – this time the pork belly and the soft shell crab were the standout dishes. Mmmm. We also stocked up on delicious salt bush lamb cutlets and sausages from the local butcher to keep us supplied as we start to HEAD HOME TO WA!

Elliston to Clare

Thanks to all of you who explained the South Australian sign “Stop creeping” to us – as in do not let your speed creep up over the limit!
For our 3 days in Elliston, we stayed at the caravan park opposite the jetty which has lovely grassed sites, and a camp kitchen with a huge fire and beaut jarrah slab tables to sit at every night – a great atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.
We met up with our good friends Jan and Jamie who are on a ‘big trip’ as well, and managed to eat our way through several dozen oysters, thanks to Master Schucker Jamie! We also cooked up some other favourites as well – while travelling, we find that we only buy a small amount of really good meat or fish and vegetables and cook them simply.
Elliston oysters with J & J
Several attempts to catch a fish were made. No success and no further discussion is being entered into apparently! The cliff-top scenic drive was spectacular with excellent sea vistas of the Southern Ocean and strategically placed statues. We especially enjoyed watching the surfers in Anxious Bay with a huge swell running.
Surfer Anxious Bay
So then it started raining, so clearly it was time to move further east! We caught the vehicle ferry from Lucky Bay to Walleroo rather than travel up through Port Augusta, as this suited our plans to revisit the lovely Clare Valley.
Ferry trip
Unfortunately it rained for the 3 days we were in Clare! We stayed at the Discovery caravan park and observed many unhappy campers – that delicate perfume of drenched and smelly canvas…
Campers Clare
It is such a well preserved and historic town at the gateway to the Clare Valley, with all the beautiful vineyards, artists, farmland and surrounding country. A highlight was eating great tapas at Mr Mick’s again – all those small tastes of yummy food combined with their local wines.
We know from experience it is important to be flexible with travel routes and arrangements…. when circumstances change, the weather is too hot or too cold, or costs blow out!
So it is with this trip. Our original plan was to get to SA and hug the coastline south and east around SA and Victoria and then north through NSW and up to Queensland.
We now plan to do this in reverse to take advantage of the warmer weather (i.e. we are already feeling quite cold!) Our new plan is to head east through the Riverland region to Mildura, then turn northeast. We have family and friends to see on the way through NSW and southern Queensland, then we will move north ASAP to the warmth.
Then when spring has sprung, we will explore the coast from Queensland south and west.