To McLaren Vale and home

We stayed in a lovely B&B in McLaren Vale which is owned by an ex-Sydney couple who, 17 years ago, came down to SA and stayed at this very B&B. They discovered it was on the market, went back to Sydney, sold up and the rest is history. Allan and Carol have five beautiful hens and I got to know them as I sat blogging in the summer house and they wandered around my feet and under the table, happily clucking.

We woke the next morning to discover a fox had got into the hen house during the night and four of my lovely new hen friends had been taken. Only Hen No. 5 remained and she looked very forlorn - I was devastated. Allan has since worked out what happened and the hen house apparently now resembles Fort Knox - and another five hens are on their way!

We dined at the marvellous historic Barn Restaurant only 200 metres up the road. The saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover' rang true for this establishment which was rather plain on the outside. Inside was a different story. The restaurant is first class, both the food and atmosphere.

We left McLaren Vale and drove south to Victor Harbor where we spent three days enjoying the see breeze. A horse-drawn tram takes passengers from the town across a narrow bridge to Granite Island with its fantastic lookout. We made this our morning walk and enjoyed wonderful views of the town and the ocean. We also came across a model train shop and Jim bought some supplies for his layout - I spent over an hour in the Telstra shop trying to get our Telstra Air to work...

Following a night in Robe, a lovely little historic town on the south coast, we arrived at Mount Gambier via Naracoorte and its magnificent caves. We spent an hour touring the Victoria Fossil Cave and saw 500,000 year-old fossils. We had morning tea at the cafĂ© there where the blue wrens were so tame they hopped onto the table and waited for a crumb or two.

Only one major wine district had evaded us, so we headed to Coonawarra and spent some time at Wynns tasting and purchasing half a dozen for the best cab savs we've tasted. Finally we arrived in Mount Gambier and checked into our wonderful self-contained accommodation at The Barn (yes, another Barn). Another cave, the Engelbrecht, drew us in, a very special experience since it has an underground river that attracts cavers from around the world, and further caves are being discovered in this enormous labyrinth beneath the city.

The Blue Lake was everything we had hoped for, although it was only in the process of turning aqua. And a day trip to Port MacDonnell gave us the opportunity to see the historic Dingley Dell home of horseman and poet Adam Lindsay Gordon - the only Australian to have a bust in the poet's corner at Westminster Abbey.

And then we drove the Great Ocean Road; London Bridge (or what was), the Arch, Razorback and of course the amazing 12 Apostles, of which there are now only seven. We spent the night at Port Campbell before continuing on to Port Melbourne and our Spirit voyage home.

The hens at McLaren Vale

Barn Restaurant, McLaren Vale

Historic Caledonian Hotel at Robe

On Granite Island, Victor Harbor

The giant Diprotodon (wombat)

500,000 year-old fossils inside Victoria Cave at Naracoorte

Inside the Engelbrecht Cave, Mount Gambier

The Blue Lake

The grounds at The Barn Accommodation, Mount Gambier

Adam Lindsay Gordon's house at Dingley Dell

The Great Ocean Road - The Arch

The Razorback

The 12 Apostles

The 13th?


  1. Hi Penny, Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos! Enjoyed them. Looks like you both really had a fantastic time. Time rock formation is interesting. Almost looks like, from the lines on them that the water was actually up that high at one time. Glad to know you both got back home safetly.


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