Australia

A very cool climate alpine region so lots of changing weather - one minute the sky was blue then a few minutes later it was cold and drizzly.

Drove down to the visitor centre and purchased a National parks pass then took the free shuttle bus about 20 minutes down the road to Dove Lake, the spot where all those well known Cradle Mountain photos are taken!! Unfortuately for us, although not raining, there was heavy mist, blustery winds and somevery light drizzle, but alas, no Cradle Mountain to be seen. Such is life! We've also been to the Great Wall of China and seen only what was 50 ft in front of us as well!

Made it! Got the 8.40am flight out of Melbourne, arrived in Launceston, collected the hire car and headed up to the Tamar Valley where we were staying.

Tamar Valley Retreat is located right on the Tamar River and has 2 lovely cottages, fully self contained of course. It was unfortunate that we only had the one night here due to our delays but once we had settled in we were back in the car and off!

Followed the touristy route, stopped at brady's lookout, did some wine tasting (and bought a bottle of Pinot Noir) at Tamar Valley Vineyard. The region is reknowned for it's Pinot Noir. The vines are all brown branches at the moment as it's mid winter and cold.

Early morning start for our flight to Melbourne, a wait in Melbourne then on to Launceston.

Oops - didn't quite turn out that way - flew to Launceston alright but the airport was fogged in so aircraft came straight back to Melbourne.

We had already waited around for that flight for some 3 hours but then had another 5 hour wait for our designated flight after returning to Melbourne. Bummer!

Waited 3 hours till about 7pm then decided it was all too hard so we made arrangements to stay at the Holiday Inn at the Airport overnight and catch the flight to Tasmania in the morning.

A rather long driving day today but turned out as a good day after 2 or 3 small stops then travelled off the Hume Highway and out to Beechworth - a gem in the wilderness!

It's been another long day on the road - although it hasn't really been 'on the road' with so many stops and things to do.

First stop was a lookout viewing area over Port Campbell - one from each side of Port Campbell! From there it was down to view the Loch Ard Gorge and the bay after which that was named.

Back down to the 12 Apostles and what a huge difference in weather and ocean. Yesterday was cold and blustery with a huge ocean swell and white horse caps on the ocean - today was almost flat as a pancake and as we travelled down the coastline, it seemed to get more and more calm. As sadi, a HUGE weather change. Almost a pleasure being here again!

Our first stop out of Mt Gambier this morning was to a 'sinkhole' - formed 200 odd years ago just out of town and known as the 'Umpherstone Sinkhole'. If anyone ever passes here, it is well worth a look - really interesting to say the least.

The sinkhole has been developed into a lovely parklands garden and is really quite pretty. A number of steps down as one would imagine but the sort of formation you don't usually see on travels!

Had no real plan for the day so hopped in the car and headed off on a driving tour to whereever the car would take us. It was a bit tricky as we were in the centre of the CBD but ended up on a drive through War Memorial Drive along the river and parklands. Worked our way into town and did a wander through the centre city shops (as you do!) and along North Terrace with all the older historic buildings eg The Museum, Art Gallery - even had a wander through there.

Mum has noticed lots of old churches along our travels, maybe because many of them are the historic stone churches which have been well preserved.

Left the city area and headed out to the Barossa - our first stop to the 'I' spot for a map on where we were and what best to see in a short period of time.

Organised ourselves early this morning and made our way firstly to the Adelaide Central Markets - supposedly opened early at 7am and yes, lots of the fruit and vegie areas were open but not a lot of others.

The assortment of fruit and vegies was amzing as were the cheese shops - and of course another Haig's Cholcoate store which we visited of course! We are doing SO well at lolly and chocolate stores! (NOT!)

From Adelaide, headed up to the Adelaide Hills where we visited the Mt Lofty Summit for a lookout view over a dreary looking Adelaide, left there then drove on through the small town localities rather than jump straight onto the freeway. Some lovely older homesteads in amongst the big gardens in the area.

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