Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 9 Monday 18th

It was an early start, well early when you had not had to be up early. By 8.15 we were waiting in the street for our coach to arrive. I suppose it arrived five minutes late. I examined the bus stop and got further understanding as to why no bus ran along Military Road. We have done bus tours before and we knew what to expect. Sure enough, we were taken to a central point for the rest of our group to get on. The central point was the new Adelaide bus/coach station, quite a smart and efficient place.

We headed off along the pretty and winding Torrens River valley and stopped for a German morning tea. The Barossa Valley has a strong German heritage and we became very aware of it as the day progressed. Nowadays we would call it a racial ghetto. Anyway, we were unimpressed by the sweet things served for morning tea at the Lyndoch Bakery, but the coffee was welcome and it was cosy place reminding me of the Cuckoo restaurant in our Dandenong Ranges.

Next stop was Richmond Grove Winery where we were shown around mainly the old part of the winery. The winery was once owned by Leo Buring, a name I can remember from years ago. The obligatory wine tasting and we chose one bottle. The rest of the group did not as most of them had weight issues because at some point in the near future they were taking flights.

The group was R and myself, two other Australian couples, a couple from LA, three possibly Malaysians who barely spoke English and a Dutch born girl from Sydney. They were all ok, but the guy from LA was behaving very 'American Tourist'. The Dutch lass, originally from The Hague was keen to be friendly with us and we responded.

On to the Whispering Wall. Quite fascinating. It is the wall of a dam and without intention, its concave outflow wall is perfectly constructed to carry sound from one end to the other.

Lunch was at another Kaesler Winery and it was very nice meal and the group started to relax with each other and get very chatty. Two more bottles were bought.

We returned via Hahndorf where we and one and a half hours to wander the streets at our own pace, and then back to the bus station in central Adelaide via that very steep hill freeway.

It was nice to have a day where I did not have to think about where we going, what we were doing and drive. The coach driver was excellent in both his driving skills and his informed commentary and his interest in each person on the tour. We had a decent chat to him on our own as he drove us back to West Beach from the city.

As guests of the caravan park, we were given a 20% discount for the tour making the price $105 each. It was good value and I would recommend Gray Line. We left the park at 8.15 and returned at 5.45.

Our last Adelaide dinner was pasta made up from bits we bought the day before.

Touring coaches are just so comfortable and look, a double windscreen, complete with its own wipers just for us. We had just set off and were travelling along Burbridge Road which becomes Donald Bradman Drive and leads directly to the city.

Don't ask me. On some vacant land next to the coach station.

Franklin Hotel in, surprise, Franklin Street.

A very simple cottage in Lyndoch..

We needed stamps for postcards.

The pretty Torrens Valley.

The Barossa Reservoir.

We stood at this end of the Barossa Reservoir wall.

And the people at the far end of the wall could hear us talk as clearly as we were standing next them, as could we hear them. I was looking around for a speaker and microphone and I am still not convinced there weren't. Truly amazing.

This would be a German Lutheran church.

In the hollow under this tree trunk lived a family for a time long enough to have two children. No evidence of a stainless steel designer kitchen remained.

Richmond Grove Winery.

A press to extract wine from the skins that remain after the main processing.

A bridge at the winery leading to.....?

These grape vines are over one hundred years old. We learnt more than we ever needed to know about grape vine pruning and even came across a machine pruning grape vines at a roadside.

Menglers Hill lookout shows the Barossa Valley below and just below the wall is a sculpture park.

Hahndorf is very pretty and historic. Here are a few of the buildings I liked.

Was the 1839 this building's street number or the year it was built.


  1. Fab photos, that coach tour sounds great!
    Love those houses and buildings, the Whispering Wall was recently on one of those travel shows :)

  2. Is that pink thing cocking its leg?
    Ooh they have the best raspberry drop boiled lollies in Hahndorf. Mmmmm.

  3. The Barossa Valley really does have a strong and wonderful German heritage but I wouldn't call it a racial ghetto. I would call it a part of Australia where German migrants first settled in the 19th century and where their great grandchildren still live the lifestyle that was/is so appealing.

    I absolutely envy them their spot in the South Australian sun, but I would not have wanted to be a German-speaking family in Australia when war broke out in 1914. They were treated abominably.

  4. The wall was great Jayne. I used to be against coach tours, but after having done a few, I like them.

    I can see what you mean Fen. I never noticed that.

    I was 'having a go' Hels. What might be now called a racial ghetto back then was a community of welcome immigrants. Yes, there is nothing to be proud about in Australia about internment etc in both wars. I have never actually heard of any of them being a threat.

  5. Only $105 for your tour? That's a good deal.
    I'm fairly sure the 1839 is the year the original building was constructed.
    I love the whole Barossa Valley area, it's pretty and I'm always drawn to quaint old buildings in the German style. Must have something to do with my heritage.

  6. Sounds like a great day out!! A recently published book reviewed in the Adelaide Advertiser contends the Barossa had Nazi connections during WW2 - nothing proven, of course. But weirdly, there's an Arthur Upfield 'Bony' mystery story with this very contention ...

  7. Hmm, River, I just used the calculator to add 20% to the 105 and it is a bit less than the full price. I better look at the paperwork. The Barossa is quite a unique area in Australia. Yes, we have many wine growing areas, but I don't think the have history that the Barossa does. Danke.

    Interesting Red. We have to put it in the context of the period where quite a few influential people in England were initially pro Nazi. Once the war was over, of course no one wanted to be associated with the horrors. I'll leave the rest to the experts.