Monday, January 28, 2013

"You Can't Go to Melbourne Without Riding on Puffing Billy"

Two days after leaving Adelaide on Good Friday (Holiday), we arrived in Melbourne on Easter (another Holiday). A substantial number of Aussies who had boarded initially in Melbourne were leaving the ship. "Don't forget to ride Puffing Billy", was their last admonishment. The journey began in Belgrave.  The full train trip goes all the way to Gembrook (a 5 1/2 return journey). We rode as far as Menzies Creek.
PUFFING BILLY has an excellent website. I would recommend clicking on Puffing Billy (above) to check out the interesting videos and learn more about the history of this great little steam train.
Station in Belgrave



Lovely tree ferns along the route


Some rail enthusiasts (and photographers)  were disappointed by this unconventional display of legs,
(a tradition on the Puffing Billy).


We would have liked to continue to Gembrook, but the Yarro Valley Wineries were calling.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cleland Wildlife Park, near Adelaide

After I traveled 2/3 of the way around Australia, it became clear to me that if I wanted to see some native animals, I would have to visit a wildlife park. When one is at home reading Australian travelogues, one gets the idea that the local animals are wandering in plain view. Not so.

I finally decided to go visit a wildlife park.

The Kangaroo family
Petting photos will be shown later at a wildife park in Tasmania.

These fellows all looked like possible "kickers", and people were keeping their distance.

The much-anticipated TASMANIAN DEVIL. Also see photo at the top of the page.

When visiting the wildlife parks, just listen for the nasty growls. This will lead you to the little guys.
They hate anyone and everyone, even their own relatives. A fierce fight ensues when fresh meat is presented to them. At 124 pounds per square inch, their jaws  make short work of ripping and shredding the meat, eating every last bit (even all the bones). They would even eat the hand that feeds them, so handlers must take extra caution. They have even perfected the art of growling, snarling, and swallowing simultaneously.

Don't hesitate to look up. You never know what might be in the tree above.
(I forgot to ask him his name.)

A napping KOALA.  I skipped the part about standing in line for 2 hours to get a personalized Koala photo.

One of my favorites.
The Aussies were not at all sympathetic with my fondness for the DINGOS.
"They are really bad," they admonished.

Does he look bad to you?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Adelaide on a Good Friday

As we approached Adelaide SA (Southern Australia, not South Africa), the Aussies were all lamenting about the fact that it was Good Friday, a national holiday, and that nothing would be open for viewing.

There were rumors that the beloved Central Market would open because the revenue brought by a large cruise ship would benefit the city.

It was a very quiet day. Few people were on the streets. The Central Market remained closed. The fast-moving tour bus took us to Gleneig, a place of respite for residents of Adelaide when they want to get away from the downtown area.

The modern version of the historical GLENEIG TRAM runs the 10K from Adelaide, offering an easy way to escape the city. 

The ferris wheel in Gleneig was not running, because it was such a quiet day.

I might have been tempted to ride in one of these!

The following are photos of Adelaide taken from a fast-moving tour bus.
A lot of the architecture contains European elements.

Overview of the city where Colonel William Light decided to build Adelaide.

                                                    Here he is, pointing to the site.

Next:  Finally, some native animals.