Island-hopping in Indonesia
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Down under (Part 1)

We couldn’t quite picture being in Australia, since none of us had ever been this far away from home, but we knew we’d be glad to be back in “western culture”.
Asia’s nice- really nice, but we’ve just had it with the rain and the noise and the crowds and the difficulties looking for food.

Financially, traveling Australia seemed to be a luxury, but we found something in Adelaide for 30 AUD a night on Airbnb.
It was a trailer, but a fancy one. Old, yes, but with fridge, TV and even aircon.
The latter was much needed, as was soon proved when the sun threatened to cook us in our little metal home.

We spent the four days in Adelaide exploring the neighborhood- despite the heat. It wasn’t that bad anyway. We’d expected temperatures to climb up to 40 degrees, and our host said it was like this until we arrived, but during our stay, it never got hotter than approximately 35 degrees.

Our neighborhood was nice, suburban with friendly neighbors and no noise at all.
We strolled to Westlakes, through a seemingly endless jungle of cute suburban houses, all the way to Semaphore Beach.
Despite the sun, the cool wind made us shiver and we didn’t feel like swimming.
We’d booked a mini campervan from Wicked Campers, which we went to pick up on our last day in Adelaide.
It was smaller than expected and we couldn’t believe it at first, when they showed us where we were going to sleep the next couple of weeks.
salt creek
The company rents mostly to young people and they design their cars and vans in cool ways, with flowers and peace signs and such. Ours, however, had a slogan on one of the doors that even we felt was a bit too much.
It was a bit embarrassing to have to drive around with it, but soon enough, we’d left Adelaide behind dived into Australia’s wilderness.

We had originally planned to visit the Outback, but this turned out to be too expensive, so we’d adjusted our route from Adelaide to Sydney.

Salt Creek

Our first stop after an afternoon in the car was Salt Creek.
Thanks to the useful apps ‘WikiCamps’ and ‘WickedCampers’, we saw which campsites were nearby. There was a free campsite but comments of visitors said the road was really bad, so we chose a campsite for 18AUD / night.
Thanks to Africa, we know that small two-wheelers can do wonders, but this time, we wanted to be safe.
After setting up our bed and eating dinner, we went for a stroll through the bushland and along the river.
salt creek-2
The sun was just setting and we met a couple of kangaroos.

It was nice to finally see a live one, since we’d encountered about ten dead ones on the road.

The car was a bit tight and the mattress a bit hard, but we got a good enough night’s sleep to explore the area further the next morning.
Salt Creek’s got its name for a reason, since there are big dried up salt lakes everywhere.
salt creek-3
We also walked up to the dunes, but walking through hot sand while the sun was boiling our brains was too exhausting, so we gave up halfway to the beach and went back to our car instead.

That was smarter anyway, since we had a long drive ahead of us.

Cape Dombey

We weren’t sure what to visit on our trip.
René had set a couple of marks on Google maps and one of them was an Obelisk, which is a popular spot for tourists to take pictures, so we didn’t want to miss it either.

It was windy as hell and more interesting than the Obelisk, was the intense turquoise and deep blue color of the sea!
cape dombay

Mount Gambier

In Mount Gambier, we found a nice campsite with clean showers and a kitchen.
When we got ready for bed though, we discovered an unwanted passenger on the roof of our car…
it was a big spider and even though we love spiders, we were a bit scared since in Australia, you never know what wild things might kill you… René chased the spider away and we felt a bit sorry for her, because she looked like a young one and she didn’t know her new surroundings after sitting on our car for hours.
We later googled ‘Australian spiders’ and found out that it was a huntsman spider, which is a harmless kind.

The next morning, we went to visit the Umpherston Sinkhole.
It’s very impressive to see how our earth looks from the inside and the sinkhole had been transformed into a botanical gardens.
We didn’t see any possums though.

After the sinkhole, we drove to Mt. Gambier’s Blue Lake.
blue lake
This one’s way bluer than the one in Switzerland though and it’s got its color from natural chemicals.
The lake changes every year in November from gray to bright blue- practically overnight, and then back to gray in March.

Ewens Ponds

You can’t swim in the Blue Lake, but luckily, the Ewens Ponds were on our way.

Placed in the middle of fields, surrounded by reeds, the ponds look like an entrance into another world.

The water is cold- probably about 12 degrees when we went there, and it’s crystal clear.

The ponds are quite deep as well and you can snorkel and even scuba dive there.
A tourist had warned us about the water temperature and suggested, we’d bring a wetsuit, but we had no idea where to get one and so we ended up snorkeling in our regular bathing suit.
And we must say, this is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights of our entire trip!

Bright green, lush water plants stretched out underneath us, while the sunrays that broke through the water painted wonderful patterns on the stony ground.
The water is so clear that it actually reflects upside down :)
ewens ponds
There’s three ponds in total and you can swim from one to the next through a narrow passage through the reed and by the time we reached the last one, René was shaking like a leaf and had to get out of the water.

Cobboboonee Nationalpark

One of the free campsites, which Australia has to offer, lies in the middle of a forest, in a national park… and we were its only guests…

A couple of walking trails lead through the woods and when we strolled around, we encountered some shy kangaroos, who jumped away as soon as they saw us.

Later though, we were preparing dinner and a kangaroo and a wallaby (who we mistook for a baby kangaroo at first) decided to pay us a visit, looking for food.
Sleeping in a forest, all alone in Australia’s wilderness, is a bit creepy, but it was also incredibly cool.

Great Ocean Road

After the peaceful and quiet national park, we reached different terrain:

The Great Ocean Road- one of the most popular things for tourists in Australia.

A local had even warned us not to go, but the Great Ocean Road has so much to offer, we would have been fools if we’d skipped it.

Yes, there are lots of tourists. But there are also absolutely incredible and breathtaking sights that we’d never want to miss.
great ocean road
Cliffs, that look like someone had smoothened them with a file, stretch on almost endlessly. It was a kind of a ‘hop on- hop off’ tour, only in our own car and on our own terms.
great ocean road-2

Kennett River

Through the magnificent Great Otway forest, flanked by prehistoric looking fern trees, the Great Ocean Road led us farther through Australia’s wonders.
There were still many tourists around when we arrived in the Kennett River national park.

This is one of the places where you should have a 90% chance of seeing Koalas!

And we did…
kennet river
It was a perfect birthday gift for Nici!

Big Hill Campsite

Another free campsite, but this time a crowded on.

We were lucky and got the last official free spot, but even hours after us, people kept arriving and they just put their campers wherever they found an empty spot.
Despite the amount of people, it was very peaceful.
big hill campside
We are amazed by how civilized travelers in Australia are. Apart from being incredibly polite and friendly, they also clean up after themselves and make sure to recycle. Plus, everybody talked in low voices, as to not disturb the wildlife and the other guests.

Due to that, we passed a very peaceful evening with birds, trees and luckily, no phone reception.


Sleeping in our car surrounded by nature had definitely made us more sensitive… and that hit us when we reached Melbourne.
We had planned to spend about three days here sightseeing… and we ended up skipping it altogether.

Two affordable campsites, we checked out, were full and after that, we were so stressed out and annoyed by the traffic, the noise and the crowds, that we literally fled the city.

Only when we were 150 kilometers away from Melbourne, did we stop to look for a campsite.

Well, sorry Melbourne… maybe some other time.

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