A Travellerspoint blog

Adelaide to Marion Bay

...via the Barossa, Balaklava, Ardrossan and Minlaton

sunny 33 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

On our first full day in Adelaide, we caught the bus into the city where we bought day passes so that we could go hither and thither more economically. One of the places on my bucket list was Adelaide Oval. Neither of us had seen any cricket from Adelaide over the last few years so when we found a typical bland sports stadium instead of the beautiful old ground, we were rather taken aback. When we arrived there was a Sheffield Shield match in progress and we were amazed to find that there was no entry fee, so we found a good position (not difficult as the stadium was almost empty) and enjoyed some good cricket (Queensland batting).

River Torrens from bridge to Adelaide Oval

River Torrens from bridge to Adelaide Oval

Statue of Sir Don Bradman outside the Oval

Statue of Sir Don Bradman outside the Oval

The Oval was unbelievably empty

The Oval was unbelievably empty

South Australian fielders wait as Queensland batsman is about to hit the ball

South Australian fielders wait as Queensland batsman is about to hit the ball

We walked back into the city and along the well-known Rundle Mall (named after John Rundle, a British politician and one of the original directors of the South Australia Company). The mall is a good shopping street although, as it happens, we shopped mainly off it! I needed a new UV filter as mine was damaged when I fell in the drink in the Whitsundays and Judith saw a camera bag which didn't look like a camera bag, so that had to come home with us!

Lovely old building with LOVELY chocolates

Lovely old building with LOVELY chocolates

Double reflections along the mall

Double reflections along the mall

Adelaide Arcade entrance with fountain outside

Adelaide Arcade entrance with fountain outside

Adelaide Arcade building

Adelaide Arcade building

The city transport delivered us back to Adelaide Shores, in a leisurely and meandering way, just in time for another gorgeous sunset.

Wonderful colour

Wonderful colour

The aftermath with some interesting cloud formations

The aftermath with some interesting cloud formations

The following day we were a bit slow starting so had to hassle a bit. This time we drove out to the Cheese Factory at Woodside (apparently named after a town of the same name in Scotland) where we, of course, had to sample and buy some cheese. Next door we found Melba's Chocolate Factory so felt it would be rude not to visit since we were there. More tasting and buying - no wonder we have put weight on during this trip! Not far away, we stopped to look at Wicks Vineyard. It is not open to the public but my mother's maiden name was Wicks. In Kent, there is a brewery run by a bloke named Wicks. Surely, with wine and beer in the offing, we must all be related?!

Inside the chocolate factory

Inside the chocolate factory

This is the logo to look for - great wines!

This is the logo to look for - great wines!

When we were in Hahndorf we had been advised to go to McLaren Vale so our route took us south. We stopped at a lovely picnic spot in Kuitpo Forest where we heard many birds but saw only a few of the usual culprits. Many years ago, we were holidaying in the Blue Mountains and in a restaurant had Wirra Wirra Church Block wine recommended to us, so as the Wirra Wirra Winery is in McLaren Vale, this became our destination. We tasted a few wines to be polite and came away with enough to keep us going, including more of the aforesaid Church Block, as good as ever, if not better!

Limbo time along the path in the forest

Limbo time along the path in the forest

A Common Brown butterfly - I would ask to be renamed!

A Common Brown butterfly - I would ask to be renamed!

Wirra Wirra Winery

Wirra Wirra Winery

For the origin of the name for McLaren Vale, it seems there is a choice of two; either David McLaren, Colonial Secretary of the South Australia Company or John McLaren (no relation) who surveyed the area in 1839.

When Judith was working at the Nuffield Hospital in Suffolk, she worked with a nurse, Vanessa, who later emigrated to Australia and lives just south of Adelaide so we headed for the coast to catch up with her and her partner, Seamus. It turned out that Seamus had worked at Stowmarket where I was a Business Manager at the local High School for seven years after our return to England, so we found a lot in common. As with catching up with other friends, it was all too brief but thoroughly enjoyable. Again, we returned to a pretty magic sunset.

Steve, Vanessa and Judith (Seamus the photographer)

Steve, Vanessa and Judith (Seamus the photographer)

Another gaudy sunset

Another gaudy sunset

A touch of crepuscular light as the sun descends

A touch of crepuscular light as the sun descends

And so came the time to move on again. Marion Bay was our destination but we took a slightly round about route. First we headed for the Barossa Valley, how could we not?! I had always assumed that the Barossa Valley owed its name to Germans or Italians who settled there. In fact, it is named after the Barossa Ridge which was named by Colonel William Light (famed for choosing the site for Adelaide and for designing the city layout). He named it after a victorious battle in which he had fought against the French in 1811, the Battle of Barrosa. A clerical error resulted in the change of spelling.

A last look at the beach before leaving Adelaide Shores

A last look at the beach before leaving Adelaide Shores

Someone in Hahndorf had recommended Seppeltsfield to us but on the way we stopped at Bethany. This is a pretty little village, originally settled by German migrants and there is a lovely Lutheran Church as well as many original buildings.

Lutheran Church

Lutheran Church

Nicely painted wagon in old barn behind the church

Nicely painted wagon in old barn behind the church

Other old farm buildings behind the church

Other old farm buildings behind the church

The little village has a fascinating history. It was settled in 1842 by 28 families who emigrated from Silesia in a part of Prussia that is now part of Poland. They left due to religious persecution and at first named the settlement Neuschlesian (New Silesia) but then changed it to Bethanien, after the town in Palestine. During World War I the name was changed to Bethany, the anglicized version of the name. The village was laid out in the German Hufendorf system which is still largely as it can be seen today. The houses are built along the main road, with farmland stretching out at right angles in long narrow strips. Most of the houses are privately owned but it is still possible to walk down the main street and see (pretty much) how it would have looked in the 19th century. A Lutheran Church was built in 1845 on the site of what is now the Old Lutheran Manse, with the current church being built on a new site, diagonally opposite, in 1883. Most of this information is borrowed from a little pamphlet which we picked up in the village. There is much more interesting information but there is a limit to what I can include in this blog.

From Bethany we drove to Chateau Tanunda which was very impressive but we didn't see the Welcome mat so carried on to Seppeltsfield (named after its founder, Joseph Ernst Seppelt) where we had a delicious lunch at Fino's. The estate is quite lovely and the food and drink are so good that it could have been a hovel - it wasn't! It is not cheap but I would say very good value for money.

Vineyards in the Barossa Valley

Vineyards in the Barossa Valley

Fino's Restaurant was under this Welcome sign

Fino's Restaurant was under this Welcome sign

Or you could dine in the courtyard

Or you could dine in the courtyard

Seppeltsfield logo on a fountain by the restaurant

Seppeltsfield logo on a fountain by the restaurant

A covered walkway

A covered walkway

Another view across vineyards in the Barossa Valley

Another view across vineyards in the Barossa Valley

One of the things that has kept me busy over the years is tracing my and Judith's family histories. Many years ago, my late parents had told me that I had a relative living in South Australia and eventually I found an address in Balaklava (named after the Crimean War battle but with a 'k' instead of the usual 'c'). I think the relatives have passed on some years past but I still wanted to see where they had lived so we detoured through some pretty hot, bare, flat country to get there. Balaklava itself is a very nice small town but, as I could not find anything more about my relatives, we had a cup of coffee and then pressed on through more flat, dry country - not the most awe-inspiring drive.

We stopped for coffee in this park in the middle of town

We stopped for coffee in this park in the middle of town

View along Balaklava main street

View along Balaklava main street

We had thought that the Yorke Peninsula would offer better scenery but our route took us down the middle of the peninsula and the countryside here was almost as featureless as that we had been through earlier in the day. In fact, our initial impression was that the drive made the Nullarbor crossing look like a scenic drive. However, we stopped at Ardrossan (named after a Scottish seaport) for groceries and Minlaton (derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'freshwater well') for fuel and found them both very pleasant small towns. We found our villa at Marion Bay but at the time of arrival couldn't find the bay! Nonetheless, there was a fine sunset and we looked forward to exploring the area.

c2c9cad0-8900-11e8-a188-650c0f4132ad.jpg20180301_P1140215.jpg

Two views of the sunset

The most popular origin for the name of Marion Bay is that it was named after a ship of that name which had foundered just off the coast with 350 emigrants aboard. All survived the wreck but one lady and her baby died on land after a dray overturned while ferrying transporting the emigrants to Adelaide. Some people say that the bay had that name before the wreck so maybe it was a coincidence

Matthew Flinders narrowly beat Nicholas Baudin in naming the Yorke Peninsula after the Right Honourable Charles Philip York (later Lord Hardwicke), rather than Cambaceres Peninsula (after a French nobleman). Well done Matt!

Posted by SteveJD 14:15 Archived in Australia Tagged australia barossa_valley wineries cricket bethany south_australia marion_bay

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

All this cheese, wine and chocolate - I'm surprised that you managed to get home !! As you say, you can't be rude and decline. Or would you want to!! ?

by Gill Geraghty

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login