Leaving Melbourne, we flew about an hour west to the city of Adelaide. Adelaide is the capital of the state of South Australia. While Adelaide has a population of about 100,000, only 20,000 others live in the rest of the state. This is the general trend for Australia… 90% of the entire population lives within 75 miles of the coastline. So, while Adelaide is a somewhat smaller version of Melbourne, the rest of the state becomes more arid and less inhabited. This was true as we drove out of town to the Barossa Valley.
We didn’t spend much time in Adelaide… A couple hours walking through town and a photo stop in the heights looking down at the city. Mrs Bear and I walked through the museum sector which ended with a beautiful local government compound.
Our short stay was mandated by our tour’s decision to drive into the countryside. The land started out as agricultural and grazing pastures, but gradually became dominated by a vineyards. In fact, the Barossa Valley reminded me of Sonoma without all the people. There was one other small difference…
The wildlife was much more interesting.
Our group spent most of the next two days visiting local vineyards to wine taste. This is not our style. Mrs Bear does not drink at all, and I would have been more interested if the tastings had been at microbreweries. So we hiked some, and I snuck out in the early morning to play at the local golf course.
The surrounding scenery was spectacular. Golden hills and vineyards in the valleys. There were nightly wine tastings at our hotel, and I asked one nice lady how often her winery came with their samples. She told me there was a rotation that slotted them every five weeks or so. That means roughly 35 take turns. It really is a lot like Sonoma, and our fellow travelers were duly impressed by their products. Also, local golfers in the 19th hole were drinking wine, rather than beer, after their rounds.
Tomorrow, we leave for the Outback.