We had a lot to do today so it was an early start for us. The Australia War Memorial is an enormous museum dedicated to all of the soldiers who have served Australia since the countries' inception. Upon arriving, we immediately drew comparisons to Washington DC as the memorial is built across a long open stretch from the Parliament Building. While walking from the carpark to the museum's entrance, we noticed hundreds of plaques embedded in the concrete, each memorializing a different regiment or unit.
As I mentioned last time, Sunday was the "big game" and I rented a hotel room with satellite television to see it. I had done my research and found out that the game was going to be on Fox Sports 2 here in Australia. Naturally, I booked the hotel based on them advertising having Fox Sports. Unfortunately, when I arrived and checked into the hotel, it became evident that the rooms had ESPN and not Fox Sports. A little note mentioned that Fox Sports was available in the sports bar downstairs.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but the weather on Friday made the Australian Outback feel like hell. Before leaving Mildura for browner pastures, we stopped on the edge of town at Orange World, an orchard that provides tours along with housing the proverbial gift shop. While we didn't stay for a tour, a fresh bag of oranges was just what the doctor ordered for us. We also managed to take a couple of silly photos outside. It was just too hot a day to spend more than a couple of minutes outside, so we left before very long.
Wednesday was the first day that we ventured into the Australian Outback. While the drive through seemingly endless desert was highly anticipated by all of us, we still had a few places to see in Adelaide before getting on our way. In order to partake in the two things in Adelaide on our agenda and make it to our destination by nightfall, we were forced to stick to a pretty tight schedule. This meant another early start.
Our holiday park in Adelaide was located just two kilometers outside of the central business district. This worked out great for us since the city was within walking distance. Situated directly between our cabin and the city was the botanical gardens, so we figured it was the obvious place to start for the day. As I mentioned before, the parks in Adelaide are struggling to stay green with the drought. This is not the case with the botanical gardens though. In fact, the Adelaide Botanical Gardens are among the biggest and nicest we have seen on our trip.
Portland turned out to be a tourist driven coastal town without much to contain us other than a couple of natural wonders along the water. Since we didn't have much to see in town, on Saturday morning we headed straight out to see Cape Bridgewater. Cape Bridgewater sits around 25km outside the city and before reaching it we made a quick stop at the Cape Nelson Lighthouse. While tours are given at certain times, we weren't in luck this day, so we admired the building from below before moving on.
Australia's Great Ocean Road is known by travelers far and wide as one of the most scenic drives around. Find out why we fell in love and what we saw!
Our time in Melbourne was a bit confusing. Over our nine days in Australia’s second largest city, we ended up switching hotels four times. While this sounds a bit crazy, arriving in Australia on the week between Christmas and New Years is nothing if not chaotic. Our first two nights were booked prior to arriving, but after that we had to keep switching hotels in an effort not to go broke. It turns out that the holiday season is one of the peak times of year and hotels price their rooms accordingly. Also, to add another shoe to the fire, we were originally going to rent an apartment and stay in Melbourne for a while, so during this time a futile search for apartments was conducted on a daily basis. In regards to the apartment, we eventually figured out that the timing just wasn’t right.