Adelaide 2017 Day 16 – Home Sweet Home

6am the alarm clock rang and I got out of bed quickly to get things packed and checked Uber. Nothing yet. Made a bottle of milk for K and soon mommy was up too. Everything became a rush when K woke up and was ready to get prepared and at the same time, our trip was accepted by a Suzuki Swift driver and was 3mins from arrival and I even took an opportunity to shoot the sunrise from the balcony.

Sunrise over Glenelg

Amazingly K wasn’t complaining much (yet) as he got ready. Got a call from the driver to hurry us and soon we got everything downstairs while mommy made another trip to the apartment just to be sure we didn’t leave anything behind. The driver was slightly complaining about us not being ready and making him wait in the morning, which was rush hour and since he was getting paid by per trip meant he could be making less, something I would argue as it was a Sunday and who else would be awake at this time?

Amazingly he made it happen, packing 2 huge 28″ into one side of the back seat and the other side was taken by mommy and K while I sat in front. We were soon on the roads which didn’t have much traffic and it was a smooth, we arrived within 15mins.

Adelaide airport

Proceeding to the check in, it was rather crowded in the not so big space. Singapore Airlines were taking the rows 2 to 9 which were hidden from sight by a big bunch of sports athletes heading somewhere in Australia on Virgin Air. We squeezed through and was met with a long snaking line waiting to do a bag drop at the internet check in. It took more than 15 mins before we were lining up again for the immigration. After the bag check, I picked up my bags from the roller lines and K was crying because he wanted me to carry him. Then one airport staff at the end of the line wanted to check me as a random sample for explosives so I had to open my bags again for him to scan and lift my arms whatsoever, all this time with K standing there crying. I wondered if it was a case of ignorance or pure bad luck ( I got these multiple times) that I had to be chosen.

Massive queue at Virgin

We had to go through the manual counters which was manned by 2 staff and it took awhile as there was a queue in front of us again and it was about another 15mins before we were finally at the departures.

Went over to Terra Rosa to get my last Aussie Ham and Cheese croissant and latte before heading home and mommy had her blueberry muffin and her camomile, K sharing our pastries. The toilet in this airport was really far as I found out, walking the entire stretch of the domestic gates to find a temporary one. Mommy gave up as it was already 830am and we proceeded to the gate.

After immigrations
Terra Rosa
Inside Terra Rosa

At the international departure gate, there was another bag check and a line. It was really difficult to get on board a plane! After this, we went through a small duty free shop and then we were finally at the gate. Found that most of the passengers have boarded and so we just proceeded to board straight away.

We took the 3 center seats of this A330 and the overhead compartments had enough space for all our bags. K was being hard to manage, being cranky and rather choosy. Gave him the baby first channel and changed his diapers after the plane took off. He shared our meals of beef pizza and fried rice and later a while, he slept. 2hrs of bliss, and of Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them and La La Land before he woke up for more baby first on repeat. It worked and I even managed some glances at Rogue One because a woken up baby definitely needed some attention. The overall flight was ok with one slight turbulence and it ended with mommy using the puke bag and K pooping.

This trip was planned as long haul holiday for the family as there were two public holidays in between. As we planned this really late, and we would liked to do the Great Ocean Road, Australia was the choice of destination that would fit our objectives and managing that with a toddler in tow. It was a rather relaxing trip on itinerary but it was really full because of the toddler and made worse with the sun setting before 6 and places closing early, meant that we couldn’t do anything much after 6 except having dinner and resting at home lest we wanted to be frozen out in the open. Nonetheless, it was 2 weeks of good family time together without the worldly cares back home, and the weather was sometimes real good to be out and about.

We had seen some awesome sceneries, some wildlife, koalas and kangaroos out in the open, taken some rustic train rides and driven onto ferry that could take cars and some 3k of road trip. Great Ocean Road was world reknowned but I wouldn’t do it a second time because of the bumpy and the curvy part of it, preferred the NZ road trip rather than this (than again NZ might not be suitable for a toddler). Looking for the next trip (though undecided) 3 months down the road.

Adelaide 2017 Day 15 – Botanic Gardens and Rundle Mall

The last day of our trip was started with waking up to beautiful weather outside though a little chilly in the morning. At about 8am, I could already see families out and about in the park nearby, the blue sky a definite welcome, indicating we would not be expecting any rain soon. K woke up with a bottle of milk in hand, whom now found milk at 30ish degrees Celsius too hot, didn’t want to return to sleep after he drank the milk. Instead, that kickstarted our day activities, with breakfast of pastries that we bought the evening before and mommy packing of K’s meals before we got out the apartment by 10am.

We walked towards Jetty Road a few mins walk away and approached the information center for help because we weren’t sure how to get ride on the tram to Adelaide. There were in fact 2 ways other than the metro card, one was at the machine at the station and the other was on the tram itself. We got onto the tram to purchase the tickets, which would take either coins or cards with PIN number. Had to paid with my Nets card since I didn’t have a pin for my credit card, and we didn’t have enough coins for 2 x day passes of aud20 in total. Later I found out using the free Wifi in Adelaide that the day passes can be used on tram, train and buses, which was a good deal.

Ticketing machine on the tram
Inside tram

The tram ride took about 40mins to our stop Rundle Mall in Adelaide town and wasn’t really crowded. Afterwards, we got off at the station and started to walk towards the Botanic Gardens. The real time arrival time of one of the buses actually required about 15 mins of waiting and we decided to just walk the 1km away which would be almost 15mins too. Along the way, it was a nice walk with the cool weather.

One of the statues on the street of Adelaide
Wide pavement to walk
Fountain at the Adelaide museum

The Botanic garden looked a little big from the map but wasn’t really. We walked through the garden just enjoying the freshness of the morning air and the greenery around. Ended up at the Cafe Fibonacci and took a seat there as carrying K for the whole walk was really tiring and I needed a break, and a latte to come along. Bought a blueberry muffin to share and after we were done, used the diaper changing facility in the disabled toilet to change diapers before leaving the gardens.

Map of Adelaide Botanic Garden
Inside the gardens
Lily pond
Glasshouse where the lily pond was
Cafe Fibonacci
Place where we had some coffee
A tunnel made of leaves
Lake in the botanic gardens
Autumn arriving
Another glasshouse
Glasshouse surrounded by cacti

We were slightly lost and had to walk back towards the main gate to get to the bus stop. As we arrived at the bus stop, a J1A bus came along and we asked if he knew any buses to get us to Rundle Mall. He said it wasn’t far from there and asked us to hop on and he would drop us nearest to the bus stop. What a thoughtful bus driver! There weren’t any passengers on board then and maybe that’s why he could offered the ride.

Once we got off, mommy hit the huge 2 levels Target store there. Mostly buying stuff for K again, we stayed there for quite a bit and buying more stuff like toys and cups before crossing to the 24hrs Hungry Jacks (In Singapore, it was known as Burger King) just across the road. Ordered a Perperi chicken for mommy while I tried their Gourmet burger equivalent, all for aud21. K also had his meal as we ate in but as usual, he was busy playing with the new Paw Patrol stamps that mommy just bought. The gourmet burger was a definite upgraded standard in terms of taste to the conventional ones and definitely worth the additional costs.

Target at Rundle mall
Toy section of Target
Inside Hungry Jacks
Angus beef burger from Hungry Jacks

Then we crossed over to Rundle Mall, which was not a mall per se, but a long stretch of shopping street that had a few big players there, such as Myer and David Jones and an Apple Store. There were many baskers too, playing some impressive music but we didn’t have time to slow down to appreciate. Before long, we were on the tram heading back to Glenelg, an end to our day exploration of Adelaide city. We got onto a pretty crowded tram almost immediately K fell asleep in mommy’s arms. I joined them on the same seat on later when some of the people cleared.

Rundle Mall street
Adelaide Arcade along Rundle mall street
Mirror balls on the street

The 40mins journey ended at the same station number 17, the one that we boarded before and I carried K in my arms as he continued to sleep. Once back to the apartment, I set him down on the bed and it seemed successful that he remained asleep until the mistake of taking off his shoes that woke him up. We all laid in bed for an hour with mommy even falling asleep, in an attempt for K to return to nap but he just couldn’t/wouldn’t. Gave up and all of us woke up to go to the supermarket.

There were 2 majors supermarkets nearby, Coles being the nearest within 2 minutes walk while Woolworths was a little further, in a Bay Village mall. We chose to visit Woolworths instead as we could get free Marvel collectible coins again. We walked briskly there and was surprised to find out that the supermarket was closing in 10 mins time. Quickly we divided and conquered, mommy to buy the stuff required for cooking and I proceeded to buy 2 cans of Nan stage 3 which was about half the price of that in Singapore, at aud22 per can of 800g. We also bought some Tim Tam to be brought back to Singapore as treats for colleagues. We spent about aud100 in all and that gave us 5 tikam Marvel discs in which K held tightly all the way back to the apartment.

Bayside village
Woolworths inside Bayside Village

Immediately after putting the stuff down, I brought K to the indoor amusement building Beachouse to continue to utilized the rest of the card value, which was a train ride, a castle play and 2 other games. Got K to finish eating his cracker and cheese snack before we boarded the train that was outdoors, and that went about 3 rounds around the mini golf course. K wasn’t particularly fascinated though.

Sunset at Glenelg
Beachouse card
Train inside Beachouse

Then we proceeded to the castle play, which was in fact a 3 storey high indoor playground. The bad thing was only kids under 1.3m could enter, and K had to go venture on his own. He was fine going along but stuck merely to the first 2 levels. There was another kid who somehow got lost and didn’t know how to return. The staff was asked to help get him back but that failed and the father had to go retrieved the kid. I thought this rule was quite stupid because toddlers whom were just above 75cm could enter, but wouldn’t have the street smartness to get in and out of this maze liked structure. Thankfully K was able to get out and he soon did after I bought my latte and thought that I could get some “me” time.

Indoor playground in Beachouse
At the topmost level of the playground

We then went over to the “crazy” mirrors on the second floor where K had a nice laugh about it before going back to the first floor to see which rides he wanted to use the remaining 2 credits. We eventually used them for a machine hitting rubber ducks that earned us 5 tickets each round. That only got us enough to exchange for 2 rubber balloons that I didn’t bother to exchange. Spending more was just not of value.

We then went outside Beachouse as there was an outdoor playground. Although it was already dark before 7 (and I missed the gorgeous sunset), K still had fun climbing up a fake grass patch on a structure up to the top then to slid down a slide. He also had his first experience of bouncing on a trampoline and walked on the stumps and a slippery rubber bridge. We only returned at about 720pm, the cold wind was already starting to blow.

Outdoor playground with trampoline

Back in the apartment, mommy was just about done with cooking and we were just in time for dinner. K didn’t have a lot of the fried rice and after dinner, I got K to bath and before 10pm, he was in bed.


The rest of the night was spent packing and cleaning as we had to catch an early flight the next day morning. There were many new things and toys to pack, as mommy was a die hard customer of Target and was buying lotsa stuff. Thankfully with those perishables that were utilized during this trip, the free up space was enough to accommodate the new stuff and of course, the foodstuff filled my back pack. Mommy caught some TV while I tried to finish the complimentary bottle of Chardonnay and update this blog before going to sleep. There was one uncertainty in our mind – would there be an Uber driver tomorrow to pick us to the airport?

Glenelg 2017 Day 14 – Arrival in Glenelg and harbour town outlet shopping and Beachouse

It was another day of travel and waking up early. I woke up early to check out the sunrise again. Before leaving the apartment, left a bottle of milk in the warmer before driving out, which was a really chilly morning. Instead of hitting the beach like I did the previous morning, I drove around to see if I could get a higher view of the bay. In fact, going around the estate I found a dirt road that was at a level higher than our apartment and gave a full view of the bay and the rising sun. There weren’t any clouds blocking the sun this morning and a perfect yolk could be seen at slightly past 7. Had to wait in the car for a while since I was very early and later tried to get a clear view of it by going low beside and past a bush. It was there I also noticed that there was a herd of sheeps at the land above the apartment where we stayed.

Sunrise at Emu bay

After returning to the apartment, found both mommy and K awake. Then we got prepared for our trip back to mainland, first was to catch our 1030am ferry at Penneshaw an hour drive away. This meant we needed to get moving by 9am. As we worked towards that target, trying to overcome the same daily challenges for preparing a toddler to leave the apartment, I loaded up the baggages as and when those were packed and ready. Then as we finally said goodbye to the nice apartment with a nice view, K couldn’t bear to leave the binos, we were on an hour drive to the ferry terminal.

Uneventful along the way and as we approached the ferry, I lined up behind one of the busy car lanes. Mommy got off the car as usual to get the tickets and boarded herself through the passenger bridge while K stayed in the car while I waited for the staff to direct my car into the ferry, learning from the trip to Kangeroo Island. After some really tight parking, with the assistance of the staff, I carried K to the passenger’s lounge, and found mommy at the front of the ferry with a good view, the benefit of being early.

Lining up at Sealink ferries
Ferries tickets
Inside the ferry, front facing seats
Signboard at the terminal
Penneshaw waters

The ferry left Kangeroo Island and it was about an hour trip back to Cape Jervis. K was the usual active self, climbing up and down the stairs from the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor. We spent some time sitting at the 3rd floor with him on my phone and finally just before disembarking, we rejoined mommy on the 2nd floor. Carried K back to the car and sat him onto the child seat and after a short wait for the cars in front to leave, and again waiting for the staff’s instructions, we drove off the ferry and onto the passenger pick up location where mommy stood waiting.

Leaving Kangaroo island
Top most deck

From Cape Jervis to Glenelg, it was at least an hour and a half. K was already feeling tired and was physically in agreement to take a nap until we arrived in Glenelg, and did fall asleep. The drive was the same feel until we hit the freeway and as we got closer to Adelaide,  we went thru the beach towns which had a lot more traffic and felt more and more what we were used to. I was looking for a gas station to pump petrol to full for the car return and as we got into Glenelg, I found a Caltex at a awesome low price of aud1.19/liter and filled to full, costing me aud36. Paid with credit card since we were already low on cash.

A couple of minutes drive later, we arrived at the Airbnb that was just close to the beach, but we had to stop by the side of the road to read the instructions again, in order to recover the garage door remote and the keys to the apartment. Mommy opened the gate for me and I parked the car at the designated car park. Had to take 2 trips to bring stuff to the apartment, first was to bring K who woke and some small stuff and the second trip for the luggage.

Master bedroom
Laundry machines within the bathroom
Master bedroom toilet
Living room
Dining and kitchen
View from balcony
View from room balcony

We took the opportunity to have lunch in the apartment, K having his cooked meals and I went downstairs to explore the surrounding for any stuff to eat. As we were staying so close to the Jetty road, the stretch of street lined with eateries and stops, there was no lack of food to eat. I didn’t go that far but just across the road next to a massive indoor arcade building the Beachouse was a small street and a store Sushi Arari selling Japanese cuisine and got ourselves takeaways of ramen and teriyaki bento. It took awhile to prepare as it seemed like a one man show and I took the chance to walk around and to the beach before collection and returning to the apartment.

Ferries wheel under maintenance
Jetty Road
Glenelg beach side
Glenelg Town hall
View from the beach
Pano view from the town hall
Pano view of the beach

After having our lunch, I had to return the car by today and before they closed at 430pm. And since we had decided to visit harbour town anyway, I dropped mommy and K at harbour town for their outlet shopping before driving to the airport. The main problem was I didn’t check the instructions of the return location and assumed it was at the airport. So I drove there and found the rental car return location in a multistory carpark after going around in circles (literally because of the roundabouts because the direction on the sign  seemed to be wrong  because the first exit should be the one to be taken to the multistory parking instead of the second exit indicated on the signboard). Apex was not there, only the major ones such as Hertz, Thrifty, Budget and Enterprise. I left again stopped at a carpark somewhere and referred to the paper documents that were handed over to me then. Luckily there was the return information there on the  car rental documents as I didn’t have access to internet as the 3GB data plan that we had purchased was gone already (even though there was minimum usage, suspect those pesky apps auto updates or feedback were eating up the data). It was at a street behind the runway and they would provide a shuttle return to the airport after dropping the car.

Quickly I drove there (not as quick because of multiple traffic lights and traffic, something different from the road trip) and returned to the huge carpark of Apex rental company.  Almost immediately upon entering the office, I was served by the staff who did a quick check and signed off the return of the vehicle. As I was going to meet my family at harbour town, I was asking if he could drop me at harbour town instead of the usual airport. Initially he informed that he could only do the airport trip and I should get my own transport from the airport to harbour town, easiest by taxi which should cost about aud15. Later, he offered to drop me there as he still had time to receive another customer scheduled to come in a little later and I was relieved for this kind gesture and excellent service, as it resolved the transportation problem and saved me some money.

Apex Car rentals office

It was a short 10mins drive back to harbour town and I bade farewell to the staff who let me disembarked at the carpark. The area was huge and I had to give mommy a call to find out where they were. They were actually at a playground right in harbour town itself. On arrival to the playground, I saw K enthusiastically climbing the obstacles and having lots of fun. Mommy then could finally go for her shopping while I looked after K in this playground.

Harbour town
Inside harbour town
Playground in harbour town

In the end, I got myself 2 Quiksilver tees for aud60 from one of the surf shops there mommy didn’t manage to get any as the down jacket didn’t have the colour that she wanted. K had the most fun of the trip, having taken a kiddy ride and watching aeroplanes take off from the nearby Adelaide airport and also eating almost a whole ice cream cone when mommy bought a vanilla and salted caramel ice cream for all of us to share.

We visited the information center to find out how to return to Glenelg, since we didn’t have the car anymore. It was just to take the bus J1, scheduled to arrive at 510pm, according to the board on the bus stop, just outside the center office, which was within the parking lot. We waited for a while for the bus to come and paid the tickets to the driver itself, a whopping aud10.6 for 2, something unheard of in Singapore. And went on back in the almost empty bus.

Bus stop back to Glenelg
J1 bus
Expensive bus tickets

We got off the bus as it arrived onto Jetty Road and walked along the road back towards our apartment. Along the way, we went into a pharmacy Chemist Warehouse to buy a mouth ulcer gel for me and some pastries for breakfast at a Baker’s delight bakery. The center was lighted up mostly by eateries as the shops were either already closed or mostly closing. The skies were in a sunset hue with a mixture of blue, a beautiful sight.

Jetty Road
Baker’s delight
Sunset view from balcony

Back at the apartment, K didn’t want to sleep though he looked tired the entire day out in harbour town. So after 30mins, we went to the Beachouse indoor games building that was opened till 9pm to have some fun first before going for dinner. There were 2 levels of fun, including bumper cars and boats, arcade machines to win tickets in exchange for prizes, small kiddy rides and big ones including a train, a carousel and a Ferris wheel that was under maintenance. Bought a package of aud22 that had a ride of the train, the carousel and the playtime in the indoor playground plus 3 other games and K sat on the carousel and one other ride before we proceeded to dinner (saving the rest for the next day as it was already getting late).

Inside Beachouse

We walked to the end of the promenade to try the recommended seafood restaurant Sammy’s on the marina, going through a walking street lined with restaurants on the one side and yachts parked on other side. Upon reaching, we found that it was actually quite pricy and very limited choice for K. Worst of all, it was closed. Made a Uturn and ended up at a Tomiko Japanese Steak House and sat on the outside that had transparent plastic wind shields and a heater. Ordered a large side dish of fried rice, a California roll and a tonkatsu with steam rice, all for aud86, quite expensive meal but sorta expected it.

Promenade beside the yacht docking area
Tomiko Japanese Steak house
Fried rice
Pork fillet
Yacht on the marina

The walk back to the apartment was very chilly as the cold wind picked up quite a bit, so much different from the warm afternoon. We returned to the apartment and had K bathed in the bathtub and some handphone time before going to bed. He fell asleep very quickly. I did an online check in through the Singapore Airlines app ( pretty convenient to use) and also scheduled a Uber ride on the app to the airport on Sunday morning, worried that we might not get any taxi at that unearthly hour, especially in this part of Australia). We spent some time out in the living room watching some reality TV of couples undergoing strained relationships trying to to get back together called “the last resort” and also turned in close to midnight, something we didn’t do in a while.

Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 13 – Raptor Domain and Seal bay

Woke up at 650am to a sky coloured in bright orange hue. Quickly got out of bed and went to make K a bottle and left it in the warmer before brisk walking quickly to the beach. The orange started to fade back into blue as I approached the quiet Emu bay and disappointingly, it was too cloudy for what could have been a beautiful sunrise. Took the pictures of the bay which was not too windy and had really gentle waves (which had surprisingly warm water, at least warmer than my hand) and of the resting Pelicans before heading back to the nice warm apartment, where I enjoyed a hot cuppa before mommy and K woke.

Sunrise hues seen from the balcony
At the jetty of emu bay
Pelican standing on a rock
Fish measuring board
Pelican chilling
So many of them
Sunrise pano
The sun peeking over the horizon

Then it was all about the same morning routine of getting ready to get out. We were leaving the apartment late today again. After we got K’s meal packed, we left for Raptors Domain, 40mins drive from the apartment.

We arrived at 11am in an open car park after getting through a short dirt side road, which had a big entrance gate in a design of a bird. We headed towards the main registration and bought 2 tickets for birds of prey show for aud20 each adult (K entered for free) and waited for 30mins for the start of the show. K had fun with the available games there till it was time to take a short walk to a small arena with 3 rows of seats.

Raptor Domain entrance
Raptor domain reception
inside the waiting area of Raptor Domain
Show tickets

There was quite a number of people who came for the show. There were 2 trainers who took turns to bring out one bird each time, introducing their stories and their behavior and other useful information. The most interesting thing was the interaction, such as having a barn owl stand on the lap of the audience one by one, holding birds in the leather gloves provided and taking photos. There were about 6 different birds, starting with magpie, to owls and falcons and kookaburra and eagle. K was even stroking the back of the barn owl when it stood on mommy’s lap. The ending of the show was with a huge eagle that we could let stand on the arm and take a photo, but at a cost of aud10 which would contribute to the sustaining of the sanctuary.

Magpie throwing rubbish into bin
Camaflaged bird
Bird, forgotten its species
Barn owl in flight
White barn owl
Kookabuura on the handler
Falcon on a toy snake
Another eagle
Me with the eagle

We left at about 1230pm, after the one hour show and drove a 15mins to the next stop, Seal bay. There wasn’t any lunch stop here so we had to starve but fed K first, after paying aud16 per person (again K was going in for free) for the visit on the broad walk. We didn’t choose the aud50 per head for the guided tour that would allow close up visit to the beach of seals because we had that (free) up close experience when we visited New Zealand a long time back. K was having fun with one of the Aussie lady who was waiting for her tour to start, with all the hi-fives and fist bump while eating his meals.

Diaper changing station
Seal bay visitor center

After his lunch, we walked on the ramp all the way to the beachfront to look at the seals. There were quite a number of them, most of them sleeping. But we could also see some coming from the crashing waves, some moving about and enjoying the waters crashing into them, and some just rolling about in the sand. As we walked back, we noticed some of the seals even made it onto the open grass patch and sleeping within the bushes, that we didn’t notice the first time we walked on the ramp. There were some skeletons on the open space, which I thought might belong to a whale? Interesting walk and a beautiful coastal view of the area.

The broad walk to the beach
View of the beach from the broad walk
Seal bay pano
Sleeping ones
Enjoying the water
Another group
Away from the sun

By this time, K was already very tired and wanted to sleep. He was cranky and as soon as we moved off in the car, he felt asleep. We decided to head back to the apartment first and tried to get him up the room to continue sleeping. But unfortunately, after setting up the room and preparing the milk, he wouldn’t get back to sleep after waking up.

Microwaved lunch

I left them in the apartment to get to Kingscote and get some gas because the car was just down to 2bars left. 15mins away, I got into Caltex which looked small approaching from outside the town but it was actually bigger with more fueling stations, which made me looked stupid as I waited for the cars in front of me to complete their top up. The petrol cost was very expensive (but still cheaper than Singapore) aud1.43/liter and I pumped aud30 worth that should last the trip to Adelaide based on a 10km/liter estimation as I intended to pump the rest on mainland (cash was running low too!).

I went to Foodland to get some groceries that mommy wanted me to get and I spent about aud20 to get some milk, eggs, flake fish fillet, cooked prawns and macaroni. Then I drove back with the setting sun in my eyes, at a time of about 5plus.

Back at the apartment, both mommy and K were in bed, but neither were sleeping. K was punished for not taking any further naps by abstaining him from any videos and DVD for the night. I took him to the playground close to the beach, the only time out of the 3 nights we were here and so late at this time because the sun was already setting, changing the surrounding clouds dusk red. K was warmly dressed and played till the dark took over and stars could be seen but it was merely 645pm.

Emu bay playground
Sunset view of emu bay
Emu bay at 6pm

We returned to the apartment and while I bathed K, to avoid having it colder later in the evening, mommy was cooking dinner with the stuff I purchased. We had Olio Algio, a first for mommy and K had his usual pasta which he couldn’t finish. The rest of the night was spent playing with his toys and packing for us, and while I read a storybook for K and gave him a bottle of milk, we turned off the lights for an early night for K. After he fell asleep, we spent a bit of time in front of the TV, discussing about the past accommodation for reviews update into Agoda and planning the last 2 days of Adelaide. The trip was ending soon and I wasn’t looking forward to the hot and humid Singapore, especially now that I am “used” to the cold.


Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 12 – Flinders Chase National Park and Vivonne Bay

Alarm clock sounded at 7 but we continued to lay unmoved. The cold just made everyone hibernate. Mommy was first to wake and made K a bottle while I laid in bed with the impatient K crying for milk.

After downing down the bottle, K wasn’t sleeping anymore. Then it was my turn to get up and keep an eye on this busy toddler who would be climbing anywhere, especially the staircase. Brushed his teeth and changed his diapers, he spent most of the morning on his DVD while having his cereal breakfast.

Mommy was busy preparing the meals for K and sandwiches for our lunch and also her own breakfast. I made my own ham and cheese croissant but couldn’t achieve the effect of those from cafes, because we didn’t have a toaster. Thereafter was the struggle to get K dressed up.

1030am and we got out of the house for our visit to the Flinders Chase National Park. In this Kangaroo Island that was thrice the size of Singapore, getting from Emu Bay to the NP took an hour plus to do so, taking the main road there. Again mostly the roads were the same thing, more trees as we got closer to the NP, and more roadkill on the road. K fell asleep 15mins before arrival and I parked the car at the visitor’s center and left K and mommy in the car before going to the center across the road to pay for the entrance fees. Luckily I remembered the car plate number, from the time in Victor Harbour as this was required for paying the fees. The information would appear on the receipt and it would served as evidence to be pasted on the windscreen.

Car plate number for Flinders NP tickets
Flinders NP visitor center
Our tickets

Returning to the car, we drove 15km into the first location of Admiral’s arch, bypassing the Cape Borda lightstation that was just a few meters from there. We had already 2 lighthouses visit and it was more than enough. The difference for this was there was the firing of cannon at 1230pm.


Anyhow, we parked the car at the public carpark and I got off to check the place out first. It was long a wooden walkway leading downslope, providing different perspectives of the outer islands nearby and then a close view of the lazing seals on the water-battled rocks below, some of these rocks forming infinity pools with the ocean and seals could be seen swimming in them. A further walk to the bottom exposed the natural formation of the Admiral’s Arch, very close to the wooden walkway. Took a few shots, which was difficult as it was too close. Managed to see some seals at the other side of the Admiral’s arch too.

Path to Admirals Arch
Seals on the rocks
Infinity pool for the seals

Admiral cave pano

As I trekked backwards up the wooden pathway, I saw mommy carrying K near the start of the walk path. K had woken up and wasn’t ready to walk so I took over carrying him while mommy explored and visited the arch. Brought K to see the fur seals and tried to let him see them using the binoculars that we took from the apartment. I was sure he saw the seals with his naked eyes but uncertain that he saw them just as well through the binos.

After staying for a while, we returned to the car and drove towards the second location of interest in the NP, it was the Remarkable Rocks that could also be seen from the Admirals Arch. Just 10mins away, we stopped enroute to shoot a view of the Remarkable Rocks and a nice beach on Boxer Dr before driving into the public carpark of the Remarkable Rocks. We parked there and had our lunch in the car first, chili chicken raisin sandwich and K had his own meal. Afterwards, we used the toilets that were situated at the start of another wooden walk path before embarking on the walk to the rocks.

Closer view of the lighthouse
Remarkable rocks seen from afar

The rocks situated at the end of the walkpath had a surface that was easily scalable even for K who climbed himself, thinking that it was a mountain. The rocks were really works of art by Mother Nature, appearing in various shapes and curves. We had fun sitting on some and taking refuge from the wind in others and taking photos with the beautiful backdrop of the coast.

The Remarkable Rocks during approach
Nature’s wind sculpted work of art
Like the beak of a bird
Shapes and sizes
View of the bay under the shelter of the rocks

After we were done, we walked the same pathway back to the car and headed back to the visitors center. There was a walk that we were interested to bring K to and after driving the 15mins to the visitors’ carpark, the staff at the information center introduced us to take the Heritage walk instead where we could try spotting koalas on the trees. We then took the walk of an estimated 40mins circuit and entered the trail through a gated access behind the center.

Inside the visitor’s center
Walk paths leading to the heritage walk

The first couple of meters was just a footpath flanked by tall trees. Only after reaching the Black Swamp lookout that we saw an open field with geese and also spotted a kangaroo. After that, it was more natural with dirt path and only small signage to guide us on the walk path. Along the way, we managed to see koalas, I spotted 2 of them, looking closely at the Eucalyptus trees. At the open fields we also saw more kangaroos, one feeding and another 2 lazing on the grass. The walk wasn’t difficult and soon we completed the circuit, satisfied with the few animals we saw along the way.

Black Swamp lookout
Animals out grazing
Sleeping koala spotted in the park
Wild goose
Another koala spotted
Kangaroo up close
Lazing kangaroos

Near the center, K was interested in the a sand pit that had toy shovels for kids to dig and expose dinosaur bones. Of course K didn’t know that and was just interested to dig some sand. Mommy did some shopping at the souvenir section in the center and got K some crackers and cheese that he picked up as a favorite snack during this trip.

Sandpit for dino bones digging

As we were leaving for the car, the staff told us that a koala was spotted near the green signage and told us to give it a shot. We overshot and went to the picnic area. Couldn’t find anything there and while I tried again at the green signage that was closer to our car, I found the Koala perched atop, snoozing away. It was indeed a good number of sightings.

Koala on the tree in the carpark

Our next destination was to Vivonne bay. As we got onto the road, I saw a kangaroo crossing the road. Quickly took a step on brakes to slow down but was no where close to it. Mommy also noticed more kangaroos at the side of the road, probably the good time for them to come out in the open and avoid the sun was after 4pm. Asked K to take a nap first while we drove there and he did after 30mins of driving when we almost arrived.

The road leading to Vivonne bay was a dirt road but it was very bumpy. Thankfully K could sleep through it all. I entered a camping site and parked at the public carpark before getting off the car to explore, leaving mommy and sleeping K in the car.

As I followed the sign to the beach and was in awe at the sight before me when I arrived at a very calm water body of the Eleanor River, so calm it was reflecting the blue skies and white clouds above. This water body was separated from the main ocean by a sand bay. The water was very clear too.

Eleanor river near vivonne bay pano
Eleanor river near vivonne bay pano

I walked back up a flight of stairs and ended up at the camp site area where there were quite a number of camper vans and holidaying people preparing BBQ for their dinner. There was a walk path nearby that had a sign that said that it was closed but I took it anyway as there was another group of people in front who also took the same path, likely leading to the beach. As I followed behind, I noticed an empty patch to the left after a few meters and by instinct, just followed tracks there. Where it led me was to a nice viewpoint of the sand bay that separated the ocean and the calm waters. It was a beautiful view!

Sand bank separates the river and the sea

I returned to the car after all this exploration and mommy gave me a viewpoint to drive to. It was a further drive after the turn-in to the carpark that we were at. The road further was the same dirt road, and extremely bumpy. The road led us to the end of the bay but from the location, it was quite far away from the beach, although the whole bay could be seen from there. The setting sun made the view looked even better. But that meant we would be driving in the dark soon.

Vivonne bay from viewpoint

Drove back to the same bumpy road back to South Coast road and again, I saw a kangaroo crossing the road, this time much closer. Luckily I wasn’t speeding and maintained under the speed limit for the 1hrs drive back to Emu bay, with the full moon accompanying us on the journey back.

For multiple stretches of road, I drove with high beams on, so as to look out for any animals waiting to cross the road, we finally arrived at the unlighted street of our accommodation and reverse parked. K also woke up at about the same time.

The annoying thing was that the sun set really early and we couldn’t do anything else at night other than to eat dinner and laze in front of the TV till bedtime. Effective time of exploration was at most 8hrs.

So similar to the night before, mommy cooked dinner, K had his entertainment on YouTube and I was chilling. We ate dinner, bathed and got ready for bed.

Kangaroo Island 2017 Day 11 – From Victor Habour to Kangaroo Island Emu bay – R&R

K was awake rather early, at 5am and as usual, I made him a bottle so that he could continue to sleep. We were gonna take a ferry to Kangaroo Island and it was scheduled for 9am to leave, since we couldn’t get anything later as it was fully booked.

Mommy was also awake before 7 to prepare the meals while I did the packing. At about 650am, I went out to take a photo of the sunrise that was happening at 7 while bringing stuff into the car. The skies were pretty clear but out in horizon where the sun was coming out seemed to be a little cloudy. Snapped a few shots on the beach and returned to the room as it was also a little cold out there.

3 poles
Sunrise at Victor Harbour
Bridge in the morning

Once back, continued with packing and bringing stuff bit by bit to the car, such as for the luggage that we knew K didn’t require any items from. At the same time, I also got some hot water stored into the hot flask for making milk from the hotel bar when they opened at 730am. Finally, changed K’s diapers which made him fidget with displeasure for a bit but not enough to wake him up, I carried him in my arms and transferred him to mommy while in the car so that he could continue to sleep all the way.

It was 8am while we were on the roads and it was a 45mins trip to the Sealink ferry terminal. We had to be there in fact by 830am for check in so I just tried to get there soonest. Along the way there were cars that were just keeping to the speed limit and below and I had to find opportunity to overtake, which was an issue as there were just long stretches of double white lines closer to Cape Jervis (couldn’t help linking it to Ironman).

Sealink Terminal at Cape Jervis

As we approached the terminal, we had to pass through a small township and then right around a corner near the waters was the loading zone. Unlike what we saw previous at Sorrento, this was opened to public and I just went into one of the lanes first. Read the email requesting only the drivers to be inside the car, mommy went to do the check in, whereas K also started to wake up. Since K didn’t have a ticket and it wasn’t required anyway, mommy went to board at the passenger side while K stayed in the car with me. After I received the 2 tickets (1 for me and 1 for the car) from mommy, and not knowing when I should go, I drove out of the lane in the direction of the ferry, but was stopped by the staff. He said he wanted to loaded the heavier vehicles first and asked me to wait. So I waited till he called to see the tickets and give the instructions on where to go.

Ferry tickets for the car

After being assisted by another staff on parking, I brought the bags that I thought required up to the 2nd deck where the passenger lounge was and mommy was waiting for us there. Unfortunately all the window seats, which came with a center table, were taken. We settled for the side chairs and helped K to change out of his pyjamas and started to have breakfast of muffin and pizza. When a table was available, we quickly took over and sat there till it was time to get off. But that didn’t mean K was sitting still. He was moving around and climbing the stairways up and down to the open deck on the 3rd floor, which I only stepped foot on for a while without opportunity to see around, with me closely watching him. Wifi was available onboard and I used it sparingly when my eyes could be off the boy.

Inside the ferry
Front window seats

Nearing the jetty, I brought K and put him in the back seat with accompanied with my handphone as I waited for the tailgate to be lowered. When the vehicle behind me left, I thought it was my turn to reverse out (since I drove in head first) and was immediately called to stop. Then I realized how the vehicles were parked with my side being head first and the other side was reversed parking. We had to drive out in a loop. Waited for most of the cars to exit before it’s my turn and as the car hit land, mommy was already waiting for us by the shore.

Waiting for the cars to move

The turquoise waters were a beautiful sight, and it was totally out of my expectations as I thought that the island was entirely a national park and would be devoid of civilization. I was wrong as I soon found out, driving towards our accommodation at Emu bay. The street was the same and so were huge masses of land that belong to farms along side it. We did spot a kangaroo or two but mostly it was just like mainland, only the waters were more beautiful.

View of Penneshaw turquoise waters

Arrived at about 10 plus, after a 40mins drive, at a double storeys Bayview House and entered the place after retrieving the keys from a number locked storage. The place was unlike the one in Port Fairy which was a traditional cottage, this one was modernly designed and had a large balcony and kitchen. The view was impressive and K took to liking it immediately for its carpeted staircase, climbing up and down of it immediately.

Basement living room
1st guestroom
Basement shower
Basement toilet
Laundry room
2nd Guestroom
3rd guestroom
Master bedroom
Master Shower
Kitchen and dining
Living room and balcony
3rd Toilet

We hadn’t any plans for today as we were chilling a bit at the accommodation by first letting K watch his “Blaze and the monster machines” DVD that we bought from Woolworths the day before and at the same time, he was snacking on the cracker and cheese. We left only at 1230pm to get some lunch at Kingscote town, a 20mins drive away.

Initially we were looking for fresh seafood but the address that was on TripAdvisor didn’t seemed to point me to a restaurant and eventually, we ended up in town at a Lighthouse Cafe where we ordered a lamb shank and calamari and 2 bottled fruit juice for aud 38. The food was pretty good and K also finished quite a huge portion of his meal in the toddler chair.

Kingscote jetty
Kingscote town
Calamari and chips
Lighthouse Cafe

We walked back to the Foodland supermarket to get the groceries that we required for the meal tonight and for the food tomorrow since we were going to the national park. K had fun running up and down the ramp outside the supermarket and even became a gatekeeper for some time, opening and closing the gate for customers going into the supermarket. By the time mommy was done, it was about 3pm that we headed back to the apartment.


Once back at the apartment, K took a bottle and went to sleep and so did the parents. By the time we woke up, it was before 6pm and the bright full moon was already up at one side together with the orange hues of the sunset at the other. The owner came to collect charges for the 3 nights and informed us (so late) that there would be power outage due to maintenance the next day. This meant that those items that require the fridge will have a problem or there would not be any heating in the morning. This was such an inconvenience for us, especially when we had a toddler with us.

Sunset pano from the balcony

Mommy then prepared dinner for us while K watched DVD again and I just chilling (pun intended) on the sofa. Had our meals on the big dining table that even had a toddler seat that K was familiar with. Ate our meals of rice and marinated chicken from the supermarket and nice warm vegetables soup. Then the clean up was done in the big dishwasher after which I prepared K for a warm bath in his blow up tub.

The room  did not have an aircon unit and was getting a little cold. The aircon unit was in the kitchen and living room in an awkward location but at least it was warming up the area. When K came out into the room to dress up he was shivering a little.

Mommy and I then took turns to bath and the rest of the night was spent on TV and YouTube. Time flew past and it was already 11 when we quickly got to bed, switching off the aircon in the kitchen. An easy day, a holiday within a holiday.

South Australia 2017 Day 10 – Robe to Victor Harbour – Kingston Lobster, Meningie and Victor Central

Seemed like a routine for K to be awake early and asking for milk. I got up and did the necessary before going back to bed for a little snooze before waking up again to update this blog. So far I had been diligently keeping up with the updating but not sure for how long more.

Same thing with mommy as she got up to prepare K’s meal. Due to the good amount of sleep that we all had, K actually woke up earlier today. Switched on the TV so that we didn’t have to attend to him as we continued our packing and preparations.

We needed to top up the boiling water and found the water that came from the boiling flask to be slightly cloudy. Didn’t want to take any chance, I went over to the reception and the staff used his to boil a flask for me while I brought the containers over. While waiting for the water to boil, we had a conversation about the long journey ahead, and if there was any places that he could recommend to break the drive. Other than our planned stop at Meningie, there was a Salt Creek service station and other smaller towns available between Meningie and Victor Harbor.

For breakfast, mommy had bought a banana bread loaf from Foodland the previous day and split it into 3 portions and she ate up one portion herself. While I was going to eat my portion, I realized some whitish stuff on the external that looked like it was mouldy. Checked the best before date and found that the best before date was 2nd May 2017, almost a week earlier! Quickly threw the rest away and hoped that mommy would turn out ok. That didn’t fascinate K as he wanted his breakfast so I drove to Robe bakery and coffee lounge to get some banana muffin for him and a pizza for myself, that costed about aud10. He loved the muffin while we returned to the cabin to eat.

Robe bakery and coffee lounge
Pizza for breakfast

After loading everything into the car since mommy had already packed while we were out at the bakery, we started our long journey on the road. 30 mins from Robe was a small town called Kingston. I saw that the petrol price was aud1.27, much lower than the aud1.33 in Robe and so decided to top up. Got a Mahalia coffee latte there while paying and then we drove a 50 meters down to a huge model of a lobster. Stopped there for some photos and K to run around at the tail before leaving again.

Kingston giant lobster

The journey to our intermediate stop at Meningie was another 1.5hrs away and both K and mommy fell asleep while driving there. We went past huge area of flat lands and supposedly water but it wasn’t a nice view. The roads were long and straight and I went a little faster to catch up on some time. We managed to arrive into town at 1215 and parked at the visitor center, skipping the Salt Creek service station altogether.

Meningie town

Just on the opposite side of the road was a cute cafe called My Friend’s cafe and we decide to have our lunch there. Pastries were sold and we got ourselves a sweet chili chicken wrap and a ham and cheese croissant, earl grey tea and a bottle of juice for about aud20. K had his lunch of macaroni and soup and was having quite a good appetite.

My Friends Cafe
Ham and cheese croissant
Chicken wrap

We then went over to the playground near the visitors center and K had his fun running around. It was a nice view of serene Lake Albert nearby and weather was great, clear blue skies and cooling.

Pelican statue in Meningie
View of Lake Albert at Meningie
Playground at Meningie
Panoramic view of Lake Albert

After the using the toilet there and changing K’s diapers, we hit the road again at about 130pm, another 2 hrs drive. This time around we would be getting onto M1 for a bit and other highways so there was a mixture of freeway and smaller roads. The smaller roads passed through more towns and had more bends and therefore harder to move fast. Again both fell asleep as we approached Victor harbour.

Flatland on drive to Victor Harbour

We arrived at the huge town slightly after 320pm, and saw the horse (with lovely hairy legs) that was supposed to be pulling the carriage to Granite island, leave. Although we planned to take that horse drawn carriage, we couldn’t make it on time as that was the last ride for the day. Went to Hotel Victor and checked in. Brought everything up to our room that had a nice view of the coast and went back to the car to wait for K to wake up.

Hotel Victor
View from our room
Huge fridge
Toilet and shower

Drove to the Esplanade carpark and went down to take some photos of the bridge to Granite island. K woke up soon and while we walked to the bridge together to have a look, we decided to skip crossing the long bridge as it was getting cold.

Granite island sign
Bridge to Granite island
Horse drawn carriage station
Victor Harbour parking coupon
Panoramic view of Granite island

We drove to Victor Central mall which had a Target and Woolworths supermarket. While mommy shopped at Target and bought some stuff, K sat on the kiddy ride. After that, more groceries shopping and we had to buy more stuff to bring over to Kangaroo island the next day as we expected things to be expensive on that island. Bought 2x10l water dispenser, worried that drinking water maybe scarce too! With that, we got 5 free Marvel tags that we gave to K.

Big W in Victor Harbour
Target in Big W

After the visit to the mall, the skies were already dark and we decided on having McD for dinner. Drove and parked at the carpark there and ordered some gourmet burger meals to go. K noticed the indoor playground and spent some time there while waiting for the burgers.

Indoor playground in MacD

We left for the hotel finally at about 630pm and after bringing the heavy bag of groceries to the room, K played with the marvel tags and my camera and watched TV while mommy cooked. I went out to top up more gas, as we didn’t have time the next day to do it, I brought along the receipt for the Woolworths groceries as it would give 4cts off for Woolworths co-op Caltex gas station, which was just at the same location as Victor Central. True enough, it was aud1 off my bill of aud30.

Our gourmet burgers – chicken
Wagyu burger
A photo of me taken by K
Little photographer

After returning to the room, K was just finishing his meal and I gave him a bath after that. Then we all settled for the night at about 10pm, after some videos and TV later, expecting to wake up real early to catch the 9am ferry to Kangaroo island the next day.

South Australia 2017 Day 9 – Port Fairy to Robe – Tower Hill Reserve & Blue Lake

Woke up at just before 5 as K was asking for milk. Made it in the cold dark room. Other than the warmed mattress, there wasn’t any other source of heat. Quickly got back into bed to get warm and sleep.

The cold was just making everyone so lethargic. Even myself as a early bird didn’t wake up till it was over 7, couldn’t care less about the sun rise whatsoever as I didn’t like the frigid cold. Or maybe it was also fatigue that contributed to overstaying in bed.

Finally when mommy woke to start her daily routine, and I trying to complete my blog, that’s when we started to get things going and packing. The sunshine that shorn through the windows seemed to provide some heat relief to us and warmed up the rooms a bit. As we picked up on the activities, it felt a little better.

View from the patio
View from the room
Moyne river panorama

K was well asleep till almost 10, even after raising the curtains. I got most of the stuff packed and some things preloaded into the car. Mommy microwaved the pizza for breakfast and we caught a little of reality TV called Mystery Diners that was quite interesting. When K finally woke, he looked pretty well rested and was behaving nicely and walking around and playing with the rooms toys.

After a small struggle to changed K’s diapers and pyjamas into clothes to go out in, we got into the car and left at about 1030am, leaving the keys at where we found them and a Airbnb message to inform of our departure. Then we drove 30mins to Tower Hill reserve, where we could see wildlife. K had his banana flavored bread which he liked it while on the way there.

Upon reaching, we entered a single lane road that went downhill and some curves before reaching a public carpark. Immediately near to the BBQ area we saw an Emu loitering around. Went close to have a look and then proceeded to the nearby map to see what we could do. Choose a trekking circuit route, Wagon Bay circuit, that would take about 30mins and following the signs, we were off.

Tower hill map
Wild emu
Up close with the emu
Taking the wagon bay loop

Carrying K with one arm was rather tiring as we walked on dirt track damped from the morning dew. There wasn’t anything to see (or couldn’t spot anything) except for 4 emus out in the open at the beginning of the circuit near the information center. The lake view was kinda ugly and so was the surrounding near the track. Made the best of it and had K sitting on my shoulders and we were playing “crashing” into the trees that generated lots of laughter.

More wild emus in the grassland
Walking path

We didn’t take long to walk around the circuit after which we walked to the visitors center where it was stated that animals such as koalas, echidna and kangaroos could be seen too, at this crater formed park. After we were done with the visit, we left for the carpark.

View of the visitor center
View of the wagon bay
Inside the center
Lots of information on the wall

Mommy mentioned that koalas can be seen as reported online and I tried to find one myself but failed. Noticed somebody else pointing at the trees and I went over to shoot a photo of a lazing Koala before we drove back to Port Fairy.

Wild Koala
His butt view
View of the lake while leaving

30mins later, we arrived at a bakery in town, called the Village Bakehouse, that seemed crowded and went in to get a pie and chicken sandwich and a latte for about aud20. Then we drove to the end of the street where the visitors center was to use the toilet before embarking on a long 2 hrs drive to the Blue Lake at Mt Gambier.

Port Fairy visitor center
Small town of Port Fairy
Chicken pie for lunch

K started to ask for lunch and mommy fed K at the beginning of the drive. Drove smoothly and it was all good. K finished his food and 1 hr into the drive, he fell asleep. The rest of the journey was pretty smooth, roads were in good conditions and very straight most of the time. Other than the usual open fields and farms and the tall trees of forests, there weren’t exceptional interesting sights worth mentioning.

We arrived at Mt Gambier to find a sprawling town, unexpected that the lake was just next to the town and thought it would be in some hard to reach places. In fact, the lake water was being utilized by the town itself. We parked at one of the many viewpoints around the lake and just as K woke up, we got off to the viewpoint for photos. It was 2pm but due to a change in time zone, we actually saved half an hour traveling towards Adelaide.

The Blue lake was indeed blue but it was dependent on the colour of the skies above. At some point it looked slightly turquoise. Didn’t spend too much time and drove to another viewpoint that had a tower and I went alone to snap some photos while mommy and K stayed in the car.

Blue lake viewpoint
Another view of the blue lake
Observatory tower of the blue lake
Walking signs
Info board of the blue lake

There weren’t anymore attractions for the day and we drove towards Millicent at 3pm, a mid size town to visit the supermarket. It was about 30mins drive away and again K was pretty well behaved listening to his music on the handphone.

We arrived at the information center of Millicent and parked there to use the toilet and the a stop on the playground for K. There was huge wind turbine propeller on display, probably a town that had wind farms as their source of energy. K had fun at the small playground and found accomplishments in trying to scale the rope ladder by himself. It was a challenge to get him back to the car though. Just a few minutes drive down we parked in front of Woolworths but it was closed on Sunday.

Turbine blade
Firefighter statue
Playground at Millicent
Woolworth at Milicent

Change of plans and we drove to Robe, our place of stay for the night. It was about an hours drive. The drive was a little difficult at some point where the sun was shining into my face, making it hard to see the road in front. I was particularly worried about animals getting onto the road and would like to see as far as possible on a 110km/hr speed limit road but that made it impossible. Some parts of the drive there was  drizzle too. Luckily we drove out of the rain cloud (it was pretty obvious too as the flat surroundings exposed the whole sky above) when the road changed directions.

Along the way we saw a Kangeroo standing close to the forest. That was a first for this trip, after almost 10days on the road.

We entered Robe got into the parking lot of Guichen Bay motel and did a check in. The staff at the reception was very informative giving me all the details of the supermarket and the restaurants around on a map.

Guichen motel
Another bed

As it was still early, we drove around the small town for a look and saw the port where all the yachts were parked. Then we drove to the Foodland supermarket just opposite our motel to get groceries. K had fun with the trolleys and the swing gate till mommy finished her shopping.

Yacht at Robe
Foodland supermarket
Inside Woodland

Robe was just celebrating a Chinese festival thing (missed the fireworks that happened a day before) and had 2 Chinese restaurants. Interesting that to find Chinese influence here in this small town.

After putting in our barang barang into the room, we walked to the Robe Chinese restaurant next to the motel to have dinner. It was quite busy with at least 6 tables and we had to wait quite a bit as the restaurant seemed understaffed. K entertained himself walking around, playing with the bell on the table (and was later taken away from the staff who said it was disturbing the other customers), going through the ropes at the doorway to the toilets and touching the lion dance puppets. But he was famished and wanted to eat already. Unfortunately this wasn’t fast food.

When our food arrived, the fried rice, chicken omelette and clay pot tofu, we all digged in. The chef came out to apologise in Cantonese but it wasn’t his fault. K ate the fried rice and the egg and veg but was soon done with it while we gobbled the rice. The meal was about aud57.

Robe Chinese restaurant
Fried rice
Claypot vegetables

Went back to the cabin to bath and the usual night routine of watching videos and TV took place. Happy to have the aircon back to heat up the room and around 930pm we turned off the lights, since K was cranky due to a lack of nap time in the day.

Great Ocean Road 2017 Day 8 – Otway lightstation, 12 Apostles and the other rocks

Before 7 and I woke to make a bottle for K. He fell asleep soon after the milk and I sneaked out of the bed and the cabin, armed with only a jacket and my bag of lens. I was heading to the beach of Apollo Bay to check out the sunrise, happening just after 7am.

I made my way to the main entrance of the beach, passing through the visitors information center. There were a couple of people on the beach already, mad enough to be out there in the cold and getting a look at a specific moment in time. The skies weren’t very clear but at least when the sun came up, we could still see it. The fleeting moment came and gone and I returned after taking my pictures.

Sunrise at Apollo Bay
Another sunrise view
Coastal Motel in the day

Back on the bed, I completed my blog for the day before and did some packing before mommy woke up and started her routine. We would expect that K would be waking a little earlier since we slept early that night before but he woke up almost close to 9am. We got him changed and out of bed, a daily struggle everyday.

A rainbow on the morning we left

After loading everything into the car, and all suited up for the cold, I returned the key to the staff whom was busy with clearing the other rooms and bidded farewell at 945am. We continued the second part of the GOR, first stop was another lighthouse, Cape Otway lightstation.

As the road diverted inland and through the forest, I thought the worst of the winding roads was over. It was the same amount of winding as the road cut through the forest, now the Great Forest Road, and as we travelled on the 10km road towards the lightstation, it was even worse being bumpier due to poorer road conditions. Thankfully K survived that 40mins trip there.

It was drizzling and I had to retrieve the rain coat for K from the luggage when we parked at the car park. After that, we walked to the entrance to purchase 2 adult tickets for Aud19.5 each and took a map which revealed quite a few buildings that could be visited instead of just the lighthouse, and walked in.

Otway lightstation entrance
Map of the lightstation
Ship wreck model

The telegram house was the first building that we saw and took shelter from the cold strong wind. Spent a bit of time there mostly to shield from the cold and see the historical exhibits on display, and K being interested to spin the yarn spinner. Then we walked to the lighthouse another 5mins walk away.

Inside the telegram building
One of the rooms
Yarn spinner in one of the rooms
Telegram building

The wind was merciless as it blew strongly. We only took refuge in the lighthouse and climbed the narrow flight of steps upwards till we reached the rotating lights that were still moving (but not lighted up). There were already some people there with the staff giving a talk on the lighthouse and we looked around and went outside for a quick walk.

Path to the Otway lighthouse
Lighthouse up front
Gloomy view from Otway lighthouse

Again the wind came and we had to move  back quickly. The lighthouse got really crowded in the narrow space and we took our leave as soon as we could. K got fussy wanting to descend the steps by himself after I carried him down.

Anchor and flags

The map that was given was a little challenging to read and as the drizzle came back, we wore the rain coat for K and walked back the same route to the entrance, which was the only route. Didn’t buy anything from the souvenir shop and drove to the next location.

The highlight of the GOR, the 12 Apostles, was an hour and 15mins away. K fell asleep soon after getting onto the car and so did mommy. I drove close to the speed limit but as the drizzle came and went, and I took caution to negotiate the bends. The road improved and became wider and better as we approached the coastline.

We arrived at about 1245 and parked at the center which was situated across the road from the coastline. Thought that there was a cafeteria to have a meal but it was just a small area with a souvenir shop and a counter selling coffee. We walked across the underpass and towards the coast and the sight that met us was really beautiful with the mighty ocean waters crashing into the standing rocks. The wind was very strong too and after we took a family selfie, mommy and K went back to take shelter at the center while I spent some time exploring the 3 viewpoints around the area. It was really difficult to steady the phone or camera for panoramic shots and had to take multiple times and settled with whatever I could muster, against the wind.

12 Apostles center
12 Apostles signage
Walk path at the 12 Apostles
12 Apostles
The other 2 at the other side

I only met up with my family back at the center, the only real shelter from the cold and wind. I got myself a Latte before we took our leave. Because of the wind conditions, we dropped the thoughts of visiting the Loch Ard Gorge 5mins from there and headed straight to Port Campbell for lunch, 13mins from there.

We arrived at a very small town center and found a parking near a nicely located restaurant, 12 rocks cafe and had our lunch there, at almost 230pm. Ordered a soup with sourdough bread and a chicken salad with Quinoa for aud34. The cashier wasn’t all too friendly and had an attitude that felt like she couldn’t care less.

12 Rocks cafe
Has a view of the foreshore
Soup with sourdough
Chicken salad
12 Rocks cafe outside

K ate his lunch and had some more cake from us, a desert that mommy bought after. He was eating well. I took some time to go the pier side to take some pictures of the waters and also flying seagulls that people were throwing feed into the air to watch them glide in the wind close to the ground. Then we changed diapers for K in the restaurant toilet that had a diaper changing facility and left.

Port Campbell foreshore
Gliding seagulls
Port Campbell shore

10mins away was the London bridge, parking at the open air carpark, it was a short walk to the viewpoints. Spent some time shooting the natural arch rock formation, again a beautiful sight that I took away by getting a selfie for myself with the camera. After returning to the car, I showed he photos to mommy as both of them wanted to avoid the cold.

London bridge Pano

Another 10mins down was Bay of Martyrs, this time the carpark was just next to the view. It was quite a sight but the sun was making the pictures dark. The final viewpoint was the Bay of Islands, 5mins away. This was also a viewpoint of a large area, not visible from the carpark. After my photo taking, we proceeded to drive to Warrnambool Coles supermarket to get groceries for the night, 40mins away.

Bay of Martyrs
Bay of Islands pano

K was not too cranky, quietly listening to the apps nursery rhymes as we drove to the huge town. While at town, I saw the APCO easy shop stations again, and as usual, they had the cheapest price of Aud1.27 per liter. Filled up to full for aud28 and left for Coles.

As the road was closed for roadworks, I had to go around and that’s when we saw Target, and mommy decided to do some shopping there. We parked at the carpark opposite and proceeded into the mall. K wanted to spend some time at the kiddy ride, mommy went shopping in Target herself, a store we knew from past travels that sell stuff at really low prices.

Target at Warrnambool
Target inside the Mall

K had fun spinning the coin into a charity collection point and running up and down a straight stepless escalator until mommy was done with shopping. Then there was a walk through to Coles on the other side of the road that we took and visited one pharmacy, Artz + Kay to get some nasal decongestant. Went around the huge Coles to get the foodstuff and water and then I went to get the car to drive into the huge open space carpark to allow for easier transfer for the stuff that we bought into the car.

Artz + Kay pharmacy
Coles supermarket
Inside Coles

Then it was another 30 mins drive to our Airbnb at Port Fairy. K fell asleep as we arrived at the cottage. The landlord left the keys at a location and I found it with the help of my iPhone light as it was very dark. Went into the cottage alone to turn on all the lights and it was huge! There were 4 bedrooms, a huge kitchen, huge living room, a playroom and 2 toilets. It fell a little scary though. But the problem was also that there wasn’t a aircon unit to warm up the place. There were only a few air warmers that didn’t do much and it was just cold throughout. There was a central fireplace but I didn’t know how to set up. I didn’t want to smoke out the place.

Master bedroom
Guest room 1
Kitchen with dining room
Guestroom 2
Toilet 2
Living room

Mommy cooked fried rice for everyone and we had the dinner in the living room. K was playing with the new Paw Petrol toy that mommy bought from Target and with crayons that we bought along. He also played with some of the toys in the playroom but there weren’t much toys there to begin with.

We proceeded to bath in the bathroom where it seemed to be the warmest place in the house. K had stayed in the bathroom for a while due to constipation and after bathing and getting dressed there, I quickly put him onto the bed as there was internal mattress heating which I already set up to warm up the bed.

As K watched his YouTube on our data plan, as there weren’t any Wifi, we bathed and got ready for bed. Turned the heat to low to prevent being too hot under the sheets, we turned off the lights at about 11pm. It was a cold night.

Great Ocean Road 2017 Day 7 – Coogoorah Park, Split Point lighthouse and Koala spotting

7am and K was awake as I took awhile to realise that the alarm had gone off. Made him a bottle of milk and soon he was off to sleep again. I got up quickly to do some packing and washing up of bottles before continuing my blog. Mommy got up later and started her routine of meal preparations.

K didn’t wake up until I changed his diapers and his clothes but he wasn’t intending to move, not even motivated by the indoor playground that he so wanted to visit. It took a while for his engine to warm up before he decided to get off the bed, during which I had already loaded most of the stuff into the car for our onwards journey. It was a waste though that he couldn’t utilize the indoor playground as the accommodation was decided with the intention to let him get some playtime during this trip.

After returning the keys on check out, we punched in the next destination of Anglesea, a place called Coogoorah park and we were on the way. It was a 1hr drive from Queenscliff. I realized that we weren’t near the coast so I supposed Google map didn’t recommend the Great Ocean Road and gave the shorter quicker alternative.

On the way, I stopped to pump petrol at an Apco Easy Shop station which seemed to have one of the lowest petrol price. It was at aud1.29 per liter only and I paid aud38 for petrol.

Again we hit the road, with the nursery rhymes playing for K to listen. He looked very restless and we were worried that he would vomit due to car sickness. He didn’t have breakfast and wasn’t going to have any. He took some cheese and that was all.

We arrived at about 11am, driving from tarmac to a dirt road that led to a carpark st Coogoorah park. Right in front was a big playground in the theme of a sunken ship and K was excited to go play on it. There was a smaller playground just nearby that fit K more, but he explored both just the same.

Coogoorah Park
Playground at the park
A smaller one for smaller kids

I walked around to explore the nice park, which had a some school groups of children come do some canoeing on the lake. The whole area was quite peaceful and as I walked a bit further, I saw another group of children learning to fish from a bridge.

Water activities for some kids
View of the river from a bridge
Bird in the park
Panorama of Coogoorah park

We spent about an hour there and left at about 12 noon for a 30 mins drive to Split Point lighthouse, at Aireys Inlet. Visited the restaurant The Captain of Aireys for some wood baked pizza that was so delicious, housed in a nicely design interior. We ordered a Hawaiian that had 6 pieces but was more than enough for us with K sharing a little. The lunch was about 30ish including a latte for me and juice for mommy.

The Captain of Aireys
Inside the restaurant
Hawaiian pizza
A few other buildings next to lunch stop

We got into the car parked in front of the restaurant and drove to Split Point lighthouse just 3mins drive from the restaurant. There was a car park available and from there, we could see the lighthouse. The lighthouse itself can be scaled if paid for the tour, so we skipped and walked to the various viewpoints nearer to the beach. The view of the long coasts was beautiful and we took the selfies and the panorama pics as much as we wanted before going back to the car for the next destination.

Split Point lighthouse
Up close
Coastal view from the lighthouse
Split point panoramic view
Parking for Lighthouse visit

It was an hour drive to Kennett River and while we were happy to be on the Great Ocean Road (GOR), it presented another problem – it was often winding, as the road hugged the shoreline, up and down the mountains. K fell asleep thankfully and we managed to negotiate the bends without any puking incident.

We arrived at Kennett river and parked at the car park in front of Koala Kafe. I got off to walk  (didn’t drive as we didn’t want to wake K on the bumpy dirt road and also there were people and ducks and parrots blocking the main entrance to the road) the Grey River road up the slope, which according to the online information that we could see wild koalas on the trees. I only managed to see one, in the distance, had to take a photo shot with telescopic lens. After going around a bend and upwards for a bit, I gave up looking and came back down. I met a couple who also mentioned that they only saw that one. It was quite disappointing.

Birds on the road
The road
Wild koala on the tree
Another view
View from Grey River Road
Bird at the carpark

Upon reaching the car, I realized K was awake and waiting for milk, all the ingredients I had brought along in my bag. He was getting grumpy and impatient and was only satisfied after we made him the milk. The 1hr nap time was also too short and that explained his fussiness.

After his milk, I drove them again on the same road up to see if we could spot more koalas, going through the crowd of birds and people really slowly for fear of crushing the birds. We moved through the bends and into the forest at very slow speed but couldn’t see any other koalas other than the one I saw earlier (and mommy saw after I drove up to the same location). We gave up and returned to the entrance of the road to take a break, since K had just drank milk and we didn’t want him to vomit if we got on the road too early.

That gave us another opportunity and when we saw a crowd gathered under the trees in front of our car, we got down to see and saw another koala! Mommy went to the restroom while I looked after K who was more interested in the music on the handphone then the koala. When she returned, she informed of 3 more koalas near the toilets, at Kennett River holiday park next to the Grey River road. We immediately crossed over to see and indeed there were more koalas there! It was all a waste of effort to travel on the recommended route but I guessed that’s the unpredictability of wildlife. As we spent time looking at these sleeping tree huggers, K also spent a bit of time on the small playground there.

2nd Koala near the entrance of the road
Another shot
Bright red bird
3rd Koala perched on the tree asleep
4th Koala
Playground at Kennett River campsite

By the time we left, it was almost 5pm. The drive to our accommodation at Coastal motel in Apollo bay was a 30mins away. Along the way, I drove within speed limit so that no one got dizzy and K had his nursery rhymes on repeat. Stopped at one of the viewpoint to take coastline with a setting sun and continued onwards till we arrived at IGA supermarket where mommy went to get some groceries while I waited in the car with K.

IGA at Apollo Bay
Apollo bay view

We drove back a couple of meters where the Coastal motel was, quite accessible to Apollo Bay town and we checked into the cabin, with a carpark slot available. The cabin was modernly designed but was lacking pots and pans for cooking. We settled for dinner outside and mommy cooked dinner for K while I bathed K.

Fiery red sunset
Our room
Room and kitchenette

The bath was the usual. The problem was when the water was released from the tub, the sink that was under the tub was blocked. That led to the water overflowing the small height of the shower area and flooded into the whole toilet and subsequently the adjacent kitchen. The funny thing was the sink in the shower was the only sink and there were none in the toilet nor the kitchen! Using the only floor cloth, I had to dry the whole area, making multiple drying twists of the cloth after soaking up the water – a lot of work!

When we were all ready, bathed and suited up, we walked to the town at about 730pm and just as expected as it was disappointing, the town was dead. There were a few restaurants still opened and we got into one George’s food court, next to a particularly busy joint Apollo Bay seafood cafe that didn’t have any seats left.

We got ourselves seated in the huge seating area where there were only a few other customers and ordered a fisherman’s basket which came in such a big portion and a variety of fried seafood, like crabstick, fish fillet, calamari, prawn and scallop and lotsa chips and salad vegetables.

George’s food court
Fisherman’s basket
George’s food court

K had fun feeding mommy food as mommy fed him too but became cranky after dropping a fork with a crabstick on it. Made a fuss and was given 2 cookies from the restaurant staff to calm him down. The lack of sleep.

We walked back through the dead town and back to our warm cabin that had the aircon still running. I did the dishes and found it exceptionally difficult to remove the grease from the pot. The dishwashing liquid was worthless and I had to use a bar of hand soap to remove the oiliness after using the dishwashing liquid multiple times.

Coastal motel

K got ready to sleep with some story books reading with mommy and was impatient about getting his milk as it was being warmed up. After downing it, it was lights off at 930pm. Both parents were still awake doing online stuff as K slept soundly.