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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Total duration 16D15N Melbourne is 2hrs ahead of Singapore. Flight time is 7hrs 25mins on Scoot from Singapore to Melbourne. Adelaide is 1.5hrs ahead of Singapore. Return is 7hrs on Singapore Airlines from Adelaide to Singapore.
Flight from Singapore to Melbourne at 115am, arriving at 1040am in Melbourne. Return flight from Adelaide to Singapore is at 910am and touching down in Singapore at 310pm.
This trip was planned to as one of our annual trip for 2017. There were 2 days of public holiday in May and therefore to maximize the usage of our leave, we chose to do it at this time of the year. Torn between the choices of going to Central Europe and South Australia, we ended up with SA because of the ease of logistics arrangements.
Budget – Not cheap.
Costs of food were expensive since food court was not usual in towns outside the main cities. Costs of accommodation were not cheap either especially when we need a kitchen to cook. Fuel was thankfully way cheaper than Singapore and with the not too bad exchange rate, costs were balanced out.
Complexity – Easy with GPS downloaded into the phone in a car
The initial traveling plan was to drive around with a data enabled phone but since we could actually download the google map onto the phone, we didn’t need data at all! Paved roads most of the time was easy to drive though some of them were a little bumpy for an Elantra. Signboards were everywhere. Since attractions were far from one place to another, driving would be the best option for a family traveling from one spot to another.