From the beginning, I didn’t envision myself living in Queensland for an extended period of time while in Australia. I didn’t have a particular reason; I just thought I’d end up in Sydney or in Adelaide. But on January 14th, I was on a flight from Adelaide to Brisbane with my year’s worth of luggage. I hopped off the plane to find 5/7 of new host family waiting for me at the gate. That’s right; I joined a family of 7! Host mum, host dad, and five kids (ages 5, 9, 11, 15, and 18), to be exact.
For two weeks, I lived in the small Barossa town of Williamstown, South Australia. While my time in South Australia was short, it was certainly not without some crazy weather. When I arrived, my host family was in the process of evacuating themselves and their horses from a nearby bushfire in the Adelaide Hills that burnt over 13,000 hectares of land. Within days, the weather shifted to rain… and lots of it. From one extreme to another, I got the full South Australia climate experience.
Despite the absolutely nutty weather conditions, my host family was still able to show me many of the great sights (and tastes) of the area. While seemingly overlooked by many travelers, the Barossa Valley and the surrounding area has something for everyone.
Yesterday, I caught an early morning ride into Adelaide’s CBD on my host dad’s way to work. I braved the 40o heat (we’re talking Celsius!) and set out to make the most of my day in the South Australian capital. But before I get to my itinerary for the day, here are some fast facts about Adelaide.
– Adelaide was named after Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV.
– Unlike the other Australian state capitals, Adelaide was established as a free colony, mostly by German settlers.
– The Torrens River divides the city into two parts: Adelaide and North Adelaide.
– Adelaide’s nickname is the “City of Churches.” Bet ya can’t guess why.
– The city center is only one square mile, making it easily walkable.
If Paris is a city of lights, Sydney is the city of fireworks. – Baz Luhrmann
Happy New Year everyone! I’ve just arrived in Adelaide for ten days in South Australia – I’m currently camped out at a coffee shop because my Barossa host family is evacuating their horses due to the bushfires. It’s also apparently 40o C outside so I’m opting for the air-conditioned airport. While I wait, I figured I’d catch up on a bit of writing. I didn’t write much during the holidays, but I wanted to recap a few of the places I visited while I stayed with my Canberra host family in Sydney.