Singapore is probably not the place to go for an Asian experience. The Asia we have experienced (and enjoyed) was more than a little ragged around the edges and very inexpensive, these were nowhere in sight in Singapore.

The gardens in Singapore did not have a leaf out of place-Gardens by the Bay
The gardens in Singapore did not have a leaf out of place: Gardens by the Bay

We ranked Singapore as the cleanest and smartest city that we have visited in our 2015 travels. Changi airport won the efficiency award with both our arrival and departure experiences which were in a different league to the many other airports we have passed through. However, these things do not necessarily make it a memorable travel experience, the prices were a little eye watering and we just struggle to enjoy a modern city experience. In the end, two nights was more than enough.

Our arrival at Melbourne kind of felt like we had arrived home and this time we were greeted by family from New Zealand which helped to reinforce that feeling. Those who have been following the blog will be aware that we were coming to Melbourne for a family wedding.

The wedding ceremony was held in a park amongst the gum trees. The celebrant providied a refreshing change and these were important factors that helped to make the occasion a very memorable one.
The wedding ceremony was held in a park among the gum trees. The celebrant provided a refreshing change and these were important factors that helped to make the occasion a very memorable one.

We had hired a commuter van to transport the five visitors from New Zealand plus ourselves up to the wedding venue in Castlemaine, a small town which was a 90 minute drive northwest of Melbourne.

After a very hot arrival day, the weather surprised us and turned quite cool and remained so for the rest of the weekend and has managed to get even colder as the week has gone by.

The reception was in amongst the wine vats. The supply of ready to drink wines did not run out so the fermenting grape juice was left to continue its procession to the bottle.
The reception was in among the wine vats. The supply of ready to drink wines did not run out so the fermenting grape juice was left to continue its procession to the bottle.

However, we had a great weekend, it was good to catch up with the family and we got to see a little of inland Victoria which was very dry. The countryside looked as though it was coming out of a harsh summer, not about to enter summer. Fortunately we had not sent all of our additional layers of clothing home and after languishing in the depths of our bags for two months they were suddenly back in use.

It felt strange gettinto our glad rags after such a long time spent in our travel gear.
It felt strange get into our glad rags after such a long time spent in our travel gear.

Also hanging about in our bags for about six weeks were the “glad rags” that we had purchased in Bangkok for the wedding. After a bit of ironing in order to make them respectable we were relieved to find that they fitted even better than when we had them made.

The wedding was a special break from our travels but time waits for nobody so on Monday we dropped the others off at Melbourne airport, traded the van for a smaller sedan and headed off for Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road, the longest of our road trips.

The coastline dominated the trip from Torquay to Apollo Bay, after that it becomesmore of a contrast of landscapes with the highlight being the area between Apollo Bay and The Bay of Islands
The coastline dominated the trip from Torquay to Apollo Bay, after that it became more of a contrast of landscapes with the highlight being the area between Apollo Bay and The Bay of Islands
Conditions were perfect for snapping pictures at the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
Conditions were perfect for snapping pictures at the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
When we saw a sign for "The Bay of Islands" we felt we need to go and explore what the Aussie namesake of our homelooked like. We were not disappointed.
When we saw a sign for “The Bay of Islands” we felt we needed to go and explore what the Aussie namesake of our home region looked like. We were not disappointed.

I am finishing this post in Victor Harbour a town about 80km south of Adelaide. The drive has been one of contrasts ranging from having to pinch ourselves to remind us that we were not actually in New Zealand to be awed by the scale of the landscape which is so different from anything else we have seen in our travels so far. This morning we drove for 300km before passing through a settlement and the road kill consisted of many kangaroos, we also had to swerve to miss an anteater that was scurrying across the road.

Well you have to take this picture. I was pleased the car had cruise control but the foot hovered over the break just in case "skippy" bounced in front of us.
Well you have to take this picture. I was pleased the car had cruise control but the foot hovered over the break just in case “skippy” bounced in front of us.
The area from Robe to Victor Harbour is dotted with lakes formed by the delta of the Murray river, many like this are just dry salt flats
The area from Robe to Victor Harbour is dotted with lakes formed by the delta of the Murray river, many like this are just dry salt flats

We had to dust off a third layer of clothing today. Yesterday saw a very brief return to warmer temperatures but accompanied by 100km winds. At times we felt we were driving through a dust storm and we were not surprised to read reports of a fatal wild-fire that has raced across 200km of the countryside here in South Australia. The wind change that blew through last evening has been just as vicious but the temperature is at least 16c colder than it was yesterday. The see sawing mercury is not helping our chances of getting through the 6 months sickness free.

Almost summer in Victor Harnour reminded us of a similar summer walk in Galway
Almost summer in Victor Harbour reminded us of a similar summer walk in Galway

Off to Adelaide tomorrow and then we spend our last week in Sydney before really returning home.

All the way from Melbourne the sea has been in a very angry mood which is great for picture taking. This is on the exposed side of Granite Island
All the way from Melbourne the sea has been in a very angry mood which is great for picture taking. This is on the exposed side of Granite Island

3 comments

  1. We have just returned from SA. where we spent 3 weeks on Kangaroo Island. You must have been nearby.
    You two must be looking forward getting back to your own NZ AirBnB?
    Safe travels on the last leg.

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    1. We came up from Victor Harbour to Adelaide today. Head to Sydney on Monday and back to NZ Saturday 5th. We will head back with mixed feelings, been a great adventure and we could keep going but you have to “pull stumps” at some stage. Ruth has pulled up lame today, maybe that is a sign. All the best to you, Jenny and family for 2016.

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  2. We guess a sign of the end is seeing you both looking resplendent in your fashionably tailored clothes. You both look great and obviously the traveling around the world lifestyle was a comfortable fit. By the way – congratulations on the wedding!

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