A Travellerspoint blog

Melbourne

We had a few days in Melbourne to go and see the Harry Potter stage show. So while there we thought we would tick off some of our big things.

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Inside Melbourne Central is the Big Fob Watch. On the hour these figures come down from the bottom and it plays Waltzing Matilda.

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There is also an old building that they have kept which sits inside.

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We also went down and visited the Docklands. We saw the Marvel Stadium. These arts and sculptures were just outside the stadium.

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Views from Docklands.

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We particularly liked these purple apartments.

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We also did the Docklands Art Trail.

This is called Edge of Your Seat. It is outside the Marvel Stadium.

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This is Monument Park located on the NewQuay Promenade.

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This is called Everlasting. It is in the Quays Atrium. It looks like a stream of soap bubbles from a bubble maker.

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This is called Meeting 1.

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This is called Silence. There are 13 sculptural elements.

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This is called Sealight.

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This Cow Up a Tree.

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This is called Aqualung.

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This is called Whitecaps.

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This is Shadow Trees.

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This is the Light House. There are towering lines of LEDs that are visible every evening.

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This is called The River Runs Through It.

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The Webb Bridge.

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The Blowhole. As the wind blows the parts of the sculpture move.

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The Reed Vessel.

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This is called Continuum. There are characters and activities blended in together.

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This is called Signature Work. I think it looks like a big bunny.

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The M Pavillion. It is made of fibreglass and carbon fibre.

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This is Supersonic. It spans 80 metres and weighs 56 tonnes. It consists of 100 separate pieces.

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This would have to be one of the biggest eagles around Melbourne. It stands 23 metres tall. Unfortunately they are now building around it, so it has taken some of the appeal away from it.

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This is called Civil Twilight End. Instead of a shiny large scale sculpture the artist decided to create a bell tower that tolls each day.

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This is called Unfurling.

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The Aurora. The open net like structure makes visual reference to a cargo net. In the early days, cargo nets were used to lift goods from the wharves in the Docklands.

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We had a wander along Southbank.

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At the other end of town is the Princess Theatre where we are going to see Harry Potter.

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On our last day we wandered the streets of Melbourne looking at all the street art. Some of it was really good whilst other parts had unfortunately been graffitied over and parts were quite dirty. But it was well worth the wander and really colourful.

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Posted by shaneandnicola 01:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kangaroo Island

On the 4th January we headed over to Kangaroo Island. Shane's mum and dad - Mary and Henry were over from Tassie and so we decided to take them there as Shane hadn't been either.
We set off early as it was a 2 hour drive from home to get to Cape Jervis where the ferry left from.
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The ferry arrived at Penneshaw.
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We then drove 60km around to Kingscote where we were staying. We booked into the KI Cabins. They were located on a property just outside of Kingscote and it was lovely and quiet.
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There were a lot of blue wrens hopping around.
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There was also this bird but we were not sure what it was.
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After a rest we headed into Kingscote to have a look around and do some shopping. The South Australia Company established its colony at Kingscote at Reeves Point on 27 July 1836, as South Australia's first official European settlement, the first settlers having arrived on the Duke of York, and named for Henry Kingscote, one of the founding directors of the South Australian Company.
It was early suggested that Kingscote could serve as the capital of South Australia, but the island's resources were insufficient to support such a large community; the South Australian Company moved almost six months later to Adelaide after sending surveyors to find a better site.
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We stopped at the Island Beehive to taste the honey. We also had another big thing to tick off our list. They had the big bee.
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5th January
This morning we started early as we were heading to Seal Bay. Seal Bay Conservation Park is a protected area located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island. It is the home of the third largest Australian sea lion colony in Australia. In order to protect the colony, visitors are only allowed on the beach by paying to go on a guided tour. It was about 57 km away but we wanted to get there for the first tour at 9am to miss all the tourist buses coming over from Adelaide for the day. This proved to be worthwhile. Whilst walking down the boardwalk towards the beach we saw several sea lions that were making their way down from the dunes to the beach, it was lovely to watch.
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Once on the beach we watched them for a nice long time. Some were relaxing, others were harassing each other and some were playing in the surf.
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After the tour we went for a walk along the other boardwalk that is not part of the tour. This gave us some lovely views.
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Our next stop was Raptor Domain. We wanted to see the in flight Birds of Prey display. This was very good. Not only did we learn about these amazing birds but we also got so close to them.
Casper the Barn Owl flew from a hole in a tree.
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He then hopped from person to person and sat on their lap.
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A friendly emu made an appearance.
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Shane got up close to an endangered glossy black cockatoo
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We saw a hobby falcon.
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The last bird was the wedge-tailed eagle.
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It was so friendly they could even cuddle it.
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They too had a big bee.
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On the way home we stopped at Island Pure Sheep Dairy. This dairy is a 260 hectare grazing property on the banks of the Cygnet River and Gum Creek. We watched the sheep being milked in the milking shed just like cows are. If you didn't see it with your own eyes you wouldn't believe it.
We then tasted some of the cheeses before visiting some of the sheep.
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6th January
Today was going to be a hot day so we changed around our plans so we didn't do too much walking today.
We headed up to the north west tip of the island to visit Cape Borda Lighthouse. There is quite a bit of rough dirt road to get there so we were glad to have the 4WD. Just before you get there you enter Flinders Chase National Park. The lighthouse was built in 1858 and is the third oldest remaining and only square stone lighthouse in South Australia. The Lighthouse was built to guide ships travelling along the Roaring Forties trade route heading into the Investigator Strait towards Port Adelaide. Originally there was no road linking Cape Borda to the rest of Kangaroo Island and all supplies had to be hauled up from ships via a steep steel railway at a nearby cove known as Harvey's Return then taken to the lighthouse every three months.
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These are the old living quarters. They can now be booked for overnight accommodation.
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We then headed up to their cemetery.
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We stopped at a look out and got a good view down the coast.
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From there we headed to Snelling Beach. This was a pleasant surprise. It was absolutely beautiful.
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We didn't bring any lunch with us but there is a nice BBQ area under cover if you want to have lunch there.
From there we headed to Stokes Bay. This was going to be our lunch stop. We went to the Rockpool Café but we were very disappointed. Not only was it very busy but they had run out of ingredients for our salad and didn't even tell us so when it turned up it was small and was not tasty at all. If you just want fish and chips you probably can't go wrong.
There is safe rockpool there for paddling.
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While we were on one of the dirt roads we came across a lovely group of yackas.
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We then went to Emu Bay. There is a nice long white beach there. There are a lot of homes being built there. It is getting really popular.
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From there we headed to the Emu Bay Lavender Farm. I didn't realise there were so many varieties of lavender.
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We had a lavender ice-cream while we were there.

7th January
We had another early morning to head down to the south west corner of KI. We were heading for Flinders Chase National Park.
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This is another popular destination for day trippers so once again we avoided the crowds. It was 100km away. When we got there we checked in at the visitors information centre as you need to pay to be in the park. You are given a ticket to stick to your wind screen.
We set off for Admirals Arch to see the first of the famous geological features. You walk on a board walk to get there. The scenery was beautiful.
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The colours in the landscape really stood out.
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You could see New Zealand fur seals and Long Nosed fur seals sunning on the rocks.
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There were babies too.
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This was the view at the arch.
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We then visited the Cape du Couedic lighthouse which was named after a French naval officer, Charles Louis du Couëdic.
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This is where they kept the fuel for the lighthouse.
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Our next stop was the second geological feature. Remarkable Rocks. We stopped and had a coffee at the lookout.
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We then headed down to see them close up.
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We headed back to the visitors centre and headed off on the Heritage Walk. Along the way we learned about the wildlife and the early settlers at Rocky River.
There was some wildlife around we.
We saw a few koalas but they were high up in the trees.
We saw a kangaroo relaxing under a tree.
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We even saw an echidna. It walked right up to me while I was taking photos.
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We then came across Mays Homestead and the Postman's Cottage.
Charles and Annie may took up the remote Rocky River Pastoral Lease in 1893 and lived there until 1914. Charles built the homestead for his wife and seven children. When three more children arrived the May family outgrew the homestead so Charles built the cottage as the boys room. The cottage was later renamed after the postman, who stayed overnight on his fortnightly round trip.
They were the nearest source of help whenever a ship was wrecked along the coastline.
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We headed back to the visitors centre for lunch and then headed just up the road to the Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This was the place to see lots of koalas. There were pretty much in every tree.
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There were even a few babies with their mums.
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We also saw some rainbow lorikeets.
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On the way out there were some kangaroos but they were quite a way in the distance.
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8th January
Today was our final full day on the island. So we headed out again to America River and the Dudley Peninsula.
Our first stop was called Redbanks.
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We then headed in to American River. The area now known as American River was first visited by Europeans in 1802 when Matthew Flinders landed to survey that part of Kangaroo Island. In 1803, a group of American sealers camped for four months in the area. They arrived on the brig Union and built their own 35 ton schooner Independence from local timber. The town takes its name from this time. At the northern end of town you can go birdwatching to try and find the endangered Glossy Black Cockatoo. We were lucky enough to find two of them.
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We headed towards Penneshaw but turned off on a dirt road and headed to Cape Willoughby Lighthouse. Cape Willoughby was the first lighthouse to be erected in South Australia, and lights the Backstairs Passage between Kangaroo Island and the mainland.
As you head towards it, it stood out with the tree lined road.
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We did a self guided tour of the area.
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There was a walk you could do down to the waterfront.
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We then headed into Penneshaw for lunch. Penneshaw is on the Dudley Peninsula and is where the ferry terminal is. Originally known as Hog Bay due to the pigs released by French Commander Nicholas Baudin, Penneshaw was named after a combination of the names of Dr. F.W.Pennefather, private secretary to Governor Jervois, and Flora Louisa Shaw, The Times colonial editor, a visitor to Government House. We stopped at the Penneshaw Hotel for lunch and had a lovely meal.

On the way home we stopped at Island Beach. Wow we loved this beach.
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It was a bit too cool to swim but the boys went for a paddle.
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We also turned off to Baudin Beach as there was an small art gallery with a big octopus.
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Just before 5pm we headed down to the wharf in Kingscote to see the daily pelican feeding talk.
Pelicans started flying in. They looked so beautiful in flight.
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The man gave a talk and the pelicans waited patiently.
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He even fed some of the big gulls.
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He threw some fish into the water and they all went back into the water.
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They later flew off again.
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9th January
This morning we headed back to Penneshaw and caught the ferry back to Cape Jervis.
Upon disembarkation we went and had a look at the Cape Jervis lighthouse.
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Posted by shaneandnicola 02:41 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Our visit to Darwin

We didn't have the opportunity to go too far from Darwin in the Northern Territory, but we tried to see as many of the "Big Things" that we could along with some of the beautiful scenery up there.
We were lucky enough to be up there for Territory Day and had a great view of the fireworks from our balcony.
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While wandering around Darwin I came across the big owl.
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We also found these big things.
The Big Pink Buffalo
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The Big Chainsaw
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The Big Minion
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The Big Barramundi
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The Big Frog
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There was art work in the mall. They were flying foxes.
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Some art in the botanical gardens.
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Even an art python in the tree.
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We headed out of Darwin and travelled through Humpty Doo.
There we found the Boxing Crocodile.
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We then visited a place where you could go out on a boat and see the Jumping Crocodiles. It was unbelievable how these big monsters lept out of the water.
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There were even big things that we found along the river.
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We visited Fogg Dam where there was quite a bit of bird life.
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We also headed to Corroboree Billabong where we took a boat on the billabong.
It was really beautiful and there were lots of lotus flowering.
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We got to see lots of bird life.
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We saw a couple of smaller crocs and this one big one. He was pretty well camouflaged, they estimated he was over 5 metres long.
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One of the days we decided to head down to Litchfield National Park. Litchfield National Park, covers approximately 1500 km², it is near the township of Batchelor, about 100 km south-west of Darwin. It is well worth a visit. We only had a day but you really need to spend at least 2 days there, if not more.
On the way we stopped at the Big Stockwhip.
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Once we got to Litchfield there were giant termite mounds. There were 2 different types.
These are the Magnetic Termite mounds. The mounds are aligned north to south to minimise the exposure to the sun.
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These are Cathedral Termite Mounds.
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It was a really hot day so we didn't hike very far to many falls. But we did see a couple.
This is is Wangi Falls. This is one of the most popular for swimming.
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We did a short hike to see Tolmer Falls. We were not sure if there would be any water going over the falls but there was.
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This was the view from the lookout.
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We finished off with Buley's Rockhole. By then it was really hot so we really enjoyed our dip in the rockhole.
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Posted by shaneandnicola 15:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Victoria and Southern New South Wales

Once again we planned a route to see some "Big Things". We headed from Adelaide to Albury-Wodonga.
Big Lizzie - Redcliffes VIC
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Big Mallee Stump - Ouyen VIC
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Big Ned Kelly - Glenrowan VIC
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Big Rolling Pin - Wodonga VIC
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Big Strawberry - Koonoomoo VIC
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Big Wine Bottle - Rutherglen VIC
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Big Murray Cod - Tocumwal NSW
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Big Avocado and Lemon - Wentworth NSW
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Big Redback Spider - Silverton NSW
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Big Spider - Urana NSW
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We also liked this sculpture.
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Our second trip to Victoria we headed south.
We stayed at Halls Gap in the Grampians.
There were kangaroos and emus walking close to town.
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We did a few bush walks.
Clematis Falls
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Silver Band Falls.
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This is Lake Boga.
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In Shepparton they have a Mooving Art display. You can wander around town finding all the cow art.
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We also found the Big Bloke there.
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We also visited Ballarat and went to Sovereign Hill. Sovereign Hill is an open-air museum and depicts Ballarat's first ten years after the discovery of gold there in 1851.
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Some other Big Things we found along the way.
The Big Daisies - Bendigo VIC
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The Big Dinosaur - Ballarat VIC
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The Big Dinosaur - Horsham VIC
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The Big Fish - Cohuna VIC
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The Big Fish - Edenhope VIC
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The Golf Ball & Tee - Horsham VIC
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The Big Icecream - Halls Gap VIC
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The Big Koala - Dadswell Bridge VIC
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The Big Lotus Flower - Bendigo VIC
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The Big Mallee Bull - Birchip VIC
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The Big Milkshake Cups - Tongala VIC
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The Big Miner & his dog - Ballarat VIC
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The Big Mouldy Orange - Shepparton VIC
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The Big Sumo Wrestler - Shepparton VIC
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The Big Xmas Baubles - Shepparton VIC
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The Big Xmas Candles - Shepparton VIC
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The Big Xmas Pressies - Shepparton VIC
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The Big Murray Cod - Swan Hill VIC
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Posted by shaneandnicola 01:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Some of our adventures in South Australia

For those of you that know us we love our "Big Things" and we quite often try to do our travels around crossing big things off our list. Here are some of our adventures and some big things we managed to see in South Australia.

The Big Orange in Berri.
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The Big Pelican in Loxton.
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Kapunda
We visited an old copper mine. The time of year we visited the beautiful canola was flowering in the fields and there was yellow everywhere.
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We also Big Map the Miner.
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We also did a trip to Laura and the Barossa Valley. Another thing we like doing is taking photos of pretty town signs.
We visited Laura.
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This was the information board. It was made like a shop front.
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They had the Big CJ Dennis.
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The countryside around Laura.
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In the Barossa Valley we visited Menglers Hill. The view from the lookout was great.
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They also had a Pioneer Memorial and sculpture walk.
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We happened to be in Tanunda when the Royal visit happened. So we lined up in the main street to see if we could see Prince Charles and Camilla.
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Some of our favourite signs.
Snowtown
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Edithburgh
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Moonta
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Normanville
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We took a trip to Clare which is a wine area in South Australia.
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We took drive out to Burra which is another copper mining town.
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We then went to Martindale Hall.
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We have also headed south and visited Robe.
We went through Kingston South East to visit the Big Lobster.
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In Robe was saw the Fishermans Memorial.
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The Obelisk.
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Robe beachfront.
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Scenic Drive.
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We also visited the Woakwine Cutting. Said to be Australias biggest one-man engineering feat, the cutting was excavated to drain land behind the Woakwine Range, which is located approximately 12kms from Beachport.
This is the cutting.
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This is some of the machinery they used.
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This is Naracoorte.
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Naracoorte is famous for its caves.
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We also visited Bool Lagoon.
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Here are a lot more big things that we have visited in South Australia.
These are in Hindmarsh Square in Adelaide.
The big bone.
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The Big hose nozzle.
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The Big Peg.
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The Big Tap.
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The BIg Thong.
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On a building in North Terrace.
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Also in Adelaide.
The Big Bee at Bee Hive Corner.
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The BIg Ant at Poochera.
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The BIg Apple at Balhanna.
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The Australian Farmer at Wudinna.
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The Big Blade at Snowtown.
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The Big Cherries at Willunga.
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The Big Chess Board at Clare.
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The Big Cockroach at Lower Light.
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The Big Cricket Set at McLaren Vale.
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The Diprotodon at Naracoorte.
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The BIg John Eyre Sculpture at Kimba.
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The Big Fly at Lower Light.
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The Big Galah at Kimba.
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The Big Hand, Foot and Head at Barmera.
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The Big Hard Hat at Paradise.
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The Big Icecream at Glenelg.
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The Big M&Ms.
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The Big Olive at Tailem Bend.
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The Big Orange Tree at Waikerie.
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The Big Oyster at Ceduna.
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The Big Paint Tin at Modbury.
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The Big Petrol Container at Modbury.
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The Big Ram at Karoonda.
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The Big Rat at Lower Light.
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The Rocking Chair at Norwood.
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The Big Rocking Horse at Gumeracha.
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The Big Santa Clause in Adelaide.
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The Big Saxaphone in Adelaide.
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The Big Scotsman in Medindie.
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The BIg SIlver Balls in Adelaide Mall.
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The Big Taps at Kent Town.
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The Big Tree Goanna at Crystal Brook.
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The Big Tyre at Yamba.
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The Big Wine Bottle at McLaren Vale.
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The Big Xmas Baubles in Adelaide Mall.
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We have also started taking photos of big blow up objects.
The Big Beer Bottle
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The Big Bike
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The Big Dog
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The Big Poweraid Bottle
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We visited the Eyre Peninsula. This is Kimba.
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We went up to the Edward John Eyre Scupture.
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This Murphy's Haystacks rock formations.
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What a beautiful sunset.
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Eyre Peninsula Coast Line.
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Posted by shaneandnicola 23:19 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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