One of the few highlights of our entire 35-days in Australia. Adelaide is a charming town with very, very friendly people. We were greeted by seniors who offered to answer any questions, gave us coupons, and gave us a small stuffed koala...they couldn't have been nicer.
Cleland Wildlife Park Rating:
Cleland Wildlife Park was recommended by an Australian and was fabulous. You are in large (10+ acre) enclosures with the kangaroos and wallabees. They will eat out of your hand and you can pet them and really observe them. You can also pet and feed a koala and see Tasmanian Devils up close. After three weeks in Australia, this was the first time we'd seen any of these animals. Australians were surprised to hear us say that as they consider kangaroos to be pests that eat their gardens and populate their golf courses.
A nice sea-side town with some cute little shops and small restaurants. Wouldn't have been a disppointment if we missed this stop, but it was fine.
Haigh's Chocolates Rating:
Haigh's Chocolates was very nice, but they were unprepared for two buses arriving at the same time on Good Friday. But they rallied and helped everyone with their purchases very efficiently and provided some very nice samples after pulling some staff from the production floor to pass them out. The chocolate is great and we wish we would have bought some chocolate covered dried berries. The samples were yummy, but we didn't taste them until after we'd made our purchases.
Mount Lofty Rating:
A nice lookout, but we were there on a windy, foggy day. We had lunch at a restaurant on Mount Lofty and it was delicious.
I can't believe we spent more than a half day of time and saw three dingoes and a bird show. There were no kangaroos, walabees or koalas at this park. It wasn't that we didn't see them...they aren't there. There is a SMALL aquarium where we saw some ducks swimming underwater and a crocodile standing so still in the water, he looked plastic. There is a little tram that drives around the park to get you from display to display, but it's quite crowded and there is a wait each time you want to take it. The birds of prey show was fine, but there were only three birds in a 45-minute show. The handlers are informative and it might have been better had there not been two small children banging away on the aluminum benches. Even after the handlers repeatedly said, "That noise is very distracting to the birds", the parents did nothing and the show was ruined for all of us. A huge disappointment.
Jenny's Orchid Garden Rating:
This is basically a garden center in Jenny's yard. You can look at the orchids, but you can't buy them and take them home, so what's the point? She did serve tea and scones on her porch/veranda, which was nice but nothing special. Wasn't worth the effort of going there.
A very nice view of the area and Surfer's Paradise. But when you've been up in some of the tallest buildings in the world, the view from the 26th tallest building in the southern hemisphere isn't all that special.
Surfers' Paradise Rating:
Surfer's Paradise is pretty...especially when viewed from SkyPoint, but it's a beach.
High Tea at Palazzo Versace Rating:
This was very nice. It's a lovely hotel and the tea was exceptional. I'm not sure if you can do this on your own, but it was part of the cruise line tour.
A pretty city, but we were there on Easter Sunday and nearly everything was closed, but at least traffic was good!
Royal Botanic Garden Rating:
We went to two gardens and I can't remember which was which. I believe the Royal Botanic Gardens were fairly flat and beautifully laid out in a formal style. Fitzroy Gardens was more natural and extremely hilly. At one point, the guide didn't notice that two elderly people went to sit on a bench because they couldn't make it any further up the hills. But he had the bus pull around to pick them up so they didn't have to continue to walk.
War Memorial Rating:
One of the most beautiful war memorials we've ever seen. The view from the top of the memorial (about 80 steps to the top) is fabulous...a true 360 degree view of the city and surrounding gardens.
Sydney is a beautiful city with lots to offer. We wish we would have had more time there. We took the hop on hop off bus one day and saw a great overview of the city, but I thought it was a little pricey at over $25 per person for the day. Had we had more time, we would have done a harbor tour and would have seen a performance at the Sydney Opera House. We stayed at the Harbour Rocks Hotel, which is only five minutes from the port. The hotel was very nice...spacious rooms and a delicious breakfast. But the elevators were under service (March 2012) and it was difficult to manhandle our luggage up and down the cement emergency stairs.