Saturday morning, and we’re finally on the bus, heading out of Adelaide (to a running commentary of the same things we heard about yesterday, but that’s not important) for a full day of sightseeing. “Northern Highlights” was described as “This combination tour features Cleland Wildlife Park, the German settlement of Hahndorf and the vineyards of the Barossa Valley. Tour highlights include Mount Lofty Lookout, Cleland Wildlife Park, free time to explore the main street of Hahndorf, visit Gumeracha Toy Factory and Big Rocking Horse, tasting delights at Angas Park Fruits and sample local Barossa wines at Saltram’s Winery.”
First off, we headed up to Mount Lofty lookout, where we got a pretty stunning view out over Piccadilly valley, as well as the entire Adelaide area (basin?). It was pretty chilly up there, so I was glad I had my jacket with me. We had about 10 minutes to look around, maybe 15, before it was back onto the bus and down a very steep, winding road towards the wildlife park. We got to the wildlife park and had just over an hour to check all of that out – it’s a very winding road that goes through several different wildlife areas. Headed for the bird area and ended up being chased by a rampant duck – it attacked, and then when I retreated from it’s assault on my jeans, followed me all the way down to the netted enclosure for the other birds.
The door closed behind me there, and I breathed a sigh of relief, walking through that enclose to come out the other side and keep a wary out for that duck. (the one on the right looking mean just about to charge at me.) We kept looking for the reptile exhibit, and eventually found it with just enough time for a quick walk through before we had to head back to the bus. There were three other areas and a koala feeding we didn’t get the chance to do. Back to the bus, wait for the last people on, off to the next attraction, which was Hahndorf for lunch.
Hahndorf was a pretty little village where we had the directions to the carpark pointed out to us before going around the backstreets to said carpark. Lunch was optionally included, so most of us tramped up the road behind the driver to the local german club/pub type thing. There was a long table set aside for us, once we negotiated through the packed throngs (it was a long weekend saturday) to get to it, so as the driver headed off again (he didn’t get lunch like we did) we sat to wait. And wait. Finally the lunches started coming out, but it must have been a good 10 minutes between the first and last ones being served. The best they’d come up with as a vegetarian option for me was chilli tomato pasta, so I tucked in.
Twenty minutes later, we’d all long since finished, and someone asked when the desserts were coming out. They were told it would be another twenty minutes. Considering we only had an hour, total, in Hahndorf, that meant the only thing we’d see was the inside of this crowded club. Someone asked for theirs to take away, and the stampede was on – even if it did take them another 5 minutes to rustle up the black forest cake she’d ordered. She told us later that it tasted like frozen supermarket brand, and after the first bite she tossed it. The cheesecake I got wasn’t much better, but we did get about 15m to race as far up the street and back down again as we could, with me on crutches since I’d started getting a bit sore at the wildlife park. We saw a short stretch in the vicinity of the club, raced back to the bus, where we waited an additional 15m for a different couple this time to arrive back last… (so much for the advertised “free time to explore Hahndorf”)!