Tuesday, May 1, 2012

2010-12-25 Around Limestone coast day 4

The limestone coast stretches along the southern coastal from Fleurieu peninsular all the way to Mt.Gambier which is our destination of the day. Pretty long drive all the way from Newland Head conservation park (bout 5 hours ish), and the highlights are mostly at the end of the road trip today. Pity that I'm not driving a 4WD, so we did not assess the rugged limestone coast which is said to be very pretty!!! 

There were two surprises for the day:

Firstly, I did not foresee that we have to cross the murray river via ferry at Wellington, and I was like "oh FCUK!!!" what if the ferry wasn't operating since it's Christmas!!! Luckily it's operating, otherwise we would have to make a huge detour to cross the river which adds another 1-2 hours drive. Got to thank whoever was still working during Christmas!!!

Another surprise was our backpacker hostel in Mt.Gambier, it was so much better than what we thought and we were invited to join the backpacker hostel's family Christmas dinner!!! He told me on the phone months ago, but to be remembered and invited was so kind of them. They know it's hard to find food during Christmas!!! How good is that??!! Free food, haha.

oh by the way, I must say my eyes were drooping midway, trying hard to stay awake, luckily nothing happened, haha. 

Dennis hut "window"

The popular surfer's beach - Parsons beach 
It's quite amazing to see how much fog were there!!

Walking along the bridge (causeway) to Granite island just off Victor habour

The famous horse drawn tram!!!

Viewing towards Victor harbour from Granite island
Pretty cloudy day though, the clouds have caught up with us, haha. 

Granite island was once connected to the mainland!!! 

Looking across Encounter bay toward the bluff! Clear skies over there!!!

There are quite a lot of these weird boulders on the island, which i assumed must be pretty similar to Kangaroo island.

This island is also home to the world's smallest penguin species. These "little penguin" are found only in Australia and New Zealand. I wondered was the one I saw in the picture below a penguin burrow or something else e.g snake or wombat, haha. It's pretty high up on a steep slope.

Hmmm...pretty happy with this shot, haha.

Who says you have to go to the Bay of fires, Tasmania to see these red algae growing on the rocks!!! You can get plenty here too!!!

The surprising ferry ride!!!

We drove along the coorong coastal, saw the coorong wetlands from inside the car, some salt lakes and then we got to Kingston which is represented by this huge lobster!!! Well, I guessed that must mean they have a lot of lobsters here, haha. As you can see, we were ahead of the clouds once again, greeting the clear blue sunny skies!!!

Heard to be a pretty town with pretty beaches and crystal clear water.
We were looking for a lighthouse, but wasn't sure if we got to the right one and we only stopped by for a while given we still got a long way to drive.

Hunting for the big Milicent wind farm. And we came across dairy cows!!!

I'm glad I made up my mind to go to this place, Milicent Wind farm
I like what I saw, it's different from the starhill farm which is located on the coastal. Here there's sheeps grazing below the wind turbines!!!

Australia is quite crazy with wind farms, being close to the roaring 40s (SA probably on the 30s). 
South Australia alone too have so many wind farms scattered across from far inland to the coastal!!
Roaring 40s is the name given to strong westerly winds found in the Southern Hemisphere, generally between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees. Because there is little land below the 40th parallel, greater wind speeds are able to build than in the same region of the Northern Hemisphere (Wikipedia).

What a tiring day!!! Finally we got to our backpacker hostel!!! No?? you must be thinking NO WAY, that's not a backpacker hostel!!! backpacker hostel with a historical feel and built of blue stones ??? How much is it?? it's 30 dollar per person per night, considering it's Christmas too!!! It was a little bit difficult to find though, it even have its own driveway, haha!!! 

Left our stuffs, head off for the blue Lake!!!

Well, the Blue Lake live up to its name!!! 
It's the bluest lake I've ever seen!!! 
But you can only see this in Summer!!! 
There's a whole scientific explanation to this blue colour you seen.
In winter it's greyish, it only slowly turns into blue colour as it turns into summer!!! 
Go google yourself to read why it's blue!!!

This blue lake is so famous that many will drive pass this town to see it just like me, haha.

But it was bloody hell cold that evening and the wind chills you to your bone!!! 
The messy hair of my friend here tells it all haha.

The town of Mt.Gambier!!! City of craters, lakes, caves and sinkholes. This town here is an interesting one given it's sitting on of the important volcanic geological site of Australia that consists of part of South Australia and Victoria. Nearby there's the World heritage Naracoorte caves where many fossils have been found (including dinosaurs??), and also may smaller mountains and few big craters to explore!!!

I was quite surprised to see the lightings when we got back!!! 
It's so pretty for a backpacker hostel!!! Felt like a protected heritage building!!!

Dinner time, a family and friends Christmas party!!! 
So pampered tonight!!! 
There's even raw oyster from Port Lincoln!!! 
Given it's from Port Lincoln, I ate one even though I don't like raw shell stuff, it was really a hard one to swallow!!! 
I have no idea how people can take it as one of their favourite food!!!

There's the kitchen at the far end connected to the bar!!! Basically this is where people can gathered!!! It's huge and plenty of space!!! 
We have a bit of a chat with the wonderful people including the owner's mom!!! 
Telling us the story of how they started this place up, we even met the owner's partner!!!
All in all, it's a wonderful night for us, Thank you to the Mount Gambier Gaol owners!!!

Here's the room we slept in!!! Nice and clean, it's actually a jail modified to become a room!!! A jail??? Yes, a jail!!!

Here you can see they tried to retain the originality of the jail!!! How nice!!!
Well, I've told the owner that given that I like the place so much, that I will help him promote his place on my blog!!! Though this is like 1 year late, haha. But here you go, go check it out at http://www.hmgetaway.com.au/

After dinner we went to explore one of the cave gardens simply just because I was told that you can see "lights" at night, haha. It turn up to be just Possums' eyes!!! But it was pretty hard to take picture at night, so didn't took much.

And we drive around to look for Christmas street decoration and beautifully lid houses like the one below!!!

You can really appreciate how much efforts went into this little Christmas lightings!!!

Merry Belated X'mas, haha!!! It's have been wonderful 4 days so far!!!


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