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Friday 28 March 2014

Flashback Fridays: South-Eastern South Australia

It's been a few weeks since I've posted a Flashback Friday adventure. All of this pregnancy stuff has been keeping me busy and making me feel pretty tired. Only one month to go today!

Time to get back to it. This time let's take a look at a short trip we took from our home city of Adelaide, Australia...

Back in April 2011 we spent a few days in the popular tourist town of Robe, South Australia. Robe is a small town located along the Limestone Coast, a picturesque coastal region in south-eastern South Australia known for its red wines, abundant seafood, amazing caves, rugged coastline and beautiful beaches.

On our drive down to Robe we stopped in Kingston to check out the Big Lobster/Crayfish. If you've ever been on a road trip in Australia you'll know that Australian towns love their kitsch "Big Things". We've had the pleasure of visiting many of these "Big Things" over the years: the Big Banana, the Big Pineapple, the Big Orange, the Big Koala... Apart from their gigantic size the one thing these all have in common is that they are extremely tacky! The Big Lobster may just very well be THE tackiest of them all!

The girls and I with the Big Lobster

Ava and the Big Lobster

Little girls and a big scary lobster

In Robe we stayed in a teeny, tiny historic cottage built circa 1850 by one of the original settlers. Luckily the cottage has been updated with all the mod-cons since it was built! It was lovely to stay in such a quaint little home for a few days.

Perfectly sized for Ava 

While in Robe we spent quite a bit of time hiking along the rocky coastline. The cliffs and rock formations along the coast are stunning and as you can probably tell from Ava's impressively huge hair in a few of the shots below it was pretty windy!

Kim and Ava on the coast with local landmark the Obelisk in the background

The girls and I

It was a tad windy!

Uh oh!

The rocky terrain was a little tricky for Ava

Natural rock bridges along the coast

It's not all rocks and cliffs along the shoreline in Robe. In fact, Robe is home to some pretty stunning beaches. Being mid Autumn the weather was a little too cool for swimming but we did have fun playing along the beach which we pretty much had to ourselves.

A lovely spot for a swim in Summer

Beach front holiday homes

Beach baby

Ava's magnificent sand castle

Running from waves

Ava loves the beach

The Old Gaol (that's the Australian spelling of "jail" for my American readers) in Robe is an interesting spot to visit. Not much more than the foundations remain of the buildings which were built in 1860-61. Apparently the jail was used on and off until the early 1880s. I can imagine it must have been a pretty cold and miserable place to be locked up in. Nowadays it's more of a maze like series of short walls which Ava enjoyed scrambling over.

Prisoner Ava

Prisoners Daddy and Lola

Steel reinforced walls

Not the most secure cells around!

Jail break!

On our second day in Robe we took the girls fishing. Now neither Kim or I are really into fishing but Ava had been pretty keen to give it a try. We headed to one of the tiny lakes in Robe for a relaxing afternoon of fishing. We did manage to catch about three or four small fish but as we had no intention of eating them we threw them back into the lake. Ava was pretty excited about the first fish that we caught - until it started flopping around on the jetty!

Kim helps Ava with the fishing rod

I'm doing it!

She soon realised that fishing can be pretty boring!

Ava's first catch - which terrified her when it started moving!

Another one

Lola has a turn

Day three of our stay in Robe we headed inland to the nearby Naracoorte Caves. A series of twenty six caves make up the Naracoorte Caves National Park, a small number of which are open to the public to explore. The National Park is also home to a rich geological site where the fossils and skeletons of ancient mega fauna have been found. The most well known of these is the Diprotodon, a hippo-sized ancestor of the wombat. We visited Alexandra Cave and Wet Cave, both of which were easily accessible with small children (staircases lead into the caves), not too scary and absolutely stunning. I must admit that I honestly can't remember which cave is which in the photos but they were both definitely worth checking out.

Holding up the cave with my fingertips!

The girls and I

The rock formation in the middle is supposed to look like a family - if you squint and use your imagination!

Love these straw stalactites

Cave family

The rock looks melted in this one

Snack break outside the caves

Look how little Lola was!

Ava with a life size statue of a Diprotodon 

From the Naracoorte Caves we made our way to a few the local wineries. Our home city of Adelaide is surrounded by world class wine regions and before the kids came along we used to go wine tasting fairly often. Kids aren't generally big fans of hanging out in wineries though so we kept our wine tasting to a minimum this time around. Ava was pretty happy to run around among the grape vines though and Lola was just happy to be out in the sun.

Wine baby

Hanging out among the grapes

The following day we slowly made our way back home to Adelaide. Our drive took us past the Coorong, a 140km long saltwater lagoon that parallels the coastline. I grew up in this part of the state so travelling along this stretch of road brought back many memories from my childhood.

Ava at the Coorong

Enjoying the great outdoors

Nothing but saltbush, saltwater and sand as far as the eye can see 

Our last stop on our way home was my old home town of Meningie on the shore of Lake Albert. The previous time we had visited Meningie the lake was much in demise due to drought, toxic algae blooms and over allocation of water to irrigation. We were very happy to see that the lake was full and looking healthy again. The girls were happy for the chance to get out of the car and stretch their legs and have an ice block - or rusk stick in Lola's case.

Lake Albert

Snack time on the shore of Lake Albert

We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Robe and the south eastern part of South Australia. It was Lola's first vacation, Ava's first time fishing and Lola started eating solids for the first time while we were away. A little trip full of firsts.


It's been nice sharing some photos from our home state here on Little Hiccups. I hope you've enjoyed them. I have plenty more Australia posts to come on Flashback Fridays so stay tuned for more adventures Down Under!


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