Annalisa and Matt (sister and brother in law) moved to Australia in July 2011, just after my birthday. It’s something that Annalisa has been wanting to do for a long time and finally, after all the usual hold ups an hassles with visas (2 years) they were on there way. The day they left was an emotional day to say the least, sad to see them go, but happy that they were effectively starting their married life together, in a new country, new house, new jobs, new people, new life!
The upside was that at Christmas time, I was going to be able to make my first trip to the land down under. Up until this point in my life, people had always found it strange that I had done quite a lot of travelling, played a lot of sports, loved being outside, and yet had somehow never made it down to Australia. This visit was going to be a family visit for sure, and I didn’t get to see much else than Adelaide, which again people found very strange – that I would go to Oz and not even see Sydney! Having said that, Adelaide, I think has loads to offer.
The trip down started on a Thursday night for Dad and I as Mum was in Hong Kong and joining us down there. Leaving on a Thursday and knowing we weren’t getting there till Saturday morning was somewhat daunting – but that did include a 12 hour stopover in Singapore which allowed me to catch up with two very good friends. My flat mate from my time in W2, Andy. And a good friend from Dubai, Rick. As you do in SG, we met up for a quick Singapore sling at the Raffles hotel for a very quick catch up.
Landing in Adelaide and seeing Matt and Annalisa waiting to pick us up was amazing – however, we had the Australian entry procedure to get through first. I appreciate why they are so strict and anyone that has seen Border Patrol , I can testify that it is quite like this! You feel guilty, even if you haven’t done anything and the amount of bits of paper that have to be handed over and queues to join – Takes a while! For anyone visiting, make sure you abide by all the rules, just don’t even think of taking any food or plants or anything really, other than clothes 🙂
After a day to settle, and for mum to arrive we started on our site seeing! First stop was The Gorge Wildlife park – their website doesn’t do the place any justice at all (potential client for me there!) But the park is well worth a visit. It was absolutely fantastic to see Kangaroos and actually walk amongst them and fee them. Such cute looking creatures in general. Although one massive one that looked freakish with hugely developed arm muscles. But even he was happy to be fed. Even more cute though we’re the koalas and actually getting to hold one for a few minutes was amazing. So soft and focused 100% on the Eucalyptus leaves handed to him. He was hand reared by the keeper and lives in her house now.
Also saw a gigantic turkey, bats, the most colourful birds I have ever seen. A very friendly sheep, a bully of a goat and some very human like monkeys. All the animals are well cared for and have plenty of space which is lovely to see, especially when you think of the tragedy that is Dubai Zoo.