Today was a scorcher, and a good day to do some big-sky driving in the air conditioned Ford Everest. We left Mount Gambier and headed north, passing through the little town of Penola and along sprawling vineyards in the Coonawarra region. We recognized a few vineyards we see on the shelves back in Canada: Penfolds, Lindemans. Our major stop today was the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Naracoorte Caves National Park. 26 caves are spread out over a three square kilometres, home to some of the world’s richest fossil beds. First we took the kids into the Stick Tomato cave, which was far more impressive than we expected. Raquel loved every second of it, while Gali, who loves the dark so much he wants us to lock him alone in our Move Yourself trailer, was out of sorts. After checking out the “robot dinosaurs” (more accurately, animatronic extinct marsupials) in the visitor centre (Raquel was terrified, Gali just gave up) we had a private tour of the fantastic Alexandra Cave. The stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flow rock and soda straw were incredible, and the Reflecting Pool magical enough to make it onto the Great Australian Bucket List After our subterranean adventure, the kids napped while we drive towards the coast and the town of Kingston SE. While Dad did some writing, the kids checked out the long sandy beach across the road from our campground. Dad then joined Raquel for one of the best sunsets he's ever seen!
Lunch: A Subway picnic for lunch with kangaroos lazing in the shade of the trees nearby.
Dinner: Huge schnitzels from Janet’s TakeAway in Kingston SE.
Lunch: At the Naracoorte Caves.
Dinner: In our cabin at the Kingston SE Caravan Park.
My Favourite Pictures Today
A deluxe cabin at the Kingston SE Caravan Park. Can’t beat the location:, across the street from a high white sandy beach and epic sunsets!
All about limestone caves and extinct marsupials. We learned that Gali loves the dark, but not necessarily caves. We learned that wine grows in hot, dry places. We learned that even adults can be kids in a Penola candy store. We learned that caves are a fantastic place to cool off when the outside temperature cracks 35C. We learned about Catastrophic Fire Days in South Australia, when the temperature and wind and soil conditions combine to become something so serious everything pretty much shuts down.
Reflection of the Day
Seeing the explorer side of Raquel come through in the caves, and her sheer delight playing on the beach during one of the most memorable sunsets we've ever had.
The hours of 4am to 10am, when Gali finally fell asleep seconds after we put him in his Britax car chair and before we’d even left the hotel parking lot.
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Nick
- : Anywhere that has a mix of history and coastal experiences.
- : It's all about having a different experience that you can't get in our own backyards. Culture and history... lots of things inspire me to travel, it's hard to pick one thing.
- : Don’t be distracted by the things you can do everyday in your normal life. Look for things you can’t normally do. See the uniqueness of each place.
- Name: Tom
- : The Naracoorte Caves
- : I like experiencing new things.
- : Study hard at school, and have fun.
Gali had his rare but unfortunate “I’m not going to sleep” nights, which sucked the life out of us all (except for Raquel, who slept through it). He refused to sleep until about 11pm, then woke up at 4am and that was that. It put a tired and exhausted dampen on an otherwise (boiling hot but quite) lovely day.