“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.
Otherwise you will miss most of our life”.
Before the holiday mood wears off, before summer becomes a memory, before the layers of the new year start piling, one over another, or, let’s just say it, it’s too late to have pictures of Christmas tree posted on the front page of my blog, I would like to share a few images from our South Australian family Christmas holiday that continued into a beautiful road trip from Adelaide to Bendigo to High Country Victoria to Sydney.
Adelaide welcomed us by windy but rather comfortable weather.
“I wish I could fly, into the sky, so very high..”
Someone doesn’t mind looking rather foolish (but super-cute) in exchange to being the centre of attention on Christmas morning:
Mum’s cactus flower that decided to bloom right on Christmas day:
Wide open spaces, sun setting into the ocean, tumbleweed that leaves weird marks on the sand and then decides to go for a swim:
Port Willunga, combining the perfect beach setting, and the happiest memories of photographing these two gorgeous people celebrating their wedding day in this particular spot:
And some wine tasting, ahem, location scouting for a wedding in March this year (McLaren Vale, you are one beautiful spot to get married):
Oh Handorf… The first German settlement in Australia, you still carry all the old-word charms despite the crowds of tourists and the souvenir shops and the traffic. One of my most favourite places to be when we visit Adelaide.
With Mum. Gardening shop.
Live band playing Christmas carols in the hot midday sun:
And we did not leave Handorf without some beautiful Coober Pedy opals:
But the main event of our Handorf trip this year was the visit to The Cedars, where Hans Heysen, one of the most famous, most poetic Australian landscape artists (and one of the people who inspire me endlessly) lived and worked, where gum trees that graced his paintings still stand. We were inside his studio. I could not take pictures there, but I made memories. I saw the watercolour brushes that were the medium between the master and his creations. I saw the dried paint tubes, palettes, unfinished work on his easel. His energy is still there.
Hans Heysen was also the pioneer of caravaning in Australia. This Ford Model A and this caravan accompanied Heysen to Flinders Ranges on his painting trips.
Back in Adelaide. Beautiful Semaphore, it is gorgeous at any time of the day. Even when the crazy wind is messing with your hair, and sand is flying around you like snow.
Ta-daa! Burra Homestead. One of the most recognized, most iconic buildings of the Australian outback.
Wheat. Well, gluten. I cannot eat it but I can take pictures of it.
Claire Valley vineyards. This particular one, Sevenhill, was established by Jesuits in 1851. The church that was built back then still stands, surrounded by grapevines.
Annie’s Lane cellar door. One of those bottles travelled up to the mountains with us (more on that below).
Mum’s Birthday. No, the cat was not the present, and she did not come with roses. She was there for the ribbons, again. And the box of course, what cat doesn’t know the value of an empty box. Hours of free entertainment.
And then we wandered streets of Adelaide.
And visited the Botanical Gardens.
And Mount Lofty.
And then we drank champagne.
And ate beautiful food.
And back to Semaphore.
Largs Pier Hotel, that takes quite a place in Australian music history. As per the hotel’s website, “during the 70s and 80s the hotel began to establish its reputation as an important Aussie Music icon. Jimmy Barnes with Cold Chisel, AC/DC, The Little River Band and The Angels all played here during the early days of their careers. Bon Scott, who later became the lead singer of AC/DC, even met his wife at the Largs Pier Hotel after a gig in 1971.” Wait, there is more. This place had the very first drive-through bottle shop in Australia, opened in 1953. I also highly recommend their food – beautiful treat after a day spent at the beach.
St Kilda. Rather different from Melbourne’s St Kilda. Hot, flat, open. Plus pirates.
New Year Eve. Semaphore again. Fireworks.
And on the 1st of January we started our drive to Bendigo via the labyrinth of Victorian country roads, with a quick turnoff to see The Grampians:
Beautiful Bendigo, full of history and lovely buildings. Would love to photograph a wedding there one day (just throwing it out there)
High Country. The drive there was exhilarating (also long and often scary), the views unbelievable.
Admiring Christmas presents from Mum at the hotel:
And then we decided to watch the sunset from the top of Mount Hotham.
Yep, according to the map of the village sunset is that way.
The bottle that made it with us from the vastness of Claire Valley to the top of the mountain.
Look at those views…
Alpine grass, and snowgums rising above it.
The End And a big thank you for making it all the way through this super long post!