Travelling the USA, Canada and Australia



Las Vegas

Australia (1) – Adelaide to Melbourne

Welcome to Australia

It’s exactly 15 years after our first trip to North America that we are about to conquer another continent. The southeast of Australia is literally “Down Under”; the total calculated time to arrival is 25 hours. We have an 8-hour layover in Singapore, where we first visit the beautifully designed gardens at the terminals of the airport. Highlight of the stopover is a city tour organized by Singapore Airlines, which takes us to the city state’s most important sights.

The next morning, we finally touch down in Adelaide, the modern capital of South Australia. The city center, surrounded by a belt of green parks, can easily be explored in one day, even at 36 degrees; the most important sights such as the Botanic Gardens, the university campus with various museums, the Parliament Building, the modern Convention Centre and the Festival Plaza are all close together. Afterwards you can cool off in the shops and bars of Rundle Mall, Australia’s oldest pedestrian mall.

After our first in Australia and a visit to the Old Gum Tree, where the colony of South Australia was proclaimed in 1836, we leave the city for the Adelaide Hills. The Waterfall Gully and Mount Lofty Summit, after all 710 m high, are the first attractions on this journey.

The highlight of the day is the Cleland Wildlife Park with 130 Australian animal species, including wombats, koalas, wallabies, potoroos, emus, dingoes and around 220 kangaroos, which eat the special food we have bought even out of our hands. Australia, we have arrived! We take a short break in Hahndorf, the “German Village”, before reaching our first lodge in Murray Bridge.

We turn south and follow the Princes Highway via Meningie to Coorong National Park, which runs parallel to the coast for almost 100 km. At the 42 Mile Crossing, we walk on a path across the dunes to the Indian Ocean; if you get on a boat here and just set off, you’ll eventually reach Antarctica! In Kingston SE stands the giant figure of “Larry the Big Lobster”; our destination for today, now back inland, is Naracoorte. The city is home to the Naracoorte Caves, a World Heritage Site, and here we encounter the first wild kangaroos on this trip.

The next day, we cross the border between the states of South Australia and Victoria and finally reach the Grampians National Park, an endless green piece of nature with wonderful views from a number of viewpoints. Highlight of the park are the MacKenzie Falls. In Halls Gap, the region’s tourist center, about 20 kangaroos are grazing in the evening right in front of our lodge.

On the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne

We leave the mountains and return to the coast via Dunkeld. At Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve in Port Fairy, we have our first encounter with free-living koalas. In Warrnambool in southwest Victoria, we stock up our food at Aldi, which is found in every major town in Australia. Half an hour later, the famous Great Ocean Road finally begins. The Bay of Islands, the Bay of Martyrs and The Grotto give us an idea of what awaits us the next day. Today our bed is in Port Campbell.

The next highlights on the scenic road are London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge with the Tom and Eva Lookout and finally the famous Twelve Apostles. The views of the coast, sea and cliffs are magnificent and always different.

The Great Ocean Road leaves the coast, and the area becomes more wooded. In Melba Gully State Park we explore a rainforest for the first time on this trip; the ferns grow as trees and the giant trees reach far into the sky. What a contrast in just one hour! In the afternoon, we explore another rainforest in Otway Fly Treetop Park on the longest steel beam treetop path in the world. What follows is a detour to Cape Otway Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Australia, then the day ends in Apollo Bay.

The last stage of the Great Ocean Road takes us to Teddy’s Lookout in Lorne, high above the sea. The view is magnificent, but even better are the Australian Magpies, whose song sounds like the melody of a flute, and the rare kookaburras, which are extremely photogenic. In Anglesea, we enjoy an ice cream at the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, and in Torquay, the centre of the Australian surf industry, we stop by the famous sundial right on the beach.

About 100 kilometres later, we reach Melbourne, the capital of Victoria. We have two days to explore this lively city, which has more inhabitants than Sydney since the last census in 2021, making it Australia’s largest city. We stroll through the small alleys and historic arcades of downtown, marvel at the bustling streets of Chinatown, visit the modern Docklands and St. Kilda beach and admire the city’s skyline with Australia 108 and Eureka Tower, Australia’s second and third tallest buildings.

Route Description

01Adelaide Airport (ADL)Adelaide000 km
02AdelaideMurray Bridge130 km
03Murray BridgeNarracoorte360 km
04NaracoorteHalls Gap240 km
05Halls GapPort Campbell260 km
06Port CampbellApollo Bay180 km
07Apollo BayMelbourne230 km
08MelbourneMelbourne000 km
09MelbourneMelbourne000 km
Total (Part 1)1.400 km

The Journey in Pictures