The Retirees visit Normanville and Victor Harbour

We arrived at the resort and settled in. Now I have to confess that we stuffed up. We arranged a boat trip on the Torrens River in Adelaide after we had moved on to Normanville. Its just a short drive away we said. Well we did not know about the road works that would confuse us and lead to us missing the sailing of the boat and having to rendevouz at the second stop for the boat trip. The boat travelled up and down a stretch of the river either side of its base in a former boat shed.

The Torrens is called a river but it is no comparison with even the Yarra. Nevertheless the boat was full with people and it appears the promise of a gin tasting was the draw card. A local distillery manufactured and sells a product called”Prohibition Gin”. As we arrived late we we behind in the tasting and had to catch up. Now I am not an affectionardo of gin and the samples tasted we okay. Kerry was more impressed and found out where we could go to stock up. I was glad that we were staying at Normanville as this reduced the risk of having to attend and spend. Little did I know that 6 months into the future we would attend a gin tasting at Tattersalls Club in Brisbane hosted by Prohibition Gin and not only did I enjoy the neat gin nips but was relaxed sufficently that the purse strings loosened and we bought 2 bottles and won the door prize of a 3rd bottle of gin.

We returned to the resort for a nights rest and a relaxed few days. It started with a walk around the golf course. Although I did not play the course it was pleasantly laid out with plenty of sand traps and water but very few trees. At the end of the course is St Peters Catholic Church, a church of simple style seen through out Australia very different to the stone Cathedrals that litter Europe.

After the walk we drove to the beach and at the Normanville Surf Life Saving club we found a cosy cafe obviously enjoyed by locals. Our plan after a hot breakfast and coffee, we drove to Victor Harbour an hour and a bit away. Normanville is 77 km south of Adelaide, and it is the largest regional centre on the western side of the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is situated next to the mouth of the Bungala River. Robert Norman, in 1849 built first, followed by the general store, and the hotel. This was quickly followed by the local Government House, which housed the Police Officer, court house, and jail cells. Norman opened the Normanville Hotel in 1851 and a church soon after.

Victor Harbor is located on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 82 kilometres south of Adelaide. The town is a highly popular tourist destination. The town of Port Victor was laid out on the shores of Victor Harbor in 1863 when the horse-drawn tramway from Goolwa was extended to the harbour. After finding a place to park we walked past the old Customs House, the first public toilet in the town (the featured image at the commencement of this blog) around to the remenants of that horse drawn tramway across to Granite Island. Granite Island, also known by the Ramindjeri people as Nulcoowarra, is a small island next to Victor Harbor. In 1830s there was a shore-based bay whaling station operating at Granite Island. It is now a popular tourist attraction, particularly for people wishing to see little penguins which live there. The island is accessible across the causeway from the mainland, either on foot or the horse-drawn tram. From here you can also see the sea cages where blue fin tuna are farmed. Plenty of gulls as well.

The island appears wild with clear evidence of wind and water erosion. But amongst the natural are many man made things like sea groins, timber stair cases and some electic street art.

We walked around the island in about an hour and waited for our tram at the island cafe. The day was quite warm and a cool drink was very pleasant but those who chose to dine in the open dining area soon were battling crafty gulls intent on stealing your chips. The tram arrived and we boarded the tram for a very casual return trip. Next stop is the mouth of the Murray River.


The Retirees Babysitting in Adelaide

One of our daughters has recently returned from the USA with her husband and family to Adelaide. It is not as far to travel for baby sitting duties but not your average come over for a couple of hours while I….. So September 2019 we flew to Adelaide to babysit our grandsons.

They had moved into a comfortable home near the boys school so we were able to walk them to school and whilst at school see the sights of Adelaide. First was a visit to Rundle Mall and the city CBD via bus transport. Seniors ride free of paying a fare during certain hours which suited us nicely. We rode the buses passed City Hall to the end of the Mall where we decided to walk around and get a feel for the city. I have uploaded the various city sights. The city is surrounded by park which is lovely but makes the trip to the CBD longer than you would expect.


Amongst the collection of stone buildings we found the Art Gallery of South Australia. It was a bit eclectic. for example below is the stone ediface suggesting old traditional and conservative and inside is a spiders web of the things you would expect to be captured in the web;

We found the markets and I was particularly taken by this coffee shop (see below) which used a jumble of windows and doors to enclose the cafe space and then dotted tables chairs bars and stools around it to give it an el fresco atmosphere. The markets reminded me of the victoria markets in Melbourne with plenty of choice for fresh everything and an assortment of everything else. From the markets we made our way back toward the river and the casino passing the Parliament House a plaque commemorating the first federal convention where State leaders attempted to agree the constitution of a Commonwealth of Australia and the rampant Lion of Rex Britannica. We were making towards the road to cross the Torrens to North Adelaide and the Adelaide Oval. Set in a parkland surrounding the Oval is protected from view by a modern stadium building overshadowing everything around.


We picniced in the park under the shadow of the Oval building. It was a hot Adelaide day and sitting in the shade by the river was as pleasanrt as it was going to get. After lunch we strolled through the park and crossed a footbridge back into the CBD

We picked up a hire car  just across the road from the footbridge as we planned an excursion into the country after our babysitting was over. We booked accomodation at the Normanville Resort and Golf Club to the south of Adelaide – no point in flying to Adelaide and not using our time to look around.

We drove south to Myponga where we stopped for a coffee. The coffee was accompanied by a piece of fresh country baked cake and a couple of pies which would serve as lunch. We drove south through green pastures and herds of sheep grazing on the hills with the sea following us down the coast until finally finding the resort outside Normanville. You will notice in the photos below the traffic signs on the beach – clearly you can drive on the beach. Normanville is not a large centre but it has a lovely beach which we visited to eat our pies and then to the resort. The resort did seem a remote place for a resort but it was quite large and surrounded by a golf course and housing estate.

More on this adventure in my next blog.