Day 4: Limestone Coast, Langhorne Creek and Robe

Today involved a lot of driving and the weather continued to not be on our side. We ventured into the Limestone Coast today, which when it was all dark and gloomy, can be quite depressing in itself – just long, long roads without end, and the sea is not exactly in reach.

Today’s road map is here:

Map

We started off going to the town of Strathalbyn, which is in the outskirt of the city of Adelaide. The town has a very English feel to it, or may be Scottish. I, myself, live in Cambridge (UK) and this town feels very much alike to some of the smaller English towns I have found myself venturing into when I do walks across East Anglia.

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Like the River Cam and many other rivers in England, you would find a lot of ducks and the likes in the river. As such, the river in this town captures a certain number of people to feed the ducks with bread. I am sure you probably should not feed the birds, but they are somewhat amusing when you feed them, and that you cannot really deny yourself the fun!

“I believe I can fly” by duck:

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Soon enough, we carried on because of the long distance ahead. We arrived in another wine region – Langhorne Creek – I am constantly amazed at how close you are to another vineyard in this place. Langhorne Creek is less famous than the other wine regions in the state, like McLaren Vale (see Day 3), Barrossa Valley (which I did not go) and even Clare Valley. Yet, Langhorne Creek has a long history of winemaking – dating back to 1850. Famous for Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, the district now tries to develop new takes on other grapes, and in this case, I find the Sauvignon Blanc here very affordable and tasteful!

We chose to sample some wine in Bremerton Wine today, mainly because we do not have to venture into unsealed roads to get to the cellar doors.

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“The art of drinking wine instead of doing something you should be doing!” Indeed, it is an art. And I think we are mastering this art!

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The two wines we bought. Both at a price around $20, affordable. I like the Sauvignon Blanc a lot. This 2015 vintage was benefited by the cool growing season of the year, and was bursting in green and citrus flavours. Very refreshing, indeed.

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We were well served too. It helps when you were the only customers in the cellar doors. We were poured a bit of everything and it was a very satisfying wine tasting. It was no surprise that a couple walked in and bought a box of 6 bottles right away just when we were about to leave!

To reach Limestone Coast, we would have to cross the Murray River, the longest river of Australia originating from the Australian Alps in Victoria. We did this crossing at the town of Wellington, ironically sharing the name with the New Zealand capital.

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From here, the view got slightly boring. Even though it was technically a road running on the coast, there were vegetation on the side blocking the view of the sea. Needless to say, also, is the not-so-good weather, making the view of the sea, if any, not very pretty. The only thing we can take comfort in is perhaps that the road is relatively empty so we could drive fast!

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After a few hours of driving, we arrived into Kingston for a late lunch. One of the more famous spots to visit is the Big Lobster! It is a restaurant that serves lobsters freshly caught from the sea. A whole lobster would cost $170, so we did not order one. Instead, we ordered seafood risottos instead, hoping that there would be traces of lobsters!

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I had the crab risotto. It was absolutely brilliant – flavourful, creamy and well-spiced. You could find lots of chunks of crabmeat in there, which was encouraging to say the least. The portion was slightly small for the price (~$25) but I appreciate that there was quite a portion of seafood in the food.

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I had a bottle (20 cl.) of the Mother of Pearl Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine to go with my risotto. I loved this bottle of wine – it was not very dry, nor very acidic, but very fruity and refreshing. We would visit the vineyard that produces this sparkling, and would buy a number of bottles from this vineyard.

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After lunch, we spent a good half an hour strolling the town. Kingston has a lovely beach, and I can see it being very, very beautiful on a fine day. Unfortunately for us, it was a windy and cloudy day, so it got quite cold at times. Would be lovely to venture into the beach when the tides are low, too!

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We continued our journey to Robe, our destination for the day. Robe is a lovely town, more touristy than Kingston, but that means everything you need is found in the centre of town.

The beach of Robe:

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The centre part of the town is very small, but there are quite of a few restaurants. Some only do weekends – so do take note of that. We dined at the pub of the Caledonian hotel, but there were other formal restaurants just across the street. Trekking further inland, you would find some takeaway shops and less formal restaurants, mostly serving the (British) snack of fish and chips! Very fitting with the beach, indeed.

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I had the daily specials – ribeye steak cooked the medium rare. It was excellently cooked and the meat was excellent in itself. I don’t think you could go very wrong with steak in Australia (at least up to this point, spoiler alert for later!)

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Equally excellent was the ice cream sundae we ordered. It was around $7, slightly expensive on first thought. But it came with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, and the portion size was big enough to share among three!

Lovely end to the day, indeed.

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