Sunday, 29 April 2012

Easter and beyond

Well, we have survived the summer and been told that it has been kind to us. The highest temperatures we have had was shortly after Christmas with 43C. Now we're well and truly into Autumn and the weather is lovely. Sun rises about 6.45am and after a cool night of about 9C the day warms up to early 20C. Finally the sun disappears about 5.30pm. We've had a day or two of rain, but apart from that it's been dry. The river has been rising due to all the rain from Queenland, but it seems unlikely to flood here. Trevor and I hired a canoe for the day a few weeks ago and had a lovely day. As usual plenty wildlife was seen

Pelicans on the Murray

Our canoe for the day

The kids have enjoyed their first term at school. Alex has now finished with the swimming club until the warmer weather comes along and is now in the Renmark Football (Soccer) Team. They had their first match today and won a resounding 19-0, with Alex scoring 4 goals.

We've been out and about a lot. Banrock Station (yes, of the wine fame) is about 40 minutes away. There are wetland trails to walk and a lovely restaurant too.

The vineyards at Banrock Station

Only about 5 minutes drive from where we live is Rustons Roses, which is the national rose centre for Australia. Suprisingly, these flowers thrive in this environment and are lovely. There is a cafe on site and a shop which sells all things flowery, plus a small collection of vintage cars.

One of the lovely blooms at Rustons Roses
In the gardens at Rustons Roses.

At Easter we ventured further afield and went to Victor Harbor which is a seaside town, still in South Australia. It has a number of attractions, the Cockle Train which runs to nearby Goolwa. It gets its name because cockles can be dug up at Goolwa and the train used to take locals there. We were also told that it was the oldest steel railed railway in Australia.

The Cockle Train

Pelicans at Goolwa

Victor itself is quite pretty and although we were told it would be busy over Easter, well judge for yourself....

Just across the bay (and in the photo above) is Granite Island. This can normally be reached by horse drawn tram, but it wasn't running when we were there because the sleepers were being replaced. We walked over the the Island anyway. It is home to the Little Penguins who come home to roost every night after a hard day fishing. The only way you can see them is to book a meal at the restaurant, or to book on a tour. We did neither, so didn't see them this time. The Island itself is pretty though:

View from Granite Island.

We also went to Urrimbirra Wildlife park and hand fed kangaroos, patted koalas and had birds land on our heads!

The it was back to work and school after our break. Trevor is settling into his work with the odd crisis here and there which he has helped to sort out.

Last weekend we had a trip to Mildura which is about 1.5hrs away and the nearest city to us. I bought a new bike as I left my old one in the UK when we moved out here. I also bought a Kobo which is like a Kindle except you aren't tied in to buy from Amazon. Books are very expensive out here so it seemed like a good move.

This weekend I tried out the new bike and we also walked down to the river near Headings cliff. The afternoon was drawing in and the light was just lovely.