Adelaide was our final stop in Australia, where our friends Andrew (Lynn) and Christine Stoler welcomed us into their home and took us around for a 2-day mini tour of Adelaide highlights. Their beautiful home is in central Adelaide close to Adelaide University (where Lynn was the Founding Director of the Institute for International Trade), as well as nearby shopping/nightlife districts. Our first night there Christine prepared a feast for us, starting with fresh tuna and soba noodles and ended with homemade Pineapple cake – reaaallly good!
The next day we explored the North Terrace cultural strip. Our first stop was the Mortlock wing in the State Library of South Australia, historical displays of Adelaide from the first settlers to present day. Afterwards we toured the Art Gallery of South Australia, a mix of historic and contemporary art primarily by Australian artists. Last we took a quick stroll through the South Australia Museum (of natural history) and found ourselves in this creepy room full of fossils, jarred reptiles, live snakes and insects.
That afternoon with Lynn, who came bearing a picnic lunch for us from Christine, we drove to the Cleland Wildlife Park. The park is near the Mount Lofty summit, in the midst of beautiful forestland. Thanks to the fall weather all of the animals were out in full force enjoying the afternoon. First up we saw Tasmanian Devils, about 2 or 3 of them running around their enclosure. We tried to share our recent adventures in their homeland but they were completely disinterested. Heaps of these little marsupials called “Bandicoots” (as cute as their name sounds) were running all over the place. Our off-season visit enabled us to get lots of one on one attention with the cutest Koala, Keira. The zookeeper/caretaker told us about Koala eating, migrating and sleeping habits, while we were able to pet Kiera and ogle her up close while she ate. Her fur was so soft, perhaps from all of the eucalyptus leaf eating? To temper all that cuteness our next stop was the Dingos. They are beautiful dogs but very much wild animals and during our visit seemed to be looking for a way to escape their confines when not battling for meat scraps. The true highlight of the wildlife park was a large hill where Kangaroos of all sizes hopped freely, coming over to people who had food for them. They were so sweet and friendly. There was even a little Joey popping his head out of his mother’s pouch! I didn’t have any food to offer them but a couple of them seemed happy enough with a little head or neck scratching. Our last visit was to the golden Wombat enclosure and they looked like adorable, little hairy pigs!
After our visit I felt like our oz wildlife journey was fulfilled, having finally seen Kangaroos (outside of ones injured by cars on the road), Tasmanian Devils and Wombats. I gotta say Australian wildlife is pretty damn cute.