Tag Archives: Australia

Going on walkabout.

In 1977, lady-adventurer Robyn Davidson set out on a 1,700 mile journey across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. She was accompanied only by 4 camels, her dog, and the occasional aid of indigenous Australians. Photographs of her journey, taken by Rick Smolan, would later appear in a 1978 issue of National Geographic, when her story would take flight and become of considerable interest, especially to women. This story was adapted into a film starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. Take a look…

The movie is available for streaming on Netflix, so definitely check it out if you get the chance. As you may know, I think the adventures and travels of women are of utmost importance for us to consider, examine, and enjoy.

Below, are some of the original photos, taken by Smolan, of Davidson’s journey. National Geographic was always a favorite of mine to flick through as a kid. We had a pretty hefty collection of back-issues at my house as well as an even older collection at my grandparents. I would KILL to get my hands on an original copy of this issue. (I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes out at the Peddler’s Mall this summer…never know what diamonds in the rough can be found there.)

national geographic

davidson1

davidson2

davidson3What a badass, right? P.S. Her dog’s name was Diggity which I’m obviously obsessed with.

For more–

Check out Davidson’s book “Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback” HERE.

Check out a compilation of Smolan’s original photographs of the journey in “From Alice to Ocean: Alone Across the Outback” HERE.

And watch Smolan talk about his experiences in Australia with Davidson HERE.

What’s your favorite adventure story? Is it real or fiction? Would you consider a friend embarking on a journey across Australia a hero or an idiot? 

(All photos by Rick Smolan for National Geographic.)

Computer Screen Vacay: Adelaide Edition

adelaide computer screen vacay

I’ve had about enough of this never-ending winter. It’s been a doozy, don’t you think? So let’s pop “down under” for a holiday in a more suitable locale. Because I’ve been staring at gray snow clumps for what feels like a year and a half and Adelaide always looks gorgeous in pitctures. Let’s go!

I have long felt called to Australia as a vacation destination. I would love to travel on the Indian Pacific Rail from Perth to Sydney or stay in the television set turned B&B McLeod farm house. (Oh, you haven’t watched all 7 seasons of McLeod’s Daughters on Netflix? The hit Aussie drama that chronicles the lives of girl farmers on an all girl-run farm? Get on it!) Not everyone shares my passion for trains and agro-soap-operas though, so let’s explore a computer screen vacay in Adelaide, South Australia.

Where should we stay?

I think for this visit we want a quiet place to relax and really feel like locals. So let’s skip the normal hotel route and stay away from the city centre. Adelaide has lovely historic cottages and they love a good outdoor space (porches, verandas, courtyards). We definitely want to be able to have brekky and a cuppa outside in a sunbeam and perhaps toast the twinkling stars at days end.

cottage1

This cottage looks traditional on the outside while sleek and modern on the inside. I love the white walls throughout–makes everything looks so light and airy. You can almost feel a cool breeze flowing through. And what about that little outdoor area right off the bathroom? Perfection.

cottage2

cottage2terrace

Here’s another cottage option–a little smaller, a little quainter and a little more historic. Basically I DIE for this cottage. I would be in danger of spending my whole vacay on that terraced courtyard with all the lovely plants and sunshine! And would that be so bad? Bonus: yellow walls, fireplace, big tub and stained glass in the bathroom (??!!).

courtyardapt

courtyardaptoutdoor

This apartment option offers breathtaking high ceilings that bathe the whole dang place in natural light. A sliding door off the main room leads to a sweet little brick porch and the furnishings are simple. This looks like the kind of place where after a week’s vacay you think, “I could just move here, as is, no need to return and get all my other crap, this is fine….DON’T MAKE ME GO HOME!” 

What should we do?

The majority of our time can be spent exploring outdoors; the city centre, the green space, random neighborhoods. Super cost-effective fun! Here are a few more specific ideas.

parklands

The city of Adelaide is encircled by a huge green space known as Adelaide Park Lands. The Park Lands are comprised of 29 individual parks which house everything from Japanese gardens to cricket pitches to prime sun-worshiping real estate. This area would be a perfect place to explore with little to no cost involved. The official website is super informational and basically gives a trillion ideas for ways to spend the day in the park. I would love to rent a bike and go on the Bike Art Trail. And of course picnic, see native flora and maybe catch some cricket or play a little croquet.

aborigineart

I’m all for learning about new cultures, even on vacay, so I’d love to check out the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. We can browse the art gallery, watch performances by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and maybe even take a guided tour. Maybe we’ll feel compelled to purchase a didgeridoo to take home as carry-on. Who’s to say?

Coopers

And what’s a real holiday without some sort of a booze tour? I would love to take a Coopers Brewery tour through the brewhouse, bottling hall and history museum, accompanied by some samples, of course. Most of their brews are carbon neutral and the brewery itself has a huge focus on sustainability and best environmental practices. How cool is that?

What should we eat?

I’m very in favor of grocery shopping and making ones own meals and picnicking on vacations. Obviously for budget purposes this is super helpful, plus that’s how my mama raised me. But, we gotta check out Adelaide’s culinary landscape for a few choice dining experiences!

thestore

The Store. Burgers, pastas, risottos and a bangin’ wine list in a bistro-style setting? I’m in. Their brunch menu is nothing to sneeze at either. Straight drooling over the food porn on their website, y’all. This is my kinda food.

vilis

Vilis specializes in a more traditional Australian comfort food fare. Think: meat pies, pancakes and sausage rolls. Lots of gravy! They even have something on the menu called a Pie Floater, a meat pie floating in a sea of pea soup and topped with mashed potatoes and gravy–which sounds equal parts disgusting and alluring. I’d give it a go. It’s probably delicious.

lucias

Lucia’s offers Italian food and even bottles their world-famous pasta sauce. I love me some pizza so this one is a no brainer. They also boast super delish coffee and a focus on seasonal ingredients! Their dishes sound so legit (and I’ve read Heat so I’m basically an Italian food expert now).

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Well, I think I’m sold on a trip to Adelaide! Who’s in? Perhaps I should start tucking away some money in a mason jar labelled “Adelaide Funds”? What wanderlust-y fantasies helped YOU get through this winter? I’d love to hear. : )

(Rental photos via Airbnb, Park Lands photo via this ABC News article,  Vilis food photo via Urbanspoon)